To change and to change for the better are two different things.
A change for the better is what Lent is all about. We, as Christians strive to make ourselves more like Christ. Through our sacrifice and penance throughout Lent we make ourselves more Like Christ.
For the past few years, we've not really given up anything for Lent. The past two years, I sought to increase my prayer life. Eric has given up caffeine (yeah that was fun) and the soda in general (again more fun) They boys gave up picking on each other (that lasted two days) - and then they worked on doing good deeds. We also made an attempt to go to Stations of the Cross together. That was easier. Our parish does soup before - there's food.
This year, I felt the need to do something more. Something we would all benefit from and gain something from. So for the next 40 days we will not watch TV as a family. For the next 40 days - our TV is unplugged.
I got the idea from an article in the national newsletter for the Catholic Daughters. Each year, the national court encourages local courts to acknowledge Morality in the Media's turn of the TV Day on February 14. The idea is to turn off the TV and give your family, the best gift - quality time.
I thought this would be a great idea. Then I wondered would one day be enough? I don't just show my husband I love him on Valentine's Day - love and marriage are things that take an everyday commitment. I thought quality family time would be a great thing to give my family for Lent - Having to miss Johnny Fairplay duke it out on Survivor Fans vs All Stars - is sacrifice.
This year, we are giving up TV. Well MOST TV. Joey is four and no TV for 40 days would be hard for him to understand. So he still gets his four favorite PBS shows. Eric and I can still watch the nightly news.
For the next 40 days there will be no Ugly Betty or Survivor. There will be no Looney Tunes or This Old House (Tommy is in love with This Old House) and no History Channel (really how much does one need to know about WWII airplanes - Charles thinks there is never enough information about these things)
Instead, tonight after Ashes and dinner, we are going to sit down and come up with 40 family friendly activities to do instead of watching Tim Gunn (how I love him) saying "Designers make it work." (Please God, if it not too much to ask let Chris March and Christian make it to Fashion Week - please - and keep the writers on strike at least until early March)
and so it begins. No TV but instead an attempt to give my family quality time with each other.
(Eric has added a clause - we have to take a family walk nightly - he's willing to turn off the TV if we go out for a nightly walk - so maybe this will be 40 days with no TV and 40 pounds lighter between the two of us)