Fasting Journal, Days 7 – 12
I was on such a good roll with the Fast. Then, even though I should have known it was coming, I was surprised by my period starting on Day 7. Women “in their courses” are exempted from fasting. I thought I’d keep fasting anyway, since it was going so well, but halfway through that seventh day I decided to take the exemption. It’s there for a reason, after all.
So I had a break from fasting for four days. And though I’d love to say that I stayed totally focused on my spiritual development during that time, I actually spent a good chunk of it eating chocolate, watching BBC’s “North and South,” and trying squelch my impure thoughts about the main male character, Mr. Thornton. (Oh my. Did I just say that out loud?) Somebody please watch that show and commiserate with me here. I haven’t had such a teen-like crush on a movie character since I can remember.
Lord have mercy. I could stare at this picture all day.
Despite that momentary lapse, I have pretty much gotten a hold of myself regarding Mr. Thornton. And I’m back to fasting. The dumb time change happened in the middle of my break, so that’s made it a little harder. The sun sets around 7:00pm now, which makes timing dinner kind of awkward. And since Mother Nature decided March 14 would be a good day for summer to start in Chicago, we’ve been outdoors a lot, so I’m a bit more drained than I normally would be by the end of the day.
But it’s all good.
Part of what I’ve recognized through this past week is that things don’t stay smooth sailing for long. If life had continued the way it had gone during the first six days, the Fast would have been a breeze. But life happens. Menstruation happens. Time changes happen. Summer in March happens (not usually in Chicago, but we’re going with it). Distractions like Mr. Thornton happen. And though I joke (sort of) about his serious loveliness, it really was a distraction from what I’m trying to do during this fasting period.
But those kinds of detours and distractions are always there. Staying focused isn’t easy. But it doesn’t make sense to dwell when you get off track. Dwelling just holds you in one place and prevents forward movement.
So I’m looking more closely at the idea of going with the flow. Rolling with the punches. Acknowledging road bumps and detours, but then letting them pass and getting back on track. Accepting that things do not always go as planned or desired. Making the most of the circumstances you are in at the moment.
These are actually things I’m fairly good at already, but I don’t always accept as valuable. I tend to beat myself up for getting off track (though it happens often) or not being as focused as I’d like (though the nature of life with children makes sustained focus a virtual impossibility).
Flexibility is a virtue. Then again, so is self-discipline. Right now I’m working on striking an internal balance between the two. 🙂