What’s the single most important thing I accomplished in 2010? That’s a very good question. I gave it some thought and I think that the single most important thing I accomplished is adopting Islam as my way of life. The reason I say this is that this conversion/reversion has influenced my every aspect of my life–for good and for not so good.
For Good: I am more at peace within myself; I began to write a book about my conversion/reversion; I became less depressed and anxious; I learned more about myself and what is really important in life. For Not-So-Good: My daughter has had a difficult time accepting my decision (which wasn’t really my decision–Islam chose me instead of my choosing Islam); we have not be close since my conversion/reversion; we have had terrible disagreements over my life change; I rarely see my daughter and her family; my granddaughters are confused about the rift in my relationship with my daughter.
My adopting Islam as affected every area of my life. My daily schedule has changed; I now have five daily prayers to say each day and my day revolves around my prayers. My family treats me like an outcast, even though they are Christian but do not go to church or practice any religion. They can’t understand my conversion/reversion. I decided to write a book about my experience and how a 60-something Western-raised American Christian woman became a Muslima. It helps me sort our what I have lived through and how I actually came to realized that Islam is the religion that I should practice. I have a different set of friends, and making friends does not come easily to me. My health has deteriorated since I converted; my migraines and my IBS symptoms are out of control; my blood pressure is bouncing up and down; these symptoms reflect the turmoil within my family. On the other hand, I have found peace within myself; my depression in general is better as is my anxiety. But when my daughter and I have a terrible fight about something, I become suicidal, and that’s not good.
I hate the fact that my relationship with my daughter is so bad. We were very close, but it probably has as much to do with her marriage two years ago as with my conversion. I have not seen her much since her marriage. Her priorities lie elsewhere. My granddaughters are confused and upset that their mother and I aren’t getting along. They no longer go to church, because I took them to church. There is so much that has changed in my life.
So that is the most important thing that happened in 2010. And it continues on into 2011. If the situation will improve, who can say? At least we are in therapy to help resolve our issues, which stem back farther than my conversion, though she doesn’t want to talk about those issues. I hope things will improve, but there are no guarantees. But that is the most important thing.