This week has truly been a trying one. Daylight savings time. National Montessori consultant evaluating my classroom. Suggestions from said consultant working, but making it feel like the first week of teaching again (a.k.a. exhausting). Joe's catalytic converter stolen for the fourth time. Getting up an hour early to drive Joe to the park and ride while his truck is in the shop (a.k.a. exhausting). Finding out my school is being sold (a.k.a. don't know what's going to happen next).
By Friday night, my last meal of the work week, I was tired. In every way a person can be tired.
Joe took me all the way to D.C. Friday night for two reasons: 1. To borrow some tools from work, and 2. To introduce me to Teaism . He was so excited. After a hard week where his personal property was violated for the fourth time (I've rarely seen him so vulnerable), he was revved up to get some gardening done and introduce me to this restaurant.
We walked in, and the restaurant looked nice. Joe recommended the bento boxes, where you get a main dish, rice, and a vegetable side dish. I ordered the salmon bento, he ordered the tuna bento. We also ordered tea (he got "Ginger Zing" and I got "Quiet Evening", because that's all I really wanted). When our order came up, we took our covered boxes to the eating area downstairs. I opened the lid of mine and was simultaneously impressed and disappointed. One compartment held a nice fillet of salmon, unfortunately covered in a syrupy soy sauce-like substance. Another compartment contained a delightful pile of boiled edamame (no salt - yippee!), another square had cucumber and pickled ginger, and the last compartment held my brown rice. Sprinkled with some sort of seasoning which, just by looking at it, I knew would be too salty to be just salt.
And I ate everything. Yes, my friends, I ate it all. I allowed myself the excuse of "I had no control over what they put on my plate," when just a week ago I would have sent it back and been so specific about my re-order that my replacement plate probably would have come out with a complimentary side of sneeze. But not Friday night. Friday night I was tired, depressed from my week, and I let the demons win. I chose to fail.
Joe tried to make me feel better on the walk back to the car. He said things like, "It was only a little soy sauce," or "It's one meal out of how many - a hundred on this fast? It's not that bad." But at that point, I was tired of making excuses. I asked him to stop. I had failed. I had broken my fast, and that was that. I wasn't so defeated that I was ready to completely give up the fast. I was right back on track yesterday. But Friday, I was at a low point, and a part of me just wanted to give in.
So I don't know what this means. I guess in some ways, I feel more responsible because I'm blogging about my experiences - like I have to set an example for everyone who's on this Daniel Fast journey with me and follows the blog. But is that really my job? Is it my place to inspire and motivate others? I don't think it is. I think I was using the blog and creating the responsibility in my own head in order to keep myself on track. And that's probably part of the reason I was so willing to judge my faltering on Friday. But I have to admit - to you, and to myself - that I failed.
I thought of Jesus on Friday night. I thought of how many times he must have been tempted to drop everything - his teaching, his leading, his responsibility - and just run. But he didn't. I guess that's why he's Jesus.
And I'm me. Every now and then, I will drop things. I will stumble. I will fall. But the clarity brought about by the Daniel Fast has shown me that I can always get back up again.