Last year I observed Lent for the first time in my life.
I gave up alcohol for the six weeks.
I had been getting a bit too fond of wine, and was drinking it with most evening meals. I was straying over the weekly recommended alcohol intake for men.
Apart from anything else, such as liver damage, it was causing me to put on weight. My ability to enjoy a meal without wine was diminishing.
Also, I had never thought much about the Christian rituals, let alone observed them. I would probably have dismissed them as nonsense.
As I get older, however, I am increasingly interested in the Judeo-Christian culture into which hundreds of millions of us have been lucky enough to be born.
Going off wine for Lent was one of the best things I have done.
Now I find it much easier to go without alcohol. Since last Easter, I have tried to consume it no more than two days a week.
When I do have wine with a meal now, it is more of a treat than before and I savour it.
Observing Lent has also caused me to be more mindful of Easter, and its story. Previously, I was only interested in the fact that it was a holiday in my favourite season, spring.
I am back off wine again until mid April.
• Ben Lowry (@BenLowry2) is News Letter deputy editor