I certainly don't want to make anyone feel uncomfortable by overly discussing this Christian season, but just a quick discussion as today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. I'd just like to say that Lent is my favorite season in the Christian calendar. I love Christmas, but Lent, I feel, is when I'm at my best. It's the season that corresponds to the 40 days (not counting Sundays) before Easter, and it is a time of contemplation and preparation for Christ's passion and resurrection. It makes me take a step back and re-evaulate my life and the roles I occupy - as a Christian, a friend, a co-worker, a sister, a fiancee, a daughter, etc. It helps set me back on the right course and to re-prioritize.
This is why I want to talk about it, because I think we all need a regular re-evaluation. Life gets so busy that a lot of things get pushed to the wayside, and we all need the opportunity to step back and remember the things we've pushed aside and re-engage in the effort to become better.
Today is Ash Wednesday, which is the beginning of Lent. It's customary in some traditions to "give up" some kind of luxury for Lent. In the spirit of becoming more appreciative of what I have and to cherish them, I am giving up unnecessary shopping - shopping for clothing, accessories, beauty, decor, etc. Groceries and emergency supplies don't count (like, a car battery). It's my personal take on "fasting", which we often forget can be done with every thing, not just food. I'm fasting on the endless cycle of always wanting more, more, and more in order that I appreciate having enough (or more than enough) when so many don't.
I think this "ban" will be hard for me, which is definitely a reason to institute it. I'm pretty good about not making big purchases hastily, but my downfall is the endless little purchases - a shirt on sale here, a pair of shoes on clearance there, etc. I want to get back to the mindset when I considered shopping a luxury I treasured, as opposed to a luxury I'd gotten accustomed to. I grew up shopping Salvation Army where I was allowed just one item every time we went. It was all we could afford. I remember a suede skirt and a simple, cloth necklace that I picked out on two trips. I loved them. I wore them to death and took care of them like they were the latest fashion and made out of precious metal. They were incredibly treasured. I want to feel that way again about every little thing, and I think that will be easier by opting out of adding anything new.
Please don't get me wrong! I love fashion and glitter and baubles as much as anyone else, and my shoe collection makes me smile every time I open my closet. Luxury is wonderful; everyone deserves a little luxury. I just want to revel in the luxuries I already have without continually desiring for more. Everything in moderation, right?
Thanks for reading along.
I'd love to hear: what do you do when you want to take a step back and re-evaluate?