Yes. I know, Lent started 5 days ago on Feb. 22 (Ash Wednesday), BUT, I’ve spent the past few days pondering what I would focus on this Lent. I’m late, but I finally have a plan. Traditionally, Lent has 3 components – Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving. Prayer and Fasting are relatively easy for me since I’ve basically followed the same routine for many years:
PRAYER – Continue my morning prayer but add deciding how I’m going to do the Alms part each day.
FASTING – Don’t eat sweets except on Sundays. Skip lunch on Fridays. These are a small taste of being in solidarity with the poor plus they prompt me to remember to do the Alms part.
ALMSGIVING – This is new each year and harder to define since it isn’t just about giving money but more about giving my time. Part 1 is that I plan to resume tutoring at a local city school.
Part 2 is harder to define but involves trying to simplify the clutter and chaos that still lingers around my home so that I can donate more stuff and clear my mind of searching for stuff hanging around my cluttered desk. This is the hard part so I’ve spent the last 5 days procrastinating and clarifying my plan for the remaining 35 days of Lent.

Starting today, Feb. 27, I commit to:
1. A Room A Day
Spend at least 15 minutes a day reviewing a room or closet and choosing things to donate, recycle, or discard. If I include bathrooms, closets, and the garage that’s 15 spaces. That means I can do the circuit twice and still have one “grace day” a week to account for illness, hectic days, or forgetting.😊. Of course that 15 minutes could expand to an hour once I get on a roll.

2. Reorganize/Prune Paper in my Office
Spend at least 15 minutes a day dealing with paper. Right now I have too many piles of paper around my desk. Some in neat piles, others on the floor waiting to be organized. I also have:
– 2 filing cabinets filled with files
– 4 crates of binders
– 4 bookcases packed with books
– Slots for 24 different newsletters
– a case full of supplies for talks
– miscellaneous office supplies hidden under an unused ping pong table

All of these need to be pruned so I can find things more easily and let go of stuff that are unlikely I will ever need to refer to again. (Of course unless I do ) Again, I may extend my 15 minutes but I figure I’ll never start if I don’t commit to the initial goal of at least 15 minutes. After all, that’s how I accumulated the existing piles that came under my “I’ll clean this up tomorrow” mantra.
I’ve done this kind of pruning before but apparently it is a never-ending process. Besides, what am I going to do if some visitor decides they want to play ping pong.

PS: I just “spent some time” with a friend and told her of my “paper pruning” goal. She suggested scanning many of the papers and filing them in the cloud. It would still take some organizing, but it would free up a lot of file cabinet space. Hmmm…

PPS: Readers, you may be well into your Lenten practices, but if you’re still looking for ways to sacrifice your time and decide to try pruning paper, let me know how it goes.