Today is Fat Tuesday, meaning for Catholics like me that tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, the time of fasting before Easter. Typically a person chooses to give up something that would be considered a "sacrifice", and then to do things that encourage a closer relationship with God, such as praying more, going to church more, or donating money to charities. And then there's the whole no eating meat on Fridays (except fish), to which I adhere, even though I have read conflicting stories about the meaning and origin of this tradition. The idea I grew up with was that we were to give up eating red meat as a sacrifice, that fish was a poor person's food back in Jesus' time. But I also heard a pope made a deal with the fishing industry). Either way, mostly out of tradition, I still do it. There are many "Catholic" things I do just because I have been taught to do it and over the years I do it over and over and over. Mindless? Maybe...I was baptised Catholic at the ripe age of one month, I went to Catholic school, I have been fed Catholic doctrine for years, but I figure I am an adult now and if I choose to continue then it's my choice.
So, the million dollar question is, what am I giving up this year? In the past it's been caffeine, chocolate, soda. This year I think it's going to be fast food. I am pretty guilty of running through the drive thru during my work week, so I hope this will force me to start planning ahead, start getting ready earlier and packing a lunch. Hopefully this will help the pocketbook and the waistline. And I am going to try praying once in the morning and once in the evening.
That being said, I will keep a log on here how I am doing with my Lenten plans.
So now the big question now is how to celebrate Fat Tuesday?