40 days ago i stopped biting my nails. I’ve been biting my nails since birth and just stopped cold turkey. I”m not even sure why I did it other than I wanted to see if I could.
See picture to the left. Not impressive if you don’t know me but if you do, you should be VERY proud of me. it’s a big deal. Just ask my parents!
Anyway, the point is I stopped doing something for 40 days and now, it’s not this pressing annoying habit thing i do anymore.
Which leads me to Lent. I’m a Christian but not Catholic so I’ve never really done the whole Lent thing. Not that I’m against sacrifice or anything it just wasnt’ something I do.
In fact, as i was having a discussion this week with friends about the whole concept, i did some light research (google, FB) on what it means. There were a million opinions but below is the meaning, i related to the most.
by Frederick Buechner~
In many cultures there is an ancient custom of giving a tenth of each year’s income to some holy use. For Christians, to observe the forty days of Lent is do the same thing with roughly a tenth of each year’s days. After being baptized by John in the river Jordan, Jesus went off alone into the wilderness where he spent forty days asking himself the question what it meant to be Jesus. During Lent, Christians are supposed to ask one way or another what it means to be themselves.
If you had to bet everything you have on whether there is a God or whether there isn’t, which side would get your money and why?
When you look at your face in the mirror, what do you see in it that you most like and what do you see in it that you most deplore?
If you had only one last message to leave to the handful of people who are most important to you, what would it be in twenty-five words or less?
Of all the things you have done in your life, which is the one you would most like to undo? Which is the one that makes you happiest to remember?
Is there any person in the world, or any cause, that, if circumstances called for it, you would be willing to die for? If this were the last day of your life, what would you do with it?
To hear yourself try to answer questions like these is to begin to hear something not only of who you are but of both what you are becoming and what you are failing to become. It can be a pretty depressing business all in all, but if sack-cloth and ashes are at the start of it, something like Easter may be at the end.
Source: Frederick Buechner , Whistling in the Dark: An ABC Theologized, pp.74-75.
So, my non-religious take on it is to try to make yourself a better version of you in the next 40 days. With that in mind, here’s what I’m doing.
1.Diet. I eat like crap so for the next 40 days, i’m giving up white flour and white sugar. Hopefully this leads to weight loss and healthier meals.
2. Exercise. For the next 40 days I will exercise 30 min/day (even if it’s just walking the dogs)
3. Mind. i’m going to journal for the next 40 days. Often, i get the most clarity when I write down what i’m thinking.
So, wish me luck! It worked with my nails so we’ll see how it goes. Happy Lent.