Lent – abandoning project

Today I saw the race photos from Sunday’s half marathon. It seems that they also let a fat, sweaty woman wear my race number and she’s gotten into my photos too. Oh, wait. That’s me. That’s me? Good grief. I knew there was more of me than there needs to be, and lycra shorts rarely flatter – but, yikes.

Add to this the way my face is behaving like a teenager’s and I felt very run down and demoralised today. I am tired, my head is full of a hundred things to remember and I’m mildly stressing about the PhD writing.

A lunch of leftover pasta didn’t do an awful lot to brighten my mood. So I made some decisions.

Firstly, I redeemed Boots points, and spent a bit more (well, OK, a lot more – about six times what I normally spent on two things to clean my face with) on some grown-up skincare. It might work. It might just encourage me to clean a bit more day off each night.

Secondly, the most significant thing, and the one that has larger consequences, is that I decided to abandon the Lent fast of trying to live on £1 a day. To be honest, it hasn’t been very successful – I haven’t bought much at supermarkets, but for various reasons I’ve had lots of meals in restaurants. I was in need today of fresh salad, lean meat and fruit, not more stodge.

I’m not abandoning Lent things altogether – still kneeling, still reading, following the amazing City East reflections – just aware these things only need a small effort on my behalf.

I salve my conscience by deciding to participate in the Live Below the Line challenge in May and this time donating the money to Christian Aid, not just my overdraft.

Thirdly, I blocked out April. There are things in my diary already that I am looking forward to, so it is not going to be an absolute social wilderness or ignoring of commitments, but from now until the end of April I am not adding anything new to the calendar. I need more days when I come home, potter, spend maybe half an hour reading an article, and get a decent sleep. I need time to be able to run more, and harder. I need to be able to cook decent, balanced meals for myself.

What I really want to do is to put everyone else on pause for a month until I have caught up with everything, and then resume normal life. Since I can’t do that, this is the next best thing. I know that the world will not end if I do not attend everything I could; that friends I may have spent time with will still be friends if I don’t see them.

Let’s see how well I manage it, eh?

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