Lent

It’s here. Lent. For my entire life, it was a 40-day window leading up to Easter where you (a) don’t eat meat on Friday’s and (b) give-up something. Like candy.

I’m 42 years old. It’s about time Lent was about more than giving up candy or giving up yelling at my kids.

lent-2014For me, Lent comes at a good time. Right about now is when I start to fall-off on the New Year’s Resolutions. Lent gives me a chance to reset and refocus. Lent, however, is a little different because New Year’s Resolutions aren’t typically spiritual or soul-searching. I’ve created a list of deep, enriching goals for Lent. I’m setting goals for my personal life and my work life.

Here’s the list.

  • Eliminate Facebook and replace those moments with something more fulfilling.
  • Train my dog 15 minutes a day (3x 5-minute sessions)
  • Don’t eat or snack after dinner
  • Write/blog for a 1/2-hour daily
  • Call 2 friends or family members each day
  • Pray at bedtime with all three of my children.
  • Do nothing non-work-related withing the 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. window and do nothing work-related in the remaining hours of my day.
  • As I fast, begin things, and eliminate things, I will ask myself, as Pope Francis is encouraging us, how can I help others with this?
  • 40 New Business Appointments

Each day, I’ll explore one and the ‘why’ behind it.

Lenten Promise #1: Eliminate Facebook

Some might laugh. Is this a big deal? Sure, I use Facebook for work, a little – to research companies and keep tabs on what’s important to clients and keep tabs on what’s going on with the radio stations I sell. But if I’m honest with myself (and I have kept a journal from time to time), Facebook interferes with real, important things. Sometimes I find myself looking at my phone while my son is talking to me and he has to repeat himself. Sometimes my entire family is simultaneously looking at their phones and devices. Sometimes I’ll go into a coffee shop with a goal of checking my work email, making a couple of calls, and then 15-minutes or a half-hour later, I’ve only checked Facebook. I spend brain power thinking of funny, clever things to post. I relish when I’m at a party or socializing and someone says, “you’re so funny on Facebook.” Pure ego. I’m ashamed to admit it. But it’s true.

Eliminating Facebook will give me back, at least, an hour each day. Does that sound sad? To many, I think it sounds realistic (if they truly examined their use). Oh, it happens at a red-light for a second or two. It happens in the Starbucks drive-through. It happens, just for a minute or two at work. It happens in the evening.

This isn’t me declaring Facebook and social media is evil or that my life is lesser because of it. It’s about taking away something that, let’s face it, is fun and entertaining, but adds nothing to my life. If Zuckerberg, today, at this moment, decided he’d made enough billions and turned off Facebook, for good ….we’d all be OK. Likely, as I’ll be doing during Lent, we’d keep up with Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Snapchat (things I’m not giving up). We’d still find ways to waste time, communicate, and keep tabs on each other.

This is nothing more than “giving up coffee”. Or “going to bed by 10:30 every night.”

That’s it. I’m not going to be driving an electric car and making my own clothes, next. And on Easter, I’ll be back on Facebook having fun. See you then. Have a great Lent.

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