This year was the first time in a long time that I have felt compelled to give up something for Lent. I struggled for a while to discern/decide what it was supposed to be and couldn’t figure it out.
When the idea of not spending any money during Lent came to mind, I was not excited. 40 days is a long time, a really long time. But the more I thought about it, the more convinced I became. So, on Fat Tuesday I announced my intent to a couple of key people who would both be impacted by this choice and who could also hold me accountable. The first question everyone asked was whether that meant groceries too! I assured them that I wasn’t planning on starving my family, however I wanted to be mindful in that area too. It might mean eating down our pantry, setting a budget.
What was fascinating about this decision is how quickly I started thinking of ways around it. What does this mean for work trips? Can I spend money then since it is not mine? What about meetings? Friends who want to go for coffee? Gift certificates or birthday money, can I spend that? The loopholes are endless. And tempting.
I chose this Lenten fast because I was noticing that I was getting caught up in mindless buying, whether was a daily coffee, a book on Amazon or extra groceries that we don’t really need. My hope is that I would become more aware of how easily I am tempted.
However I made one tactical error in making this commitment.
I need a haircut.
Having short hair means that there is always a point that I reach in my hair growth that makes me crazy. I am about 3 days away from that point, which means I am 33 days away from being able to get a haircut.
This might be the hardest part of Lent for me.