It’s that time again. Your mother occasionally sends you the constant reminder of Wednesday’s service. The service which will either be at Dawn’s Crack or later at the ill-fitting period just after work when you’re racing to beat the expected and unavoidable afternoon traffic. And all this is to make the space for a blandly dressed man of God to rub some burned up palm leaves on your forehead. Yep. If you were raised in a Catholic household, you’ll know this time of year: The start of Lent.
Thanks to my mother’s constant reminder, every year I have practiced Lent. While now, in my not-so younger days, I have taken to the challenge of Lent rather than its religious tradition. Yes. I have become the willing victim to the religious buffet: picking and choosing to suit my taste. Nonetheless, it keeps my mum happy and keeps me challenged. Lent, in my understanding, is the forty day period running up to Easter where Catholics give up something as a symbol of fasting as Jesus did in the desert. This is to remind us eternal sinners, of how we can follow the life of Jesus and aim to be more like him. So for forty days Jesus lived simply in the desert: The Son of God under God’s sun.
It’s only been in the recent years that I’ve made something positive out of the Lent period. Before, I used to give up the usual things: fizzy drinks, coffee, tea, chocolate, swearing, lying – the usual recipe of any weekend. Lately I’d decided to see this as a challenge. Last year I gave up alcohol. All kinds. And as our universal friend, Murphy would have it, so many birthdays and celebrations would occur just only in that forty day period. It wasn’t easy – clubbing and getting high on the sugar of lemonade. It wasn’t easy attending the countless flat-warming parties with my trusted Coca-Cola bottle. But it is possible. And, surprisingly exceptionally cost-effective.
Anyway, last year I warmed to the idea of giving up something I truly enjoyed (never really been a fan of lying, I swear). And in my elated, not-so-drunken stupor I stated, out-loud, in front of people: that I would give up my BlackBerry the following year.
So, now the time arrives. And I am on the search for a Blokia: the oldest Nokia model I can find, equipped with a week-long battery life, torch, amazing SMS and phone call feature. And of course, the famous alarm clock.
Thinking about it now, I would honestly give up my trusted Castle beer on a Friday night than my Blackberry. And, strangely, because of my knee-jerk response, it makes me even more determined to be somewhat of an online social recluse. I must be honest though- this decision is occasionally punctuated by moments of deep hesitation: not being in contact with some people during the day will be tough. I, as I’m sure you, have grown accustomed to the constant connectivity between people. Having a rough day? Chat about it. Having a great day? Chat about it. Real time updates. We somewhat rely on the RSS feeds of people’s days; their experiences and thoughts. This somewhat fuels the idea that we are all in this existence together somehow, and supports the theory that all people want is to be acknowledged – regardless that we’re not at the same place or even same city, but the notion of “I see you and know you’re there” excels in this demonstration.
So – watch this space. My attendance on Facebook will now be regulated; Twitter updates will only be sourced by ‘web’ and emails will be replied to when a computer is available. Eish. So in essence, back to the Stone(d) Age.
Lesson learned? Stay off the sugar when making decisions.