Lent!

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Jaybird

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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  1. fillyjonk fillyjonk
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    says:

    I dunno. Last year took so many things from me I almost feel like….I don’t know. I joked today that I was still mad at God over everything that happened, so why should I give up something for Lent, but I also understand that’s not the point.

    It’s too late to come up with much. A friend suggested weekly donations to the “blessing box” (a sort of all-hours, no-questions-asked, food-bank on campus) which would require a little expenditure on my part but also remembering to bring the food and going out of my way to drop it off. Another friend suggested a gratitude journal, and I grudgingly admit that might be good for me, but I don’t know.

    It can also be taking something extra on, but, yeah, I’ve already taken on a lot of things these past few months, not all voluntarily.

    In the past I’ve given up “frivolous spending” (everything but groceries/medicine/necessary toiletries or cleaning supplies) but also my birthday is literally Thursday and I had plans to go out Saturday to the yarn shop, so a “no frivolous spending” vow isn’t gonna happen.

    No online shopping? IDK, but then the first day I need some office supply that can’t be obtained locally and I can’t make the time to get to the next largest city before I need it?

    Maybe I sit this year out, but the part of me that’s superstitious tells me being a Lent refuser maybe means WORSE stuff happens to me…Report

    • Avatar Jaybird
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      says:

      The argument that makes sense to me is that my doctor doesn’t tell me to exercise because she hates the idea of me coming home and relaxing.

      My doctor tells me to exercise so I will be healthy. Yes, coming home and getting changed and then going out and not relaxing for a few additional hours does, kinda, suck. But the point of the exercise isn’t the sucking. It’s the health.Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine
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        says:

        I think JB’s got a good line on this… your 2019 saw a lot of suffering and difficulty; it might be worth considering that your Lent might best serve your spiritual health by building up some depleted reserves rather than more sacrifice.

        I’m not very schooled in the protestant side of things, but in the Catholic world we’d look at things like praying the Liturgy of the Hours (morning or evening… not necessarily all of them 🙂 ) or “making a visit” maybe daily, maybe a couple/few times a week. A particularly Catholic thing is sitting in a perpetual adoration chapel.

        In fact, if I had to make one radical recommendation of a “different” Lent, I’d suggest that… just sit for an hour in an adoration chapel… bring your knitting, my wife does. Visitors are welcome. There’s nothing going on… no service… nothing to do, say, or participate in… just be.

        Sometimes we need the exercise, other times we just need an ice pack for sore muscles.

        Sorry I don’t know some Protestant alternatives… maybe some of these things spark some ideas.

        Adoration in OklahomaReport

    • Avatar Pinky
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      says:

      Not sure I’d agree with Jay’s analogy for Lent. Spiritually, the point is the sucking, or at least the point is more the consequences of difficulty itself, not as much the consequences of the particular difficult act. (I’m assuming by the tone of your comment that you’re interested in the spiritual side of Lent.)

      If you want to put something on your list quickly, I recommend offering up a daily prayer for someone. If you’re prone to superstition, I’d suggest offering it up for someone you hardly know or don’t know at all, so you don’t fall into the habit of “checking” if it’s working. The practice of offering up a prayer for someone you don’t like is good; it can often fall into “look how good I am praying for that jerk”, but that’s a hurdle you can clear.Report

      • fillyjonk fillyjonk
        Ignored
        says:

        Possibly just “pray more” would be a good one, during the week I tend to get out of the habit as it is.

        I have decided: no non-essential online shopping….which will largely default to “no nonessential shopping” as I am mostly too busy right now for anything but quick grocery-store runs to replenish food. But also, a friend reminded me that my campus has a food pantry for students (we serve a population that is often struggling and low SES) and the Wesley center here has a “blessing box” so I could ALSO pick up a few more cans of things when out shopping and take the slight detour (slight inconvenience to me) to drop the things off. Not so much a matter of “sucking” as a matter of reminding myself there are people whose lives suck immeasurably worse than mine does, even at its suckiest point.

        the no-nonessential online shopping one will be more unpleasant; I don’t get much “nice mail,” and I often admit I will order a skein of yarn or some fancy pencils just for the hopes of getting something nice in the mail….Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine
        Ignored
        says:

        I dunno, I think JB’s mostly right… the point isn’t sucking, it is health. It kinda sucks because we’re fat/dumb/happy and metaphorically speaking that’s unhealthy… so our path to health can suck.

        But sometimes the path to health is exhilarating, because health is exhilarating. Best advice I ever got was not to give something up, but to practice one virtue all Lent with the idea of becoming virtuous (in that thing).

        One day if/when I succeed, I’ll let you know how it feels. I mean, it feels sacrificial to start, I’m hoping to learn how it feels to become more virtuous.

        *Dislaimer: just as I’ve had my evangelization card revoked, they plain old turned me away at the Spiritual Direction application desk.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    Oh, and I was reminded in the car that we’re taking a week off next month to go down to Florida and visit my uncles and see EPCOT and get some Cuban Toast and otherwise recharge batteries. It’s, like, a *VACATION*.

    I haven’t had a vacation that isn’t a staycation for a while. Years, maybe.

    And there ain’t no way that I’m giving up carbs while that is going on. (Jury is out on whether fast food counts while that is going on.)Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine
      Ignored
      says:

      EPCOT? As long as you sit down its Casual Dining. Anything you eat while walking? Anathema.

      But either way, Carbs.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        I went to Tampa 5 or 6 years ago (to visit relatives, EPCOT, Cuban Toast…) and there is no way, absolutely no way, that I am going to avoid Cuban Toast. I haven’t stopped thinking about it.

        We’ll do carbs next year.Report

    • Avatar Pinky
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      says:

      From what I’ve heard, the key to any Disney park is to talk to the staff. I think a lot of the EPCOT staff is from the countries they represent. And in the theme parks, they all have in-depth characters, and they never get a chance to use them unless they’re dressed as one of the popular characters.Report

    • Avatar Fish
      Ignored
      says:

      Cuban food should be a sacrament all it’s own, anyway.

      And oh how I wish there was some way for you to send me a Cuban coffee!Report

  3. Avatar PROFESSOR ESPERANTO
    Ignored
    says:

    Sugary soda, bread, onanism, and reaffirming not contacting a certain person.Report

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