The following are some resolutions I made before Lent began. We are in week two of Lent and I really needed to step back and review. I will share the reality check** next to each resolution:
I resolved to simplify my daily routine in order to give God more time.
- Cut back on technology considerably. Limit the use of the internet to 3 times a day to answer important emails and to blog on spiritual things.
RC*: Although, I am busy with my household responsibilities, the computer is just too conveniently placed and continuously on. That means, I am drawn to it even though I know I should have the will power to resist its attraction. I may have to force myself to shut the computer off and turn it on each time. Since this procedure takes a long time to do, it may just help me in avoiding the computer every few minutes to check email and Twitter.
- Limit TV viewing to EWTN and spiritual movies and documentaries on Netflix.
RC: We are watching more EWTN programs. We have also watched the first part of Teresa de Avila, the mini series. But since there are not many programs for streaming to choose from on Netflix, we are stretching the definition of religious to find interesting programs to watch...e.g. Angel on My Shoulder starring Paul Muni. Come on, really? Angel in the title of this movie is quite a stretch in the spirituality department, wouldn't you agree? I have to admit we made an exception to Dark Shadows because we were in the middle of that Gothic soap opera. I better start moving all the Catholic movies in the queue to the top.
- Get rid of clutter even it means shredding every paper in the file cabinet. This is my attempt on not being attached to material things.
RC: Little by little we are making progress here. So far, I have cleaned out two of the more cluttered shelves in my closet. I have actually thrown away old cards and my some of son's school and artwork when he was little...no more stinking sentimentality for me! Actually, I don't even want to think about what I tossed out.
My son is actually a pretty good organizer. He has organized my dish cabinet and cleaned out and organized the refrigerator...as well as his room. He is setting a good example for me to follow.
- Spend at least 1/2 hour twice a day on reading good books.
RC: If you recall, I made a list of 40 books for Lent. I am in the process of reading approximately 6 of them simultaneously. I read them throughout the day. I also am reading a few on my iPod Touch. I do feel there is room for more reading here though. I haven't really been reading the Holy Bible as I planned on doing.
- Keep a Lenten journal and fill it up with doodles, prayers, thoughts and quotes.
RC: Except for the doodling part, yes, I am doing what I resolved to do. It is a big help when I want to see what areas in my life need improvement. It is a good way to examine my conscience. Yes, this was a very good idea.
- Curtail shopping to just necessities and not wants.
RC: This has been hard for me because sometimes it is hard to differentiate what I need and what I want. But for the most part, I am sticking to buying only food and things we need like soap, toothpaste, etc. I am trying to keep a list of all the things we are not spending on in hopes of adding that amount to the rice bowl. We are not really eating out either or going to movies, etc.
- Give money to our church's outreach.
RC: Lots of home for improvement here because other things come up such as the recent earthquake in Japan, unexpected expenses, etc. But I have to make an effort here and with the homeless people we know and see.
- Limit interaction with friends so to limit saying the wrong things and therefore offending God.
RC: Not that I planned it but my interaction with friends has been limited for several reasons, one being the weather since I cannot get together with my regular group and our dogs. I am not complaining because the temptation from saying the wrong thing is somewhat removed for the moment. My problem here is listening to gossip. I don't really join in but listening is just as bad.
- Clean one part of the home diligently each day.
RC: This is hard. It seems like every time I clean one area, the other area I just cleaned needs cleaning again. I do what I can but I am not going to be fanatical about this resolution. I'd rather be cooking or baking to make my family happy.
- Mind my own business, stop asking people too many questions and refrain from reading the news, etc.
RC: I am not reading the paper and I am trying to mind my own business without being uncaring about others. I need to get off of Twitter where the temptation to read "news" is too great.
There are more resolutions but this is a good start for review.