What does time mean to me?

Ramadan: "I only now understand what renunciation actually means"

The last night was horror, I woke up well before sunrise and couldn't sleep anymore. Then I drank water and smoked one. And now I'm dead tired.

Every year you think: "That was the most difficult year," this year too. And especially when you work, it's hard. I run a kiosk with my husband and have two children. Many people who can divide it up sleep a lot during Ramadan during the day. Then the fasting hours will shrink! But I have to get up at six o'clock, take the children to school and then go to the store.

What is really hardest for me: not to smoke. I can handle eating less, but I count the hours until sunset and the first cigarette. Or stop the second if, like today, I was up too early and could smoke one before sunrise. This renunciation strikes me particularly well when driving a car. People drive like crazy and then another cyclist stupidly crosses the street, I am so stressed and want to just smoke after the ride.

I'm the only one in the family who has fasted the whole time. I don't fast my children during the week, otherwise they won't be able to concentrate in school. If you want on the weekend, you can join. My husband has not fasted at all in recent years, but this year he has now and then on weekends. He was then at home all day watching movies or praying. He didn't dare go out into the street for fear that it would be too strenuous! But I'm used to that. The body gets used to the change relatively quickly, even if it is tough at first, but after a week or two at the latest I have more energy than usual and notice what my body can actually do. My skin gets better with time too.

I think if my grandfather hadn't made fasting so much fun for me as a child, I wouldn't love it so much today. My parents didn't fast and didn't want me to do it when I was in school, but I was so proud of it that I often just did it in secret. My grandfather taught me how to do it in a playful way, and initially as a "child fast", so only until noon. And today I look forward to seeing her like a child before Lent begins.

If it weren't for a pandemic, the whole family would get together for the Sugar Festival today. Uncles, aunts, cousins, we would be 30 to 35 people. Mostly one celebrates with the elders, in our case with my parents. That is canceled this year. I will go to my parents during the day, then my brother will come to them afterwards. It is of course sad that we cannot really celebrate again this year. Normally, at the sugar festival, family members give presents to the children and last year it was already said: "Hey, Mama, we hardly got any money this year!" But at home there will be a nice meal for four.

When the month is over, I say: Oh, that was easy. Like every year!