Today marks the beginning of Lent, a period for Christians to spend time in prayer, reflection, repentance and self-denial. This 40 days leads up to Good Friday, the day Jesus Christ was crucified. Many people give something up for Lent and of course, we all hear what people will abstain from for weeks before Lent actually begins. As can be expected, the level of self denial ranges from giving up Cheetos to Facebook to Diet Coke to actually fasting for the 40 day period.
If I am being honest, I have never made a big thing about Lent and now, being in an interfaith marriage to a fabulous Jewish man with our 3 very young children, this is the hardest time of year for our family. The resurrection of Jesus Christ and really, the belief that this is what brings salvation, is at the core of the difference in our faiths and is THE core of Christianity. So, yeah, the mood here can go from mildly uncomfortable to incredibly awkward really fast. So, now that you have the very brief background, you may understand how drastic this year will be for me…I am throwing my hat in the 40 day ring, just perhaps in a slightly different manner than many others.
You see, it has been 45 days since I have written a word here. This place that is like a home away from home. My words left me as I let life get me down and kick my ass. Let me tell you, it may take 28 days to make a new habit, and I have to say, if you ignore something for 28 days it gets harder and harder to come back to it. Well, that is all changing. It took 45 days for me to decide to spend the next 40 days kicking my own ass into gear.
This is the start of my 40 Day Project
So, what is it that I am giving up? I am denying myself the laziness that came upon me when I let myself get overwhelmed by my own life. All of my ideas, my passion, my energy, my goals…somehow they made me tired instead of excited. The longer I went without moving forward, the easier it became to fall behind. This is Sloth, and if you believe in the devil, this is part of his plan. When we give up, all is lost. For those who know me, laziness would never come to mind if asked to describe me. I suppose that what seemed like a lack of focus or concentration became a pass on execution. I did not stop moving, I just stopped getting things done.
What I am doing is committing to actually DO a number of things, 40 actually, for 40 days. Some are very small and some, even now, seem impossible, but they will all be life changing in the end. So, I am denying myself the right to give up and really, denying myself the chance to fail at the things I care most deeply about. I know that 40 days is both a very long time and an incredibly short time in terms of life. I can do this.
So, should the devil present me with a challenge I would pull my fiddle out and take that bet, because I am about to kick my ass into gear. Fire on the Mountain, people. Thanks to the Charlie Daniels Band for that one.
I Challenge You
Whether you have given up something for Lent or you don’t do Lent because you aren’t Christian, you can still do this. Choose something to do for 40 days that will make your life better. Making you better makes the world better. I hope I do not need a cheer squad, but I ask for one. Every person that ever needs me to cheer them on should know that I will be there. Every single time, I will be there.
Take Action! Make Change! You are strong and it starts with you. We can be in this together.
But Where are the 40 Day Details?
Aha! Tomorrow I will share the 40 acts for 40 days and perhaps one of them will be on your list too. I can tell you right now that doing a load of laundry every day so it doesn’t make me cry when there a 5 loads is on there so there is something for everyone. I will also be using the #40DayProject hashtag when sharing, so you can follow along or participate this way. Or just say, Go Brittany! I swear it would mean everything to me.
Here we go! And as promised, here is link to my 40 Tasks for 40 Days.