Every now and then I decide I’ve been a wicked sloth monkey. This is a phrase my mother coined that I believe combines all the worst elements of the evil flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz and the deadly sin of Sloth. As far as eating according to the Sunnah, as far as working out, as far as reading Qur’an and praying Fajr and giving an overall damn about my personal and spiritual maintenance- I’ve been a very bad sloth monkey indeed.
I’m still holding on the ten more post-baby pounds, I can’t remember the last time I did a push-up, there’s a layer of dust on my Qur’an so thick that opening The Book may require an archaeological dig… It’s sad, but the good news is, I’m still Captain of the LazyShip Abez, and I say we’re going to change course!
I know, I know, I do this often, and the reassuring this is, it works. Considering how often (hu)man slips up, one should be willing to change course however many times necessary to keep the ship from going into the part of the map that says Thar Be Monsters. One should be willing to take correction, to admit mistakes, and if necessary- to make charts.
I have a tendency to make charts. I have charts from 1996 until 2000 that count the number of prayers missed a day, every day. They are all titled, “Abez Is An Idiot,” but they mean that in a good way, in a gentle way that means that if I miss prayer for anything less than a coma, I’m an idiot. No water? I can do tayummum. No masjid? All of the earth is a place of worship. No time? Generally, honestly, there’s no such thing as no time. How many minutes does it take to say just the Fard- just the basics of prayer? Five? And how long do I spend surfing the net, taste-testing cereal and installing crooked bookshelves in my bedroom? Too Long. If I can just pray first, just pray before I spend an hour and a half realizing I have the wrong drill bit for cement, then I won’t have to suddenly realize (with dust on my hands and an oddly shaped hole in the wall) that I only have ten minutes left until Asr time begins.
I digress. I made a chart. Because I do better with achievable, short-term goals, it is divided into two one-week sections. Each day has a field for Working Out, Reading Quran, and Drinking A litre of Water a Day. The more water you drink, the less hungry you feel, and the easier it is to eat according to what your body needs as compared to what your stomach wants.
Starting today, Monday January 8, as soon as I finish this blog, I have to do 30 min of reading/Qur’an, 30 min of working out, and fill a big water bottle and carry it around with me so I drink from it all day.
Life is an ongoing process, and Self should always be a work in progress. None of us are perfect, but all of us could be better, InshaAllah.