These past days I found myself entangled in conversations with friends across the globe about Carnival customs and its origins, about Mardi Gras / Pancake Day, Fat Thursday and everything there is to it. Carnival is quite big in some parts of Switzerland, and I’m always eager to learn about new customs and traditions, be it local or from abroad.
A thing that has always intrigued me was the custom of Lent. Now in modern times I find many people adapting that custom into a form of giving up something / a specific kind of food for the length of 40 days.
Not having luxury items / certain food types for a limited period of time can be truly cleansing and revealing. I loved going on trips abroad into the wilderness to remote places where there was no running / hot water, no proper toilets, no fridges, no electricity, no whatsoever we just so much take for granted in our lives. I always came home much more appreciative of my life and what I have here, and with a wide awareness and understanding of foreign cultures and their lives. It has an energizing and uplifting – yes nearly creative effect on your soul that I always thought it should be mandatory for every person of a modern world to go out there and experience that for at least once in their lifetime.
Since I haven’t been abroad to so called 3rd-world-countries in a while now, I haven’t had the privilege of experiencing such a cleansing trip in a couple of years. The concept of Lent appeals to me as a sort of substitution, to try to give up something for a certain period of time, and also to see how I can cope with it.
Now, by all means, don’t expect too much from me here 😉 I’m no heroine and currently too much involved in certain work duties that my favourite idea (no internet for 40 days) was crushed right away seeing that it would be a logistic catastrophe…
I then proceeded to think about the meaning of Lent and thought I must give up something I truly care about, but life taught me that it’s way too short to be deprived of any of the wonderful arts such as music, literature, and culture… Why should I deprive myself from the things I love most about life? From everything that brings me back into balance after long working hours? I shoved those suggestions aside and went on to think about doing something every day for 40 days, something I might not be too fond of, but as I’m currently trying to plank or work out every day this wouldn’t really be a new addition…
I thought about food then… Typical food types elected for the fasting season are meat and fish, but as I don’t eat much meat (I suck at preparing it) or fish (too lazy to prepare it) there’s no point really in electing them, right?! The next obvious suggestion that crossed my mind then hit me like a bang…
Ah, but I couldn’t…^^ I just couldn’t, could I? I usually have a tiny wee little sweet every day. Sometimes the tiny wee little sweet turns out to bring along his many friends to make a party in my stomach…^^ I know there are some family birthdays coming up before Easter so, in a way it was another no-no for me, but it would be an interesting challenge…
Now and this is where I crossed this idea a wee bit with the Konmari Method and the reason for you to see that I’m a total anti-hero here:
I decided not to buy any sweets for 40 days.
Because by doing so I’m using up all the sweets that are lying around my kitchen and which I’m keeping in stock or hidden somewhere, and then it’s another thing I’ve gotten rid of, KM’d or plainly just eaten, however you want to see this…
Mind you – I had no time whatsoever to celebrate Pancake Day, Mardi Gras or the likes, so I didn’t go out shopping for a lot of sweets to keep on stock and keep me going for the next 40 days.
So here’s on what I decided to try out:
* I am not allowed to buy any sweets until Easter.
* I may accept sweets from people as a present, but not eat them until after Easter.
* I may not ask people for sweets. They may not buy any for me.
* I may eat all the sweets I have on stock at home.
* I may eat sweets that lay around at work but am not allowed to have more than I need or take them away from the common room to my office or even home.
Right, a bit lame maybe, eh 😉 ? But I somewhat warmed up to the concept and specially to the feeling of having emptier cupboards afterwards and use up what’s been lying around here for a year or so. I just hope I won’t fall into cravings too soon and then get stuck after like, a week or so!!! That would be horrible but would also become a more interesting kind of challenge then, right 😉 ? Let’s see what happens 🙂
How about you – do you practice the Lent season or do some fasting during the next 40 days? Tell me about it, I’d love to know!