Thursday, April 24, 2014

lent, in review.

lent this year made clear some strengths, and also some weaknesses.

giving up food-related items is fairly straightforward for me, and after a few weeks it becomes routine to just say no. i gave up candy from january 1 to easter, and while giving up candy was much simpler than giving up gluten, that really was a long time to go without any candy except 70%+ dark chocolate. i definitely had moments where i just wanted a reese's egg, or milk duds in popcorn, but i didn't cave, and i carried on. and if it got really bad, i had a square of chocolate and all was well enough.

adding the small habit of flossing was a bit annoying at first, as it felt like time stolen from sleep, but now it is an accepted part of my nightly routine and, like washing my face or brushing my teeth, i can't fall asleep unless it's been done.

i practiced daily gratitude through most of lent, though it began to wane a bit when work got busier and sleep more precious. daily journaling of any kind, even just a few lines, is hard for me to maintain long-term, and this was no different.  still, i think it was a beneficial practice, and one that might be worth introducing for a few days a month as a reminder of all that is good in my life. and while i did it, it was a very good reminder of not only the obvious things to be thankful for - loved ones, a roof over my head, enough to eat - but also smaller things.

last on the list was the snooze short, i failed. this practice was a very clear message that i am a person for whom a regular sleep schedule is determined by a reasonable bed time, not a regular wake up time. i respect the one-and-done alarm when someone else is sharing the room (roommates, siblings on vacation, etc) but when it is just me, there just isn't the same motivation to crawl out of the warm, lovely bed without a few more minutes.

clearly, the habits and practices that are hardest for me revolve around energy levels: do i have enough energy to pop out of bed without the snooze? do i have enough energy to think up things i am grateful for? then again...who really wants to get out of bed at the first alarm when all that's waiting is the work day?