Chai and Concerts in the New Year

Around noon today I'm going to roll over to Starbucks and buy a grande soy chai with a shot of sugar free vanilla. And then I'm going to drink it very slowly.

I know you're probably like, "Why the heck should I care if you go to Starbucks and get a chai at noon? What's the big deal about that?"

No, I'm not trying to do my patriotic duty by trying to help Starbuck's bottom line. Despite the recession, (that may or may not officially be happening depending on who you're talking to) I have a firm belief that Starbucks is still making plenty of moolah. They don't need my sympathy. So the real reason I'm so psyched about this chai in the afternoon scenario is that I'm celebrating the fact that today is Baha'i New Year (Also known as Naw Ruz) and that means it's the end of the Baha'i Fast! Yee-haw!

Yes, for the past 19 days, I haven't been eating or drinking anything between sunrise and sunset. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. No food, no water and no chai all day long. I meant to blog about fasting while I was doing it and I found I just couldn't. Every post started out with, "I'm really hungry. I'd like to eat ____ (insert ANY food) right now." And then I'd start listing out all the stuff I wanted to eat. Really, the best way for me to get through the days was to not think about it at all and to keep myself busy doing/writing about other things.

As the days went by though, it did get easier. Your stomach shrinks a lot so even though you think you're going to eat a ton of food in the morning before sunrise or in the evening after sunset, you quickly realize that you're stuffing yourself and you'll feel like you overate. Plus, it becomes apparent that the Baha'i Fast is not really about food. It's ultimately about sacrifice and spiritual development.

Our society is one where instant gratification is the norm. We can revert to that sort of childish behavior where we think we should have what we want when we want it, no matter what. And then we wonder why we have such huge problems with addictions of all kinds: food, alcohol, drugs, shopping, gossip, political bickering, and on and on. So the Fast (like Ramadan, Lent and Yom Kippur) is a time to step back from all the selfishness we surround ourselves with.

It really is a good thing to ask myself whether I can really resist the temptation of the chocolate my son is waving in front of me. Who's in control of the decisions I make about my life? Am I in control or is fleeting desire for something really in charge?

Yes, those are great questions to ponder, but today, I'll ponder while eating lunch and drinking some chai!

And, to start the Baha'i New Year off right, I'm going to a show tonight!

I'm going to go see Guy, Tony Toni Tone, Al B. Sure!, After 7 and Johnny Gill. Whoo hoo! This concert is going to be RIDICULOUS! There are going to be some folks throwing their backs out trying to get their new jack swing on again! I seriously think my husband might pass out and lose his mind during Guy's performance. As for me, I just want to see if Al B. Sure is still hot, and I am a huge fan of Tony Toni Tone. I really want to hear them perform this one:


Gosh, I love that song. If they don't sing that tonight I might throw something at the stage -- all of which just goes to show that I probably should have prayed and meditated a bit more during the Fast because clearly, I have learned nothing!

Comments

1969 said…
That concert is going to be HOT!!!!
Tell Al B I said hi. :)

And you have truly earned your Chai latte. Enjoy it!!!!
Jameil said…
there's no way they won't sing that song!! lmao @ Every post started out with, "I'm really hungry. I'd like to eat ____ (insert ANY food) right now." you saw my fry posts!! just pitiful! lol. i know that chai was good, wasn't it?? lol. just 36 hours man. 36 hours. ahhhhhh.
Liz Dwyer said…
1969,
I'm sooo ready for this show! Whoo hoo! We have great seats so I'll be able to see Al up close. I heard that Charlie Wilson is replacing Aaron Hall for Guy so that should be VERY interesting to hear Charlie, last name Wilson, singing "Let's Chill"!

Jameil,
at points I was so hungry that I'd smell meat cooking and would want to eat it. I was all, "Ooh, that carne asada looks awesome!" And then the kids would go, "Aren't you a vegetarian, mommy?"

It seriously was the best tasting chai I ever had! And I just rolled through Mickey D's and got some fries too. 36 hours, almost finished! YAY!
Anonymous said…
Wow, I'm impressed! A 19 day fast must really make you think about consumerism and greed and all that and adopt a more mature attitude towards it. I don't think I could manage a 19 day fast myself. I think I'd just fade away, I'm thin enough already. I tried a brown rice only fast once but I practically collapsed on the fifth day and had to start eating properly again.
Liz Dwyer said…
Nick,
It definitely does make me think about all the stuff that's marketed at us and that we're told we need, and the reality is we don't need as much as we think! I find it also makes me have to eat a VERY healthy breakfast so that I can keep going throughout the day. Junk food consumption pretty much evaporated because food really does become about energy.

Folks always ask me if I lose a ton of weight while I'm fasting and I don't. Only about three pounds -- and I think I put those back on today with the french fry consumption!
Toni Campbell said…
Happy New Year!! Be careful at that concert. Doing "The Wop" so soon after breaking a fast might leave you a little lightheaded!!
Happy New Year!

That concert is going to be FUN. I so remember doing the Wop to Guy's "I Like"
Liz Dwyer said…
Toni,
I am sooo ready to do the wop!!! After downing my chai and fries, I keep forgetting I get to eat! But I'm going to dinner beforehand so I won't be too faint.

Monday's Child,
Thank you! It is a very happy day today!

NYC/CR,
Thanks for the New Year greetings!!! I can't wait to hear that song! Gosh, there's so many I am looking forward to hearing. This is going to be such a fab show. Or rather, I hope it lives up to my very grand expectations!
Jen said…
Happy New Year! And enjoy the concert - it sounds amazing!
Unknown said…
Extremely jealous!
I want a full report!
Sundry said…
Thanks for posting post-fast. I enjoyed your thoughts on the subject.
I have friends who fast for Ramadan but haven't known anyone to fast for Baha'i. Do you get to eat that amazing soup in the evening? I love the Ramadan soup - it's amazing.

I think it's wonderful that you support your beliefs with your actions - although it's not too surprising as you're pretty wonderful.

Happy New Year!
Ingrid said…
So tell us...was Al B. still hot or not so hot? Did you have to break out the O2 for your hubby? P.S. I'm still jealous;-p
Tafari said…
That fast sounds intense as hell & happy to hear that you made it through successfully & sorry of if I taunted you with my food posts.

That concert sounds good minus Johnny Gil. & TTT is the bomb, I would go see them anytime & possible scream like a bitch if one of my jams came on. LOL

Hope you had a great time!

Bygbaby
I've never had much luck with fasting. It makes me hungry.

Enjoy the concert!
Liz Dwyer said…
Jen,
It was REALLY something! I meant to write about it all day today but it was SO hot today that I had to go outside and get sunburned. :(

IANSJ,
Yes ma'am! Full report coming soon!

Sundry,
Every year it seems like it's going to last forever, but then, poof, it's all done! Can't believe it was only two days ago that I was doing it.

Claudia,
Thanks for the New Year wishes! You're so nice to say I'm wonderful too. :) But, what's the soup? Not sure what it is. I ate potato soup one night but other than that, no soup!

Ingrid,
Al B. Sure... still sort of hot. And he can sing now!

Bygbaby,
It is pretty intense, but the first few days are the hardest. And then the darn time change was killing me. When sunset got after 7:00, I thought I was going to die. But you get used to it.

Johnny Gill was redeemed by Bobby Brown and Ricky Bell jumping on stage with him. And TTT -- sooo pissed that they have a fake Raphael Saadiq. Not cool.

Heart,
At times all I could think about was food. I'd walk by the taqueria down the hill, smell grilling meat and want to eat it! Total ridiculousness!
Tafari said…
"a fake Raphael Saadiq" oh hell no!
Anonymous said…
Great concert line up - I'm more than just a bit jealous.

Have a ball!

I've fasted for Ramadan (apologies for possible misspelling) to see if i could do it and it was great for me - I learned that a little hunger isn't the end of the world and that I don't need to satisfy every urge.
Liz Dwyer said…
Bygbaby,
As fake as them come! Poor boy looked like he knows he doesn't measure up!

Jali,
That's cool that you tried doing some of Ramadan. Learning that you can do without as much "stuff" or food as you think you need is always a good lesson. As hard as it is, I'm glad I did it!
Here's a link to Harira: http://www.superluminal.com/cookbook/soup_harira.html The soup is supposed to give you all the nutrients you need. It's really good - next ramadan ask for it at your local middle eastern restaurant. They have it but don't serve it openly.
Liz Dwyer said…
Claudia,
Oh neat! Thanks so much for sharing the link to it. I'll have to check this out.

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