Monday, March 23, 2009

Don't count the Sundays

I’ve always been fascinated by other religions.  I’ve said for years that if I had a back-up religion, I’d probably be catholic.  The splendor, the tradition, the mystery, the cathedrals: all appeal to that part of my personality that gets a little bored during high-councilman talks. Another part of me wishes I was pagan: worshipping the sun and moon tides, practicing fertility rites on midsummer’s-eve (my husband really wishes for this one.)  Ah, to be so free.


But, as it is, I’m living the life of a Mormon girl in Utah.  But I don’t let it keep me from introducing other traditions into the fabric of the way I live my religion.


This year I decided to practice Lent.  I’ve wanted to do it for years, but never had a reason or the gumption.  But this year I found a way to celebrate this 40 day (not counting Sundays) period:


I gave up Dr. Pepper.


Further clarification: I gave up soda altogether.


That is right. I haven’t had a sip of soda since February 24, when I sucked down my last 32 ouncer.  I went on an absolute binge for the week prior to Ash Wednesday (the official start of Lent), having soda almost every day.  Since, I’ve been driving past the local Maverick with longing in my eyes.  I’m no longer missing the taste, but the habit that I enjoy so much of the obtaining of Dr. Pepper is still prevalent.  Eating at a restaurant is pitiable without anything dark and bubbling to wash it down.  Don’t you feel bad for me?


Anyhow.  I will say this: I sleep a little better at night without the caffeine.  And it doesn’t seem like I’m as hungry as I was before.  My husband is relieved that I’m no longer drinking my particular brand of “sludge,” as he likes to call it.  And when I read an article in the Sunday paper about women who drink soda being more likely to have kidney problems, my stomach didn’t clench up the way it might have before.  It makes me feel a little closer to God, knowing that I gave up something in honor of his resurrection.  Good things have to come from that, don’t they?


The 2 million dollar question is this: come Easter Sunday, will I continue my walk in the Dr. Pepper-free wilderness?  Will my 40 days-without-counting-Sunday’s cure me of a lifetime of drinking cold ones?  I don’t know.  It’s a little like when I decided I wouldn’t smoke or drink anymore.  Every day after that day was one more day “since.”  Now that it’s been years and years, I wouldn’t want to give up my ongoing streak, if only for the fact I’d have to start over with the counting.  But it’s hard to say never again.


But I’ve got this 40-day thing down pat.  I think I’ll make it a tradition, to find something to do during Lent to bring me closer to God.


So have you ever celebrated Lent?  Or given up something you really loved for blessings?  I know you have, so share!



Jeanette said...

congratulations, I am proud of you. Don't go back, it isn't worth it.

As for me, I am weak, I don't know that I have ever given up something I truly love. I did give up caffeine, but I still drink soda, I just drink diet caffiene free now (And not nearly as much).

I wish I had the will power to give up french fries, that would make a huge difference in my life I think.

Amy Sorensen said...

Here is what I have found:

I'd say it took me nine months before I had REALLY given up soda, in the sense that I finally (after who KNOWS how many years!) don't really LIKE it very much. Now when i go out to eat, I don't want a soda with my meal. I don't miss it anymore and I don't have to talk myself out of stopping at the Holiday for a refill. But it was a process....a sort of two steps forward, one step back thing. Or, really: it's like trying to push away a giant, warm marshmallow. You push it away but some still sticks to your hands, and you have to just keep trying!

One added bonus for me is that I started avoiding the places that made me really, really, really want a Pepsi. Namely: Taco Bell. I don't want to eat TB without a soda, so I didn't go to TB for a long time. and now I don't want to eat at Taco Bell anymore. Sweet!

At any rate, i think it is FABULOUS that you gave up the Dr. P. Even if it's just for forty days, it is still a start. I am SO proud of you! i wanted to give up getting up late, for Lent. (Does 7:30 count as late? I don't know. it's just a backwards way of thinking, I guess. I wanted to sacrifice sleep.)

Needless to say, I didn't make it.

My first attempt at Lent was a dismal failure.

Isabel said...

I love that you did this. Every year when Ash Wednesday comes around I think about giving up something for Lent. But I've never actually done it.

I have a good friend who is catholic and she gave up meat for lent this year. She had it at my house last week and I was so upset for her. But she seemed fine with it! :-)

Happy Lent!

Anonymous said...

I love learning about other religions, too, but I'd take high council Sunday over mass any day.

Mimi said...

I am Orthodox Christian, and yes we observe Lent, and I try to the best of my ability to keep the proscribed Lenten fast.

However, I'd be a sad puppy if coffee were on that list, so my best wishes to you on the Dr. Pepper. I have been blessed to not have carbonation agree with me, so I never developed a soda habit.