I’m not normally so candid in my blogs but I’m quite happy to admit that I’ve been three years celibate today! The most intimate I’ve been with a man in the last 36 months has been in the squashed conditions of a Peruvian bus.
This wasn’t an active choice; it just so happens that I haven’t met any men during that time who I’ve wanted to have a relationship with. And that’s no bad thing. Wasn’t it one of Shakespeare’s characters in Twelfth Night who said “Journeys end when lovers meet”? Well, I don’t want my journey to end for a few years yet, so a lack of lovers must be a good thing.
|It's difficult not to be gluttonous when treats like these are on offer.|
However, just because the sin of lust has passed me by that doesn’t mean I haven’t indulged in some of the others. Gluttony, for example, is my constant companion. It’s a miracle that I’ve lost weight since I came to live in Peru as I’m sure I eat more here than I ever have before. That being said, research tells me that living at altitude burns many more calories than living at sea level and experts recommend that more than 70% of your daily calorie intake is carbohydrates, so my physical location has much to do with controlling the results of my gluttony.
As for greed … well, I think I’ve successfully managed to shed my ‘excessive or rapacious desire for wealth and possessions’. Moving from the four-bedroom house I shared with my ex-husband to a 50-square-metre apartment forced me to discard many belongings and, though it took a little getting used to, I actually found it liberating not to have so many possessions. As the quote, by some unknown wise person, goes ‘Letting go isn’t the end of the world; it’s the beginning of a new life’, and so it has been for me. And now that I’m wandering the world, I carry very few possessions with me.
Sloth is another sin I battle with. Though I pride myself on being a hard worker and I know I can accomplish a huge amount when I put my mind to it, I am sometimes inclined to indolence. At least I am aware of my failing and try to close my ears to that siren’s call.
|A good place to be idle!|
And so to pride. Do I have a ‘high or inordinate opinion of [my] own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority’? That’s a difficult question to answer. I am proud of what I have achieved in my life but not of all I have done. But am I excessively proud? I hope not. As the old proverb goes, ‘pride goes before a fall’, and I have a great fear of falling. Hopefully, that fear will prevent me becoming too proud.
The sixth on the list of deadly sins is wrath. Though I am slow to anger, once aroused my anger can take on a life of its own and is a scary thing to behold. Borrowing from Steinbeck, I try to starve my grapes of wrath of the sustenance that would make them grow heavy for the vintage as I am aware they produce a poisonous brew.
|No green-eyed monster here|
Last but not least is envy, the green-eyed monster. Do I covet the success or advantages or possessions of others? Most of the time, no. I am grateful for what life has given me, grateful for my health, grateful for my friends and family, grateful for every day I’m alive. I agree with what Jean Vanier said about this particular sin: ‘Envy comes from people’s ignorance of, or lack of belief in, their own gifts.’ I am grateful for the gifts I have been given.