Thursday, 6 March 2014

Lent 2014

So, last thing on Tuesday night, as I was leaving work to head for pancakes after tea, someone asked me what, if anything, I was doing for Lent this year.  Now, I grew up in an independent church environment where having liturgical seasons or a church calendar was somewhat frowned upon as being legalistic, so I didn't observe Lent as a child.  I was also a bit wary of the way people would give up chocolate or tea as it seemed rather tokenistic and about their achievement rather than discipline and contemplation (of course, this view might have been coloured by my love of chocolate).

But my colleague was talking about giving up plastic.  About being more aware of her footprint on the earth.  And we got into a discussion about how ubiquitous plastic is and how a Lenten discipline shouldn't inconvenience others if at all possible.  I like the idea of giving up disposables but wasn't in time to get my head around it for Lent this year, so I had to keep thinking.  And now I think I have a couple of Lenten disciplines that I will be engaging in.

In concert with my flatmate

We will eat more simply.  This will involve endeavouring to make use of all the produce in our fortnightly organic vegetable delivery (without too much moaning about the sheer quantity of cabbage and turnip/swede this involves) and try to eat meat only once a week, likewise fish.

Sundays are traditionally feast days when you get a day off your discipline and in the spirit of not inconveniencing others, we won't make a fuss when we are visiting our friends as is our habit of a Sunday.  Midweek dinners are usually made and eaten at home, so there's no issue there and we can have our meat/fish nights on the days when we expect company.

Lone discipline

I want to think about my consumption and have decided to do this specifically in regard to my wardrobe.  So I won't be buying any new clothes/shoes/accessories until Easter.  And I am going to keep a log of what I wear, attempting to keep myself to 30 items of clothing but trying not to just cycle the same outfits round and around.


Underwear and hosiery - nuff said
Costumes/uniforms - if someone else decides what I am wearing (or I decide for a group what we will be wearing) those items don't count
Activity-specific items - swimwear, dance shoes

Undecided categories

Footwear - I don't think there are that many pairs of footwear in my regular rotation, but there's something about not being strict enough with my guidelines that worries me, like this should be a real challenge or sacrifice.  However, for the sake of my feet (which, after all, didn't sign up for this) I think I will observe but not restrict my footwear choices.
Outerwear - I think this is mostly determined by the weather so shouldn't be counted.  I'll observe but not restrict as above.

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