As we’re nearing Easter I wanted to take a moment to reflect on Lent and what I’ve learnt through the season. I only started going back to church regularly when my Dad became sick. In my younger years I was quite devout – I studied Religious Studies for A-level and was the President of my university’s Catholic Society for a year which saw me heavily involved in church activities and usually speaking at mass every week. As I got older I still held my beliefs but didn’t attend mass regularly usually due to logistics and laziness. Since I have started going back I have really enjoyed the services and the time they give me to stop and reflect. I have also enjoyed sharing the experience with others when I have attended services with family and friends.
For Lent I decided to give up coffee. I don’t drink it daily but it is a treat a couple of times of week to go into a coffee shop and get a latte. I managed really well with lentern promise the only coffee I have had was after church on my birthday at the coffee morning with my grandparents. When I have gone to a coffee shop when my husband has wanted something I have usually just had nothing at all and I haven’t felt like I was missing out.
I also decided to try and reduce my sugar during Lent. This worked well for the first few weeks. Even when I went out for meals I wasn’t tempted to have dessert. I did let myself off for my birthday but even then I didn’t go mad I just had some cake. The real issue I had was when I came down with a bad cold, I had a temperature and was feeling very sorry for myself! I had a stock in the cupboard as I had been saving up treats people had bought me for my birthday to have at Easter. and just went a bit mad! After that I found it hard to get back on the wagon, but I have learnt I can easily go without sugar and I don’t automatically need something sweet to end a meal. I was having a cup of tea after my dinner and I really looked forward to having it every evening!
My last lentern promise was to fast for a day, usually Thursday or Friday and go to mass rather than having lunch. I hadn’t done this since I was at university and was a bit apprehensive about how this would affect me at work. I would have an early dinner the night before and fast for 24 hours having a late dinner. Some weeks this was easier than others. I tried not to concentrate on food and sipped on hot water throughout the day. I also tried to not talk (or complain!) about it too much. I found going to church helped me focus on why I was doing it. I also enjoyed going to church at lunchtime and it was good on the weeks I was unable to attend mass on Sunday. There is only one Catholic church in the borough my office is in and luckily it is inn walking distance of my workplace. When my company has been in different offices I have wanted to attend lunchtime mass but it was just a bit too far to get to and from in my lunch hour. I will definitely continue to go to lunchtime mass when I am unable to attend on Sundays and I’m glad I have another option for services.
Looking forward to Easter I am looking forward to spending time with family. We are heading down to my in-laws today to spend the weekend with them, my Sister-in-law and Brother-in-law and our nieces and on Monday we are going to my Aunt’s to spend some time with my Dad’s side of the family.
I got a white chocolate egg and mint crisps from Sainsburys from my husband. I was searching out the Choices caramel egg but I must have been too late as I couldn’t find it in Sainsburys or two Holland and Barrett stores I looked in!
My Mum got me some bits from Bomb Cosmetics. I hadn’t heard of this company before but will definitely checking them out in future. She got my a pack of soap chunks and I’m looking forward to trying out all the different kinds. Think I’m gonna need a new soap dish! They clear state their credentials on the pack stating “At Bomb Cosmetics, we make sure we use recycled packaging wherever possible. None of our products are tested on animals and we operate a fixed cut off date in line with leading animal rights organisations guidelines.”
She also got me this gorgeous set of bath bombs. Which I am gonna start as soon as I finish writing this blog! They are chocolate themed and look (and smell!) so gorgeous and tempting I have to remind myself they are actually bath bombs!
Hope you all have a great Easter!