This year for Easter was the first time that I decided to give up something and did so successfully for the 40 day duration. In addition, it was also the first time I gave up red meat and white meat (with the exception of fish). I also gave up chocolate.
This 40 day challenge while associated with the Catholic season of Lent was more so a lesson in self-control and will power. Making a conscious decision as an adult to stick by these forgo-ed items was much different than the politely forced forfeited items that children are made to undergo.
Completing this challenge was quite something, especially with it being the first attempt during the full 40 days of Lent. Also the process of giving up these food items was a relevant decision especially during the family meals, date nights, girls nights, and casual snacking at home. Each of these incidents drew my attention to these items and thereby to the self-control and will power that was hopefully developing.
Even though this might seem like a small task or sacrifice, it nonetheless does have some impact on the mind and one's reflection on their own abilities. It is quite satisfying and great to accomplishment a personal goal creating more opportunities to test oneself in the future.
It also created a more celebratory feel during the Easter season as one is able to indulge (hopefully with great personal restraint) in enjoy the items that were previously missed.
The Good Friday Fast that takes places from dawn to dusk on the Friday before Easter is usually the toughest challenge as many people attempt to not eat for the entire day. While this challenge is rarely ever accomplished by me, this year I had some great ammunition - family and significant others. Conscious group fasting has a greatly positive impact on each individuals involved. The distraction provided by the group members and the support and knowledge that you are not enduring hunger by yourself alone is quite comforting. Before I knew it the day was over.
However these minor challenges of Lenten fasting can get one thinking of how thankful we must be as individuals to enjoy the basic necessities of life and knowing that there is a definite light at the end of the tunnel (or in this case a turkey at the end of the table). And that we need to take the time to realize the hunger and famine and impoverished circumstances that exist in various parts of the world or even in our own backyards.
New personal challenge: donate to foodbanks.