I don’t like chocolate. Not anymore.
No traumatic story here, though. I just happened to give it up for Lent three years ago, and once the forty days and nights were up, I didn’t like the taste. It’s so sticky and sweet in my mouth. I start getting all grossed out by the texture and then have to chase it down with gulps of water.
I’m a confirmed Roman Catholic, and a practice that we have in the approximate six weeks before Easter is to give something up. This chunk of time is called Lent, and it’s a time for reflection and spiritual growth in preparing for Easter.
Lent starts on February 22nd this year, and I’m excited. See, because Lent is the only time I follow through on my promises to myself. There’s only one thing that can make me makes me step away from the chocolate, or soda, or yelling at my brother, or texting after 9 P.M. It’s that “Catholic Guilt” that the writers of 30 Rock captured so well in the following clip.
So this year, I decided that I’m going to give up unproductivity.
What does that even mean?
- No wasting time on Facebook. But if I need it to ask for homework help or something, I can use it for that. Or to pimp my Culture Shock posts…
- No looking at funny things on the Internet, watching terrible reality shows, or learning cool new ways to paint my nails when I could be writing, playing basketball, doing math or something more useful.
- If I’m doing something that makes me more knowledgeable, or helps someone, or strengthens me, it’s okay. So I can surf Wikipedia if I’m learning things from it.
- I’m not going to turn into a hermit or anything. I’ll just rely on real-life interaction a lot more until April 9th.
- Oh, and I decided that it’s okay to be unproductive during Spring Break. Mostly because I think I’ll lose control if I don’t get my own equivalent of a “Cheat Day” in this diet from unproductivity, but also because I’ll be visiting family in Mexico and I’ll have no way to reach my loved ones but Facebook.
Basically, I’m going to be listening to my gut a lot in the next month and a half. If I feel bad about what I’m doing (if my Catholic Guilt kicks in) then I’ll stop, and do something useful. Maybe, by the end of this experiment, unproductivity won’t taste that good anymore. Maybe it’ll gross me out, stick to the roof of my mouth, and I’ll have to chase it down with a few gulps of productivity.
I’ll let you all know, as the journey will be chronicled here for the next month and a half.