Last Wednesday was Ash Wednesday—the beginning of Lent. Three days before, my friend introduced me to Pinterest—this new online craze in case you haven’t heard of it. How these two could possibly be related… well. This is a funny story.
Every Lent, for the past maybe ten years, I have given up the same thing—candy. You heard me right. Candy. I’m a serious addict. Gummy bears, licorice, Sour Patch Kids, those candy raspberries and blackberries, sour fruity ‘pasta’, Swedish fish, Sweet Tarts…the list goes on and on. I was telling this to my mother the other day and she replied with a tinge of shock in her voice: “Candy? And you eat it?” No I collect it. Yes I eat it. I’m 35 and I am addicted to candy. Call it my vice. Anyway, back to Lent. I always give up candy, because it really and truly is a sacrifice. I crave it so badly, it is a daily struggle to say no.
This year, I decided to kick it up a few notches: No candy. No weeknight wine. And while I’m on the no sugar track, I’m on a diet (a fast of sorts I suppose) that is more or less no-frills eating… no indulgences. I can do this for 40 days….and forty nights.
So I started the eating plan. And as any of you who have ever really committed to a diet know, those first few days are the hardest. Your body is feeling a little weak, certainly hungry; the cravings are enough to make you dizzy. It kind of stinks. And yes, you selfishly forget that some people in this world– in our own neighborhoods– go hungry for days on end. Anyway, I’m at desk the other day, eating my dry, veggie-only salad feeling sorry for myself and I get a text from my friend reminding me to go on Pinterest. Perfect timing, I thought. I’ll do it now. Get my mind off this fast.
Pinterest, for those of you who don’t know, is a website that essentially allows a user to create digital bulletin boards, or inspiration boards, or pinboards. You visit the site, see images of things you like and you ‘pin’ them. There are all different kinds of categories like art, architecture, fashion, gardening, health and fitness, cooking and food, home crafts. You pin whatever you want and create ‘boards’ in whatever category you want. It’s like an art project, and spending time on it sort of feels like a game. And to be honest, it’s a little overwhelming…but, in a good way.
So there I was at lunch eating my greens and the first thing I tag is Olive Oil Chocolate Mousse.
And then it’s Fried Mac N Cheese Balls.
And I just kept clicking and clicking like a mad-woman on a binge.
And then the phone rang—my boss, needing something asap. So I make a last pin, and I’m getting ready to log off and just before I do, I get redirected back to my home page.
And this is what I see:
Clearly candy is not my only problem. We’re only seven days into Lent and meanwhile my mother is telling me about her priest’s homily about really fasting, like no food for a day, or two or three. And I think I should try… to really sacrifice.
I think I can do it.
God give me strength.