I have given up wine, which I love, for lent. In fact, I've given up all alcohol. Also adding sugar or salt to anything I consume. This doesn't make me a hero, in fact the people around me think I'm a fool. Maybe I am. But I've also become aware of the incredible benefits - on many, many levels - of self denial. To accomplish my dreams, albeit simple, unpretentious dreams, I need backbone. Backbone comes from self denial, especially in a world of instant gratification. Easy come, easy go. And because I live in a world where miracles coming true is my reality.