I wished someone a "Happy Lent" the other day, and didn't stop to think until later that they may feel I was telling them to revel in deprivation.
But see, to me Lent isn't about doing without - it's about taking on an experiment that you normally wouldn't put much energy into. I am all about self-discovery. And my mother is always very adamant about the specifics. She is careful to call it her "Lenten Discipline", and never, "What she's giving up". The same way that how, in highschool, when a friend asked "Is Molly there?" when calling me, she would answer, "Yes," and then wait for them to ask to speak to me. Thanks, Mom.
Now, It's pretty obvious that I am not a traditional Christian. I'm not even a traditional Episcopalian, although they are the denomination with whom I identify best. Because I don't necessarily believe that Jesus was the son of whatever God is up there [Sorry, Mom, still mulling that one over...]. I do, however, think he was a pretty rad guy, who preached about love and acceptance and genuinely cared for the welfare of the people he touched. How can you argue with something like that?
But, regardless of what you believe, Lent is a good time to try taking on a task. When you think about it, it's more realistic than most New Years resolutions. You can see the end of it if you really can't stand what you've committed to. And then you learn about yourself. In fact, if you're successful with your Lenten Discipline, try commiting yourself to something new each month! Learn French. Master baking. Master French Baking. Take your dog [or hamster!] for obedience classes, and then enter them in an agility show. Your possibilities are endless, because it's not about doing without, it's about what you can do, and being grateful for the time that you are given.
So, this year, for my Lenten Discipline, I am resolving to be neater. Both in my appearance and apartment. I will do all of my dishes as they are dirtied. I will iron clothes that are wrinkled. I will think more carefully about the food I eat. I will sweep my kitchen floor before the popcorn that was dropped on it gets ground into a fine dust. I'll stick to Lent as best as I can, and I won't think too hard about the science of Easter apart from celebrating new life and enjoying my family.
I do like zombies, though.