14 February 2018

Lent – What's the Point?

Mid-February is a good time to give something up; we're past the hopelessness of January and spring is in sight, but there's still a few dark mornings to wake up to before it's warm and we're all happy again. So, why not distract yourself from the misery of British weather and the winter-blues culture we have ingrained in ourselves and give up something you love? It makes total sense!

Cynicism aside, I actually love lent. For me, it's all about having a focus. I visited my good friend Jess last weekend, and while I was telling her about my plan to give up TV for lent, she pointed out that I always have to have a 'thing'. She's right. I'm a list-maker, a task-ticker. I like it. I don't know why - probably something a psychologist could figure out - but I know I'm not the only one.

It's easier to give something up when you know everyone else is doing it, too. I've got colleagues ditching the chocolate and friends taking up new fitness challenges. The solidarity is enough to make sure I stick to my TV ban.

Forty days and forty nights without Netflix, HayU (I cancelled my subscription, bye bye KUWTK), YouTube and, obviously, regular TV.

Why? The main reason is I hope to have more time to clear my mind and refocus on what I believe is important:

  • Being more mindful.
  • Nourishing my mind with literature - reading is so much better for your brain than TV.
  • Writing - in my diary, to my family, on this blog. I know it makes me happy so I'm making more time for it.
  • Exercising - namely running and yoga.
  • Morning/evening devotionals - last year my friend Emily told me about She Reads Truth, a Bible study app aimed at women who want to equip themselves with the word of God. I have tried and tried to get into a routine of spending time working through the studies available on the app but it's so much easier to eat breakfast in bed with the news on! I'm hoping to kick the habit once and for all and spend time with God instead.

Somehow, over time, TV has become more important than all of the above, and I'm worried it's turning me into a vapid, boring person I know I'm not. I dread to think how many hours I spend watching TV. Granted, it's mostly Netflix for an hour or so before bed, but when whole series are available to binge it's dangerous. So I've taken this challenge upon myself – no TV is my next 'thing'.

What are your thoughts on lent? Have you given up anything? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @wnwrote


  1. Ditto for me. I think you’ll find the evenings are longer without the tv switched on which will be a good thing!

  2. Love this post! I wish I had considered giving up TV - I seem to waste so much time watching it



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