Not so holy: How did your Lent go?

March has been a busy month — all the more so because I’ve been getting ready for what I’m calling “Crazy April.”

Monday morning, bright and early, I’m headed to the airport so I can travel to Cincinnati and represent Today’s Catholic Teacher magazine at the NCEA convention and help host a banquet for the Innovations in Catholic Education Awards.

(Related: I had to buy a fancy dress. And shoes that, I hope, will allow me to stand for the better part of the day on a trade-show floor and walk a few blocks each way to the hotel. Tendonitis in both feet and an old stress fracture in one isn’t a good combination when this is on the agenda.)

After four days of travel this week, I’ll have about 10 days at home before I drive to Worcester, MA, for editorial meetings for the magazine.

So I’ve been prescheduling as much content as I can at and, working on final edits for the coming summer issue, and, well, generally neglecting things around the house. On Wednesday it occurred to me that while I’d finished most of the work projects, I had no Easter-basket treats for my family and no idea what I’d be serving for Easter Sunday dinner.

Meanwhile, in the course of my routine correspondence with the authors I work with in both of my jobs, I’ve been getting some variation on the theme of, “How was your Lent?” I’ve even been editing articles along that line.

When you work in Catholic media, you can’t help being bombarded, this time of year, with recaps of people’s holy Lents. And, well, my Lent hasn’t been so very holy. It’s not that I’m not keeping my eyes on my own paper, so much that other people’s papers are being shoved right under my eyes in the course of my job.

I bought this beautiful Lenten spiritual workbook, Above All, from Take Up and Read. I haven’t touched it in weeks. If I’ve completed 1/5 of it, that’s a lot. I just haven’t made the time.

I did manage to give up espresso beverages … whoop-de-do.

But honestly, it’s all been about time management. I love the work I get to do: I have terrific and supportive colleagues at both my jobs, and the writers I work with are wonderful. I call many of them my friends, and I look forward to meeting several more of them this summer at the Catholic Writers Guild Conference. My problem is, in an occupation where there is always new content to prepare, I can get swamped under that and let it spill over into the time I should be allotting for other things.

So I’m packing my copy of When the Timer Dings, and a blank bullet journal, into my tote bag for the airplane trip. I find that when I’m in a different place, I can get out of my head and think more creatively. I have some daydreaming to do about my goals and wishes for next year’s magazines, but I need to do some daydreaming about the way I manage my time (or, more accurately, don’t manage it.)

Lent this year just hasn’t been so holy. Beating myself up about it isn’t going to help. So while the business trips I’m taking this April are taking me way out of my comfort zone (and my comfortable sweatpants) I’m beginning to feel grateful for the opportunity to reboot the way I schedule my work.

After all, Lent isn’t the only season of the liturgical year in which you can grow in holiness. Maybe with improved time management, I’ll be better able to nurture my spiritual life during the Easter season and beyond.

How did your Lent go? If it wasn’t so holy, what can you do about that during the Easter season?

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Copyright 2018 Barb Szyszkiewicz
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8 thoughts on “Not so holy: How did your Lent go?

  1. “After all, Lent isn’t the only season of the liturgical year in which you can grow in holiness.” I love this! My Lent was somewhat similar. Not much to report culminating in a slew of minor inconveniences during Holy Week. But it’s Easter, and we begin again! Thanks for linking up!

    • That Holy Week stuff you’re talking about is what I’d chalk up to spiritual attack. My mess is my own stupid fault. I hope everyone’s feeling better at your house now and I do love that the kids made the little guy an Easter egg hunt at home. So sweet!

  2. My Lent has not been great, either. I had high expectations as I do every year, but I failed God & myself. I am trying to re-focus this week beginning with the Divine Mercy Novena and a bus trip to the shrine in Stockbridge, MA.

  3. I hear ya! I meant to give up snacks, desserts, chocolate–and failed to make it 40 days on all accounts. I was going set aside more time to pray every day–and that was another fail. I do not feel like this was a very holy Lent for me. I don’t remember ever being this weak in sticking to my Lenten sacrifices. I’m going to try to make up for it by denying myself things from time to time throughout the year. And I could always use more prayer time!!

    I have been to one of the CWG conferences (in 2013, I think) and would love to go to another one someday.

    • Thanks for visiting, Laura! It’s good to know I’m not alone.

      My very first CWG Conference was 2013. I hope you’ll come to another one soon (maybe even this year! It’ll be in Lancaster, PA).

      • I would love to attend another one. I really enjoyed that conference in Somerset, NJ. I used to be a CWG member but have let my membership lapse.

        I’m not writing as much these days! I’m so busy helping our grown kids with their children; we moved from NH to VA to be near them. So I don’t know if I could even manage a getaway like that. But one of these days I’d like to try. 🙂

  4. Thanks for your honesty, Barb. I can relate, especially to not getting very far in “Above All.” It didn’t speak to me as much as their Advent journal did, so I lost momentum … And overall, I just didn’t have a lot to give or give up. I didn’t even try to hold my kids accountable. Ugh. Thankfully, you are right. Lent isn’t the only season in which to grow in holiness. Perhaps the power and joy of the Resurrection will ignite a new spark for me.

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