The concept of letting go of something pleasant for a period of time as part of a spiritual journey is as old as the world. It's one of the aspects of Catholicism that I like. It seems to have caught on lately in most Christian journeys, too. A good idea is always just that.
Should everyone try it, then? I've been in austerity central for the last few weeks. I haven't counted the days, but it may well have been forty, more or less. As is usual in my experience, money comes in fits and flurries. Being self employed, there are lean and fat times. Have just emerged from the lean, I'm disinclined to extend that experience further. On the other hand, doing so might be a good exercise in self control. I'm still not smoking, but I could use to make further efforts on that diet resolution. Fits and flurries. Fat Tuesday saw me eating cookies and drinking wine. Ash Wednesday just isn't motivating me to much.
I'm not really Christian, anyway. My father was Catholic and my mother Jewish. I'm the youngest of three. I remember them fighting tooth and nail with my sisters trying to get them to say prayers, to go to catechism. I remember them giving up on trying to force me. I was something of a bulldog of a little girl, anyway.
This is the time of year when winter's hardships lighten up their grip and make life more of a celebration than a bleak survival. On the other hand, winter stores have likely been used up while planting is only just begun. There isn't much in the way of food in the historical pantry. Saving up the last of the best of what is left for later celebration is a wise custom. Making a spiritual journey of necessity is a healthy twist on what otherwise just seems more bleak at a time of year when we are all emotionally past dealing with more bleak.
I'm of the mind to make some symbolic sacrifice for this period of time. I have too much planned that is inconsistent with foresaking too much food or alcohol. I could do it, I suppose, but I'm sure God wants me to have the fun I've planned. I'm not sure God gives a fat rat's ass whether I sacrifice mindfully or not. My own personal philosophy for the last ten years would say She especially would not want me to do so - "What? I've given you so much! Enjoy it. Eat, drink, laugh." Ah, that's what I'll do. For each day of Lent, I will make some one laugh. Laughter - the song of Heaven.