Wednesday, February 17, 2021

What to give up for lent

Inspired by Good Housekeeping, I created a list of eight things I could give up for lent this year.

Then, inspired by March Madness (or whatever) I put them in a single elimination bracket.

(Note that this starts with the ashes today at 11:30...)

Before we start let me just say that there were two competing forces as I looked at this list: Those things that would be a sacrifice vs. those things that would make me a better person. This has been an annual internal debate with me. One year I read that you could give up sleeping on your mattress. Total sacrifice but probably not a better person. (It didn't make the cut). One year I gave up sarcasm - in hopes that it would make me a better person. Yeah THAT was a BRILLIANT idea... 

Sarcasm didn't even make the final eight this year.

Enough set up. Here we go:


ROUND ONE:

Bad Posture vs. 1/2 Hour Sleep: 

This was where I had to remember "It's not a contest to see which one would hurt the least". I'm already working on posture with yoga. This was (unfortunately) a no-brainer.

Winner: 1/2 hour sleep.


Alcohol vs. Swear Words:

This was easily the toughest game in the bracket. Because there are some times when I love a cold **** beer.

Here's what I didn't want to have happen: "Oh, no I can't have that glass of wine because (LOOK AT ME) I gave up alcohol for lent." I don't want to be that guy. Also, I don't want my father in law to get ahead of me on the wine. 

Finally, we take Sundays off for lent. A few years ago I gave up Diet Mountain Dew. I found myself putting down roughly a two liter on Sundays. Applying that logic to alcohol would cause some Monday morning issues.

Winner: Swear Words


Donate three things every day vs. No sugar after 8pm:

Donate three things sounded more difficult. I just gave up a bunch of Mini Wheats to the Food Pantry, and we went through our clothes recently.

Of course I'm writing this before 8pm. The degree of difficulty might change later.

Winner: Donate three things every day.


Videogames vs. Diet Soda:

I don't play that many video games. And I do like a diet soda.

Of course I had to check my phone after this. And the videogames are up to an hour per day. They gotta go. At least in this round.

Winner: Videogames


ROUND TWO

1/2 Hour Sleep vs. Swear words:

I already get up early. If I go a half hour earlier I will be grumpy. And I'll probably swear more.

Winner: Swear words:


Videogames vs. Donate Three Things Every Day:

"So what good did you do while you were on earth Phil? Were you charitable?"

"Well... I gave up Hasbro Battleship for lent one year!"

Winner: Donate Three Things Every Day.


THE FINALS

Lots of thought went into this one. Lots. Of. Thought. And when I was thinking about it I saw something out of the corner of my eye and said "What the hell?"

We have a winner.

Winner: Swearing. 

This gets to the heart of what I discussed at the start of the post: Becoming a better person vs. making a sacrifice. 

Is giving up swearing a sacrifice?

I'm not going down that ****ing rabbit hole. 

Is giving up swearing going to make me a better person? I think so. If not a better person it will at least broaden my vocabulary. (If you want to learn a new pitch you can't just keep throwing the fastball)

Of course this is easier said that done. I mean - if I give up alcohol it's pretty unlikely that I accidentally make a martini and down it before I realize what I was doing. But there's a really good average chance hat, on any given day, I could drop an f-bomb. (Ask me how I know).

What to do: Well, it's simple actually. 

EVERY TIME I SWEAR I'M PUTTING SOMETHING IN THE DONATE JAR.

If it starts costing me more Mini Wheats or a pair of jeans or whatever - that will change my behavior, for the better.

And there's a decent chance, depending on how the day is going, that I could donate more than three things in a given day. 

Who am I kidding? I might need a U-Haul by the end of lent.


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