To whom it may concern,
If I’m to be perfectly honest, I never really understood the point of lent. *Cue lightning bolt from above* But in all seriousness, for me lent was my parents usually went vegetarian for 40 days and everyone was cranky, anaemic and carnivorous by Easter. Bad times for all.
I for one have NEVER managed to stick to giving up one thing for 40 days. Mostly on account of forgetting that I was supposed to have given it up. Even this year I considered to stop being lazy and being more active – the day of lent I slept in. It’s such a regular occurrence I don’t even feel bad anymore.
For me, I don’t think giving something up for 40 days and 40 nights makes me a stellar Christian, if anything me without chicken or mum’s beef curry makes me a colossal douche-face. This year, however, I’m not giving something up…
40acts.org.uk allows its readers to perform 40 acts of generosity. There are 3 stages of generosity to suit everyone. The first being the least time consuming (5 minutes) and usually free of cost, the second taking around 10 minutes and costing less than a cup of coffee and the last for those who have ample time and some $$ to spare.
Yesterday was day 1 and as much as I’d like to think of myself as an already ok person I started to notice opportunities to be generous that were part of my daily routine but for some reason had slipped below the radar.
Adding your spare coinage in a tip jar, buying a bar of fundraising Cadbury top-deck from the adorable wee girl standing outside the supermarket – that last one was only half generous, I like chocolate. These aren’t massive feats or philanthropic actions to take note of by any means.
But isn’t it just the little things in life? Go on, give 40Acts a whiz – You can pray to a God by a different name or not pray at all. It’s just another little step in making kindness a universal language. Let’s all be a little less of a douche-face.
I’m trying to blog away here and mother is disturbing me, she’s convinced our neighbour’s cat is pregnant because she found it on our porch lounging in her favourite chair. Huge no no. My mother is terrified of cats; she asked me if the cat was going to bite her. She believes the cat is targeting our house because she saw it the other day near our house and apparently it saw her and walked the other way pretending it wasn’t on her way to “the chair”. Clearly, a lot of thought has gone into this on her part. Mother is positively terrified that the cat is going to give birth on her chair now. Pillar of sanity.
Moving on. I’ve been having some serious anxiety attacks over the last few weeks because of graduation. Not mine unfortunately but that of a few of my very intelligent and talented friends; a fair few who did not change their degrees or slack on a few papers and actually managed this feat as per their life plan. A few of them have even started working in their chosen fields, managed to stay in long-term-ish relationships and are just being well adjusted young adults. Yea I’m crazy proud of them, they look legit in their robes and I’m truly inspired but let’s not lie, in creeps the thought “What the hallelujah am I doing with my life?”
Had I worked harder/not changed paths…twice/been a better human being, in general, I could’ve graduated this year but alas I’m now studying journalism because documenting current events both serious and hilarious and writing in general gets my juices flowing and will only finish at the end of next year. It is possibly as far from the goal I had for myself at the end of high school as a goal could get. Well not really, I could’ve turned out to be an accountant…no offence. But seriously, this was not part of the 5-year plan, which was initially to be a Human Rights lawyer. Nobody has even told me that I’ll be good at this new career path or that they can totally see me as a journalist! Total leap of faith here guys – following the ol’ gut.
Unfortunately, my strong ethnic upbringing is of no use to me in making this decision either because as far as careers go my full-time copywriter/poet/editor/Rotary president/painter/writer father and marketing brainwave/interior designing/chef/cross-stitching mother are far from the square types. If anything they’ve worked first for passion and only second for them dollar bills. Although they’re in full support of finishing this bloody degree they aren’t fazed I didn’t choose a “proper” profession, in my family left-field is the only one we play in. I’m sure adults accumulate their knowledge and eloquence over time but sometimes the intelligence and achievements of others intimidate me into a state of pyjamas and 4 seasons of Downton Abbey instead of motivation to reach a similar level of achievement in my own field.
But then I started following Diddy on Instagram. Now every day I get posts on my feed that say things like:
And I’m mildly terrified because he seems a bit too serious about this whole issue but also a bit pumped. So I’m restarting my start-of-the-year motivation to stay on track because that got a bit lost in the Easter chocolate haze. So long Downtown Abbey (already finished it) come at me the second half of the first semester.
Also crazy congratulations to all you beautiful graduates. Especially you, Kate Chatfield, you looked as radiant and beautiful as you are in your graduation robe.