ChocolateShrove Tuesday, Pancake Day, Mardis Gras, whatever you want to call it, it heralds the start of Lent for many Christian denominations. During Lent observers give up something they consider to be a vice or a luxury for the 40 days and 40 nights leading up to Easter Sunday, as a form of penitence.

My Mum always took us to church as kids and my sister and I always give something up for Lent. This year I have given up chocolate, but also cake… and biscuits… and lollies… and desserts, otherwise I just substitute one for the other – especially when Mr Miner’s away. (I have previously given up alcohol for lent, but I have a camping trip with Mr Miner and his friends coming up and drinking will be a necessity!)

Apologies for my over-simplified version of Lent, but the point I’m trying to make is that, it’s a period where you give something up as a bit of a punishment. You go without something you really like, or enjoy, and understand what it’s like to go without, at least to a small extent. Sounds like something else I can think of!

As well as going without, it also makes you realise that your chosen vice is a luxury that you’re lucky to have and once you have it again, you appreciate it more. Similarly with FIFO, having time without your partner can be hard, but it can make you appreciate them more when they’re back too. And not only do I miss Mr Miner almost as much as I miss chocolate, there are other similarities to be drawn between Lent and FIFO too.

At first I miss chocolate, the velvety smoothness, body temperature melting point and sugary sweetness (oh nom, nom). I constantly think about it because I’m telling myself I can’t have it. When I walk into Coles, all I can see at the moment is the chocolate aisle. It’s also a bit of a test, because I forget that I can’t have it and then suddenly remember – usually just as I accept a lovely slice of cake and I’m about to take a bite.

In the same way, when Mr Miner first leaves, I forget he’s not there. I always think of things I want to tell him when I get home and then remember that I’ll have to text him or wait until he gets off work/wakes up to call him.

Then, after a few days, I slowly start getting used to going without and it’s not so bad. I find substitutes, like frozen banana and cocoa instead of chocolate ice cream, or hanging out with friends instead of him and there are always distractions, I keep myself busy and put my energy into something else (such as searching Pinterest for substitutes to ice cream and convincing myself that they are in fact a substitute and not just frozen fruit).

And once I’ve reached that halfway point, I can start planning for when I can have it again, what I will do with it, how much I will have and how good it will be. Get your mind out of the gutter please! I’m talking about the chocolate here obviously, this is a Christian post!

Finally, Easter day comes and I’m allowed to indulge again and of course I binge, I go overboard, I have it for breakfast and lunch and dinner, until I can’t have any more. Just like FIFO, the first 24 hours are brilliant and I can’t get enough of Mr Miner, but it’s definitely possible to have too much of a good thing!

And for a few days afterwards, I always feel naughty every time I have it, like I’m doing something wrong. It’s such a treat and time without makes me really appreciate having it back in my life – and the chocolate isn’t too bad either!