Sunday, August 30, 2009

Not Good at This

Well, I have to confess. I'm not doing very well at my Ramadan fasting this year. Ramadan is observed by fasting while the sun is up. You can get up early and eat breakfast before the sun comes up, and you can eat dinner after the sun goes down. I set my alarm so I can eat breakfast.

Yesterday, when my alarm tweedled, I shut it off and meant to lie there a few minutes so my son would fall back to sleep. I fell back asleep myself. I jumped up at 6:40, after the sun had come up. I tried not eating when this happened the first year. It was too hard. It meant that my focus all day was on my hunger, instead of all the things I had to do.

If I've eaten in the morning, I still notice not eating, and I remember that I'm doing this so I'll think (and talk and write) about the wars the U.S. government is waging in Iraq and Afghanistan. But that awareness can come and go, and can fit in with all my other responsibilities.

So. I decided the sensible thing to do was to eat a quick breakfast, and then fast for the rest of the day. OK once (for me, not for Muslims). But then today... I couldn't sleep last night and got up at 4am. I'm browsing on the internet, and when my alarm tweedles I'm surprised it's already 6am. I finish typing a sentence, and then... What?! How did I forget to get out of this chair?! It's 6:40 once again. I made myself breakfast again, and will do what I did yesterday.

But I can hardly say I'm fasting for Ramadan if I keep eating my breakfast after the sun has come up.

I can tell you I've never been good at following rules. Not even my own. But I did this fast for each of the past 3 years, and never messed up two mornings in a row. What's different? The first thing is that my days have less structure. I'm on sabbatical, working from home. That also means I see and talk with adults less. The other difference is our president. Do I feel less urgency because I like the man who is ultimately in charge? U.S. soldiers are still killing innocent people. Why would I feel any less urgency?

How can I make sure I really wake up when I need to tomorrow morning? I guess setting a second alarm would help. OK, done.

I feel like I still need to think about this. Guess I'll call my friend Sandy. I think better in conversation than alone.

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