So next week sees the start of Lent. Not a part of the Church Calendar I have ever strictly observed, but this year I'm giving it my best shot. Some carefully considered acts of penitence and sacrifice might well improve my chances of a less stressful rest of the year! So here is my list of good intentions:-
1) Give up reheating cold cups of tea. I know it doesn't work, nothing is worse than reheated cold tea and the chances of remembering to remove it from the microwave let alone drink it are slim.
2)Stop worrying about going to bed early - the sense of failure when it doesn't happen is far worse than the lack of sleep.
3)Accept the kitten will always reach the defrosting bread/cakes on the kitchen worktop (or any other food item left out in the kitchen) before I do and give up expecting otherwise. Miracles do take a little longer, even in Lent.
4)Give up worrying what other people think because the chances are they live on another planet/parallel universe/have no children/haven't heard of ADHD let alone Autism
5)J is going to attempt to give up video games... although he doesn't know this yet. Fortunately Jesus never had to suffer such temptation since the Devil was lacking video games in his arsenal, this will be a tough one I assure you.
6)Feeling guilty. Any parents reading this will know only too well that with the arrival of a little bundle of joy also comes a sack labelled "guilt". The more the child grows, so does the guilt. The failures of parents are extolled in parenting books, newspaper columns, magazines and even now in schools as they strive to "teach" parents as well as the children to tick the necessary boxes for next years OFSTED inspection. In actual fact, the vast majority of parents do a damn good job with scarce resources (sleep) and limited sympathy (the world at large in today's social climate) and jettisoning the guilt is a major step forward. With four sacks of guilt to carry my back is seriously suffering, and the osteopathy bills are no joke.
7)Sweets. I don't really even LIKE them. It's just a sugar fix, something to grab on-the-run and everyone knows sugar is nature's analgesic. Little more than a sticky plaster on a stressful day this one should be easy.... or easier than...
8)Caffeine. Don't even go there. Life without Caffeine is beyond the pale and the subject is totally off limits.
9)And as for my biggest weakness, the internet, I would be in such a state without it that everyone would give up on ME so I think that one will have to stay!