Last night I was pondering what to give up for Lent. The obvious answer was sugar, but it wasn't so much for any good reason other than vanity - I don't want to gain any more extra weight during this pregnancy. I wish I could say my intentions were noble and I just want to be healthy for the baby, but to be honest, it's just that I'm vain. So I felt like giving up sugar would be more for me and my own selfishness, not for what lent is really about. (Besides, pregnancy has brought an all-time low to my willpower when it comes to sweets.)
My next idea was to refrain from watching television. Immediately I thought, No way, I'm not giving up watching TV. Because I was so adamant in my protests, I realized that was exactly what I should give up.
Now let's be clear: Sam and I don't even really have TV. We don't have cable or even bunny ears, so we literally get zero channels on our television. We watch everything on Hulu Plus or Netflix, and are generally able to keep up with whatever shows we enjoy. So I never mindlessly flip through channels, and if one of the shows we like wasn't new that week, I'm not watching TV.
But I realized I still waste a lot of time watching television, time that could be spent doing homework, housework, or hanging out with Sam. And once the baby comes, I imagine I'll have a lot less time for TV anyway. Not to mention, I know children emulate what they see, and I don't want Ellery to see her parents watching TV all the time. I'd hate to introduce her to that habit; I want her to see us reading or being active in some way. So, for these reasons, I'll not be watching any TV until Easter, which will hopefully help me get into better habits regarding television.
This is my biggest problem with my decision:
There is only one episode left in this season of Downton Abbey, and it will air on Sunday. I usually watch it Mondays online, so part of me considered just watching this one last episode. But that would defeat the purpose, right? Here's the other reason:
Judge all you want, but this show is hilariously entertaining. And I'm not thinking I'll really miss the actual show all that much. The problem is that there's no way I can keep from learning who he picks before I'll be able to watch it for myself, as it will be online and on magazine covers at the grocery store. So to save myself from being tempted to watch it, I went online and looked up who he picked, just so the curiosity would be gone. But I will be watching the last episode of Downton myself after Lent, so if anyone tells me what happens, we will no longer be friends. Just saying.
This morning I thought to myself, I must really love Jesus to be giving up TV, and then realized how utterly ridiculous that thought was. Really? Based on the fact that I'm giving up something that benefits me in no way whatsoever other than entertaining me, I'm going to go around pretending that this somehow makes me holy? Nope. If anything it just shows how shallow I can be. Still, I hope to learn from it, to grow from it, and to actually learn to love God more through it.