Tuesday, February 16, 2010

mortification is good for the soul

a post on twitter written by a friend reminded me that lent officially begins tomorrow. for several years now (three, i think), i've given up on buying footwear for forty days (hard especially since it's almost always sale season, not to mention my birthday sometime during the forty day abstinence). and, there was one good year where i was able to go to mass almost every single day of lent.

this year, i want to aim big, not because i'm a goody two shoes (which, most of you know by now, i am not) but simply because a little mortification (or a lot) does the soul more than a little good. and, i'm thinking of not just giving up something, but also by attempting to do something which, sometimes is harder. i think i'm going to do a list of ten and, God-willing, i will be able to achieve my list of ten.

1. no shopping unless absolutely necessary
okay, this is going to be hard. shopping, for me, is a form of "rest". i jokingly text a friend that when i'm tired beyond words, i go to the mall to "rest" a bit before going home. and, more often than not, rest comes with a paper bag with a bit of a treat for myself. i think there were times i've run out of occasions to "celebrate" with "a little gift for me." and when i say shopping, i mean everything, including unnecessary grocery shopping (puregold, as i've discovered, has stuff beyond grocery items).

2. set aside P50 a day
admittedly, fifty pesos isn't much. at the end of lent, however, i'll have P2,000 free and clear. imagine if i do that for an entire year --> Php18,250. that's serious money. maybe this exercise will teach me that every time i tell myself, "P50 lang naman, mura lang" that money, if not spent, can actually send a little kid to school already.

3. no more oversleeping
i have my ipod on alarm every day, except weekends, at 4:50 a.m. and, save for days when i have hearing or when i'm coding, i almost always turn it off, set my cellphone to go off at 6 am, and go right back to sleep. what's worse, there are days when, i even turn the cellphone off and sleep until i feel i ought to actually wake up. horrible, i tell you. so, beginning tonight, i shall set my ipod to go off at a more reasonable time (like 5:30 am?) and to actually get up before i turn it off.

4. go to mass every day
if i actually (and i should!) wake up at 5:30, this means that i'll be more or less done getting ready for work at 6:30 am, meaning, save for hearing days and coding days, i can actually attend the 6:45 am mass at my parish. hmmm... this means i should wake up early on weekends too. no problem :) this, however, translates to...

5. no more staying up/staying out too late at night
i think the primary reason why i don't wake up early is cause i don't sleep early. so i'm giving up late night television/reading/gimmicks/phone calls/computer games.

6. attend action group/prayer meetings/tuloy tutorials religiously
i've always maintained that one has a schedule so as to avoid canceling unnecessarily. i mean, if you know that you have to be in alabang for an activity at 8 pm and it's that way every single friday of your life, shouldn't you have made sure that nothing goes in the way of you being there? i mean, come on, if it were a first date with the man of my dreams, they'd probably have to restrain me from leaving the office come going home time. and so, no more canceling at all. (unless super absolutely necessary that unless i cancel, i'll lose my job or something like that)

7. no more canceling means no more rushing to beat deadlines, no more procrastinating, no more last minute finishes
okay, i'll admit it now -- sometimes i cancel because i've left off for last minute something that i ought to have done earlier. that said, the planner exists so you can be reminded of deadlines and figure out how long it'll take to finish things. i've gotten into trouble just this month because of my super-mega-rush-to-beat-the-deadline tactic. it's a good thing i've got goodwill stored up. otherwise, i might be out looking for a new job right now.

8. be genuinely nice
i'm sunshiny. i'm friendly (sometimes). i'm sweet. but what i am not is genuinely nice. well, nice, probably to a select few. but i'm not the person whose name comes up when someone ask, sino ba ang nice dito? and so, i've got 40 days to acquire the "nice-ness" gene.

9. be a neater person
aside from the fact that i'm selectively nice, i'm also selectively neat. i am organized with my money, but that's just about it. case in point: i had totally forgotten i owned certain things simply because they've gotten lost underneath piles of things. so not a good characteristic for a future (yessss! pangarap!) mother and wife to have. (plus, uuwi na si theo, baka may party ulit, kailangan malinis na ang bahay ulit! wahehehe) so what if i've made this my goal since forever. this time, i'm going to do it!

10. not give up even if there are days when i stumble on any of the foregoing goals
sometimes, it's easy to say, no more na, just cause i wasn't able to do any of the things. so, the plan is, what's important is that every single day is a fresh day to be the best person i can be. so, i just have to try and try and try, all the stumbling shouldn't really matter, right?

so there, my list of ten.

p.s. today's mardi gras - fat tuesday! i hope to be heading home early so i can do last minute things before lent officially starts!

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