And so Lent rolls around for us. A time of abstinence, sacrifice and reflection. In the past years, I've tried to be a better Catholic by observing lent and giving up some form of indulgence or vice for forty days. I gave up meat one year and although it was hard the first couple of weeks, it gradually became easier - however, when i say 'meat', I mean purely meat and not fish and seafood so I wasn't completely vegetarian. Another year I gave up alcohol and, trust me, this wasn't easy. It was during a time in my life where almost every social gathering took place in a pub and for 40 days I was Miss 'I'll just have an orange juice'. And somehow it's always less fun being the only sober person in a group of tipsy. A couple of years ago, I refused to indulge in gossip or listen to any idle talk about other people for 40 days - i must say, that was actually quite refreshing.
This year, I'm doing something a little different. Since I don't smoke or drink that much anymore, it would be meaningless to give up the usual tobacco and alcohol package, right? So this time around, I've decided to focus on something a little more internal. These days, life is full of 'white noise' - whining, complaining, arguing, gossiping, bla bla bla. And that's just from MY mouth. I do get sick of hearing my own voice, I must admit, and I believe I need to give more thought of what comes out of my mouth and listen more to what the world is trying to tell me.
Therefore, this year for Lent, I am dedicating an hour of silence every day (when I am awake of course - or else that's just pointless). That means no phone calls, no TV, no music, no internet, no distractions for an hour. Just 60 minutes of silence, in reflection or in prayer or simply just pausing for the day to think and gather my thoughts. I'm not expecting to grow a halo at the end of this but it's something I feel strongly about at this point of my life.
May you find a moment to pause in your buzzing life. Have a blessed Lent.