Lent 2007

I have had relative success in Lenten abstinence in the past few years. After Lent, I just didn't pick up my guilty pleasures anymore. My blog count-ups show that I have been cigarette-free and soda-free for over 700 days now--that's two years.

For this Lent, I am abstaining from red meat and refined sugar. But I would like to add something else, an abstinence that bites.

I know Catholics really shouldn't eat red meat during Lenten Season, but we hardly practice that at home, so it's a sacrifice for me to abstain from it. Refined sugar, however, is something I struggle to give up.

I don't know how far I can take not eating red meat (I'm saying I don't know, because I'm not 100% bent on not eating it forever and ever yet), but I would like to totally eliminate refined sugar from my diet for as long as I live.

I am still trying to come up with more things I would like to abstain from, but food and television are the only things I heavily indulge in. I don't have sex, I don't gamble, I don't drink alcohol. I whine and make excuses, but that's already being taken care of.

Does sleep count? I mostly sleep the recommended eight hours. And I don't think I'm ready to give up television just yet, even though I know I have to. I can't quit that cold turkey.

TV or the net? I need both to work. I write an entertainment column, and I email and post my pieces on a weekly basis.

Can I abstain from a life of sloth instead, and do something I hate? Or something I have difficulty doing? Like pledge to walk for an hour every morning, go to church everyday?

I'm off to Ash Wednesday mass in a while. By the time I get back, I should have something in mind.