Lent – Use this opportunity even if you are not religious

Lent is starting this Wednesday February 17th 2021. It is the six-week period leading up to easter and one of the most important times of the year for many Christians around the world. The origins are the temptation of Christ, who spent 40 days and nights in the Judean Desert according to the bible.

You don’t need to be a firm believer or even a Christian to use this time as an opportunity for yourself.

Less is sometimes more

Lent is the perfect time to declutter and focus more on what is important. I know we are in the midst of a global pandemic and we already have to pass on a lot of things that we thought were always available until last year.

However, this is a golden opportunity to bring some mindfulness into our lives. You might feel already too mindful because of all the restrictions that are in place. I say there can never be enough focus on the things that are important in life. Less can be more and in that sense, I am changing up my routine leading up to Easter. You know the saying you don’t know what you have until you lose it.

Life is short, seasons pass and the years go by therefore I focus on a few things that I deny myself of until Easter. Who knows, maybe life gets back to its crazy pre COVID groove very soon so we should not waste the one chance we got.

Alcohol

The classic candidate when it comes to new year’s resolutions is to avoid drinking alcohol for a certain period. My days when I drank a few too many a bit too often are gone. Alcohol is something I enjoy in moderation but I realised that in the last few weeks wine bottles joined our table more often than they used to. This is reason enough to avoid wine (as well as all other beverages with alcohol) until the beginning of April. It is not because I have a problem (right that is what everybody tells you) but just to deny myself of something that I enjoy and is normally always available. I expect this one to be no problem at all.

Market News

I know that is a strange one but with my passive investment strategy I should not really pay that much attention to the markets. Still, I catch myself these days reading financial news way more often than it is necessary. Mostly because of boredom and that is a keyword to put it on my list. Compared to wine this will be more difficult I imagine. I love following news on investing.com and every now and then (meaning several times a day) I take a sneak peek to the forums of certain stocks. The mood there is generally toxic which is something I try to avoid anyway. I am wondering how I will feel about not following any investment news for six weeks.

Sweets

Eating sweets is something I love as much as everybody else. I can be a very diligent person and I have no issues with my choice of food. I can eat a healthy diet with no problem at all until sweets enter the stage. A bucket full of ice-cream, I have no problem emptying this bucket in one go. I admit it got better in recent years but at one point in my life I only eat a salad for dinner in order to be able to load up on ice cream afterwards. My plan is not to eat any extra sugar during the week from Monday to Friday. I expect some strong headwinds on this one but this one will be interesting.

With this blogpost the plan has been set in motion

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a detoxing experiment. I specifically focus on these three points because I enjoy them on a regular basis and I want to see how I feel without them.

A couple of years ago I did a one-week juice fast. My expectations were that I would be hungry all day long. It turned out hunger was no problem at all. The problem was not being able to enjoy the ritual of preparing and eating food. Suddenly something so normal like eating dinner was cut out of my life and left me with a lot more time on my hands. This result was unexpected and it is something I still think of even after all these years. Missing something with intention helps appreciating the simple things in life even more. The result is a more focused life with less noise and with clear intention.

I want to know what I have even though I am not losing it and apply that thinking to everyday situations. Looking back on days gone we hardly miss the most intense experiences we had. Normally we miss simple things that a lot of people take for granted. This particularly shows when you talk to elderly people. They rarely talk about grand things, mostly it is about something seemingly unspectacular, that in hindsight gave them a lot of pleasure and peace.

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