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[Halkun thread] Talkin' about Lent. It's why they call it an "ashtray"
I am an atheist, but every year for the last decade or so I practice Lent. This wild fact about my personality drives my other atheist friends up the wall. Now keep in mind, I don't go to mass and have a priest put a cross on my brow. There is a standing ashtray outside my local Quik-Trip that I get the ash from. On the morning of Lent I swipe a fingerfull of schmutz from the bollard and rub a good application on my forehead.
During my day working retail, I'd get the "bro" looks from Catholics. I'll chat about what I'm giving up for 40 days, and my friends will facepalm behind me.
I guess I should say why I do this in the first place...
Once upon a time, I had a friend give up soda for "real" lent. He originally thought such a sacrifice would be something he wouldn't miss anyway and, hey, he could stand to lose the sugar intake. What happened was the caffeine withdraw kicked in. The poor guy was in hell for two weeks as his body adjusted. I laughed at him at first, calling him a baby until he challenged me to give up soda for a day or two. That was enough for me to see his side of the table, and it was also my first taste of drug withdraw.
After that, I decided that this whole "giving something up" was kind of interesting. I could better myself by giving myself a challenge, however instead of making it a deprivation based, I made it goal-orientated. The next year I gave up soda myself. The year after that, I followed the plot of the movie "40 days and 40 nights". (I lost). But it's a tradition I started and it's a bit fun.
This year, I'm going all goal-orientated and creating a schedule of personal projects and following them though. I know I'm kind of breaking an already warped view of Lent now. I guess in this sense I'm giving up my free time by doing something productive.