5 Things To Give Up For Lent
These will take work and willpower.
Lent -- which began Wednesday -- is traditionally a time of fasting for observant Christians. As a Catholic School Kid -- and into adulthood -- one was supposed to "give up" something for Lent.
As kids, it was a little hard -- maybe one year you didn't chew bubble gum or flip baseball cards. It became somewhat easier as adults. Many people made simple resolutions for the period or just didn't keep them at all.
So, we're here to challenge you to give up some pretty difficult things for Lent this year. Let's see if you're up to the task.
The List: Five Things To Give Up For Lent
● Stop driving aimlessly. Gasoline is around $3.30 per gallon. There's no reason to drive anywhere without a purpose. Keep the car in the driveway as much as possible. Walk. Bike. Car pool. Run all of your errands in one day. It will do your physical health -- and your wallet -- some good.
● Stop drinking alcohol. Look, I enjoy a good cocktail as much as anyone. This made the list for one specific reason. Decades ago, I shook my head at big-mouths who proudly stated they "gave up beer for Lent," only to guzzle down brewskis on St. Patrick's Day. I always wondered aloud if they'd gotten a dispensation from a parish priest or if they were just hypocrites? My guess was the latter. If you stop alcohol intake for Lent, just skip St. Paddy's Day -- or drink O'Douls.
● Skip one meal per day. It's not going to kill you to skip lunch. Drink a couple of glasses of water instead. You'll live -- and probably lose weight -- on a healthy breakfast and a decent dinner.
● Put down the cell phone. Stop texting while driving. Stop playing Angry Birds at work. Stop talking loudly on the cell phone in public. I don't want to hear your conversations anyway. Put the cell phone down and pay attention to the life that's going on around you.
● Stop smoking. In 1973, my father stopped smoking for Lent. Cold turkey. It was 44 days of torture for the three-pack-a-day man. But he did it. Dad bought a pack of smokes on Easter Sunday and was ready to light up when Grannie asked him to hold out for one more day. He put them down and never picked them up again. I'm sure my father would not be alive today if he'd continued smoking. If my Dad could do it, so can you.
It's only fair for you to ask what I'm doing, since I'm pounding the bully pulpit.
I'm skipping the meal per day. I can stand to lose some weight.
Tom De Martini is editor of the Upper Macungie Patch.