Walking on Sunshine

Posts tagged ‘lent’

Lent: How was it for you?

This is the first year in which I’ve tried to keep Lent.  Well, I’ve occasionally said I’d give something up in other years but my resolution has only held for a day or two, if that.  This year, at RCIA, I was given proper instruction about the season and I really wanted to do it.  It seemed especially important as I knew I’d be received into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil and so I made a proper effort.

I decided to give up caffeine and attend Mass daily.  Now, I have to confess vested interests in both cases.  I suffer from migraines and anxiety which can both be exacerbated by caffeine.  And daily Mass makes me feel wonderful.

And how did I do?  Well, I managed fairly well on the caffeine front.  I had the occasional Diet Coke or ‘proper’ coffee on a Sunday but, other than that, no caffeine passed my lips during Lent.  And I got through the exhaustion and headaches giving it up caused.  I have picked up the habit again now Lent is over but am having maybe one coffee a day and drinking decaff the rest of the time.  The migraine clusters have gone and I’m just having the odd headache and the anxiety is much improved.

Daily Mass was less successful.  I didn’t count, but I’d estimate I made it to weekday Mass three or four times at most.  And I don’t even have a good excuse for missing it.  I’d sleep in or not feel well or the weather’d be horrible.  Or I’d fall into the ‘I’ll start again on Monday’ syndrome of perfectionism.  It isn’t that I don’t want to go – I do.  But I’m finding the getting there harder than I thought it would be and that has continued into this Easter season.  On Monday I went at the wrong time and found the Church locked.  Tuesday, I slept in and today I’m nursing a cold and don’t plan to go out (or get dressed!)

I slipped into another change during Lent – I didn’t read any secular fiction.  I did read Christian fiction/non-fiction and some secular non-fiction.  And I enjoyed it.  I rather think I may do the same at Advent and Lent in future.  It was really good to focus my leisure on the worthwhile rather than the froth of the literary world.  I’m actually feeling rather reluctant to dive back into my usual reading habits – and that’s something I wasn’t expecting.

And it all culminated in the Easter Vigil.  But that, as they say, is another blog post!  How was Lent for you?


Just a wee note to let you know that, although I’m still in the land of the living, I’ve got sinusitis as a result of a heavy cold so I’m pretty much absent from blog-land.  The Dr has equipped me with a rather nifty nasal-spray and I should be back to normal in a few days.

Lent is progressing without much participation on my part – I’ve not been to Mass for over a week as I’ve been ill but I have given up caffinated beverages.  There’s still caffeine in the cold meds I’ve been taking but I can’t really help that.  And chocolate’s been in my ‘diet’ because, although I’m not an idiot, I sometimes do idiotic things.

I have started to do a little study but don’t really have the concentration to do very much.  I’m very thankful that the official start date isn’t until 1st March.

I’m Fading Fast …

This post is destined to be a bit of a ramble so, if you’re short of time:

I’ve had a busy day.  I’ve had the cold for a while and am feeling ill.  I don’t know if I have the stamina to make it to SlimmingWorld tonight.  And then I’m going to ramble about ‘real food’ for a bit before moving on to talk about Lent.

Today started at 5am.  My days are meant to begin at 6am but, lately, I’ve been waking up earlier which is kind of OK.  So I woke at 5am, snuggled with the cats for a bit and then got up.  My cleaner came this morning so we’re all spick and span.  Then Sainsbury’s delivered groceries and I put them away – I love knowing I’ve got lots of food in the house.  And having food means I’ll be cooking for the next few days till the freezer’s stocked again which is fun.  And then we’ll go on to the eating …

But moving on.  Lunch happened and then I thought about studying but didn’t actually open the books.  I wrote yesterday about bringing prayer into my daily life and to this end I decided I needed a prayer book.  Shopping or study?  Shopping or study?  Shopping won.  It usually does – just ask my Bank Manager!  So I trotted off into town and chose a really lovely (but suitably simple) prayer book.  For those that are interested, it’s this one.

Once I’d made my purchase, I realised that I was starting to feel really ill.  So I came home via a pet-sitting job (little old man called Tigger who is missing his mummy very much).  I fed myself some painkillers and had a coffee before hitting the shower in the hope that this would revive me.  It didn’t – although I now smell of coconuts which is always good.

Meds for me, meds for cats, dinner for cats, dinner for me.  And I neglected to use my new prayer book to say Grace.  Bad Laura.  I now have seven minutes before I have to leave for SlimmingWorld if I’m going.  After the recent feline interruption we’re now down to three minutes but I can have more painkillers now …

I am not going to SlimmingWorld tonight.  I’m ill.  I’m tired.  And I just want to veg out in front of the TV and then go to bed.  The diet will still begin tomorrow since I now have suitable food but I will go it alone for a week and see how I do.

OK.  So on to the other topics I’ve been thinking about.  I read a very interesting blog post last night and, unfortunately, can’t remember where it was so that I might give credit where it is due.  Ah well …  The writer was talking about her experience of ‘real food’ which she described as being unprocessed wholefoods.  She had become interested in the real food movement after reading The Maker’s Diet by Jordan Rubin and claimed various benefits including weight-loss.  And she got me to thinking:

Could my health problems (in particular the constant migraines) be connected with my diet?

So I’ve done some digging on the internets and there are mixed reports about The Maker’s Diet.  I think the basic premise:  eat what God intended a human being to eat instead of chemical-laden rubbish, is good and I’m very interested in the whole concept of ‘real food’.  I’ve just ordered a copy of the book from Amazon and we’ll see how I get on with it.

And this brings me nicely to the question of Lent.  I haven’t had RCIA instruction about Lent yet (we’re doing the Sacraments at the moment) but I believe one should give something up for it and also do something positive?  And I’ve been wondering what to do for a while.  I’ve decided I’m going to take a big, deep breath and give up caffeine.  Now, I have to confess here that I’ve done this before and felt fabulous once my body got used to it so I’m not being entirely selfless.  But it is something I will find very hard and should, therefore, turn my thoughts to Christ’s passion.

For the doing of something positive I’m going to commit to daily Mass during Lent with a ‘missed for good reason’ caveat as I can do without feeling guilty if I’m sick and so can’t go.  Again, this is something I’ve done before (although not at Lent) and it made me feel really good and behave like a nicer person.  Being in Church at 9:30am every day will also help me stay awake without umpteen cups of coffee!

Once again, the pieces are falling into place.  Life is good – even if my throat does hurt!