Since a young age, religion has played a key role in my life. I was raised Roman Catholic and therefore partake in religious practices such as Lent. Just to begin, the following information pertains to my upbringings and might not be reflective of all who partake in Lent. With that being said, during Lent, we are encouraged to give up something of our choosing for 40 days leading up to Easter. People don’t necessarily have to give up something, but can rather commit to doing more of something such as good deeds--which might entail doing chores around the house, volunteering at a soup kitchen, working with various charities, just to give a few examples. On a side note, people are not supposed to eat meat on Fridays during Lent, but are permitted to eat fish. As lent approaches each year, I struggle to think of something to give up. I ask family members and friends what they’re giving up to hopefully gain some inspiration. Each year, I do my best to give up something I know will be challenging.
There is a wide array of options as to what I could give up within the two categories of bad habits and food. However, food usually triumphs over bad habits in terms of my selection. In 6th grade, I gave up chocolate. This wasn’t all too hard because I was still able to obtain other forms of sugar. In 7th grade I gave up cheese, which was very challenging because I am a CHEESE LOVER and cheese probably makes up most of my diet. At this point in time, I would always get quesadillas from Chipotle and thus I remember it being a sad day when my family decided to go to Chipotle on a Friday and I could not eat chicken nor cheese. Furthermore, for quite some time now, I would chew on ice multiple times throughout the day as if it were a bag of chips. Therefore, when I gave up cheese and ice during both my 8th and 9th grade school years, I struggled, but in the end was successful. Sophomore year of high school I gave up “sweets”. At the time, I described it as “sweets”, but now realize sweets includes much more than simply desserts. Consequently, I gave up “desserts” that year. Each year, Lent always falls around the time of my birthday so that year, I had an inner conflict if I should give up desserts knowing I wouldn’t be able to have cake on my birthday. Freshmen year of college, I gave up ice, cheese, and desserts and was successful. Last year however, I was not as successful. I decided to give up bread, ice, cheese, and desserts but one by one broke my commitment. In all honesty, although all were hard to give up, ice was the hardest. In spite of Lent being in the far future, this year I plan to give up similar things as in the past, hopefully working to break bad habits such as chewing ice. This past summer for the month of July, I gave up bread and grains so I might continue with that during Lent. I also hope to give up ice, fried foods, or potentially desserts or even all of these. However, maybe this year I can think of something equally as challenging yet divergent from what I have given up in the past.