I always struggle to find something I can give up for Lent that’s worthwhile but isn’t going to make me thoroughly miserable. I’ve given up alcohol twice for Lent, and while I didn’t have much difficulty sticking to it, I did I find I was very stressed and grumpy. So this year, I’ve decided to give up being grumpy. I’ve been dabbling with this since the beginning of the year, and tried to have days when I’m only allowed to think positive thoughts. It’s surprisingly effective when you force yourself to be positive no matter what, rather than giving in to the temptation to shout at someone (or something – usually my computer), swear (under your breath or in real life) or just let yourself get annoyed by things that really don’t matter (screaming kids on trains is my particular favourite).
So here’s the deal. I’m going to try to maintain a positive frame of mind for the next 40 days (I’ll try not to be grumpy on Easter Day either!). Every time I find myself saying bad things about anyone, complaining or generally being grumpy, I’ll be putting 50p in a pot and after Easter it’ll get donated to charity. If you like, you can bet on how much money you think I’ll raise 🙂 My aim is to be under £5, which means less than 1 grumpy outburst every 4 days. According to the rules (which I get to make), reasoned debate is not grumpiness – I’m entitled to argue a point of view as long as it’s rational. I can also state negative opinions, e.g. “I don’t think that’s a good idea” as long as it’s a rational argument. I am also allowed to make a grumpy face if I so wish (mainly because it never ceases to make me laugh).
I’ll be letting you know how I get on (in case anyone cares). I think it’ll be an interesting psychological experiment.