A lot of friends and some family members have been asking me lately if I am ready for Ramadan. I don’t know how to answer. First of all I don’t even know what day it starts of. As of 22:10 on Monday 8th July, it starts on Wednesday the 10th. This is just part of the mystery (or confusion depending on what mood you’re in) of the month. It’s dependent on the lunar calendar and so far Muslims across the world haven’t found a way to unite on one calendar. But hey, it looks like it’s Wednesday now, so let’s go with that.
So back to the question:
- Am I ready for a month of constant headaches?
- Am I ready for a month of having a short temperedness?
- Am I ready for a month of bad breath?
Well no, not really. Am I ready for a month of reduced socialising, time outdoors and time with my friends? Again no. With the current heat wave and my natural inclination to go outside at any given moment and eat as much ice cream as possible, I keep asking myself: why am I doing this again?
Because this isn’t about me. This is about making a sacrifice. A month of remembering that it isn’t all about me (no, really). It isn’t all about visiting the latest pop up restaurant or bar but more so about remembering that there are millions of people on this planet who are worse off than I am. It might sound a bit preachy, but it’s easy to get so swept up in day-to-day life that I forget what I’m doing or why I’m doing it.
I’ll get off my soapbox now, but in a very genuine sense I’ve recognised lately that I can get so caught up in my own life and my own career that I forget that I don’t have it all that bad. Yes I work long hours. Yes I hate getting stuck on the tube. Yes I sometimes wonder what the pay off is, but the coming month, I hope, will help to put things into perspective.
In that respect I suppose I am ready for Ramadan. Even if it does bring headaches, short tempers and bad breath with it, it will be worth it. What I’m not ready for is the things I will miss. Namely cycling to work, meeting my friends for dinner and endless cups of tea during the day. Those nearest to me will know I’ve recently gotten into loose leaf tea (it’s a revolution let me tell you), but hey, having to forego these things will make it even more worthwhile when I get to do them again.
So here goes. One more day and then we’re underway. When I first wrote this I thought it started on Tuesday, but now I’ve got a whole extra day to prepare (read: eat) as much as possible.
Wish me luck!