A Holy Time

Before I get going on a rather personal post, let’s throw in some rigtales.

My crew for this job is Harry1, Fergie, and a guy named Dolly. They are actually assigned to MP07 with me. This is “my crew”, along with Daffy Duck. They report to me and I am their manager. Yesterday at meal time, Fergie and Harry1 took bets over whether or not I comb my hair.

“What’s happnen, girlfriend!” – This is how Fergie commonly greets me.

This rig has daily pre-tower safety meetings. Among safety, toilet usage is a common topic in these meetings.

“How many times should you flush the toilet, even if you’re going number one?” -Meeting Leader. The answer is two. Once to function test before you go, and once after, to actually flush…..”If you’re going number two and making a large deposit, flush before the deposit gets too large, and flush again when you’re done.” The meeting leader calls on someone in the back.

“Uh, yes. There is a sign posted saying, ‘do not put foreign object in the toilet. I am English’.” – The English Halliburton hand. 

“Does anyone have any safe work examples?” -Meeting Leader

“Uh… yes. My crew and I made a commitment to each other to monitor our fluid intake, to make sure everyone was staying hydrated. We also made a commitment to monitor each other’s urine…” -The English Halliburton hand, who thinks these meetings are ridiculous.

Tonight begins the holy month of Ramadan. This has always been a special time for me, as it is one of the few traditions I enjoy. I liken it to Christmas time. Even for the non-religious, Christmas always holds some significance. This is my Christmas, and it lasts for about 30 days. I liked this article and all the links are informative, for those of you not familiar with the tradition. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/07/19/157030238/ramadan-begins-at-sundown

How is this a rigtale? It is not yet. Though I called my grandfather from my satellite phone today to wish him a happy holiday. He asked me “Are there Muslims on the rig with you??” Honestly, I am so out of touch with life that I would not have known this event was coming up until I spoke with my mother on the phone today. I have decided to give it a shot and fast, though I will be working and under much stress and pressure. Not to mention it’s July and I am in the Gulf of Mexico.

Fasting means not eating, drinking, or smoking from sun up to sun down- every day, for the duration of the lunar month. It teaches you patience, self restraint, and discipline, qualities which I feel you never really posses unless you practice. You never know you can resist temptation unless you are actively resisting temptation. It forces you to draw your energy from somewhere else. It puts you in a different place, mentally. You do not worry about worldly things. Since food is put out of your mind, and food is the fundamental sustenance of life, other mundane things also take a backseat in your mind. I find I am less stressed about work or school. I am focused on just being. It is a unique feeling.

I grew up in a religiously disciplined family. Sometimes I felt like there is no way I could ever be as devout and committed as my surrounding role models. I asked my grandmother why I felt this way, and if I would ever grow out of it. Though I don’t think I share much in common with my family in the way of faith; her answer has stuck with me since I was seven.

She told me: Everyone has different capacities in this world. Some people stay up all night praying and worshiping, but do not have the capacity to do other things. For example, a teacher contributes so much to society and enriches the lives and minds of young people. This is a form of worship. But a teacher has to be awake and patient all day long. A teacher can not pray and worship through the night. Some people are tremendous athletes, and seem to have an endless physical capacity. They may inspire people and are in a position to influence masses. Sharing their gift with the world is a form of worship. Some people have a hard time fasting. They may be physically incapable, or they do not enjoy it. I have always found that fasting comes easily. It is the best way I know how to worship.

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