Larry Mannino's Blog

Writer | Brand Communications Strategist | Human

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What Am I Giving Up For Lent? Funny You Should Ask…

Lent, for me, has always sort of felt akin to New Years. I’ve got great intentions. I’m going to give something up that’s bad for me and thus become the better – or at least more ideal – version of myself I think want to be. It’s an opportunity for change.

And, funny thing, for me these resolutions never really work.

The irony is that every day you’re alive is actually an opportunity for change; we’re just a little more attuned to the calendar idea. The Calendar is easier to wrap our heads around in our crazily scheduled, always running life. Which makes New Years seem like a bedrock moment. One where it makes some degree of psychological sense to be able to suddenly ‘put last year behind you’. The tabula rasa.

Of course, as humans we created our sense of time, hours days calendars – the giant clock that’s always ticking in most of our minds. Yeah, we did that to ourselves.

Anyway, Lent, for the Catholic among us, is a time before Easter when we’re supposed to, essentially, prepare ourselves. Make ourselves better. And as a guy who probably goes to my wife’s Presbyterian church more than my own Catholic one (full disclosure: their Minister is pretty awesome, gives a good sermon, and they serve pastries and coffee afterwards), bear in mind that any authority I may seem to have on matters of religion is suspect at best.

Over the years, like New Years, I’ve gone in with the best of intentions, only to fail miserably. You see, whatever it was I chose, I maybe chose for the wrong reasons. Or, maybe, I just wanted those things that I was going to give up ‘just this once’ – which is always the first step on the slippery slope to failure and regret. And cookies before bed (yeah, late night snacks was one year’s thing to give up).

So this year, as always I had a few ideas. It was the usual list, mostly based on things I know I should do, or should not do.

And I knew, going in, that I’d fail. Because I’d tried it before.

So this year I took a different tack.

This year I chosen the most selfish Lenten obligation ever. Because selfish works.

What am I doing for Lent? Here it is from my daily journal (btw, if you don’t journal you should):

For Lent This Year I Will Be Good To Myself.

I Will Honor Myself.
I Will Take Care of Myself – Mind and Body.
I Will Respect Myself.
And I Will put this Ahead of Everything and Everybody Else.

Because by doing this, I will Create the Best Version of Myself.

Which is My Gift to My Children. My Wife. My Friends. Possibly my Clients. And God.
And while this seems to have nothing to do with branding or writing or creativity – my usual topics of interest – it has Everything to do with Life. So maybe it does ;).