I give up.
It’s that time of year again when us bad Roman Catholics remember it is Lent and that we should give something up for the next 40 days.
Gluttony will not be what I choose, even after I stuffed my face with the most delicious chocolate chip pancakes. It’s called Fat Tuesday for a reason, friends.
I haven’t purposely observed Lent the last few years. When Easter rolled around I would think back to see what I had abstained from and then declare that my 40-day triumph.
This year I’m taking part from the beginning. This year I’m giving up “no”.
I’m giving up “maybe next time”.
I’m giving up “thanks, but no thanks”.
I’m giving up “I’ll pass”.
There are too many times where fear of new and unknown keeps me from going out and trying. The “what if?’s” would outweigh the potential “guess what?’s”. Instead of trying and succeeding or trying and failing, I stayed in or stuck to things inside my comfort zone.
“No” is a safe and boring place to be, but it is even more horrible to utter when you don’t know many people in a city that is still a bit strange.
If I said no last night I wouldn’t have almost puked up my Thai food in dance class. If I said no a few weeks ago, I would have never met Pepe. If I said no to Jenn in October, I would have never completed my first race in December.
I will spend 40 days saying “yes”, trying new things, and stretching outside my comfort zone.
Things I’m allowed to say no to? “Want to try this intervenus drug, Laura?” No! “Let’s run a marathon this weekend” No! “You should give me $100” No! “Can you just show a little personality or humor?” Clearly, that’s a NO!
Though it may be the Christian way, don’t use Lent to feel shame or guilt of bad habits. Instead, use these 40 days to reinforce the good and healthy habits you have, and introduce more. Are you taking the 40-day challenge?