Coffee? I like it, but I never just buy or pour it for myself. Alcohol? Likewise. Soda? I might have that twice between now and Easter. Novels? I'm a part of two book clubs. Chocolate? I'm not giving up chocolate. Heh.
Lent, anyway, means more than just "giving something up": it's a time of fasting combined with prayer and almsgiving. My husband manages most of the alms around here (thank God--I put bills in stacks and forget about them), so the giving aspect is pretty much a "Hey, do you think we should ..." kind of deal for me. As for prayer and fasting, though, here's what I've managed to come up with:
1. Internet not immediately needed for work is for use only on lunch break and before/after work hours. That means you, Google Reader. (The Hog's Head, my own blog, and research for writing all count as "work" for these purposes--I'm trying to control the internet's influence on my life, not shirk obligations just because I like them.) The goal here is to order my life so that my top priorities get taken care of first.
[Note: I'm a homemaker, in case any of you don't know that--I'm not reading blogs on employer time, I promise! Also, since I blog myself, I would consider it a breach of honor to stop reading other people's. I'm not going forty days without my Google Reader--just limiting myself.]
2. Make a daily effort to care less about hearing the sound of my own voice, to delight less in myself and to listen more closely to others.
3. Pray a Divine Mercy chaplet every day and do the Angelus at noonish when possible.
4. Journal daily, preferably before work to focus my mind--because I haven't done that faithfully in years, and it's a good way both to clear out distractions and to move my mind to spiritual things.
That ought to keep me busy--and hopefully, willingly "denying myself, taking up my cross, and following Christ."