I have a clear recollection (something politicians rarely have) of sitting at my Granny's kitchen table on some Ash Wednesday in the 80s listing out all the things that I had given up for Lent. But it would seem that my attention to details was as strong then as it is now for I did not give up crisps or chocolate or sweets completely. Oh no. That was much too much of a blanket approach.
Five-year-old me had opted to give up Mars bars, Aero bars, Taytos and Desperate Dan bars but Marathon bars, Chipsticks and Tangy bars were still within my Lenten laws. Was I looking for a Lilt-flavoured loophole? Maybe. Or perhaps I was just realistic in my tee totalling TK red lemonade ways.
In any case, I am a lapsed Lenten giver-upper and today have given up the grand total of diddley squat.
Mind you, maybe I'm just too nice to myself. I didn't give up anything in January either (though I am doing a version of Dry February). See, I think January is miserable enough without heaping on additional pain and suffering. And my life is generally a battle between the healthy eating, correct-amount-of-sleep-loving, exercise-enthusiast of an angel on my left shoulder and the chocolate-gobbling, night owl, FOMO devil on my right.
So I'm interested to know what other people are giving up for Lent or if in fact they are taking up something for Lent (I'm thinking exercise here, not like, smoking. Though that would be quite the stand against any perceived puritanism).
And c'mere and tell me this, did you go and get ash on your forehead this morning? I have been out and about in Dublin today and I literally saw one older lady that had obviously been to Mass to receive ash. And I thought it was an interesting birthmark at first so I'm not sure if this fleeting encounter says more about me or her.
To the comments! (And in my case, to the shop.)