Ramadan Log Day 23: Adapting

It’s hard to tell if the difficulties I’m having this month are actual issues in my life that I need to deal with or if it is just a result of the fasting and after Ramadan things will fizzle down and be bearable again.

Working is really tough for me. Props to all you dads who work full time for years on end without “summer breaks” and you moms who literally never leave your work of raising a child even for a second, and you superhuman beings who somehow do both work and kids and manage not to have a breakdown every five minutes. I only work a maximum of 20 hours a week, and I feel like I’m drowning.

But then again, I can’t tell if this is me not digging the whole regular job thing or if it’s just the fasting.

I still have that feeling that I’m not being productive with the time I have in this precious month. I had a scary thought today that this may very well be the last Ramadan I experience in my life, and I feel like I just let the whole month go by. One of the things weighing down on my mind these past few days is that I went the whole month without changing. Yes, I’ve read Qur’an and developed a closer relationship with Allah through reading some of his 99 names, but the amount of ibadah that I have done is much lower than what I have done in previous years. I feel like I’ve gone backwards in a way, and that is not a nice feeling to have as you leave what is supposed to be a transformative month.

At the same time, I also remember a conversation I had with my aunt last week in which she told me how being a wife and a mom has really limited the amount of private worship and prayer that she has been able to do. When I was talking to her, I remembered that Allah is The Just, and he would never put anyone at an unfair advantage than another simply due to responsibilities beyond their control. Moms don’t have time to sit for long periods of time with the Qur’an, but through taking care of their kids and home they are still earning favor from Allah.

With that in mind, I realize that while I may not have the hours in the day to do the same kind of worship I have done in the past, that doesn’t mean I don’t still have the opportunity to worship. Sure, I can’t dedicate the time to read 12 pages of Qur’an after each prayer due to my work schedule, but I can find ways to find God through my work. Maybe I can find ways to give my clients the best, most beneficial service that I can offer them in the time I have with them this week. I can be a more courteous driver while commuting to and from work rather than the impatient driver I have sadly turned into. I can push myself to efficiently do my work in a way that eases the workload of others around me. With the intention to use my abilities to improve the situations of others for the sake of God, maybe I can still have that enriching last ten days.

It still doesn’t feel like enough to me, but this may also be a matter of venturing away from what is familiar and trying to adapt to a new stage in life.

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#AtoZChallenge Day 26: Zenith

Z is for Zenith

Z.jpg

Zenith:

The point on the celestial sphere vertically above a given position or observer.

It got to a point where I had to do a google search of “words that start with z” because I had absolutely no idea what to write about for the last day of the A to Z Challenge. Then I found this word, and I wondered…what would someone at my zenith see if they looked down?

What if this someone was following me for the past few years, looking down and watching me? Seeing where I started and how I got to where I am today.

From up there, I feel like I’m unrecognizable.

Five years ago, they would see a timid girl never straying from her comfort zone, unsure of what she wanted to do with her life and no idea how to get to said “life.”

Now, they would see an emerging adult, embracing her role as the authority in charge when put in the right situation, venturing into unfamiliar territory that prior she would deem as too scary, and making strides in developing a career. Even though five posts ago I talked about how much uncertainty there is in my life, I at least now have solid aspirations.

So much of my growth I attribute to my internship and subsequent job. Through working in a nursing home with severely disabled clients, I finally learned how to appropriately talk to strangers. I can talk to adults now and not feel like a kid. I can see someone I’ve never met and give them a genuine smile. We still have a ways to go when it comes to asserting myself, but I have definitely come a long way in my interpersonal skills. And I am quickly learning that interpersonal skills have equal or greater value to education and qualifications in the professional world.

The best part about it all is that the being at my zenith is Allah, and he isn’t just an observer. He’s been with me through it all, watched me grow, and made it happen. When things start to get uncertain, I may feel frustrated or disoriented or angry, but never alone. Because I know that He has helped me get to this point, and He will continue to stay with me and help me grow even more.