So 2013 is flying by, and that frickin’ date in February that so many of us ladies dread is looming like a threat. Oh joy.
Nowadays it even pops up on my calendar as a reminder! Everyone is talking about their plans for it, but I’m lying as low as I can so that no one asks me what I’m doing….
I’m trying to enjoy the days leading up to it, but one thing’s for sure, next week, there’ll be no escape.
Yes folks, next week heralds the start of Lent, every (lapsed, in my case) Catholic girls worse nightmare, as we have to decide what we give up for 40 days and nights until Easter Sunday, when, invariably we lapse back into a good 48 hours of indulging in that which we sacrificed. I say girls as I don’t know one male who does this, more’s the pity, as, whilst I’m sure a lot of you out there are thinking ‘What is the point?’, it is a good opportunity for us to examine our lives, habits, diet etc. and figure out what we might miss the most and why, and maybe, just maybe, it might be good for us to do without it for a while and see what happens. Whilst we do this for holy purposes 😉 , it’s also ace for losing weight before the summer holidays hit.
Over the years, I have done without cakes, desserts, chocolate, white carbohydrates, artificial sweetener (harder than you might think), and dating. The latter was the most interesting as the minute I gave it up, more attractive, eligible men started to approach me, (cue that old bus analogy, yawn), and of course subsequently disappeared into the ether 40 days later, and I’ve not really got back on track with dating since and have been more or less content without it.
So, as you can see, keeping up this little religious tradition can be quite educational and useful, that said, completely eliminating men from your life may be a mite excessive, I must admit 🙂 .
This year’s sacrifice is going to be a tough one. I am going to, officially, for 40 days and nights, from abstaining from any form of alcohol.
Just for clarification I am not an alcoholic; I am pretty much a lightweight when it comes to drinking, so it affects me markedly after just one glass which can lead to awkward situations, bad decisions and inadvisable Facebook posts and tweets 😦 so there are benefits to trying this out for size.
The main reason I haven’t given it up before now is that, well….there are various reasons:
- I absolutely hate going out for dinner and not being able to have wine. The right wine matched with every course totally enhances the overall experience, and being forced to drink some kind of posh, sugary crap masquerading as an adult beverage spoils it, isn’t worth the calories and quite frankly, leaves me feeling that I should be sitting on a ‘kids’ fold up table instead of with the grown ups.
- Giving up certain things for Lent can backfire on you; for instance, one year when I gave up all sweets, chocolate and desserts, I actually put weight on as I made up for their absence by eating too many white carbs such as pasta, bread and rice. What’s the point of that? Yes, I know I’m meant to sacrifice things in order to suffer for Jesus, but I’m sure he doesn’t want me to turn into the Michelin woman as a result of my devotion and support. Anyway, anything that encourages gluttony is a sin. So there.
- So, as I’ve said, I’m not a caner, but I have to say, there’s nothing fun about being the only sober person in the room whilst everyone else behaves like twats. Nothing.
- Having a cold glass of something at the end of the day whilst by the fire watching a good drama, or whilst sat in the garden watching the sun go down is one of life’s greatest pleasures, is relatively low calorie and satisfies something in me that a glass of water doesn’t. Similarly a mulled wine after a cold walk in the park, a dessert wine if you don’t have pudding, a G&T after a tough day at the office, or a dram of good port with cheese and biscuits.
- Having a glass of wine when attending a wedding, a formal/work dinner or when meeting new people makes you relax and appear more confident, which for obvious reasons is something I tend to need.
Bloody hell, I didn’t really know of the depth of my love, or need for the odd snifter, maybe I do have a problem after all……notice how I went from ‘I’ to ‘you’?!
That said, the main reason why I am doing this is because of the affect it has on me since taking my current level of medication. It doesn’t make me feel bad at the time, quite the contrary it makes me feel quite nice, but I have the most bizarre dreams and feel quite stoned of a morning, so I suspect that I’m not doing my body, especially my poor little unloved liver, any favours.
I also think that my alcohol/drug cocktail has kept me somewhat sedated for far too long and if I don’t stop imbibing at least one of these elements, I’m going to end up a reclusive homeless person with a bad habit that I can no longer afford, so action needs to be taken.
The plan is also to take more exercise and improve my diet. That said I’m not putting too much pressure on myself, but have already taken steps in this direction. I’m eating less flesh and more plants, less sugar, drinking more water and my yoga is also coming back together nicely so I hope to greet Easter Sunday morn bright eyed, bushy tailed with a nice big Easter egg in one hand, and a Bucks Fizz in the other!
Only joking about the latter. Honest.
I have three quarters of a bottle of very good Viognier in the fridge which I will slowly, lovingly, reverentially finish off in the form of one glass a night for the next four evenings, then, when Ash Wednesday arrives I will be ready for the off. Yes I do have other alcohol on the premises, but I will not drink it, I promise.
So there you have it; ‘How to Channel Your Catholic Guilt’ by Sista Sertraline, coming to a store near you soon. I’ll practically have a halo come Easter if all goes according to plan.
That said all this goodness is going to get very, very boring though, so what can I do/have to take the place of wine, booze, chocolate, cake, i.e. all of these lovely, sensual stimulants?
Hmm, I know what you’re thinking…. perhaps it is time to tackle that, but it certainly won’t be until Valentines Day is done, looking for love/sex in the first two weeks of February smacks of desperation a wee bit too much for my liking and whilst I have my crutches (missus), men have never been one of them. If anything, resisting them was my fetish.
What’s that I hear? Beautiful singing, a siren song….
Hark! A harp playing in the background…coming from the kitchen…..a crying, a yearning, a keening……a tinkle of glass against plastic….
I’m coming my darling! Just let me get a glass…let me pour….
Oh the fragrance, the chill, that cold wet condensation around the bowl….
I cup it gently, momentarily in my palm, then take the delicate stem, so firm and proud in my fingers…..
My precious, let’s cherish our final moments together before love tears us apart.…
it is here I close this entry, as some things are too private to share, even with you.
By the way I’m lying about the milk. Given all that I’m about to sacrifice, I’m sure that Baby Jesus wouldn’t begrudge me my lovely cuppa everyday, would he?
Now that would be a deal breaker…