Ann Hayes works in CAFOD’s Clifton Office. This Lent, she has challenged herself to cut out using the snooze button on her alarm clock.
The first two weeks of my Lenten challenge had been going surprisingly well, I was feeling pretty pleased with myself. But the real test was looming on the horizon: would I be able to get up at 5.30 to make it to Flame 2?
For Lent, I have chosen to give up pressing snooze on my alarm. This is a pretty big challenge for me as I am a serial snoozer, often snoozing for 45 minutes before dragging myself out of bed and running around the house to get ready on time! I had plenty of tips from family and friends on how to make sure I got up in the morning, from sleeping with the curtains open, to drinking a pint of water as soon as I wake up, but actually apart from feeling pretty awful for the first few days, willpower has really been helping me get through.
And what a joy it is to get up earlier in the morning! It gives me time to get a sensible breakfast, chat to my housemates, and relax whilst getting ready for work. I’m lucky to be able to take a few quiet moments eating my breakfast and looking out into our beautiful garden, and even in these few weeks it’s been great to see Spring arriving. I’ve also taken the opportunity to pray every morning, thanking God for my day, and reflecting with the CAFOD Lent Calendar.
This weekend, however, I was faced with a real challenge. I was accompanying some of Clifton Diocese’s CAFOD Young Leaders to Flame 2, a CYMFed event for young Catholics at Wembley Arena. In order to get there on time, I needed to wake up at 5.30! The night before I was pretty nervous and my plans to get an early night were ruined. And so 5.30 arrived, and the beeping of my alarm with it, and for a moment I rolled over in my bed. But by some miracle (and I’m still wondering how) I managed to resist snoozing, clambered out of bed, and got ready for a great day with CAFOD’s young leaders.
I was not disappointed! It was a wonderful and inspiring day, hearing from Cardinal Tagle about how to show love and mercy to others, finding out about the CAFOD Gappers’ experiences in Nicaragua and Zimbabwe, and meeting lots of young Catholics and CAFOD supporters. And the day was made even better by the fact that I managed to keep my Lent promise!
The last 20 days have been a challenge, and 7am is always a moment I feel like giving up, but I’ve been so glad I’ve been able to stick to it so far. It’s given me a renewed appreciation for all the gifts God has given us, and I’m taking this opportunity during Lent to thank God for every new day, rather than wishing it will wait just five more minutes!
How are your Lenten challenges going? What did you decide to cut out or double up? Tell us in the comments box below or talk to us on twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram by tagging @CAFOD. Read about what other CAFOD members of staff are cutting out and doubling up this Lent and find out how they’re getting on in this video: