Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Lent - to give up or to take up?

After the merriment of pancakes tossing yesterday today is the more sober Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.

A time to reflect and often a time to give something up.  I have friends giving up Facebook and know plenty of people who have given up alcohol or chocolate.

I’d manage an abstinence of alcohol quite easily as I don’t drink very often – it’s not much fun on your own anyway. But I couldn’t give up Facebook, I need the interaction of others. As for giving up chocolate…I wouldn’t call myself a chocoholic but I am a girl who sometimes needs her cocoa fix to keep sane! 

Yesterday I made chocolate cakes and ate two straight from the oven and I’ve been known to stick a spoon into the chocolate spread jar in times of desperation – I blame my Nana!

Of course Lent doesn’t have to be about giving up something naughty, it can be about going that extra mile and doing something nice! Taking up something that will be helpful or beneficial in some way.

Before making my own decisions on “giving up”, or “taking up” for Lent I decided it might be wise to check out how those New Year’s Resolutions are going. After all it was only a little over 6 weeks ago that these declarations were made, have I stuck to them?

  1. Open Twitter Account – now a big fan but must admit it is another distraction to my day!
  2. Write more – blog writing going well
  3. Remember birthdays – sent a card this morning to my nephew for his 18th Birthday
  4. Sort out paperwork and filing – what filing? Oh yes I tidied it away to do the jigsaw – moving on…
  5. On-line dating – tried it once - didn’t like it – sounds like sprouts – YUCK!!
  6. More exercise – Dance aerobics class tonight and Zumba on Friday
  7. Read my Bible more – a work in progress
  8. Fondly remember good times – very up and down, ask me on a good day
  9. Make time for friends and family – any excuse for a distraction, had a lovely evening last Sunday, just me and my best friend, bottle of wine and a box of birthday chocolates – yummy!
  10. Laugh – LOTS! I’m not generally glum – writing makes me smile 
“Writing makes me smile” – that’s certainly very true, as my best friend commented only yesterday, I seem to come alive when I write. I know I am bouncier, more positive and sitting here typing this is the best time of my day.

So what about number 2 on my list? I want to turn my first blog “unravelling-edges” into a book, that's what it actually said on my list. Writing on that little project is a bit hit and miss. All I have done so far is worked out a structure, an order for blog posts interspersed with commentary. A beginning, middle and another beginning – there’s no end to my story!

With this in mind I have decided for Lent I am making writing the manuscript for my book my number one priority, the first thing I do every morning will be write for at least one hour.

Today was easy, it wasn’t my turn to take the boys to school so I waved goodbye still in my PJs and then set to work for an hour. There will be days when I will have to get up earlier to get my hour in before I get the boys ready for school.

Setting my alarm for six instead of seven is not something I relish but if I am serious about this it has to be done.

It will involve going to bed earlier to make sure I get enough sleep – grumpy me is not a pretty sight. However starting my day doing something I love has got to have benefits. 

Including a manuscript ready to send out to agents by Easter – maybe – well at least something viable to enter the Northern Writers Award and we’ll take it from there.

It’s time to encourage some good habits.

And how about you – “giving up”? Or have I convinced you to “take up” instead?

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