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Mardi Gras Means Get Ready For Lent - Sorry to Say It

Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday in French and in the Catholic tradition it is your last chance to party it up before Lent, the 6 week preparation for Easter. Lent is a somber time, Mardi Gras's antithesis and it lasts a lot longer too. During Lent you are supposed to abstain from earthly pleasures or give up bad habits and indulgences to make your life more simple and "clean."

Now religion and religious affiliation aside, I do believe that Lenten season is another time to take stock in what is going on in your life and make some changes. It is like a New Year's resolution redo. You all know I am really into New Year's Resolutions. It is just that I really appreciate outside structure when I am trying to make a change. Lent tends to focus on giving things up for the six week period before Easter, and one great thing to give up during this period and beyond is smoking.

I think it is great to be creative and one example is trying to give up 30 minutes of each day for a brisk walk. Or you could give up eating refined sugar or white flour - you know little sacrifices but you will feel a difference in your energy and health after living without those things for only a week. Another thing you could give up is 5 pounds of flesh. Yep, focus on eating right and exercising regularly and see if you can lose some of the extra weight you have been carrying around with you.

You may not be Catholic. You may not even be Christian, but I like to think of this season as a spring cleaning for my soul. How about you? Tell me below.

Join The Conversation
Blessed2x Blessed2x 10 years
I am Catholic and I am pleased to read this. Lent/Easter is very spiritual for me. I decided to give up soda for Lent would have been too brutal for me.The Father at my parish told us a story on how one of his roomates gave up smoking and made his life miserable until everyone was like "start smoking again-please". Well that would be me- making myself miserable as well as everyone around me.The Father says thats punishment and defeats the purpose. I like the idea of adding something-this is the first year where I keep hearing this..
Butrfly4404 Butrfly4404 10 years
I'm not Catholic, either. (Am Christian). I've never participated in lent, but my take is that it's a much better time for resolutions because you're not just feeling guilty about the holiday season, you've had some time to think about what really needs to change. I don't do resolutions, anyway, I do goals for the year. That way, I have all year to get it done and not just feel like I have to keep going from Jan. 1st!
mandiesoh mandiesoh 10 years
well, im not catholic but everyone here has been talking about Lent so much that im inspired! i like the idea of giving up refined sugar and white flour, so im gonna do that! 6 weeks right? OK, let me have my last brownie..... :P
epc108 epc108 10 years
Last year I gave up drinking alcohol for Lent. I didn't do it for religious reasons, but I did enjoy the structure of an outside pressure to help "enforce" a positive change. It was great to go without drinking for so long--to prove to myself that I didn't need alcohol to enjoy myself in social situations and to abstain from a lot of risky behavior associated with the binge drinking I'd partake in. This year I think I'll give up chocolate!
Kelly-O Kelly-O 10 years
I'm newly participating in Lent with my new church. One of the things we focus on is that Lent is not a funereal somber time. It is simply preparing your heart, mind, and body for the celebrations of Easter and the Resurrection of Christ. Instead of denying yourself something, focus on bettering yourself. Make your Lenten pledge to spend time in solitude each day, journal every day, focus on thanksgiving daily, reconcile with others, give up a grudge, things like that. One of the things on the idea list I was given is saying no to things that waste your time or money. I think that one is good for all of us. Making your life more meaningful, and not just denying yourself something for 40 days. I am looking for changes to better myself through Lent, so I can celebrate Easter with the best me there is. And those changes go forward with me, so next year at Lent I can improve on where I am at Easter of this year.
Sweet-Adeline Sweet-Adeline 10 years
I was glad to see your positive Lenten aspect: spring cleaning for the soul. Do instead of don't is a more positive way to celebrate Lent. Helping others and volunteering more are my Lenten goals. Remember to "pay it forward" during the Lenten season.
vrico2005 vrico2005 10 years
Since I failed to give up anything last year I plan on giving up coffee this year, my #1 addiction besides sugar! I'll post again to see if I made it!
saucymegstar saucymegstar 10 years
The Lenten season is my favorite part of the church year (being a Christian) except Easter. I like that you said it was "spring cleaning for the soul". How neat. I did indeed include my New Year's Resolution in my Lenten Vows list. In case you were wondering it was, "be kinder". An idea I borrowed from my friend was to not only eliminate something, but to add something such as family time, exercise or service.
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