A couple days ago was Nisf-Shabaan, which means we are exactly half a month away from the start of Ramadan.
I was seriously considering skipping my Ramadan Logs this year. Last year was especially difficult for me for a variety of reasons, but the main one being that I wasn’t proud of the posts I ended up writing every night. They seemed dry and boring to me, and all you writers know that when you can’t find pride in your writing capabilities, the motivation to continue writing basically disappears.
Recently however, a few people have expressed interest in reading my Ramadan Log for this year. My daily blogging this past April also improved my morale, so I think I’m going to give the Ramadan Log another try this year.
This Ramadan is going to be unlike any other I have experienced so far. For the first time ever, I will be working during Ramadan. Way back in elementary school and middle school, I did fast while at school, but since I started working, Ramadan was always during the summer when I had the days off. Now that I have a “real” job, requiring me to be up and paying attention four days a week, my Ramadan schedule is going to be vastly different than it has been the past couple of years.
I’ve gotten so spoiled by having Ramadan during my summer breaks. I could stay up until Fajr, thriving off of the energy from iftar for blogging, praying, and reading Qur’an. I was able to sleep the next day until noon, and sometimes even as late as 3pm, without consequence. I could afford the time of reading Qur’an for ten minutes following each prayer. If something was bothering me and my patience was dwindling, I could just go to my room and be alone until iftar.
Not this year. I’m going to be working, in an environment that is already testing. My schedule is so packed on Mondays and Wednesdays, I don’t know how I’ll be able to keep up with my Qur’an. I’m going to have to be functional and friendly without any caffeine, and lately I’ve turned into a two cups of coffee a day kind of gal.
And then there are the iftars. Remember how I used to go to Tuesday and Sunday lectures? I don’t know how I’ll be able to make it to those and still be able to enjoy iftar while keeping in mind how early I have to be up for work the next day.
My job also requires a lot of driving during the day, because I work at multiple facilities, and you all know me; I’m blasting that K-pop for the whole car ride. The thought of spending all of that time in the car during Ramadan without my music – because I choose to also fast from music during Ramadan – initially seemed daunting, but I thought of a nice alternative. I always have the afterthought goal of revising my recitation of the 30th juz of the Qur’an, so maybe I could replace my music-driving time with listening to the 30th juz every day and reciting along with it. Maybe I’ll finally be able to get my memorization of those surahs back! Maybe. InshaAllah.
So, my goals for these next two weeks: Try to ween myself off of the caffeine. Finalize which English book I will read (my mom gave me the idea of looking into the 99 names of Allah as my supplementary reading). Re-calculate how much Qur’an I will have to read each day keeping my variant work schedule in mind. Start planning now how my mom and I will balance out iftar duty. Figure out a means of listening to the 30th juz in the car.
At the back of my mind, I can already hear the haunting echo of “I hate being an adult,” but I can’t think that way. As difficult as adulting is, Ramadan was not meant to be more or less difficult depending on what age you are. Ramadan is as much of a test for adults as it is for adolescents. My teenager self got Ramadan down. Now it’s time for my adult self to learn a new kind of Ramadan. And I guess that will be the overall test for this month. Learning how to Ramadan while learning how to adult.