I wanted to set a good example for the kids that I help teach in preconfirmation class at church. I gave up drinking soda for Lent. Doesn't sound like much of a sacrifice does it? In the scheme of life, it isn't. We all vowed to give something up. This isn't a religion lesson, but our small sacrifices are to remind us of what Jesus gave up for us. So back to the soda. I know that I have been drinking too much soda lately. It isn't the healthiest drink for you. It is expensive. And man, is my recycling bin filling up week after week. Crazy! Mostly from soda cans. So I decided that this would be the thing that I would give up for the forty days of Lent.
Not to be melodramatic, but the first few days were a nightmare for me. I wanted a soda. Everyone was drinking soda. Everywhere I looked there was a can, or a bottle staring at me. I think there were a few times I actually thought the cans were speaking to me. They were saying, "come on, Ann, no one is looking. It's ok. It's just ONE soda." Tempting for sure. For eight days I resisted. But on day nine, I slipped. I'll set the scene for you. I was about to punch the time clock at work. I had a splitting headache. Couldn't shake it all morning. A coworker suggested taking Tylenol with a soda chaser. This will help the medicine get into your system faster, she said. Well, for medicinal purposes, I took her advice. I fell off the wagon. I felt guilty about this. I did. But on a positive note, my headache did go away. When you work with 500 plus kids in a lunchroom and at recess, this is so necessary.
Home I went. I was feeling bad about my slip but I knew I would get over it. I'm human and I'm not perfect. So later that day we were out for dinner and I ordered a soda. Shoot. How easy it was for me to slip into an old habit. I finished that soda and vowed it wouldn't happen again. I've tried to remain loyal to my promise and after the unfortunate day of the headache and the absentmindedness, I have actually remained true to my word. Here's the thing. Even when I did have the soda, it didn't taste that great to me. Not like it had in the past.
Will I drink soda again? Oh, I know that I will. Will it taste good. Oh, yes it will. But to prove to myself that I can do something for forty days (almost) and be better for it? Simply priceless.
©2011 Ann M. De Broux