Routines for Life

By Yohanna Abdullah
I woke up from a restless sleep full of dreams this morning at 8 am, missing my Subh (sunrise) prayers. Yesterday I had slept early at night, missing my medications and my Ishak (night) prayers, intending to wake up early before dawn to do it. Feeling a little anxious when I jumped out of my bed for not following my routine obligations, I did my dhuha (mid-morning) prayers to calm my mood and return serenity back to mind. I had my coffee fix and felt my senses awakened as the caffeine coursed through my veins.
Too hot to go for my morning walk, I pledged to do my daily walk in the evening and bring my grandniece and my grandnephew to the playground. I am so excited to see them. Anyway,  alhamdulillah (praises be to God) I have kept to my resolution to commit to my half-an-hour briskwalking every day (well, give and take half an hour and maybe not so brisk as my left calve tends to feel tight and tense, perhaps through skipping stretching at the beginning of the exercise). It has been more than a week and that is a big deal for someone like me who for many years had not been taking fitness seriously. I think what counts more is the regularity of a routine no matter how small or insignificant it seems.
That is why, as muslims, we do our level best to perform our five daily prayers and add on more prayers too, when we can. I have yet to qatam (finished reading the entire Quran in Arabic) although I have completed reading the English versions at least twice before. But my new year resolution for 2020 is to complete reading this holy book, in Arabic and in Malay. I started small with just one page a day and now it is just two pages a day. Yet, I have made progress that I have not ever accomplished before. Now, I am at Chapter 5 (Al-Maidah) and I feel so pleased and encouraged.
I am relating my experiences because I want to share that to achieve our bigger goals, it starts with smaller goals, which we slowly expand day by day. The most important thing is to be regular. This is of course nothing new, but to emphasize to myself that I can achieve anything I want (top of my mind on my health goals are managing diabetes and bipolar disorder) with prayers and consistent action. It is one thing to talk about solutions but is another thing to walk the talk.

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