Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Chapter 40: Lenten Promises and Easter Shenanigans

I just want to start this blog off by saying a MASSIVE thank you to all the team at my Sister's work place. Alumwell Junior School put together a non-uniform day and raised a whopping £180 for our Race for Life in July! We are so grateful to all of their support in the last week and this has just egged us on even more. My Sister's and I have been training and so far doing really well. Race for Life is a fantastic event that is organised every year through Cancer Research UK. Such a worthy cause and we know our Mammy would be so thankful and touched by everyone that has helped us out so far. This is for her and everyone out there who is affected by Cancer - there WILL be a cure one day. Xxx

Well for Chapter 40, I thought it was only right to write about Lent and the things we give up for 40 days and 40 nights. A time where we fast ourselves from the things we are most reliant and dependent on. This could be cigarettes (if you're feeling ambitious), fizzy drinks... for me, this is chocolate. Now, I know you all may think this is a generic thing to do... "Oh what should I give up this Lent... Oh I know! Chocolate!" Wrong. For me, this has been a massive test. You may think I sound dramatic, but I assure you, everything I am about to say is the truth. I can't go a day without having chocolate. I actually get headaches if I don't eat the stuff. Heck, I've even had a spout of the shakes during this period without it. I have a major sweet tooth. I have had savory things like crisps to fill the void, but nothing has come close. You know when they say, "What would you chose? Chocolate or sex?" My answer is chocolate. Every... single... time. The same couldn't be said for Josh Hartnett in 40 Days and 40 nights (2002) however.

Matt (Josh Hartnett) decides to become celibate for the 40 days of Lent after going through rough break up with a long term girlfriend. He came up with this genius idea after he went to confessions to speak to his Priest who just so happens to be his brother. His brother and just about everyone he knows doubts him every way as he is known to be a bit of a Lothario with the ladies. After every one giving him a hard time (and trying to crack his celibacy) he comes across another obstacle - meeting a new girl. Trouble is, she doesn't know anything of his Lenten promise... but can he go the entire 40 days?

As we all know, a Lenten promise can be hard to keep. But how much different is it from keeping a regular promise? I'm Catholic, so I try to do this every year as part of my own Lenten promise to my faith. I also suffer from this thing called "Catholic Guilt". So in essence, I'm very shit at lying. Many years I have tried and failed at giving up different things for Lent, as I'm sure many others have, but this doesn't mean we are bad people. If anything, it means we are only human. However one year I tried to give up carbs, which was clearly a selfish act as I was wanting to drop a few pounds - it didn't work. Many years I have thought about giving up alcohol, but again, this would also never work as my Birthday usually falls into Lent. I can't POSSIBLY go out for my Birthday and enjoy it without alcohol, could I?! Again, a selfish act. Okay okay! I hold my hands up! I have failed EVERY year at giving up something. This one time (at bandcamp) I gave up chocolate and still ate Cocoa Pops because it wasn't technically chocolate... who was I kidding?! Then again, I was only 12.

You're probably questioning my point and thinking, hold on, Lenten promises are not the same as normal promises to a family member or friend. I agree. A promise to a family member or friend is much more important. So when someone says, "Promise me you won't tell." You HAVE to keep it. That's my view. Which is why it's so easy to not stay off chocolate completely, because who can make you feel bad other than yourself? You chose to believe what you believe, therefore if you don't follow a Lenten promise, you will have failed yourself (and God) and no one else. No one else gives a shit if you have a sliver of chocolate behind closed doors. For myself it's a question of will power. It is known that on a Sunday, you are allowed to have the thing you have given up for Lent. It's true - Google it! But the personal battle for me and something I have said a few times to myself, "If I can't give up chocolate, I can't do anything." My Sister let out a giggle when I said this but she and everyone I know is proud I've done because they all know how much I love chocolate (I'm surprised I didn't go to rehab). It is something I indulge in the most and I only have 5 more days left until I can scoff my face with the Twirl Easter egg I have hidden underneath the stairs.

Not only will I be excited to do this, but it is also Bank Holiday Weekend, AKA a massive excuse to get wrecked on a Sunday night and not have to face the hangover at work on Monday morning - one of the best feelings in the world. Something I like to do now that I don't work in retail. Mind you being hungover in retail was probably the only thing that got me through doing a weekend shift back in the day. My friend referred to this upcoming weekend as, "A religious holiday that has turned into a long binge weekend culture." Two words - true dat. For me it will be a celebration of being reunited with chocolate - my one true love.

I would love to hear if any of you have kept your Lenten promises, maybe had a wee cheat day or even just known you can't do it. If so, why? If you have kept your promise, have you found it as hard as me? Contact in the usual places on the back of here, Facebook or Tweet me @triciabaxter. Whatever you have all done, I solemnly tell you all... go forth and have an awesome Easter weekend people! Eat loads, drink plenty and be sure to have dissolvable paracetamol at the ready come Monday!

Here's a bit of Heaven 17 - Temptation. Thought it would be fitting! Plus, they're fricking amazing live!

Toodle pip!

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