First, things first. I hit 40,000 words on my manuscript and today I’m submitting the new and improved version to my editor. Prayers that I didn’t make it horribly worse! I’m so relieved to be done with this step! (Also I need to mention here that I have one Amazon affiliate link below or men in dark suits may show up at my door.)
Now, onto Lent. Everybody was posting their #ashtag on Wednesday and sharing their deep reflective thoughts, or announcing to the world their departure from social media in posts only .05% of their followers will actually see. I don’t have profound thoughts this year, or ambitious plans to party in sackcloth for 40 days. But, I don’t mind sharing what I will be up to, and some other resources, posts, etc.
1.Like last year, I’m choosing to mostly just follow the fasting rules of the Church as they were pre-1962. I am allowing one extra snack so I can drink a fruit smoothie each day, which probably sounds stupid to some people but here’s the thing: the DASH diet is demanding I eat several servings of fruit a day and I HATE FRUIT. Whatever fruit just popped into your mind, I don’t eat it. I’ve been this way since childhood. Anyway- I will drink fruit, so even thought it’s not the recommended way to consume fruit, I’m now actually getting fruit into my diet vs avoiding it at all costs. Therefore, I’m allowing myself to continue having a smoothie outside other meal times. I could just eat the fruit for Lent and be super hardcore but I’d rather watch my blood pressure jump back up than take a bite of ANY fruit. #thingsyoudidntneedtoknowaboutme
2.I’m also starting to pray first thing in the morning with my DECAF coffee. Since I’ve dealt with some insomnia recently related to worrying, I thought Gary Zimak’s book Give Up Worry for Lent: 40 Days to Finding Peace In Christ would be a good read during this early quiet time of not fully waking up. Not sure when I picked it up, but I found it in a box of books in the basement and took it as a sign. In sort of related news, my body is already really upset about the decaf coffee thing, but again, it’s in my own best interests and it will make Lent seem extra penitential, if not exhausting. Yay graces!!
3.My family always gives up sweets, and I’m also giving up alcohol. So every Sunday, in the spirit of celebrating our risen Lord, I will be buzzed and packed to the gills with gummy candy. That’s how it works right?
4.I’m not making any specific goals related to social media, but I did recently “dumb down” my iPhone which I thought I’d share in case anyone was interested. If you go into ‘Screen Time’ you can select a time period during which only certain apps will be available. I have only really boring or necessary apps available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. It’s cut down on mindless scrolling and saved my precious antique iPhone 6+’s battery from complete meltdown. I also finally figured out how to block Facebook on the Safari browser (because just removing the app wasn’t enough). If you go again to Screen Time, then select Content & Privacy Restrictions>Content Restrictions>Web Content>Limit Adult Websites, you will be given an option to blacklist “Adult Websites” you don’t wish to access. I guess Facebook is my “Adult Website” of choice?? Anyway, I’d never looked under that option before because I wasn’t thinking in terms of limiting pornography, but there you have it. You can also select the option that only allows certain websites, so if you have a child who uses your phone, you might want to check that out.
5.Now that I’ve shared all that, I’m going to share this fascinating article on why sharing your goals (be they Lenten or for any other time of the year) doesn’t do anything towards helping you achieve said goals. The article, ‘Stay Quiet and Get to Work: Why You Shouldn’t Share Your Goals’ main point is that we think that when we publicly share our goals, the embarrassment of not following through on such a public declaration will provide enough motivation to keep going, when in actuality, none of your friends, readers or followers really care all that much about your life to notice if you don’t post some amazing ‘after’ photo in eight weeks. Unless you know someone who will call you out on the fact that you’re eating a brownie sundae after announcing a diet, or during Lent when you said you gave up sweets, there’s little benefit to announcing it on Facebook. Be sure to read the rest of the article to learn what kinds of accountability do work.
6.One of the moms at my parish, shared a habit tracker app called Habit Share that actually provides more of the accountability one would need to succeed at important goals or life changes. She saw the potential in signing up, along with other faithful Catholics observing Lent, to encourage each other in things like daily prayer, fasting, etc. I think it’s a great idea, however, I personally didn’t want one more thing on my phone to monitor. So I guess I the only accountability I have this Lent (since sharing on my blog apparently doesn’t count for squat) is making sure my kids and husband yell at me when they find me stuffing my cheeks with gummy bears I didn’t actually put away in the freezer.
7.I’m curious to know, how do you hold yourself accountable during Lent? Is it different from how you try to meet other goals? I definitely feel like if I cheat at Lent, I’m making my guardian angel weep and God warm up some thunderbolts to fling my way. I don’t get the same sensation when I break a New Year’s resolution.
Now it’s your turn! Write down your Takes and link them up below! Be sure to include a link back to this post so your readers can find the rest of the Quick Takes. I look forward to reading your posts!