Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Thank God Downton Abbey’s Over, Because I’m Giving up TV for Lent . . . .

The time has come again to bring out the king cake and the purple beads, the pancakes and the colorful masks. And then to put them all away again, along with our alleluias. Thus we begin the long season of Lent.

I try to do something for Lent every year. I'm aware of the beautiful tradition of not giving up something, but adding something -- a new spiritual practice, a daily devotion -- but to be honest it never had the desired effect in my life of helping me reflect more or grow closer to God. Sacrifices, even small ones, tend to do more good in my spiritual life than the added practices, perhaps because sacrifices are so concrete and specific.

Last year I gave up "being critical" for Lent. Anyone who knows me or reads my blog regularly will probably know that I messed up repeatedly at this. However, I took away a valuable lesson from screwing up so many times -- that I was even more critical than I imagined, and that I needed to guard my words.

This year I have two separate Lenten disciplines:

1. I am going to avoid "author vanity" things like reading reviews, checking sales figures, visiting Goodreads.com, or Googling my book. The wonderful reception Flunking Sainthood has received has been very affirming, but the danger is that such praise is addictive. It's time to step away from that treadmill.

2. I am giving up TV. (As I said in the post header, thank God Downton Abbey had the decency to end before Lent began. That was jolly good scheduling, wasn't it?) I hope and expect that the time this frees up in my life will result in deeper prayer and greater connections with my fellow human beings. I also harbor hopes that I will re-learn Spanish, read a book a day, and usher in a new era of world peace. Hey, a girl can dream.

Image from theblueroomblog.org.

No comments:

Post a Comment