Ramadan 0 comments on Ramazan 2021 – Day 1

Ramazan 2021 – Day 1

Every year’s Ramazan (using the Turkish spelling) brings with it so many emotions. An anxiousness to reflect. A sense of doom. An optimism about the month ahead. But I think most of all a reminder of connectedness with something larger than myself.

The hours are finally reaching a point of not being physically destructive. After 25 years of experimenting I’ve finally figured out the best foods. And so as I down my first peanut butter, banana, and mom’s homemade strawberry jam, I’m focusing this year on three goals:

(1) Spend purposeful time in reflection and forcing myself to both write down and confront those reflections.

(2) No angry and negative thoughts about the people around me.

(3) Maintain an exercise regimen – no matter how simple – to invest in mind, soul, and body. But not in a way that would leave me worse off for trying.

My hope is that I can really unlock what this last year has done to me, and find the good and the bad and the growth.

But first I’m going to chug down another 20 Oz of water before the threads of the sun come over the edges of the horizon.

Good luck to everyone and may Allah accept your fast.

Ramadan, Uncategorized 0 comments on Another Ramadan ends

Another Ramadan ends

Someone saw the new crescent moon somewhere in the Muslim world tonight, and so another Ramadan has come to an end.

I finally figured out how to do it right from a food perspective. It’s very important to eat the right kind of meals. At Iftar I’ve tried to eat foods that are easy to digest. Nothing processed. Barely ate out at restaurants where there would be lots of sauce, and high sodium in the food.

I then had a stated goal of drinking 8 cups of water in that tiny bit of time between sunset and sunrise. The hours to eat are really starting to reduce. The days when I did this, the next day was easy. On the days that I didn’t…

For sahoor, I was a hipster to the end. Yogurt every day. Fruit everyday. Bran cereal of some sort. Turkey and cheese sandwich. It was super filling, but still super light.

Making sure that you do the food right is a huge element of how you experience the month. It’s not supposed to be painful, but contemplative. At least I’ve always said so. And this month was a good one for me.

But that will be good for another post

Ramadan, Uncategorized 0 comments on Making sense of the illogical

Making sense of the illogical

We had 7 men at our soccer match today. Let’s say 6 because I’m fasting and I’m not 100%. Let’s say 5 because our goalie got kicked in the knee 20 minutes into the first half, and ended up giving up some goals he wouldn’t have otherwise. Actually, let’s go all the way down to 4 because one of our two middies got kicked in the ankle late in the second half as we were pressing again to effectively guarantee we were insane for playing.

They started with eight, and were up to 10 players before the twenty minute mark of the first half. We had a 4-0 lead with 5 minutes to go in the first half, and then they scored on a totally unfortunate clear attempt. We went into halftime 4-1 feeling really good. We knew we’d gotten lucky, and that they’d had a bunch of chances, but we really felt like we could make a go for it.

They made a very good adjustment at halftime. They started overloading the backside, and started crossing early. This forced us to overload the backside as well… not a big deal. Since we were down men, I chose to instead keep someone always as a center back, and to instead have the folks on the ball side be much more aggressive. As in, if you’re the left back, then attack the ball. I shift to become the left back, and the right back becomes the center back clearing up the balls in the air. On paper, it’s exactly what we needed to do, but in practice we just broke down.

I just don’t know what happened…

I couldn’t clear a ball to a white shirt to save my life. That led to 3 of their goals. We had a goalie/defender interchange error. That led to one goal. I just feel as if I lost the game today. It would be easy to blame the 10 guys that didn’t show up, or the fact that I’m fasting or a million other things, but in the second half I just didn’t execute.

The amazing thing is that I genuinely in my heart believed that 7 on 10, we had a chance. Next time…

Ramadan, Uncategorized 0 comments on It isn’t supposed to make sense

It isn’t supposed to make sense

Forever is a really long time.

To really make forever with anyone work, there is a lot of give and take. Parents, siblings, lovers, children, friends… It’s a lot of people with whom you are both consciously and subconsciously compromising.

There are incredibly silly things that are just resolved in the course of feeling each other out. What should the default radio station be in the car. Who cares whether it’s NPR or the local top-twenty station. Just figure it out, and move on.

Then there’s the next tier, which is where one starts to change because the compromise isn’t something one would naturally choose, but the specific relationship is worth it. As an example, I hate talking on the phone, absolutely hate it, but I have a lot of friends who don’t use technology like I do, and so to stay in their lives I call them. More likely they call me, but I take the call, which I just… I hate the telephone. Actually, note to self… I should find my iPhone ear buds because that was the one saving grace.

Back to the topic at hand. The change oneself tier is penultimate to the remain true to oneself tier. At some point, one has to be oneself, and any relationship which changes that core is actually a destructive one. If you find that you need to change something which is at someone’s core, then just don’t have a relationship with that person.

I know the missionaries out there disagree, but I feel as if re-writing an individual’s core is like programming them to be a different person just so that it suits you better.

The ironic bit of it is that the line between the change oneself tier and the true to oneself tier is undefined, and undefinable. It’s also ever changing, and difficult to nail down. Very Heizenberg in nature in that sense. And just like the partially understood electrons in Heizenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, the opposite party in the relationship can try to nail down an understanding or meaning or logic to why your core is the way it is, but at some degree that’s one’s secret sauce to cultivate, develop and share as one sees fit.

Why people are this way isn’t supposed to make sense, and that’s the leap of faith we take when we commit ourselves to true lifelong relationships.

Making sense of “it” is a mistake.

Discovering “it” is the purpose of the journey.