For Catholics (and those who love a challenge) everywhere, Ash Wednesday (Today!) marks the first day of the Lenten season. The forty days that lead up to Easter has become the time of year where we challenge ourselves to do without something that we don't really need.
Since I've grown up Catholic, I have had many opportunities to try (and fail!) at giving up something that I truly love. When I was younger, it was often chocolate or candy. As I've gotten older, I've been better about highly qualifying what I give up (something I learned from my mom who often gives up candy - specifically Tootsie Rolls. Bit sized Snickers or Milky Ways are fair game!). Last year, I gave up Starbucks Mochas. I did really well, didn't cave once, and saved a pretty penny on top of it!
This year, I was planning on giving up all alcohol for Lent in order to "practice" for when the time came when alcohol would be a no-no. But I think that I would be just setting myself up for failure considering I have some already planned occassions coming up where I may just want a glass of wine (i.e. - an "I quit my job" bash for one of my best friends and a snow trip with my other best friend).
I've already started to cut back on the wine intake, so I plan on continuing that. In fact, to continue with the cut back, I think I'll give up all alcohol at home, including when we have company over (there's qualification at its best!). That might be a cop out, but The Hubs and I do enjoy a lovely Thursday or Friday night glass of wine after a long work day, so I think it will still be a challenge.
I still would like to give up something else, but couldn't think of anything in time to start today. I'll keep you posted if I come up with something.
Also this Lenten season, I want to make sure I don't eat meat on Fridays, another Catholic tradition. I'm usually pretty conscientious about this, but I think I might go a bit farther and make it no fish/seafood also. Perhaps it will give me the incentive to try out some new vegetarian recipes that I have come across that I can share. Or maybe you all will share some good vegetarian recipes with me! Hint, hint! :-)
What is everyone else giving up for Lent? Do you think your will power will get you through the next 40 days or are you a little worried about following through, like I am?