I don’t know who came up with the idea of giving up something at this time of year. I first encountered this practice as a part of Christian Lent, of course. I’ve been surprised to learn that many Christian practices actually have their roots in much older traditions, something which I find fascinating and deserving of more widespread awareness. I haven’t researched Lent, so I’m not sure what the origin of this seasonal abstinence might be — but in any case, I like it, especially when held up against the compulsively acquisitive aspects of our consumer-oriented society. Giving something up, abstaining from something rather than indulging. It’s refreshing.
So anyway. I have given up alcohol and haven’t had a drop since Mardi Gras. That feels like a good natural rhythm for me at this time of the year. It gives my liver a break and lets my mind explore sobriety.
I wouldn’t say that I’ve given up alcohol for Lent, though. I’ve just given it up. I don’t feel tied to any particular calendar, nor am I holding out ’til Easter. It popped in my mind that 36 1/2 days equals one-tenth of a year, so I decided to set that as my goal, which puts me up to April 2nd at noon.
I’m about a third of the way there.
Of course, I’m not holding my breath. I’ve done this before, and I know from past experience that sobriety can be alarmingly habit-forming.