By It has been 62 days since I made my New Year’s resolutions, and about 47 since I broke the last of them.
That’s usually the way it works when we resolve to resolve.
Which brings us to Lent.
In a few days, even skinny folks will be celebrating the self-indulgence of Fat Tuesday. Then, it will be time to toe the line.
Mardi Gras is followed by Ash Wednesday, the traditional beginning of the 40 days before Easter. In Christian denominations, the Lenten season is observed by “fasting” or giving up. As a measure of spiritual discipline, we hit the “delete” or “pause” button on some of our unhealthy habits.
The resolutions we make (or break) on Jan. 1 often focus on what we’re going to do. We tend to take inventory of our vices at Lent. We make pledges and promises of what we’re NOT going to do.
We swear off chocolate, soft drinks, binge-watching, back-seat driving sarcasm, cigarettes and Facebook. We even swear off swearing. Our mettle will be put to the test over the next six weeks.
While I consider myself a virtuous guy, I’m also a man of many faults. Here are a few of the things I am considering, and my odds of crossing the finish line.
SALT: For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an affinity for the salt shaker. I never could have worked for the boss who would not hire a job candidate who salted his food before he tasted it. Low-sodium people have been trying to change me my entire life. Author Rick Bragg said if you skimp on the salt shaker the supper table is just a “flat place to pray.’’ (42 percent.)
EMOJIS: I pledge to march them over the edge of a cliff. In a moment of weakness, I texted a dinosaur to one of my sisters on her recent milestone birthday. That didn’t go over well when she reminded me I am three years older. When our microwave died, my wife sent a text with skull and crossbones. In the time it took me to look for an emoticon to respond, I could have just written back with my condolences. (96 percent.)
WRITING & DRIVING: Notice I said “writing” and not “texting.’’ I have been known to pen entire stories on a clipboard in the seat next to me while cruising down the highway. (33 percent.)
CLOCK: I have self-diagnosed myself as OCD. In my world, that means Obsessive Clock Disorder. I am a clock-watcher. Having had a career dictated by deadlines, I have a hands-on compulsion for punctuality. I could never resist the temptation to look at the clock over the next 40 days. Not to mention, Daylight Savings Time starts next weekend. (34 percent.)
COFFEE: I’m in the kitchen grinding beans with Mr. Coffee every morning at 5:55 a.m. Someone once asked how much coffee I drank every day and I said, “One.’’ “One cup?’’ they asked. “No,’’ I said. “One pot.’’ For your own safety, please keep your distance if I give up coffee for Lent. (1.432 percent.)
SHAVING: I might save money on Barbasol and razor blades, but this would not be popular at my house. My three adult sons always are in different stages of whiskers. But my wife won’t kiss me if I sneak much past a five o’clock shadow. Although I sported a mustache in my single-guy years after college, I’ve never had a beard. No pun intended, but I don’t believe this one is going to make the cut. (26 percent.)
SWEETS: I’ve never had much of a sweet tooth, so there’s not much of a chance I am going to get caught with my hand in the cookie jar during Lent. Every so often I am tempted by a brownie, ice cream sandwich or oatmeal raisin cookie. Snickers candy bars are my Achilles meal. Still, I’ve got this. I think. (89 percent.)TV: I rarely watch the news and have little interest in most television shows (except for “Seinfeld” re-runs.) I do love to watch sports, though. With March Madness, the opening of baseball season and the Masters golf tournament all falling inside the margins of Lent, I don’t see much chance of giving up the remote. (11 percent.)
PROCRASTINATION: Should I include this on my Lent list? Maybe I’ll just wait until next year. (0 percent)
Ed Grisamore teaches journalism at Stratford Academy in Macon. His column appears on Sunday in The Telegraph.