So, for me, Lent starts today. I had no understanding of Lent before I started working with The Big Read 2010, aside it was something for which people gave something up, and I’m more keen on the idea of taking something up than giving up.
It was 2-3 years ago that I gave up supermarket shopping for Lent (as in any of the big supermarkets) – which has had a long term impact on my shopping habits, and caused me to find more interesting places to shop, and has meant that rather than mindlessly buying random food as I wander round Tesco, I have a better range of food. I did go on several big shops when first I came to Durham from the excitement of having a kitchen all to myself, but that is getting clear now, so can soon start experimenting with more fun foods and new recipes!
Last year I tried to do #notbusy, the basis of was sit still for 10 minutes and do nothing – those of you who know me will know that this is not an easy thing for me .. so this year I’m glad to be able to combine with poem-prayers each day from Stephen Cherry. This is the bit that stood out for me from today’s poem ‘Love‘:
Worthless the effort,
worthless the strain,
worthless the travel,
worthless the cross,
without your love.
Ironically, I say I find it hard to do ‘nothing’, but I have slept for around 15 hours out of the last 24, and I think am almost ready for bed again!
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014; second edition in process) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.