list #17: 5 things i have given up for lent in the past

I grew up very, very Catholic.  I mean, seriously Catholic.  Like I-went-to-2-years-of-high-school-in-the-same-convent-my-mother-attended Catholic.  Like the only sacraments I haven't made are "Holy Orders" and "Anointing of the Sick" -- and only a fraction of Catholics do the first, and the second is only done when you're at death's door; so frankly, I don't intend to do that one anytime soon. 

It is also true that I haven't attended a Catholic mass in a very, very long time.

Still, every year, I feel the need to give something up for Lent.  The following are 5 items I've given up in the past:

1.  Chocolate.  While I don't have a particularly big sweet tooth, I did go through a phase where I ate dark chocolate bars with some regularity.  Giving this up was rather painful -- even though strangely enough, nowadays I don't remember the last time I had a chocolate bar.

2.  Ice cream.  I don't know what possessed me - I've always liked vanilla ice cream.  This was not fun, either. 

3.  Alcohol.  You know what's interesting about alcohol?  Even when you're not a big drinker (and I never have been), nothing makes you crave alcohol like giving up alcohol at Lent.  I seem to remember Easter at the end of that particular Lent being a stunningly joyous time.

4.  Meat.  This one actually lasted until well after Lent, resulting in me being a full-on vegetarian for a few years afterwards.  These days, I'm back to eating seafood, and very occasionally even chicken, but I still toy with going straight-up vegetarian again.  One of the few Lenten sacrifices that stays with me.

5.  Shopping.  This was actually the easiest of the five.  I think it's because I'm not a huge shopper.  Or at least, I'd prefer to think that's the reason, as opposed to the alternative, "I live for food."


What I'm giving up this year for Lent:

Not sure yet.  I'll get back to you.


Image:  One from the archives.  Photographed with my Nikon D300, 50mm lens.  aperture 1.4, shutter speed 1/6400, ISO 320.


SongGive it up by Amos Lee