With Easter falling relatively late this year, the start of Lent was likewise delayed until this week. Nonetheless, it seems to have snuck up on me, possibly because I just have other things on my mind. (Either that, or it's a consequence of being stuck in limbo and so not really paying attention to time - one day is much like another at the moment.)
For Lent this year, the only thing I'm actually giving up entirely is my usual fizzy drinks (which mostly means Irn Bru, but includes everything in that "sugar water" genre).
However, I'll be cutting back on a great many other things - as I noted in my Day 50 update, my plan during Lent is to really try to focus on getting this weight goal moving. So while I haven't given up things like cakes, alcohol, or chocolate, I'm going to be leaning strongly towards not having them much if at all.
Plus, the other side of that is that I'll need to start taking rather more exercise (which means going from "almost none" to "doing some", which isn't too bad).
But the other thing that is on my mind is the purpose of Lent. On the one hand, it's actually mostly about the seasons - like the Advent fast followed by Christmas feast, Pancake day is largely about using up whatever remains in the store-cupboard, followed by an imposed fast brought on by the stores being empty, followed by a feast as the new seasonal crops start becoming available (all of which is largely hollowed out by supermarkets having everything all the time).
On the other hand, though, Easter remains a Christian holiday, and Lent retains at least some Christian trappings. And on that front, it's a time for some reflection.
See, our plan since October has been to move house and then find a new church. To that end, we've largely said our goodbyes and have mostly disentangled ourselves in Chryston. But it turns out to be surprisingly difficult to maintain any sort of an active faith when not attending regularly - and doubly so since the New Year, when I completed my most recent read through of the Bible, and so stopped regular reading.
That's something that has been on my mind for some weeks now, and given that we still don't have any solid date for moving I'm starting to think it's not something that will continue to wait. So, rather than giving things up for Lent, my intent is rather to pick something back up.
And that's where we are, for now at least.
#10: "Use of Weapons", by Iain M. Banks
#11: "Pathfinder: Black Stars Beckon", by Jim Groves