4 Ramadhan, 1438
Realised with particular force in the course of the day just how often I reward myself as a matter of routine for getting things done. I was marking essays for IB and decided to divide the day's load into batches of five at a time. Now a batch of five is not exactly easy. It requires effort to remain focused on each script and it's physically tough to keep the body positioned optimally for all five. But, having said that, it's not so terribly difficult once you accept the need to just get the necessary done - and it is very necessary with a deadline looming before the end of the week.
The problem I had turned out to be of the mental rather than the physical variety. After each batch my body demanded a cup of tea as a reward. And, of course, it didn't get that cup, not until after Maghrib, that is. But what struck me each time was the sense that it was a demand being sent out, not a request. And it had a distinctly infantile quality about it. When I didn't get the tea I felt distinctly, pointlessly sulky. And very sorry for myself.
It's a painful truth when you confront the infant within and realise just how often life is based around assuaging its demands. Fasting helps you grow up, just a little bit.