I got ashes today for the first time. I've wanted to for years, having always been fascinated by everyone walking around with dark smudges on their forehead proclaiming "I am a Christian" (at least for today). Last year to my embarrassment I totally missed Ash Wednesday, having just got back from vacation, so this year I was determined not to. I didn't have time to go to a full service during the work day, and tonight was my group training which I cannot afford to miss just now, so I found a catholic church near my last patient that was giving out ashes from 3:00 to 3:30, and went. After everyone got their ashes, we all said the Lord's Prayer, and went back out into the world.
I noticed for the rest of the day I was more careful about how I acted and spoke, with the ashes on my forehead. Sweated most of them off though during the group run, as it was almost 70 degrees and raining in Central Park.
I decided not to go too crazy during lent this year, as I am already giving up clothes shopping for the year, and fasting would be difficult with the triathlon training. So I will just try to eat more healthy, and give up alcohol. I'll only really feel that during my book club, and St Patrick's Day (Pat had some nerve being born during Lent!), but it will be a good detox from my England trip.
I bought a lent devotional book at Durham Cathedral, and did the first part today. It has a scripture, devotion, prayer, and journal space for all forty days. And I might type up any profound journal entries here.
No clothes shopping is going well, though am only into second month and have not really started to feel it yet. All I bought in January was the one pair of thin running tights (that I was very grateful for tonite!). Didn't even buy a tee-shirt at LOTR. (Got the hairy toes hobbit mug instead)
Having just bought a new car, there will not be much shopping of any sort, at least for awhile. I think I will use my next Amazon GC to get Pirates III. And I still need a little gear for the bike - flat tire kit and saddle bag. And the scary tri-shorts. Otherwise, I'm good to go.
*rubs sore feet* Well, maybe tomorrow...