Monday, November 08, 2010

100 Days

If you've ever practiced a Western Christian religion, you are, no doubt, familiar with the concept of Lent.

Just in case you've never participated in a Christian religion or haven't had its doctrine laid out for you in several years though, Lent(il)1 is the 40-ish days leading up to Easter2 . It's a time of penitence, fasting3, and self-denial or abstinence.

There isn't a single thing about that paragraph I like...except for maybe my own reference to lentil soup. Mmmm...soup. But then, I'm not Christian so, you know, there's that.

Now, I know Lent isn't for another 4 months4 and so I'm sure you're wondering what's with all this religion and self-denial talk from a confirmed hedonist.

Well...a friend of mine, every year, imposes a 100-day period of some kind of self-improvement and/or self-denial phase upon himself. And it just so happens that he is a bit later getting started this year than usual and is thus getting ready to start his annual 100-day self-denial period free of...ALCOHOL very soon. Which, you know, is horrifying to me but it's his thing, not mine, and I'm in awe of his ability to commit to and stick to his plan.

I asked him once, "100 days? Why 100 days? Why not 40 like Lent?"

And he said something to the effect of, "Because it's hard. 40 days? That's nothing. Eyes closed. Hands behind my back easy. 100 days though? That's an accomplishment. Something I can be proud of."

So I pondered it. Would I be willing to give up all alcohol for 100 days? Certainly not 2 weeks before Beaujolais Nouveau Day. Certainly not before Thanksgiving. Certainly not before Christmas morning martinis...surely not before all THAT!

But...I understand his point. I understand why he does it. I also understand the amount of sheer determination (read stubbornness) and self-discipline he's know, self-discipline. Something of which I could use more.

So I'm thinking about it. I'm thinking about what I might give up or do for 100 days just to see if I could do it myself. You know, like character building except without power tools (sharp, pointy objects and I do not belong in the same room).

And, I think, I've landed on just the thing. I won't give up my wine. But I think I may commit to 100 consecutive days of exercise. At least 15 minutes 7 days a week for 100 days. That's a walk around the block. Every day. For 100 days.


1: Hee hee. I know, I'm a dork. But I've got soup for brains today.

2: You know, the celebration of that alleged resurrection of christ?

3: From frivolity as well as interesting food...namely meat.

4: Fat Tuesday is March 8 - exactly 4 months from today.

A year ago: The Power of Women
                   How to Kill a Pepper While Looking Cool as a Cucumber


Michael said...

I agree with your friend. Forty days isn't a lot when you think of it in terms of a little over a month it seems even less. But 100 days is a lot. It's almost a third of a year and it's a commitment that takes some doing. I think I'll give up something vicariously through him.

Just Jane said...

It'd be interesting to know what you choose - if you'd like to tell me.

Cynthia Dolezalek said...

Jane: I will join you, as you being my inspiration as always. 100 days of at least 25 minutes of exercise. Starting now.