Hello. If I were a really good Catholic, I could tell you exactly when Lent ends. I have been told both Easter and Palm Sunday. If I was a good Catholic, I could tell you myself.
But, I am not a good Catholic by any stretch of the imagination.
I am not even that religious. Spiritual yes, religious, no. It's sometimes difficult to explain, particularly when I give up something for Lent.
This year I gave up something that I enjoy. Sometimes I enjoy this particular thing too much. Sometimes this particular thing has brought about major life changes, and other times it has induced serious discomfort. That particular thing I gave up is alcohol.
Yes Diary, I have not had a fucking drop of alcohol since Lent began. Yes Diary, this year was the absolute worst fucking year to give up alcohol by a long shot. The combination of obscene work hours, intense pressure, milestone dates, first BBQs, and so on and so forth, made the last so many days seem like a tornado. But not just any type of tornado. We are talking the type of tornado that is hurling around motor homes and throwing entire houses 500 miles.
So yes, there have been countless occasions where I could have used a nice cold beer. And yet, I have not had a drop.
There have been receptions, work related dinners, special events, social functions, etc., where I have not had a drink other than a Coke or glass of water (with a lime of course, cause that's how I roll).
There was the bottle of maple syrup infused whiskey that my mom sent me that I have not touched yet.
There is that bottle of wine that I bought to celebrate when my house was pretty much finished.
There was the date I had with Girl 9 where I explained that I gave up drinking for Lent and she looked at me like I was an alien (although after explaining it to her, we both laughed and she was impressed with why I gave it up).
Now, for me, Lent is not so much a religious thing, but rather a personal sacrifice and test of will power, personal strength, and determination. Now, I could probably do this any time of the year, but I have to admit, I like the fact that the period of Lent does the counting of days for me. I like that there is a beginning and an end, and I like that I can focus on myself.
Now, honestly, after the first week or so, not drinking wasn't a problem at all. When I found myself at events where alcohol was passed around like it was water, and I then had to explain to people why I passed up on drinking, they were shocked at first, and impressed thereafter.
But, similar to writing, I am doing this for me, and not for anyone else. And, come Easter, I will do something else for me:
Have a cold one