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What’s up, folks?

I hope everyone had a great January.

I had some complications with my class enrollment, so I ended up only taking two classes this semester and will make up the third this summer. Still planning on graduating in December 2015, so all is well on that front.

This semester I’m studying the history of Italian Fascism in Italy and New York! If you’re a teacher or student, how’s your semester going so far?

Well, anyway, this blog is about Lent!

I converted to Catholicism in 2012 (RCIA and the whole bit) but I tried to make sacrifices for Lent several years prior to that. I’ve given up meat (a couple of times) and salt and have attempted to give up cussing and gossiping before too.

I failed at the cussing and gossiping before because driving and people, but I’ve succeeded at giving up meat a couple of times.

Even if you aren’t Catholic, have you ever succeeded in breaking a habit? How’d you do it?

This year I’m going to try to give up Facebook and cussing. But I’m also going to attempt to add two positive habits!

I am thoroughly addicted to Facebook. I like keeping in touch with people from the past, I like reading news, I like finding information that may be useful for friends, and I like seeing other people’s opinions. I also obviously like the attention. I’m much better at interacting with people online than in person, so I like getting likes and posting pictures and writing statuses. I’m one of those serial “likers” though, so I often pollute friends’ timelines and get blocked, haha! Giving up Facebook will help me be more present since I won’t be able to check my phone constantly.

It’s going to be hard for so many reasons. It helps me occupy my time and I use my phone as a security blanket as well. Not being able to constantly check Facebook is going to mean not having my phone to shield me from unwanted conversation and attention in public.

It’s also going to be lonely though. I’m Facebook friends with a lot of people that I want to be real friends with who don’t necessarily feel the same about me. Rather than messaging people and being all cheesy with the “let’s be friends” bit, I often like people’s pictures and statuses in order to force a connection with them and make an effort to become real friends. Since I won’t be able to force that connection through likes or comments, I will lose touch with people that weren’t interested in being my friend in the first place, which will be sad. It will be good though because I won’t bother people and if people decide they really do want to be friends they can make an effort to get in touch with me in other ways.

Facebook is also a platform where I post a lot of critical and judgmental thoughts and it also inspires me to be judgmental and critical of others. Let me clarify: I judge people and am critical of them but my judgements aren’t personal and do not affect my feelings toward people. Hopefully that makes sense. Seldom if ever have I allowed my judgement of another person’s life choices to affect my urge to be their friend or treat them nicely (IDeffW drug addicts-that aren’t making an effort to get clean-or criminals). I am extremely critical of myself and try to hold myself to a certain standard, but I know I can learn something from EVERYONE, even if their standards for their life and opinions/beliefs aren’t the same as mine (and vice versa). So, while I can justify my judgment of others, not being on Facebook will eliminate a lot of inspiration for being judgmental and critical of people.

I don’t Tweet or use Tumblr very much, so while I don’t think I will give those up, per se, I am not going to live tweet or retweet anything. I will auto-post/tweet from Instagram and other sites though (can’t break my Oscars tradition)!

I will stay on SnapChat, but only to talk to friends from Facebook that want to stay in touch!

Cussing won’t be too hard to give up…as long as I can find a positive habit to replace it with. The first time I tried to quit for Lent, I failed because I cannot not cuss when I drive…it’s like a compulsion, lol (thank the Lord I don’t have kids)! I don’t cuss at work or school, but I do cuss when I call/text my mom or friends to vent about stressful events. If I can find another way to vent and relieve stress in a positive way, then I think I’ll be able to stop cussing.

Now, while I am going to try to break two bad habits, I want to do something a little different this year and also ADD two positive habits!

I have seen several friends participate in the 100 Happy Days Instagram challenge, but I am going to change it up and I am going to post one happy/positive thing a day for the entirety of Lent. Follow me on IG and feel free to join the challenge! Just tag your pictures with the hashtag #ferventfor40 I don’t think I am a particularly negative person when it comes to my life and I don’t think I’m less appreciative than I should be, but I do dwell on things and am pessimistic. Posting one happy/positive thing a day for 40 days will hopefully get me into the habit of focusing on the positive aspects of my day, rather than the negative/stressful aspects (which should help eliminate my daily need to vent/cuss).

Last but not least, I want to read, write, or exercise for 30 minutes a day, everyday for 40 days. I am bad about procrastinating on school work, so this will help me get into the habit of doing a little bit everyday rather than panicking at the end of the semester. On days I don’t have homework, it will also encourage me to write more blogs! I would have committed to exercising 30 minutes a day, but it is cold as balls here and I have no space in my living room for inside exercise, so I am just making that mandatory for days when I don’t have any homework (conveniently, Spring Break falls in the middle of Lent).

So, I am giving up Facebook and cussing, but adding positivity and reading/writing/exercising!

Are you going to give up anything for Lent?

Feel free to post a comment below about your Lenten fast, breaking bad habits in the past, or creating positive ones!

Have a great week everyone!