Today is Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday. It's the last day of celebration and feasting before lent. I have chosen to practice lent in the past, but this year lent is a special to me because I have decided to join the Catholic Church (when they decide to accept me is up to them! :) ). In the past, I've given up TV,caffeine, and pineapple juice, and participated in being thankful each day (resulting in a lasting friend in the form of Bobby Crosby, although my dates were off that year).
This year I thought a lot more about exactly what Lent is about and what it means to me. I won't get too much into that here, but basically after some reading and some soul searching, I came up with something a bit more meaningful to me.
I haven't slept well since January. And by not well, I mean I haven't gotten an uninterrupted natural sleep for more than about 4 hours at at time. More frequently with smaller blocks. So this year for lent, I'm giving up control (if you can call that control) of my sleeping.
It's become the job of medications, caffeine, and anything else I could think of to keep me awake or asleep. Practically, what my lent commitment means is that I am giving up sleeping aids and waking aids. On the sleeping side this includes Tylenol PM, Planet Earth, Simply Sleep, Refresh, Sleepy Time Tea, and any other medications specifically designed to help me sleep. (Should I come down with a very bad cold, I may have to alter slightly, but we'll just hope I stay mainly healthy). On the waking side this is primarily a sacrifice of caffeine. Redbull, Diet Coke, Jolt, five hour energy shots... that sort of thing. I don't find it necessary to specifically exclude things with small amounts of caffeine(like chocolate) because I don't each much anyway and never for the purpose of staying awake.
The rest of my lent commitment, besides a general mindfulness towards good behavior, will be those prescribed specifically by my church. No meat on Fridays, fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
I intend to update probably about once a week on my progress. Wish me luck!
But, today it's Fat Tuesday! I ate a meat burrito for lunch! I had two red bulls and a diet coke! And those guys in New Orleans think they are partying hard!