Yes, Ramadan has finished, but I will complete posting my notes about my experience.
(These are just my rough notes that I jot down throughout the day. Tense is not consistent. Edits are minor.)
Alarm went off at 6:00*, but I didn’t want to get up. I was tired. Thinking about Obligation versus Choice. It was my choice to not get up and suffer the consequences (I would go without breakfast). Thought about how my observation of Ramadan, in its clumsy way, was a result of my own choice. My religion did not demand it; so I could do it as clumsily and failingly as possible and not feel guilt. Not showing much self-mastery about other areas of my life. Maybe I need to consider fasting the internet/fb during daylight hours . . .? I miss breakfast food. Generally eat something simple, even leftovers from the night before. Sometimes I forget to see the kids get breakfast. Fractured family meals. Went to the Pioneer Day celebration. There was food and ice cold water. I didn’t have any. The kids played games and we all swam. They had a good time. We brought friends home with us; we’re meeting up with their family later at a multi-cultural folk arts event tonight. Got home late.
So tired so I slept in this morning. When I got up the clock said 7:24—too late for suhoor. Which is fine; done that before. Lazy morning. Kids ate breakfast. Church today. I brought my list of names [99 names of God] to church to study during the quiet of the sacrament. Played piano for Primary [children's Sunday School]. Had RS ["Relief Society"--Church women's meeting] make announcement about the iftar this upcoming Saturday night [MEX, Muslim Expatriate Network was set to host a Ramadan iftar (evening meal)]. Home to relax. Made dinner (spaghetti) for the kids. Still had an hour and a half before I could break my fast, so I sat with the kids, while they ate, and read 2 more chapters from Huckleberry Finn. After their dinner I took my nap for the day. Woke up and looked at the clock, which said something like 7:26, so I could eat. The kids were done eating and wanted me to play with them, especially the youngest. I tried to explain that I hadn’t eaten yet and that she needed to let me eat. So we modified the game to take place at the dinner table: I was the young daughter and she was the mother, teaching me to color in the coloring book and helping me trace the letters with my finger. Posted the Saturday iftar event to [a Singapore fb group] to see if there were any takers. Got a couple of responses, so it looks like I won’t be going alone. Kids are watching a movie. Stayed up too late.
Got up at 6:30* and spent some time with my list of names and my prayer beads reviewing the last 20 names of God. Ate suhoor. Went grocery shopping with 8-year-old daughter for our mommy-daughter date. Video-chatted with extended family in Utah while my husband is there visiting on business. Now we have nothing on the schedule and we’re bored already. This is the first day when I have really, really been tempted to eat in the middle of the day. I even have been preparing a justification in the event that I do eat. Trying to stay strong. Kids took a break from watching a movie to work on a mega-fort-bed. Everyone is laughing. So it’s good. I’m reading other articles online about Mormons and Ramadan. I’m starting to really like dates [in this context I mean the fruit]. Fort-bed-building. Kids had dinner. I had dinner later, but didn’t feel alone because, argh, the youngest was taking nearly 2 hours to eat (no joke). Rough-housing between the older two ended with tears and a serious-ish injury. Boy, it took some real self-control to not yell, etc. I cringed in anger and quietly asked one to retreat to the bedroom and then I tended to the injured party. I snuggled with the one child for awhile. Then I snuggled with the other for awhile. Apologies, sweet, teary moments between the two of them. They helped each other do each other’s table and dishes chores and now they’re all snuggled together in Mommy and Daddy’s bed. I don’t know if the children feel it, but I do feel like I have been exercising more self-control. I held my tongue. I have been responding more gently and calmly to tantrums and challenges. That feels good. Time for unwinding and snacks. Been staying up extra late some nights to connect with husband in Utah. [Singapore is currently 14 hours ahead of Utah, so timing communication is a very conscious effort.]
*I thought that the morning meal was to be eaten before the sun crested the horizon. I later learned that the morning meal should have been eaten before there was even a faint lightening of the sky.