Reverse Lent

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I’m not Catholic, but I have ‘participated’ in Lent a few times, in a non-religious way. I’ve given up evening TV watching, chocolate, buying new, and other things. Trouble is I tend to binge on those things after Lent is over. Don’t get me wrong, I do think self-denial and fasting can be good things, they just haven’t worked for me in this instance.  And it doesn’t fit in well with my personal improvement philosophy.  For example, I don’t believe in deprivation dieting, banning certain ‘bad’ foods like fat, carbs, chocolate, etc. If I feel my diet needs improving I’d much rather add things; more whole grains, more legumes, more water. These healthy additions tend to push out the less desirable foods I might be inclined to indulge in. So I thought maybe the same approach would work for my self-refining/development.

With that in mind, this year I’m trying something a little different for Lent. Rather than giving something up, I’m resuming something I’d given up, namely the flute.

Believe me, I’m not taking the easy way out.  I haven’t played for three years now!   And some days are so packed for me it’s all I can do to do the things that need to be done that day (feeding kids, running various errands, blog posts).  I don’t expect that I’ll be able to play my flute every day of Lent, but I can fit it in most days.  It has been so long since I played, all my finger and embouchure muscles have to be rebuilt.  It will take a lot of work and effort not to get discouraged (I used to be better!)  So in addition to reclaiming a skill I once had, I’ll be developing self-discipline and perseverance.   And, in a way, I’m sacrificing some of my time for something better.  Which fits in nicely with the spirit of Lent as I understand it.  Right now I only plan on practicing like this for the duration of Lent, but who knows, maybe by the end it will become a habit I won’t want to give up.

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One response »

  1. I like that philosophy. It’s so much easier to add a little more of good things than try and cut out guilty pleasures completely. I could drink more water and play the piano more.

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