Friday, March 17, 2017

Giving it up, for Lent

I have all kinds of holiday traditions. During Thanksgiving, I try to make it a point to watch the entire Star Wars OG Trilogy while I'm drunk on turkey and wine. On Christmas, the wife and make it a point to fit in as many holiday movies as we can in a 31 day period. Walk into our house at any point during the month of December, and you'll likely hear the dulcet tones of Bing Crosby dreaming of a white Christmas, or the sounds of machine gun fire from Nakatomi Plaza. Peek in our windows on Easter Sunday, and you'll find us searching the nooks and crannies for our Easter baskets. And if you looked in our windows the 40 days and nights of Lent, you'd find me curled up in the corner, rocking back and forth, and sucking my thumb.

Neither Chelsea nor I are Catholic, but it's always been a tradition of hers to give up something for Lent. I'm not sure how the Catholics do it, but generally she gave up something she enjoyed, such as fried foods or TV. Of course, that also meant that I gave up fried food and TV, since it would be rather mean of me to sit there in front of her snacking on fried chicken livers while I'm watching our favorite sit-coms. Eventually, she talked me into giving up things as well. I'd have to sign off from Facebook for 40 days, give up candy, that sort of thing. Well, this year, this year has been the real test. This time I was challenged with giving up Twitter. Pssh! No big deal, I thought. "Why don't I give up alcohol, too!" I said sarcastically. "Deal", she said.  The sweat immediately started beading on my forehead. I was getting ready to give up two of my favorite things for nearly a month and a half. 

As Lent loomed closer, I thought about how much more productive I would be when I wasn't wasting time on Twitter. I could do some stuff around the house, get more blog posts written, and I might be able to thin out that backlog of unread books on my shelves. Well, as you can see, it's the middle of March, and this is my first blog post in over a month. I've gotten nothing accomplished around the house, and the backlog of books remains unread. I've spent most of my time shopping for a laptop, which has only left me more confused and undecided. Do I go Mac, or Windows? Do I want a cheap computer, or do I spend the money and get one that will likely last a few more years? Should I get something that plays games, or just worry about productivity? Or do I keep the desktop and just go with a nice tablet? Gah!

Another thing I've learned since Lent started, is that I used to drink quite a bit. I don't think I'd qualify as an alcoholic, as there was no real need or urge to drink. I'd sometimes have a beer with dinner, and that would be it. And of course I'd have a few during social occasions with friends. I've always more about the flavor, hence the reason why I try to avoid stuff like Budweiser or Heineken. It's not that they're nasty, they just aren't my thing.  A six pack could easily last two weeks in our house. Realistically, I'd usually finish one within 7 days. So, I wasn't exactly consuming a ton of drinks. When I started adding up how much those beers cost though, it was a little shocking. It's hard to find a six pack that costs less than $7, with most of them hovering between $9-10. Add in the cost of drinks at a bar or restaurant, and I could easily end up saving close to $200 by the time Easter Sunday gets here. It's not a lot of money, but it's money that could go toward something useful, like a vacation, or paying off bills, or buying that laptop when I finally decide on one (seriously, Mac or PC?).

If you were to ask me which one I miss more, Twitter or alcohol, I'd definitely have to go with former. Unlike Facebook, I actually interact with folks on Twitter, and it's been great fun getting to know some new people. I mean, I sorta had a conversation with Ice T. Where else could I to do that? As for the drinking, I'm not going to give that up either. The weekend Lent started, I found two of the coolest beers I've ever seen, but I didn't pick them up because I knew the temptation to drink them would be too much. I think I might grab them anyway, since I really want to do a review, and share my thoughts with both of my readers. After Lent is over, of course.

So, I'll end this with a question for my readers out there: What are some of your own holiday traditions? Leave your answers in the comments.


  1. We all have our vices. Sometimes I think they're actually healthy and interesting, in moderation. That said, Lent is always an interesting experiment! I've done lots of things over the years. This year, it's not going so well! I was aiming to stretch everyday for at least 10 minutes.

    PS - Twitter missed you! See you in April.

    1. Oh man, and I've missed Twitter. Tell them I said "Hi".

      I always give up something for Lent. I like the idea of adding a routine. I think I might just have to try that next year.


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