Okay…mmmhh, this is awkward.
I had three blog posts drafted, waiting to be polished and then BAM! I got nothing. I can’t post any of them anymore. Because of the current political climate, they’re suddenly outdated and potentially risky to share. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing controversial in there. They’re the same old info/advice/reflections on personal experiences but the thing is, I can’t publish them now without addressing or clarifying some issues. As much as I would like to do that…I can’t. So that’s that. You’d think as a writer I’d be used to material becoming redundant but nope, it still hurts.
Irrespective of all the planning and goal setting, each Ramadan adds something different to our experiences. No two Ramadans are the same as we’re constantly growing and renewing our efforts.
The last time I remember a Ramadan where so much was happening and when the need for prayers was so great was Ramadan 2014. Like many of you, I too will never forget that Ramadan nor those images plastered across social media: I felt like a corpse unable to benefit anyone. Ramadan 2015 will always be memorable in its own way as it was my first Ramadan with my husband and in-laws. And then there was Ramadan 2011 – the one I think was the best Ramadan of my life. I find myself wishing I could recreate it every year and I’m always aiming to ‘make this year half as good as 2011’.
Whenever this blessed month is due, I feel anxious and seriously doubt my ability to fast for a whole month (does that happen to anyone else? No? Just me then). It never used to be this way but the length of fasts combined with the heat of the summer causes me several anxiety attacks. But then, as if by magic, everything is fine and I am more productive than ever in Ramadan. Now I know what you’re thinking, clearly you’re not that productive if you haven’t even updated your blog but nuh-uh, that’s where you’re wrong. Just because I don’t write on here, it doesn’t mean I don’t write at all.
In Ramadan 2014, I began a Ramadan journal in which I noted down some of my reflections, kept track of memorisation of surahs and prayers, and noted down key points from the podcasts I would listen to. Ironically, I forgot all about it after I got married later that year *facepalm*. This year though, I dug it out and continued writing. If you don’t journal I suggest you try it out, especially during Ramadan. When I look back at my Ramadan journal now, I realise those reflections and lessons have really stuck with me and I appreciate how the month changed me.
What will I remember about this Ramadan? Well, definitely all the chaos but perhaps also the calm of fasting in a Muslim country.
I will remember the first iftar of this month: we were invited by the lovely Eileen who many of you will know from social media (Eslimah). It was the perfect start to Ramadan here, we enjoyed the company of others and I know if we had stayed at home we probably would’ve missed home. Since then, we have enjoyed regular iftars with our Doha family, even if Hubby does wind me up and make me want to strangle him in front of the guests (hehe).
I will also remember that this Ramadan, I am able to rest and recharge. The shorter working hours are great, I still have to complete the same amount of work as I normally would but as I am able to have several naps through the day, I feel rested. I am not killing myself, I am not running myself into the ground like I have done for the past two years, and that, my friends, is why you should try to spend at least one Ramadan of your life in a Muslim country.
I know I will remember the laughing fits Hubby and I have at Sehri time, courtesy of all his comic ramblings. See below:
Me: Did you soak the almonds?
H: *speaks gibberish*
H: Ignore me, I thwear there’s thumthin wrong with my brain.
H: You’re so annoying.
Me: ‘You’re thaw annoying.’
H: I DO NOT TALK LIKE THAT!
H: Shall I take the kitchen out?
Me: Err, yeah because it’s time for its walk.
Me: What shall I title this blog? Ramadan from a girl’s perspective? Sounds a bit predictable.
H: No! *makes that bujo face as if struck by a genius idea* Ramadan Kareeeeeeeem!
Me: We’re half way through Ramadan…?
And my favourite one –
H: Man, we should totally grow our own margarine from now on.
What will you remember most about Ramadan 2017? Share it with me in the comments below. 🙂