Lenten is Come

Lent began yesterday, and I began thinking this morning about what I would give up this year. It’s not going to be procrastination.

Last year’s experiment with giving up worry was reasonably successful–see “Let it Be” from March 2011. This year I will add a tangible item–that second glass of wine–but I want to choose another unhelpful mind habit. This morning, as I was enjoying a rare walk in the beautiful park right next to my house, I chose lame excuses.

The excuses I have come up to avoid walking in the past few months have been particularly weak, since we are in the middle of a drought and have had gorgeous sunny days nearly all winter. And it’s not just walking; it’s practicing music, writing, traveling, skiing, swimming, craft projects, going to concerts and shows, translating Vergil–all things that I sincerely enjoy once I actually start doing them.

Lame excuses usually fall into a few categories:

No Time: I had time yesterday to catch up on three episodes of Glee.

No Energy: I have never yet fainted from exhaustion from any of the activities I have listed above.

Perfectionism: The IRS will probably not put me in jail if I make a mistake on my taxes.

No Money: That’s where giving up the second glass of wine will help. Little things add up.

Weather: We don’t have blizzards in Sacramento, and we have a four-wheel drive that I haven’t yet used for skiing.

Fear of Dying: I could slip in my bathtub, but I still shower every day.

No Rewards: Long term, there are indeed rewards. Short term–who said I was too old for stickers?

So for the next 40 days I will write down those lame excuses whenever I catch myself using them. I’ll start as soon as I find the right color of pen and buy a pristine notebook with precisely 40 pages.

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