“Giving Up” FOR Lent
Today marks the start of Lent which in Ireland is a 6 week period before Easter when many people “give something up”. Lent actually lasts for 40 days and 40 nights, from Ash Wednesday (today 1st March) to Easter Sunday. We often joke that it’s not the 40 days but the 40 nights that gets you! The custom is based on the religious concept of penance that most Irish Catholics were born into. It is all about preparation for Easter. As kids this usually meant giving up our favourite sweets or chocolate treats. Then on Easter Sunday we would be rewarded with piles of chocolate Easter Eggs. It was always worth the sacrifice as we rose at dawn and gorged ourselves and usually felt quite ill by mid-morning on that Spring Sunday.
St Patrick’s Day
A great quirk of this Irish Lenten penance is of course the reprieve we get on St Patricks Day. March 17th is our national feast day and always seems to fall nicely in the middle of Lent. A “special dispensation” means us Paddies can eat all the treats we like on this day. Love it.
Old habits die hard a lot of adults still give up something we enjoy. Some of the more mature folk amongst us take something up instead, something virtuous and giving. But this year I will be “giving up” and for some crazy reason, I have decided that my “sacrifice” will be coffee.
No Coffee for 6 Weeks
I know! I’m worried too! Because I love coffee. I love really good coffee. I have favourite coffee houses and would often travel a distance to get good coffee. I don’t drink that much – maximum 2 cups per day. But it seems to give me a boost and I often have a burst of productivity for about 2 hours after a strong cup.
So……let’s see what happens. I consumed my last cup of coffee yesterday. 40 days of tea and smoothies looms! How hard will it be? How will it affect my daily routine, my focus, my productivity?
Join me in this adventure as I post a weekly update. If anyone has any advice or experience of coffee abstinence I would like to hear it. And of course if you too are joining the Lenten penance party, be sure to let us all know.