Part of series: A Year of Lents

The Half-Year of Lents

Jernej Furman @ Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

~500 words

Published:

Last modified: January 9th, 12,023 HE

As with my other major year-long project, this one was also disrupted into oblivion by my decision to uproot my entire life and go travelling for a year, amongst other things. In the end I only made it as far as May.

April: Ramadan

Though I went into this year with the intention of fasting for Ramadan properly, I pretty quickly made an exception for water due to physical activities I was doing. Realising that I was just doing the same thing as last year and deciding I was unlikely to gain much from a repeat of the experience, my fasting efforts ended up petering out around the middle of the month.

May: News

Somewhat following on from my previous YouTube fast, I decided to try to avoid news consumption as much as possible for May. This turned out to be pretty easy: I spent two weeks of the month on a residential training course with limited mobile data, and then I took off before the end of the month to ride a stupid little motorcycle around Scotland.

The results of this news fast were entirely positive. There is nothing healthy about trying to follow the news cycle, but it’s only when you consciously step outside of it for a while that you realise how little of it actually amounts to anything.

I have ended up carrying this one on for most of the rest of the year, unsubscribing from all of my UK news feeds before leaving the country and leaving only a handful of general world news sources (none of whom seem to think much of interest has happened in the UK since this summer).

I learnt about the Queen dying from a friend, I learnt about Liz Truss becoming Prime Minister from a BBC article about the Queen dying and I learnt about Liz Truss tanking the pound from my bank statement whilst I was in Europe.

I have no plans to go back to regular news consumption.

After May

At this point I hit an obstacle: I ran out of ideas. The only things that came to mind were giving up sleeping in a bed for a month, which I decided would be a step too weird to explain to people whilst I was travellng, and to give up buying anything for a month, which seemed like a logistical nightmare.

So the project fizzled out at mid-year, which perhaps demonstrates the limits of appropriateness for the idea as a whole: it worked when I was comfortable, in a routine that I was looking to disrupt, but then fell apart as soon as I was facing varied situations and taking any comforts as I found them.