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Today is Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday and Pączki Tuesday. It’s all fun and games until Ash Wednesday when everything goes downhill for Baby Jesus.

(Someone should warn him!)

Lent is such a downer a time of reflection, and many Christians give up smoking, drinking, chocolate, swearing, being on the internet, etc., to honor the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Then, on Easter, they go back to normal as if those 40 days never happened.

Let’s do this whole thing differently in 2019.

I think giving stuff up is narcissistic. Instead of embracing austerity and being miserable for six weeks, I think it’s time to improve the quality of your life and take up something new.

What can you take up for Lent?

• Can you embrace a new hobby?
• Get to know somebody new?
• Be curious about your neighbors, colleagues or associates?
• Become a little healthier by adding instead of subtracting things to your diet?

Don’t do less of something bad and mope around about it. Do more of something good and make small but incremental improvements to your life.

Wonder how to do Lent differently? Time to get quiet and reflect on your needs. What makes you happy? Who brings you joy? How do you know when life is good?

Stop punishing yourself for being human. Give your time, attention and energy to the activities that positively move the needle.

I’m not Christian, but I think that’s what Jesus wants for me during Lent 2019. What does He want for you?