Fasting For 40 Days?!

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…

…Sweets…

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!

...bye bye sweets! See you soon at the bunny's party ;)
…bye bye sweets! See you soon at the bunny’s party 😉
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30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 29

The month of February is up, but my-oh-my, I still got two more days to go 😀 Go me!!! Nearly done 🙂 !!!

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This month, each of you must get rid of one thing on the first day. On the second, two things. Three items on the third. So forth, and so on. Anything can go! Clothes, furniture, electronics, tools, decorations, etc. Donate, sell, or trash. Whatever you do, each material possession must be out of your house—and out of your life—by midnight each day.

www.theminimalists.com

(What’s this all about? Read more about it here.)

30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 28

tn_watermarked-28-minimalsim-challenge-2

This month, each of you must get rid of one thing on the first day. On the second, two things. Three items on the third. So forth, and so on. Anything can go! Clothes, furniture, electronics, tools, decorations, etc. Donate, sell, or trash. Whatever you do, each material possession must be out of your house—and out of your life—by midnight each day.

www.theminimalists.com

(What’s this all about? Read more about it here.)

30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 27

tn_watermarked-27-minimalsim-challenge-2

This month, each of you must get rid of one thing on the first day. On the second, two things. Three items on the third. So forth, and so on. Anything can go! Clothes, furniture, electronics, tools, decorations, etc. Donate, sell, or trash. Whatever you do, each material possession must be out of your house—and out of your life—by midnight each day.

www.theminimalists.com

(What’s this all about? Read more about it here.)

30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 26

tn_watermarked-26-minimalsim-challenge-1-2

This month, each of you must get rid of one thing on the first day. On the second, two things. Three items on the third. So forth, and so on. Anything can go! Clothes, furniture, electronics, tools, decorations, etc. Donate, sell, or trash. Whatever you do, each material possession must be out of your house—and out of your life—by midnight each day.

www.theminimalists.com

(What’s this all about? Read more about it here.)

30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 25

tn_watermarked-25-minimalsim-challenge-2

This month, each of you must get rid of one thing on the first day. On the second, two things. Three items on the third. So forth, and so on. Anything can go! Clothes, furniture, electronics, tools, decorations, etc. Donate, sell, or trash. Whatever you do, each material possession must be out of your house—and out of your life—by midnight each day.

www.theminimalists.com

(What’s this all about? Read more about it here.)

Friday Flow #58: A Most Lovely Encounter

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As I walked into my (beautiful ❤ ) home today and picked up my mail, my eye immediately caught a letter envelope – a rare find in mailboxes dominated by prospects and bills. As I looked at the stamp, I realized it was sent out from Zürich, and couldn’t believe I had already gotten this letter – mere two days after a lovely encounter I had just made… Let me tell you the story:

I meant to go into the city to pick up a few things and do some errands and sat on the tram after commuting back to Zürich from work. I was indulged in my book and didn’t realize I had missed my tram stop, so I got off and figured that the wee bit of exercise walking back to the initial bus stop would do me good. While walking back I passed a rather newly opened charity shop I had previously often seen when passing by with the tram. Since I’m on my Konmari journey I tend to shield my eyes from charity shops and Brockis and pretend they’re not there – because the outcome of such a visit is just too obvious and I’m trying to save a wee bit of money and declutter my home further. So I only glanced into the shop window but ah, it was beautifully decorated and had a few intriguing pieces on display, that I felt I should give it a go, just to see what sort of things they sold and to compare the quality and prices of them (it’s always good to stay informed about what’s on the market in charity shops, right 😉 ? ).

Inside, I heard a lady asking for mini salt and pepper shakers, but the shop lady couldn’t help her further. Funny enough – I had just bought a few of those for my friend’s Advent Calendar in another Brocki not too far away from there, so I was happy enough instructing the lady where she was most likely to find such items, which made her happy, and therefore made me happy again 🙂 (…see what I mean? It’s always good to stay informed about what’s on the market in charity shops, right 😉 ? )

I kept looking around and found myself sitting on the floor flipping through the vast and nice selection of books and old children’s toys and playing cards, which are always an interesting sight. Speaking of it – one particular set of a “Quartett” game had the theme of historical happenings. There was this one card that pictured the occupation of the country during World War II stating the dates “1939 – “. I noticed someone had neatly added a “45” with a sharp pencil. I pondered about the feelings of the person completing that information on the card and nearly bought the set because it touched me so, but thought about my dear friend Marie Kondo and put it back, keeping the memory of this locked in my heart. (because – what would I do with a Quartett game anyway?)

As I sat there looking at things I found myself enjoying the music that was being played – lovely baroque music, some of the pieces even known to me, and I picked up a conversation about it with the shop lady. We ended up talking all about the classical composers, the differences of harpsichords, the singers and performers, reenactment dancers and church recitals in several churches. I learnt a lot about this person’s interesting life filled with music and how she would choose to do just the exact same thing again if she were to live her life all over again. What a beautiful and lucky thing to be able to say, and I wondered how many people were lucky enough to be able to say so (would you…?). Believe it or not – but I stayed in that shop for over 1,5 hours…! We had the most lovely encounter and conversation, and she kept saying how life is full of surprises, which was exactly what was going through my mind. The conversation with that woman was most inspiring and I got out of the shop fully energized and happy (…and with a little vintage notebook and quizzical picture book as well… *sigh*). I had also left her my address so she could send me a few flyers and programmes of free music concerts in a church in another city, which I was interested to go and listen to.

So, mere two days after I met this lovely woman I got a handwritten letter with the current flyer and an older very interesting program about an old concert that took place. What a lovely and welcome surprise after this hard week of work – who would have thought I’d hear from her so soon? I am now looking forward to have a listen at one of those concerts in the future.

This whole happening was just another reminder that sometimes all you need to do is sit back and go with the flow, go along with things, and see what happens. Funny enough, a few minutes before I missed my tram stop I read a quote in the book I was reading saying:

…good things will happen to you, provided that you truly believe they will.

Oh, and the best thing? I was so touched and moved by the music being played in the shop that all of a sudden she plucked it out of the CD player and handed it to me as a present… Wow…!!! (So I was lying before – I got out the shop with a little vintage notebook, a quizzical picture book AND a classical music CD… 😉 ) I am now listening to the CD and am loving it. In the past few months I realized more and more how I should let music play a bigger part in my life again. I miss it, and I’m opening the doors to it again.

I hope you liked my little story 🙂 Have a lovely weekend!!!

30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 24

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This month, each of you must get rid of one thing on the first day. On the second, two things. Three items on the third. So forth, and so on. Anything can go! Clothes, furniture, electronics, tools, decorations, etc. Donate, sell, or trash. Whatever you do, each material possession must be out of your house—and out of your life—by midnight each day.

www.theminimalists.com

(What’s this all about? Read more about it here.)

30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 23

tn_watermarked-23-minimalsim-challenge-2

This month, each of you must get rid of one thing on the first day. On the second, two things. Three items on the third. So forth, and so on. Anything can go! Clothes, furniture, electronics, tools, decorations, etc. Donate, sell, or trash. Whatever you do, each material possession must be out of your house—and out of your life—by midnight each day.

www.theminimalists.com

(What’s this all about? Read more about it here.)

30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 22

tn_watermarked-22-minimalsim-challenge-2

This month, each of you must get rid of one thing on the first day. On the second, two things. Three items on the third. So forth, and so on. Anything can go! Clothes, furniture, electronics, tools, decorations, etc. Donate, sell, or trash. Whatever you do, each material possession must be out of your house—and out of your life—by midnight each day.

www.theminimalists.com

(What’s this all about? Read more about it here.)