I was reading my past pre-Ramadan posts (only because they appeared in my feed) and noticed a common trend that has yet to change: 1) not having done any real prep before the month is to begin and 2) missing my family.
One thing that has changed is that this year, so far, I’ve done a pretty good job of not over-eating either at suhoor (pre-dawn meal) or at iftar (breaking of the fast). This is largely because with the exception of yesterday, Mr. Rafia and I have been breaking our fasts at home and intentionally so. Remember: I don’t cook; and during Ramadan, this is actually a good thing! I’ve just been baking lots of veggies and you know what? It’s more than enough. We can survive without meat and fried foods! Crazy, eh? Even yesterday, at the masjid iftar, I did not overfill my plate like I usually would. I feel like I took food like a normal woman would. And yet, even that was too much because I had trouble sleeping last night.
I feel like an old woman.
Not only because what I eat directly affects my sleep (that never used to happen before), but also because my left calf (I was just musing to Mr. Rafia this morning: think about it, cows are the only animal to also share a name with an important human body part. What does that tell you?) has been sore since I woke up with two leg cramps in the middle of the night sometime last week. I never could sit on the ground for too long, even as a young’un. But I used to think it was because I was big. Now, I think it’s because my age is getting to me.
Oh well, it’s inevitable.
But it is different.
I’m making pretty good on what I feel are very basic Ramadan goals. I still feel a bit of unease over the whole “you need to have an elaborate plan and stick to it” messages that come my way, because let’s face it: while Ramadan is indeed a month full of blessings and miracles, I ain’t no superhuman. Physical fatigue is a real thing that I cannot forget. Not being properly hydrated that one time in 2012 landed me in the hospital (sure, it was outside of Ramadan, but I was attempting to make-up my Ramadan fasts, albeit during a very stressful time in my life). I’d rather make small changes that I can consistently commit to. Not comparing my life to others is the hardest thing though. It’s harder than perhaps doing more voluntary acts of worship. The physical always is easier than the mental/spiritual, in my opinion.
So, for the rest of Ramadan, in addition to doing the basic voluntary acts of worship I’m doing, that’s the thing I really want to transform about myself: not look at what others are doing and feel like my life pales in comparison. We can never know the inner lives of people, especially when we see a curated version of their external lives. For me, I have to remind myself of my blessings whenever I get in that state. I will not be sharing that in my blog because even that to me reeks of a sense of riya’ (showing off). Keeping it to myself and with Allah (swt), therein I feel I will find the cure.
More next week, God-willing. Maybe I can do like a weekly Ramadan blog check-in? Knowing me though, we’ll see :)