Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Today is Ash Wednesday and the start of the season of Lent.  Us Catholics attend mass, are told 'Remember that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return' as ashes from last year's Palm Sunday are smeared across our foreheads in the shape of the cross by a priest, and then go about the rest of the day being told 'Hey, you've got some dirt on your face'.

Lent is a solemn season as we prepare for Easter.  Ash Wednesday reminds us that we are not of this world for long, so we need to repent our sins and follow the Gospel.  Then the weeks of Lent follow, in which we focus on prayer and sacrifice.  The point as I see (and as was taught to me) is that it is a 'death to self' and a reminder that we don't need to give into the temptations of the flesh.  I am not a theologian by any stretch, but that is the extremely abbreviated version of what is going on in my world.

Catholics typically 'give something up' during this time of year.  It is good practice to learn that things of the world don't control you, such as alcohol or chocolate.  Each year I like to think about different virtues and how I would like to spend my time during Lent to gain in those virtues.  I like being an overachiever too, so my list for this season is 1. no pizza (so hard.) 2. No desserts during the week 3. No being snarky on Twitter (sorry Bachelor finale! 😭 ) 4. Practice Self-Discipline

All aside from my twitter mean-to-reality-tv-stars persona taking a hike, these sacrifices are beneficial to my weight loss endeavors.  Pizza is a big struggle because it is my go to meal when I don't want to cook.  So I will have to fight my urge to be lazy and make dinner every night.  Desserts need no explanation.  I feel like I want a dessert after every meal I eat, so I need to remember what it feels like to not.  Self discipline is going to be important because after much reflection, it is a major source for why I feel 'stuck' and unable to move forward with any of my goals.  I make plans and don't follow through.  I want all sorts of things for my life but never modify my actions to make them happen.  It is because when I plan for tomorrow, I feel nice about it and nothing is required of me in the here and now.  It is just that the 'tomorrow' part of the equation never comes, I just make a new plan every day instead of executing the plan from yesterday.  A number of things will explain 'why' I do this, but the main theme is that I do what I feel like doing rather than what I should be doing.  It is the procrastination habit, or just giving in to laziness or other time sucks (the whole internet and all social media), but I need to regain control and remind myself of what can be accomplished with a little self-discipline.

I am looking forward to the next six weeks and seeing the difference these adjustments will make!  Wishing a blessed Lenten season to all who partake!

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