Eid Mubarak everyone!
It’s been about three weeks since my last entry and I have to say, this is the first time in weeks since Ramadhan started do I feel better about myself. It’s not to say I was feeling particularly low – but no, as I’ve discovered over the years, Ramadhan does not agree with me very well and I usually spend Ramadhan being very sickly.
Ramadhan is over now, and it means I’m heading back to ruddy health. During this year’s session at the mosque, the Imam spoke about how in Ramadhan, we are actively and explicitly denying ourselves from God’s bounties to actually appreciate what he actually does give us. It made me think that even my health was the result of His bounty and goodness to me, and that during Eid, I am very grateful for being able to wake up and not feel like an elephant is sitting on my chest.
Of course, you can argue that why on earth would I be subjecting myself to such pain in the first place – but I like Ramadhan! I like the communal spirit, I like not having to think about lunch, I like the peace and quiet that comes with it. I like the challenge, trying to cleanse yourself from temptation and the celebration after. It’s a break from the year’s mundane activities – it’s a time of reflection and Eid feels like the New Year’s when it does happen after a month of waking up early, restraining yourself from eating and drinking.
But I have to be aware that I’m not supposed to fast if it kills me – and this year was the first year I contemplated on giving it up completely, fasting once every two days or so. It’s disappointing but well, no point fasting if you end up in hospital. But I do wonder if Eid will be just as exciting if I cut down on my efforts during Ramadhan.
This year’s Eid was, to use the overused term in technology, a game-changer. Being married meant splitting our time between two families. It was tough because both Eizwan and I are stubborn people and we want to spend time with our families but I think we managed about okay. I do like having more people to visit, even if it meant being a little more exhausted. And this year, as bonus, Hani is back, so we were family over Eid and plus one. So this year, was rounds of merrymaking, overeating, fits of giggles and more family.
To think I thought Eid was for little kids – but no, I’ve learnt over the years is that Eid is what you make of it. We have experimented over the years, to do without the silly fairy lights, the Raya cards, the traditional foods – but it was all wrong. No, Eid is still about the gluttony, the overeating to please the hosts of the homes you go to, although your beautiful clothes are bursting at the seams and the silly fairy lights.
This year I had it all – the silly fairy lights, the misshapen cookies that I baked, a small Iftar at my place whereby nosebleeds and severe allergies were induced (sigh!), the new baju raya (new clothes for Eid morning) from a tailor I’m losing patience with, the getting lost on the way to a relative’s house (damn you, Garmin!), stressing my poor heart with cholesterol consumed from various red meats and parts of a cow I didn’t know you could eat. But I ate anyway.
It’s Monday today, and all the celebrations have calmed down somewhat. Most people will be on leave for the rest of the week and really, we’re in Malaysia and the party goes on one month long. I’m enjoying the quiet but I am starting to feel that it’s time to get a move on. I had 3 months to adjust to a new life and a new home. Eid feels a lot like a brand new year for most people and it most certainly does for me. Now it’s time to start running again.