Nonreligiously, I have decided to give something up for lent. I like cleansing: getting rid of excesses for a time. Realizing I can live without. Filling the void with something better.

So I have given up dairy. If you know me, you know I love lattes, ice cream, and cheese. Outside of pasta, sandwiches, and wine, those are my favorite things to consume. Oh, and baked goods. I love donuts and cupcakes and all sorts of treats that also have, yep, dairy. 40 days. I can do it for 40 days.
I think brownies are dairy-free.

And because I don’t like the idea of giving something up without adding something, I have decided to add a daily habit. I will practice yoga every day for forty days. I have practiced yoga only sporadically, once or twice a week. But now, I will make it a daily discipline. Hopefully it gets my mind off lattes. And ice cream. And cheese and donutsandcupcakes.

So those are for my body. But I also have my mind to keep. I have been so overwhelmed lately with how much reading and writing I have to do for school in addition to working (I close now which adds a few hours a week, hours that I didn’t realize were so important) and keeping the house and supervising (a better parent would call it “parenting”) these boys. I get so overwhelmed that I say aloud, “I’m so overwhelmed” just to give voice to my exhaustion.

So I have given up social media. I have no reason to reach for my phone now, unless I am going to call someone (never) or text someone (“what’s for dinner?”). My phone was something I used to fill time I could have used doing something else. I would scroll through posts that didn’t interest me just to occupy myself. So now I will occupy myself with reading and writing.

In forty (OK, 46 but I don’t want to think about that) days, I will be about done with this semester. So this lenten season, I will buckle down and focus so hard heads will spin. No more phone before bed or right when I wake up. Books. Remember those? I’m hitting them again. Frequently.

When Easter Sunday rolls around, I plan to have a tight body (tighter, I mean😉), a clearer mind, and a finished first draft of my novel. Lent, yous about to become my bitch.

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