Oh, man, Lent starts tomorrow. You’ll either a) completely understand this post and empathize with me, or b) not understand it and mutter “Damn crazy religious lunatic” under your breath. But that’s okay.
For me, since I was a little girl, I have known about Lent. Lent means, in a non-religious nutshell, giving something up from now until Easter (and yes, I get the religious significance of it, too, but that’s not what’s important right now.)
Since I was a little girl, I’ve crunched my eyes shut and thought and thought about what I could, realistically, give up for 40 days. It’s run the gamut, from bubble gum to television to sarcasm (yeah, so, that one didn’t really stick).
As I’ve gotten older, and since I’ve had children, two main vices have emerged in my life: wine and chocolate. One of them gets put on the chopping block for 40 spring days. Every year.
Coincidentally, it’s kind of right when I’m ready to shed a few pounds.
And so Lent has become my annual, God-mandated diet.
And so I. Cannot. Screw. It. Up.
Because on some level, I am sure that if a Godiva chocolate or ’97 cabernet passes my lips, Heaven is just going to be off the table for me.
The stakes are high.
It’s gotta be one of them.
(But not both of them at once, because come on….even God doesn’t want me to be a total bitch.)
So I have a decision to make.
So then I start this process of looking at my calendar and previewing the next 40 days, to decide which one will be the lesser evil. Would I rather not have Caroline’s chocolate birthday cake or skip a glass of wine with my husband as we celebrate the same day? When we go away for spring break, will I be okay going out to dinner and drinking water or would it be better to skip the brownie fudge sundae?
And no, I’m not an alcoholic or a chocoholic, it’s just that we’re talking a looooong time from the chilly days of February to a sun-soaked Easter brunch in April. And I want to set myself up for success.
So I could give up something that’s already a struggle for me, like being patient. That would totally set me up for success, but I wouldn’t lose any weight AND it just wouldn’t get me the same celestial credit as giving up wine or chocolate.
And then, if I tell you, the pressure’s really on.
I'll just go have a couple dozen chocolate chip cookies and a couple dozen glasses of wine and think this over.