I heard Krista Tippett, host of NPR's "Speaking of Faith," describe Lent not as a time of "giving up" but of "making space." My personal feelings toward the idea of giving something up for Lent have likely become clear to my readers. I don't see self-abnegation as a proper act of thanksgiving and praise of a loving God.
But I do see the wisdom of making space. The busier life gets, the more I can come to appreciate time taken to go for a run, to make music, or simply to relax and enjoy the company of friends and family. Ironically, taking a break can make us more productive. Adding another item to our weekly schedule can make the rest seem easier and better. That's why giving up an hour of life for a Lenten service can be a joy, rather than a burden. That's even why I think giving up candy to replace it with a vegetable can be a wise choice. We aren't simply giving up something we like; we are replacing it with something better for us.
There aren't many days of Lent remaining, of course, but the idea of making space in our lives for prayer, music, and church should be with us all year. Can you give up an evening for choir rehearsal? Or can you simply give up 10 minutes of sleeping in on Sunday morning for fellowship before church, and prayer during the offering? That would be the kind of giving up and making space that I can understand!