Don't give up on sacrifice

OPINION

  • Ever tried giving up drinking for Lent?
Ever tried giving up drinking for Lent? (Chris Sweda/ Chicago Tribune…)
February 19, 2013|By Ernest Wilkins, @ernestwilkins | RedEye

How is Lent treating you? Going crazy yet? (Quick lesson in case you're not familiar with the practice: Lent is a showcase of faith and sacrifice in which Catholics and other Christians give up luxuries in life from Ash Wednesday until Easter.)

Now, I'm not Catholic, but I am someone who believes in giving up what you want in the short term in order to achieve a greater goal in the long run. What makes me laugh is when people give up things that barely affect their daily lives. Oh, you gave up chocolate? You brave soul! Please write a book chronicling your struggle that gets turned into a crappy movie starring Josh Duhamel and Gabrielle Union!

In the spirit of sacrifice for the greater good, allow me to offer up the following behaviors for consideration as Lent sacrifices. For the record, Easter arrives March 31 this year.

>>Facebook compliment fishing. Anything ranging from "SO FED UP!" to "Ugh, totally over it" is out. In fact, any/all social media posting that is designed for the sole purpose of getting a loved one/friend/someone trying to sleep with you to reply with a comment is a no-go. Spend the time building your confidence so you aren't finding happiness in someone else's opinion of you.

>>Blowing your paycheck the second you get it. You get paid Friday. Your balance is $11.29 on Tuesday. Pump the brakes! Keep your funds balanced and you'll have more cash to blow in the long run on whatever you want. Booze, maybe? Unless you're also giving that up.

>>Getting "angry" about something on the Internet. Remember "Kony"? Still pissed about that? That's what I thought.

>>Putting yourself down for being single. Nothing is wrong with you. Seriously.

>>Watching reality TV. Instead of watching someone behave like an idiot so you can feel better about yourself, why don't you try ... taking steps to feel better about yourself? Work out already. Make dinner. Call someone who makes you happy.

>>Booze. It's tough as hell, but I did it one year and holy crap! I lost a ridiculous amount of weight. And you'll have super-low tolerance when/if you start back, thus saving you money!

>>Sex.

>>Just kidding about that previous one.

>>Being jealous of other people's accomplishments. I was enraged when I found out Lena Dunham was getting a bajillion dollars to write a book. Then it occurred to me that her getting a book deal doesn't mean I can't get one. Handle what you can handle.

If one or more of these sound like a challenge you'd like to accept, email me and let me know how you're doing. I'm not going to give you a prize or anything, but I probably will send you a congratulatory GIF. Sound good?

Ernest Wilkins is Chicago's wingman. erwilkins@tribune.com

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