07 March 2011

Lent Version 2.0

About three years ago (edit: actually only two), I gave up chocolate for Lent. It was painful but I made it through all 40 days, despite the numerous temptations along the way. I vowed never to do it again and indeed, this year, I thought to myself, "thank god I don't have to do any pointless giving-up this year." However, I was thinking this very thought as I perused the wonderful wares of Anthropologie and almost in the same breath, it occurred to me that I really ought to try giving up shopping for Lent this year. I tried to dismiss the idea before I gave it too much thought but it was too late; my stubborn brain had already made its mind up.

So, from Wednesday I am going to be on a shopping ban until 23 April. Eek. I had forgotten, once again, that the 40 days of Lent don't include Sundays, which means it's almost eight weeks in total. That being said, weekends are my biggest temptation, retail-wise, so the extra few days shouldn't make too much extra difference. The point of this shopping ban isn't to stop all purchases until the end of April; the biggest challenge for me would be to give up non-essential clothing purchases, so this is what I will do but there are still a few exceptions:

  1. I have needed a new winter coat for about two years. If I see a suitable coat during Lent, I am allowed to buy it.
  2. I can buy anything I need for the impending hen party/wedding I am attending (I am a bridesmaid so I don't have huge amounts of say in what I wear).
  3. Essential clothing purchases (tights, etc.) are acceptable
  4. Free gifts and prizes are perfectly acceptable. No, I'm not going to spend all my time entering competitions.
I haven't decided yet but I might also allocate myself one wildcard that will allow me to buy one item of clothing before April 23--and that's one single item and not a whole transaction. This is just in case I see something especially perfect that can't wait until after Lent and I probably won't use it anyway. I haven't chosen a prize yet, either--then again, I'm not entirely sure I will deserve one, even if I do stick to my Lenten rules.

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