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An Athiests Guide to Ramadan: Day 9

Yaztromo (655250) writes | more than 6 years ago

User Journal 1

Well, I've survived through eight full days of my first Ramadan, and so far I've maintained the fast. So this is a quick status report.

First off: I'm freaking hungry! Please, oh please, someone send me some food!

Well, I've survived through eight full days of my first Ramadan, and so far I've maintained the fast. So this is a quick status report.

First off: I'm freaking hungry! Please, oh please, someone send me some food!

Okay -- that's not exactly fair or accurate. Indeed, our home is chock-full of food right now. The problem right now is that we spend 14 hours not eating or drinking any of it, so most food items are lasting longer than they would otherwise. We have two meals a day -- dinner (which is now at about 1920), and "breakfast" (at around 0430, and really should be renamed from "breakfast" to "gobble-up-all-you-can-cause-the-fast-starts-...now!"). We snack almost constantly in the evening, but because of the fast (no energy during the day or evening (until the first food is mostly digested), and the need to get up early the next day), Gigi likes to go to bed early. So this snacking doesn't last all that long.

Most days I either feel like I'm seriously hungry, or like I'm going to be sick. One morning I felt I was close enough to tossing all my cookies that I stayed in the bathroom for at least half an hour until the urge subsided. And on the days that I don't feel sick, I feel like I'm unable to work on anything requiring any significant concentration (which has been a problem, as I'm supposed to have been working on two papers these past 10 days, one of which is only now 95% complete (and it was at least 85% complete before Ramadan even started), and the other of which I haven't even started. The teaching is working out fine (fortunately) -- in fact it's usually the two times during the daylight hours in the week that I feel my best (as my mind is sufficiently occupied I forget about how hungry or crappy I'm feeling).

Fortunately, my difficulties with Ramadan and the fast haven't affected Gigi and my relationship at all -- even though she's always telling me I should stop the fast, and that I don't have to do it, I know that she's glad we can do it together. Which is really the whole reason why I'm doing this in the first place.

Fortunately (and unfortunately) Gigi is going away to the mainland on a training source all next week. It's unfortunate because I'm going to miss her every moment she's away (and I know she will too), but it's fortunate because I can eat again. There really isn't a whole lot of reason for me to continue while she isn't here.

However, at this point I haven't quite decided wheter I should give up or not. I'm not the type of person to give up on hard things just because it's convenient to do so, and while Gigi tells me she knows I'm not that sort of person, I want her to see it for herself. Still, I need to get some serious work done toward finishing this Masters degree, and being able to take the quiet time when she's not here to concentrate at my fullest to finish off my survey paper (which is written, but I want to improve the conclusion and my use of references in the text), and writing up a new proposal paper (more on this in a future Journal entry) -- and being well fed is integral to thinking clearly and being able to concentrate on the task at hand. So at this point it boils down to whether my practical side or my stubborn side wins out.

Fortunately, for five of the days of the week nobody cares if I sleep in past noon. If Gigi didn't already know better, I'd have to invent some sort of fake Canadian festival/holiday where you're supposed to pull down your pants and slide on a frozen lake in the middle of winter, as a form of revenge ;).

Yaz.

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Concentration while fasting (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 6 years ago | (#20698605)

First of congratulations on making it 1/3rd of the way through. Secondly, until you did this, I never noticed before the congruency between Judaism's High Holy Days (10 days of fasting and atonement, ending today with Yom Kippur) and Ramadan.

You wrote: I feel like I'm unable to work on anything requiring any significant concentration

What you don't likely understand because of your atheism, is that this is actually the entire point of fasting. Or rather, the science and biology behind the practice. By depriving yourself of food, by depriving your brain of sugar to be exact, you open your mind up to a lack of ability to concentrate, which gives you the ability to notice things you wouldn't otherwise notice. Like the smell of bread from three rooms away, or more importantly from a religious point of view, those small, subjective experiences which are the feeling of God's presence.
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