I did not grow up observing Lent. In fact, it has only been in the past few years that it was even on my radar. But now that I have experienced it, I really look forward to it every year. This is the third year I have given things up for Lent. The first two years I gave up both facebook and blogs (reading and writing both). This year I am giving up Facebook again but I am going to keep reading blogs. I also hope to use the time to write more myself. I've learned that it's not only good for me to give something up, but also ADD good things back in.
For me there is almost a relief in Lent, as if I am forced by spiritual discipline to make the choices I know I should make all year, yet often lack the impetus or willpower. I have a list of things I hope to do in the time that is freed up by my choice to stay off facebook. I know that I will not spend as much time with my computer, and that feels good.
Here are some of the positive things I am adding back in:
- Reading. I have a stack of books. Show and tell on those later.
- Rest. Sounds crazy, but I am going to take more naps. Often I will be tired, but I end up sitting with my computer in my lap instead of dozing on the couch.
- Write letters. I used to write letters galore. Letters with stickers, written in circles or multi-colored ink. Over the past decade, I have lost that habit. Mailing things is expensive and annoying (in Spain you can't just buy a book of stamps at the grocery check-out.) Then I had a brainwave. I am going to write letters, then scan them and email them to people :)
- Journal. I also used to journal like crazy. I have some kind of block about it now, and I am having a hard time getting it back. I am hoping that with a little breathing room maybe it'll come a bit easier.
- Update my prayer book. Awhile ago I started a photo album that I use to pray for people. I just got a new print cartridge for my photo printer and I am looking forward to spending time printing some photos.