I tried that one year. I decided to give up swearing or cursing. It was Ash Wednesday. I had my ashes on my head and I had made the promise to give up having a potty mouth. I walked down the street with my girlfriend to my truck because we were going out. We started talking about an incident that involved a certain person who was a trouble maker and there went my promise, my sacrifice, my big change. I'd say I lasted an entire 20 minutes. I didn't even notice that I had done it. My girlfriend was so kind to point it out to me. Of course she kept her promise that entire Lent. Whatever.
That was also the year that I decided "giving up things" just wasn't for me. I was setting myself up for failure. Instead, I would change something, improve something about myself. That's my goal this Ash Wednesday. I've actually decided to improve myself in two ways. I'd love to say that I'm going to lose weight, diet and not eat anything bad for me but knowing the events that I have coming up with the Mothers' Association, I just can't make that promise. We have great caterers and seriously, the temptation, I'm just setting myself up for a HUGE failure. But that doesn't mean I can't try to add a little exercise into each day. I need to find time, maybe a 1/2 hour that I can do a little something for myself. I have a treadmill in my bedroom. Wouldn't kill me to pull it out and walk for a 1/2 hour each day. Hell, might even lead to an hour.
My other "improvement" is to my spirituality. I go to mass every week. I like going to mass. I pray, most days. I pray when my friends ask for my prayers. I try to pray at least once a day, a quick thank you for this or that. I pray when I pass that billboard on the way home from work that says "Say One Hail Mary" with the glowing picture of Mary. Hey, I dare anyone to say no to that billboard when you drive by it. Happens to be about 15 feet from a light and 15 feet from the train track, you really that brave? Not I. I say the Hail Mary. Then I feel like a hypocrite for just saying one so I say as many as I can until I get to the next light. Kind of like banking them.
But I've decided that I want to intensify my prayers. Maybe say the rosary more often or even find some deeper prayers. I've been thinking about even breaking out one of the many Bibles that I have and seeing if I can "understand" it a little better. I have a mini New Testiment in my pocketbook too now. Maybe reading a little passage or Proverb or Psalm and then trying to reflect on it, see how it speaks to me.
I figure even if I fail a little, don't do this every day, or don't do this as intensely as I plan, it's okay because any little bit helps improve my spirituality. Every little bit will help. And that can not be a bad thing!