I'm a firm believer that Lent, the forty days between Ash Wednesday and Easter, should not be a time of suffering, pain, and sadness. Regular life can already have enough challenges (especially in the dreariness of winter) without feeling like you need to suffer to be closer to God. I see God in my relationships with others, so I will work on strengthening those. Changing my approach to Lent completely changes my feelings about Ash Wednesday from a slight dread to a slight happiness (it is still Ash Wednesday after all).
If you recognize Lent, what do you do for the forty days?