Dear Lent: Please Don’t Give Up Just Yet
Yesterday the piles of pancakes have been flung to and fro. Pancake Day has officially come and gone. A delicious day also recognised as Shrove Tuesday, Mardis Gras, Fastnacht or Carnival depending on your whereabouts. This carb loading Christian ritual has particularly strong roots in the UK, Ireland, Australia and Canada but is yet to take off in Germany. Rest assured however, the aftermath is not always pretty. Only traces of Nutella, syrup and sugar remain post-pancake phenomenon. Not to mention the bitter sweet aftertaste of regret. That sweet sugary hangover can really outstay its welcome.
And now lent is upon us already.
And now lent is upon us already. Will you give up chocolate again? A second chance to kick-start that healthy eating regime you didn’t quite manage at New Years. Or will it be a dry Lent? Perhaps Dry January didn’t go so well either. Another opportunity to give something up, the majority of us taking this chance to channel healthy living again, like the year before and the year before that.
But why give up, when you could take up?
But why give up, when you could take up? Albeit a far cry from Lent’s original expectations, there is much more room for free interpretation regarding the 40 days and 40 nights these days. So why not continue to embrace the concept of self-improvement but from a different angle. Take up something new for the next 40 days instead. Berlin is definitely not short of ideas. Whether it’s a new sport, a new language or a new daily routine, you might discover a new passion. Who knows? Save up your Euros, dust off your bike and pedal into one of Berlin’s many cycle lanes. Or does the thought of two wheeling your way to work make you shiver already? Travel in comfort on the s-bahn and worm your way into a book as you commute instead. (A year’s library membership is a bargain at just 10 EUR!) Give back to Berlin and try your hand at one good deed per day. Perhaps support that talented homeless guy who manages to sing on, despite the grey gloom. Pick up your pen and get involved in your surrounding hub of creativity. Write a travel journal. Write a diary. Write snail mail. You won’t be short of a desk or coffee with so many cosy cafés to choose from.
For me, it was a no brainer. I’m planning on learning at least one new German word each day. It’s time to break through that linguistic brick wall. Too easy you say? Realistic, achievable and endurable, I say! I reckon the positive benefits of taking up could significantly outweigh those of giving up. Plus, who wants to be a giver-upper?
By Alice Higgins