Today, as most of you know, is the first day of Lent.
Now I'm not Catholic, I'd definitely say I'm Protestant, but to get more specific than that, it gets complicated.
I hold no allegiance to any particular brand of the Christian church, but if you want to go about it chronologically, I've gone to the following churches: First Baptist, non-demoninational home church, Evangelical Free, Methodist, First Christian, United Church of Christ and, currently, United Methodist. Oh and four months ago I got married in a Baptist Church in a service officiated by my brother via the Universial Life Church, just to make it more fun.
So if I'm not Catholic, why am I talking about Lent?
In truth, several more traditional Protestant denominations including Lutherans and Methodists still practice some form of Lent, but the reason I do it tends to be less spiritual in natural and more of a challenge. That is, what change can I make in my life for 40 days?
Like many quirks, this is something I started in college. My friend James and I decided that we would go forth and celebrate as many holidays as we could: we did Rosh Hannah, Yom Kippur and Lent our Freshman year. We always forgot when Ramadan came around, and really the whole plan never got that far off the ground, but Lent stuck.
That first year I gave up orange soda. I've also given up chocolate (twice) and two years ago I gave up complaining. Not exactly meat on Fridays, but I do what I can.
This year? I'm giving up jeans.
Yes, for the next 40 days I shall refrain from wearing the all-American classic. Why? Because feel like I've gotten lazy when it comes to getting dressed in the morning, especially since my work dress code is so lax. Mr. Cleaver and I joke about how he's going to "mix-it-up" and wear a sweater and jeans for the umpteenth day in the row, but it's true for me as well. Now, with Lent and Easter being so early this year, I'm at a slight disadvantage when it comes to dresses and skirts, at least for now (with the mounds of snow piling up outside), but I'm going to tough it out. And while I doubt I'll post everyday, I'm going to try to take a picture of outfit for the next 40 days as proof.
I do get one exception though - if I am painting, building or striking a set for the show that my theatre company is putting on in the next 40 days, I get to wear jeans, because if nothing else, they were meant for that sort of thing.