To be honest, I wasn’t tremendously excited about last month’s challenge. I thought it would be too difficult to fast the entire month of Ramadan and drain my (already low due to a not-so-great-sleeping toddler) energy levels. It would mean I have to get up another time at night to have my suhoor meal, the meal right before the fast starts. And how would I get my runs in? Go to places? Be a patient and loving mom to Maria? And wasn’t it more prudent to eat and drink regularly as a breastfeeding mom?
I came up with a hundred excuses as to why it was not a good idea. And guess what? I ended up fasting not a single day. My June Fasting Challenge became my first complete failure of the year.
Despite all the excuses that crossed my mind, I know that the real issue was a lack of motivation. Muslims all over the world fast the entire period in much more difficult circumstances: longer days in the northern hemisphere, hotter days in other parts of the world. Some have to do tough physical work while fasting; others live in war zones. Had really wanted to, I would have made it happen.
Perhaps, I must admit, this June Fasting Challenge was just a last attempt to gain the motivation I was looking for. I had been thinking whether I was going to fast this year or not for a while, and I hoped writing it down here for the whole world to read would give me the accountability needed. I was wrong. Even before the month started on June 7 I realized it was not a realistic challenge. I did want to fast out of solidarity with Ahmed, but he made it clear I didn’t need to (and shouldn’t) do it for him.
So there it is. There is not much more to add, except that the motivation I lacked for this challenge, the more excited I am about this month’s challenge. To start off right, I did a little Loving-Kindness meditation on the first day, which I would like to repeat a few times this month. Plus I made an effort to avoid negative conversations. And lastly, I didn’t rebuke myself for devouring way too many pieces of chocolate and half a jar of peanut butter while procrastinating writing this blog. Oops…
Featured image: Two waiters in traditional Hijazi (West Saudi Arabian) clothes serving belilah, a yummy snack of chickpeas, pickles, cumin, and vinegar.