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lent number one.

lent is a strange sort of bird - in some ways it always struck me as placing a temporary restriction on yourself just so you can make yourself feel like you've accomplished something when the accomplishment long-term is very little. i think about it in it's extreme failure example, where a serial killer decides to give up killing for lent, but then once the 40 days are over, he resumes killing right away without any sense of retrospect or remorse. lent didn't accomplish anything other than an isolated pause of events.

the other reason i had been opposed to it in the past is because i have a strong life philosophy that discourages the notion of aboslutes and the creation of artificial goals to achieve what i feel is an empty sense of accomplishment or failure (which incidentally is another reason i don't do new year's resolutions).

enough years of my friends (non-catholic) that practice lent are making me realize that i'm being hypocritical about it. I say that i'm against the idea of lent because it goes against my idea of absolutes, but i'm treating the concept of lent as an absolute. it wouldn't be difficult for me to incorporate lent in its basic form in a way that doesn't contradict my own life philosophy - either to use it as a light mental exercise or as a springboard for a habit that i want to develop or experiment with to see if it's worthwhile in the long term. And i can also find some way to create a lent rule that has more fuzziness than absolute.

i've been thinking about it for a couple of weeks, and i think i've come up with something which is inspired by what Katie is doing for lent this year, which is "not eating out." the motivation behind that lent condition is a good one and has similarities to what i want to achieve, but for me it's too absolute, so instead i've come up with the condition of "not ordering any food item in which it is available as part of a 'combo' for a cheaper net price." (this doesn't include drinks.)

Mainly this is supposed to contribute to my continuing trnend of cooking more at home along with potentially eating more healthily as this will eliminate most fast food. It's true that it will also eliminate other things such as some chinese food, certain kinds of sandwich places, etc, but i think it's still good, allowing me to get select fast food in a pinch (if i'm truly truly lazy), plus it doesn't restrict me from getting other "out" food that i may have a hankering for that will generally be better quality ingredients and dishes.

we'll see how that works out.

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Comments

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zqfmbg
Jan. 14th, 2008 01:25 am (UTC)
It also blocks out tasting/degustation menus at expensive places. ;)
lifeofmendel
Jan. 14th, 2008 05:39 am (UTC)
not necessarily. a sampler platter of food gives you less food per, so it's not equal. like, if i get a sampler of six beers at a microbrew, they're not going to give me six full pints. i'm not going to go through the math to determine whether or not that would be within my restrictions, i'll just say that that's fine.

found out tonight, however, that i won't be able to eat at one of my favorite indian restaurants like... at all, because they offer all of their dinners in "cheap" or "full dinner" which is essentially a combo at cheap price. which makes me sad, but oh well.
ktmoss
Jan. 14th, 2008 04:46 am (UTC)
i like it!
miss_skillet
Jan. 14th, 2008 06:48 am (UTC)
when I was in catholic school I got the impression that lent wasn't to better yourself, but rather to voluntarily deprive oneself of something for a period of time in order to learn to exercise control over temptation and learn to be more christ-like as I think it's paralleling jesus' 40 days in the wilderness or something.

the significance is bigger/better if you are really religious, I think.
lifeofmendel
Jan. 14th, 2008 07:00 am (UTC)
right, but is the exercising of control and temptation supposed to be such an isolated event? i was under the impression that it was supposed to have longer implications to it. maybe i'm just imagining that.
snickers1127
Jan. 18th, 2008 04:43 am (UTC)
Unfortunately, we Catholics tend to be a hypocritical bunch. >.>
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