Thursday, March 22, 2007

Lent: Total Failure

So we are almost all the way through Lent (30+ days and counting), and it has been a total bust in terms of eating vegan. I started out with great intentions. I went to Trader Joe's and stocked up on key vegan staples like almond milk (because soy milk tastes nasty) and ready-made lentil dishes. I kept Lent for all of two weeks. And not even the whole two weeks; my goal was just to go vegan (maybe + fish in a pinch, since I knew we'd be travelling) on Wednesdays and Fridays, as recommended by the Eastern Diocese, who seems pretty understanding of the annoyances of cutting out all dairy and meat for almost 6 weeks.

The first week was tough, but no problem. Week two, we were travelling to all the cities where my husband got job offers. It just became impossible, although I did make it through both Wednesday and Friday. We would be eating breakfast somewhere where there was nothing but eggs or cereal (no almond milk) on the menu, people were taking us out for every meal to a restaurant where we often had zero input in choosing, there wouldn't be anything close to vegan on the menu, or even + fish (the fish would inevitably have some kind of brown butter sauce), or I would end up eating tofu and edamame, and that's it. I gave up. I thought I would get back into it when we got back from our 2 week trip, but we had to decide what job offer to take, which was incredibly stressful. A high-class problem, I know. But it was really stressful! I just couldn't handle devoting mental energy to both making this decision and also to holding myself back from eating cheese. Or yogurt. Or milk. Or eggs. I just couldn't do it.

Before we got any job offers but after the interviews, every time I would go to church, I would light a candle and say special prayers during Der Voghormia that my husband would get a really good offer in a place where we both would be happy and do well. He ended up with five offers total, which was amazing, and was selected as one of the top seven people on the job market this year (!!!!). He has worked really hard, but God has also blessed us.

While we were travelling, I made a point to visit whatever Armenian church was in town (all but one university have a church within a 30 minute drive). I visited the one in Cambridge MA, and the one in Trumbull CT (the Trumbull church is the friendliest church I have been to, bar none. I am serious!!!! Lots of people came up to us and talked to us afterwards, without us approaching a soul. Very impressive.). It became really clear to me that this decision was going to be hard, so at both churches, I lit candles and said special Der Voghormia prayers that we would make the right decision.

We have settled on a place; we will be heading to the Glendale of the East- Boston MA. Although the department isn't the best department where he had an offer, we think it is the right department in terms of our global happiness as a couple. I will say special prayers this week of thanksgiving, and also pray that we have made the right decision and that our instincts that we will be happy there are correct.

4 comments:

Drucie said...

Awww....don't feel bad. This was a stressful time of year for you. It sounds like your heart was in the right place. I think Lent will be more feasible when you are permanently settled.

I do think you made the right decision about your husband's job -- congratulations! Exciting:-)

re: ready-made lentil meals -- my husband loves these. He buys these Indian ones from TJ's (forget the name but they are in a flat box and are microwaveable.)

Happy Easter (soon) -- I heard this is a rare year when Eastern Orthodox churches are all the same as "regular" (what is the word for that?) Easter.

Sipan said...

Another example of Armenians in America who turn American and fail. Come on, Christ was in the DESERT, did he get a menu? He fasted for 40 days and 40 nights (which can mean that he didn't eat anything at all, or he ate things in the desert.) You can do anything if you put your mind to it. You did your best, and that's great. But you must always push yourself to the limit. This is one of the greatest things in life. Challenging yourself and making yourself stronger and greater.

Astvats Hetut.

Anoushig said...

Alas, I am not as strong as Our Lord.

Janine said...

I'm Armenian, also married to an academic. He's Greek, and if you want to have Lent I recommend the Greek way. All shellfish allowed, plus octopus, etc (animals with exoskeletons basically). I'm watching Greek recipes on TV right now, it's hilarious. There's a wonderful bread you can find in MidEast/Greek shops with tahini or sesame. Greek version of "Today" show also featured plenty of wine, ouzo, etc haha