This year for Lent, I’ve decided to give up two things. Late nights, and plastic bags. The two are mutually exclusive, before you ask.

Sunrise at the Smallest Smallholding

For me, Lent used to be about giving up things that I loved, to make me think about how privileged I actually was. But now, I think that’s a bit sanctimonious. Now, it’s more about improving myself and trying to kick bad habits. Yeah. Still a bit sanctimonious. But it’s slightly less about me and a little more about the bigger picture now.

I am terrible for staying up far too late and sleeping badly. With feeding the animals and doing an end-of-day half-arsed clear up, it sometimes takes me over an hour to actually get into bed. I am also fed up of waking up and having that feeling of not wanting to leave my bed for at least another three hours. I also dream of waking early on sun-drenched Spring and Summer days, and pottering in the garden a good two hours before knuckling down to work. Just going to bed early could make that a reality. I aim to be in bed by 10:30pm each night. Already this week I’ve managed to be up easily by 7:30am without feeling like a complete zombie. I have an inkling that it has something to do with readjusted body clock from visiting Abu Dhabi for a few days (work), and the arrival of Spring.

Collecting plastic bags from shops are one of my vices. I am also very good at collecting the various ‘Bag for Life’ offerings from shops and supermarkets, but seldom remember to actually take them out with me again. We keep our disposable plastic shopping bags for collecting recycling, picking out cat poos from the tray (glamorous), and always try to reuse them before putting them into the recycling bin (minus the cat poo). But it’s a very bad habit, it goes against my green ethos and I need to make myself get into the habit of taking my ‘permanent’ shopping bags out with me every time I step out the door. Mainly because we are very disorganised and find ourselves popping into Waitrose several times a week because we haven’t really planned any meals. Keeping a bag in the car should help, but as of yesterday, getting a plastic bag from the supermarket or any other retailer is banned. Reusable hemp or cotton bags all the way!

Have you given up anything for Lent? Or do you think it’s an outdated idea?


  1. I’ve given up sweet things and salty snacks, which always makes me feel so much better. Also this year I’m being vegan as well, with my eldest boy. Well done on giving up plastic bags, And the early nights are a really good idea, I could use a few myself.

  2. I don’t do lent but I’ll join you in trying to give up late nights and plastic bags!
    I have so many cloth bags…..I just never have one at the checkout when I need it!

    And spring mornings are so beautiful, all crisp clean light and birdsong…but it’s hard to appreciate when you stayed up til three reading blogs and game of thrones books!

    • I hear you… I have devoured three books in about a week and a half (I had a couple of days off work where the weather was a little rubbish and I could indulge in a book or two). Sometimes it’s really hard to tear yourself away from the pages when you’ve been reading for hours on end already!

  3. solgabrien says:

    interesting that you ask if lent is outdated, given that it is a christian custom and most christians observe it, then, no it’s not. i’m Roman Catholic and have given up sugary foods, but also helping the poor is very important at this time. I don’t understand the reasoning behind non christians giving something up at lent, as it commerorates the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert.

    • I see your overall point, but it’s also worth noting on your last point that I’ve never actually discussed my religious beliefs on my blog before.

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