I Want To Remind Myself

13th October 2017 marks 8 years anniversary of our love relationship. On the same day itself, my husband went for his company’s Annual Dinner event and brought home a lucky draw! Since when he became so lucky? Haha. It’s a Free Lunch Buffet Voucher for 2 pax @ Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside B’s Restaurant. Yeay… We consider this as our anniversary gift, then. Alhamdulillah.

pullman

Today we set to utilize the voucher. Didn’t wanna delay the pleasure and also to celebrate our son’s birthday which was two days ago. Actually, I’d been planning to organize a birthday party for him since early of this year. I’d been saving money, outlining the stuff and listing to-do’s for the event. It’s one of my important agendas for 2017 because we haven’t done any parties for him before. We did one for Dhany but none for Ayash. It’s not that it’s really a must for us do party for every birthday, but once in a while would be nice, right?

Alassss, my plan turned to no avail. Due to? Budget constraint. Haha. This year our financial goes on a roller coaster ride. I thought this is the year that we could save more for more big things upcoming. But it turns out to be just a funny thought. So many more unexpected things came rolling into our pockets and rolled out loaded. At this time, we’re just so broke! Huwarghhh…

And so I cancelled my plan to organize the birthday party for Errasy. We just couldn’t make it, baby. But with this free voucher that dropped from the sky just in time, we seized it for a little celebration with our little family.

cakes

boys

The cakes! Haha…call it a “DIY”. As long as there are candles on it, it is a birthday cake! What a cheapskate parents we are…haha. ‘Desperate time calls for desperate measures’ so mind us okay. Creative mom I am. Lol. Happy 3rd Birthday my baby Errasy! We loveeee you.

We spent two hours indulging the foods and later sightseeing around the hotel area and went home with happy tummies. Free meals are always extra delicious, right? Hehe. Thank you Allah for today and I’m taking some time now for a gratitude moment.

At this moment, I want to remind myself that even in time that we can call ‘hard times’ like this, we still have the opportunity to have fancy meals at a lavish place.

I want to remind myself that at the time we thought we couldn’t spare any money for self-reward like always, a lucky draw decided to reward us with something of our favourites (buffet dine).

I want to remind myself that my plan was unsuccessful but it’s replaced with something more meaningful.

I want to remind myself to be thankful with whatever I got and not whine over insufficiency.

I want to remind myself to be grateful and Allah will increase.

I want to remind myself that with every hardship comes ease.

I want to remind myself to not be hopeless because The help is near.

I want to remind myself that keeping faith in hard times is most rewarding.

I want to remind myself that despite all these we’re still blessed, we’re always blessed.

Things I’ve known so well but at this moment, I just want to remind myself.

Alhamdulillah ‘ala kulli hal.

family

Till the next post,
SALZY

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Forgiving When Not Even Sorry

The past week was depressing to me. I was hurt, I was offended. Something happened that didn’t only make it a bad day but a bad week as a whole. I think I haven’t felt this kind of feelings for so long. Problems come and go but rarely it’s about something that makes me feel so offensive. This time, it was just frustrating enough.

I was so down, I tried to control myself and told myself to forget it and not to feel so bad for what’s happened but I just couldn’t keep it silent. I’ve learnt to let off things but this; I couldn’t just ignore the issue so I confronted the person. Sadly, badly, the person was not even sorry for what I felt and it’s just taking my anger to another level – depression!

For days I’d been agitated. Life has been a bit challenging lately but I maintained positivity with me but this thing was just making things worse. After a week or so whining in this gloomy feeling, I told myself to stop and deal with it. Deal with this feeling because dealing with human did not work. At least I tried.

In my quiet time, I self-talked to understand myself. I made it clear of what I was so sad about it and why. I knew the root cause that triggered my anger and I knew the solution was to confront and I was all ready to forgive but…………..the person was not even sorry! Just how could it be? That was actually the reason for my lengthy despair. Yes, a week spent in tears is long okay, I’ve been wasting time.

And so I told myself to forgive, forgive without an apology. Honestly I felt so hard to do that cause I was so hurt so again I made it clear for myself as to why do I have to forgive?

First, I wanna do this for Allah, Lillahi Taala. Taking the person aside, this thing was a test for me on how I would react to it and for it to be a test; of course it’s hard. Allah knows I feel tough about it so when I try to fight this feeling, He looks at my effort. May He have mercy on me and make it easy. Istighfar a lot!

Second, I wanna do this for myself. This pathetic state shouldn’t last for long. I have a lot of things to attend to and time is ticking. This year is reaching the end so let’s get busy as always! Not just by forgetting about it but forgiving it. Trying to forget the hurtful thing is a method of ignoring but no this is not my way. How can you tell yourself to just forget it when you’re not senile? I want to forgive this in a way that I acknowledged my feeling, I entertained it for a certain reasonable period and I expressed it out – through cries and through this; writing. Writing is my intangible medication and by writing about this, I got a clearer vision of my reasons to forgive and may this also serve as a reminder for me whenever I am recalled about this through evil’s whispers. Oh God, please keep it away from me.

Lastly down to karma. No, I don’t mean for karma to happen to the person who has hurt my heart but rather, it might be a karma that’s serving me back for what I’ve done. Maybe I did this to other people; the same exact thing or anything that played with someone’s feelings too. I must have, and I did not apologize. Always we heard when one was being mistreated or betrayed, he would say ‘oh wait for karma to pay you back!’, not realizing that what was happening might be the karma to him, actually. So yeah, this may be the reason why I don’t deserve an apology. I’m sorry…

Spreading these whole things cloudless, I see it’s very little to associate the person and the apology that I demanded as the matter-of-fact. Majorly, it’s about me! Our problems, our disappointments; more often than not they’re about us and how we deal with it. The people, the surroundings, the other little problems that we thought making things worse are all just the characters in this episode. And again it’s a test. We may say that “I forgive people every day, every night, I live with no grudge.” But when the real test strikes, you know it’s not that easy this time, not as always. Just remember, this is when our faith is going to be leveled up. Stay strong inside!

To know this, I then separate the offence from the person who’d hurt me so now, the person is standing free from the mistake. Things happened, it did what it did so now what’s left is just me to spell out my forgiveness.

And so I forgive this person, with all my heart.

i forgive you

 

End of my forgiving-without-an-apology process, you’re welcome =D.

Till the next post,
SALZY

Teach Your Kids at Home

Yesterday, we attended a pre-school’s briefing for parents who planned to enroll their children next year. They organized the briefing to explain about their programmes, syllabus, learning techniques and so forth. Our kids are going to kindergarten in less than 3 months! I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed this whole year and now, at this very moment, this feeling bounced triple. It’s the decision making time. Too many things to be taken into account and everything is crucial. But I’m not gonna talk about that because we’re almost there. A bit more things to be finalized and there you go kids. Hopefully it’s the right decision.

During the briefing, when the principal talked about children’s outcome from the learning, she advised parents to be involved with teaching at home; not just depend on the teachers in school. Well, it’s common, right? In today’s world; everything is on the fast lane. Primary schools’ exam questions are not like our time before they’re much advanced. And so to catch up with this, parents must also teach their kids at home, revise what they’ve learnt during the day and keep track of their development. For a fact, it’s our responsibility anyway. Oh my. Did you just load bricks on my shoulders?

Heavy, and hefty. That’s definitely the feeling every time I think of this particular responsibility. But yesterday, the way the teacher put it in her words when reminding us to do teach our kids at home was so uplifting. She didn’t simply say; “Parents, you must must must teach your kids too. You can’t expect only teachers to do our part and expect your kids to excel.” Typical reminders we heard yet so weakening. She had this message in her speech but this is how she worded it;

“Parents, do teach your kids at home too. Why? Because we want you to also gain the shares in the hereafter, not just us. For every word and every letter in the Quran your kids will read all their lives, there will be rewards to the ones who taught them since they started to know Alif, Ba, Ta. Also A, B, C. Should all the rewards go only to the teachers in school? We want you to gain your shares too. Teach your kids at home, okay?”

Such a beautiful perspective. Focusing on the benefits rather than warning the cause of failures when this is only a beginning. Reminding us on the essence of teaching reward on top of sending-to-school reward and paying-the-fee reward. Telling us the true purpose which is not merely to grow clever kids but to gain as much rewards for the hereafter which is also correcting our intention towards Lillahi Ta’ala. Hinting us that this heavy responsibility is one that we won’t want to cease.

The words lighten my shoulders that were dropped just now. This is my new journey as a parent and this graceful encouragement is one that I will keep close to my mind in holding this responsibility. All the best to me and all parents out there. Let’s do our part!

Till the next post,
SALZY

Toastmasters : Ice Breaker Speech

This is a continuation post from the previous one. Feel free to read it first – Finding the Old Me

1st speech1

First and foremost, let me make an important disclaimer here. In the speech Finding the Old Me, I actually added a spoon of seasonings to enhance the flavor finely. Haha! Actually, the part that I said I spoke in front of many people – no, I did not speak in front of many people back then. The part that I loved to volunteer in class – no, I never volunteered in class. Hahaha…I exaggerated! Yes I was active with clubs and societies but I was just a regular committee and I just led small teams once or twice. And yes I enjoyed class presentations and yes my work life was right as described. My point was actually to distinguish these two positions so I exaggerated the U part a bit. Just a bit, mind me! Haha okay done with my confessions. Let’s move on to a more constructive discussion.

SPEECH WRITING

Ice Breaker speech is very basic. It’s talking about yourself so in terms of the contents, you don’t have to climb the Google mountain. The difference is how it’s being delivered. Through my observation in the meetings :

  • They talk about their lives based on chronology –  from the time they’re born to the present, highlighting significant facts along the way.
  • They pick only two or three things about them and they elaborate further.
  • They tell a story about an incident or an experience they went through and what they learned that made them who they are today.

I was interested with the second one and I also wanted to tell a story. And so that’s how it turned out.

PREPARATION & PRACTICE

I practiced a lot! Within two weeks prior to that, I acted in front of the mirror every single day. At first, I wrote my text and memorized it line by line but I found it so hard to flow. I sought advice from my hubby and a friend who are very associated with this speaking thingy and they told me not to memorize everything but just remember the points and structure and keep on practicing. I did just that! Thank guys.

TIPS & IDEAS

Okay these are random tips and ideas I scooped out from here and there that might be useful for you :

  1. Volunteer to speak during Table Topic sessions prior to the day as a practice to overcome your stage fright.
  2. Have a mutual interaction. Throw a question and self-answer. That would spare a pause for you to hold a moment.
  3. You may want to use the projector. Display interesting pictures of yourself and share the story behind them (e.g : pictures of you travelling to other countries)
  4. Describe yourself based on astrology, chinese zodiac or favourite colors.
  5. Tell the meaning of your name and elaborate the elements that make you you.
  6. Begin or end your speech with a quote.
  7. Conclude yourself in 3 words.
  8. Don’t forget to relate your stories with the audience. Offer something for them to take home.

EVALUATION

I was evaluated by the Mr. President himself. One good point I want to remember is that he said I began my speech with a big smile. Some people forgot to smile when in nervous state. So yes, smile! And these are some rooms of improvement for me to note :

  1. “Too much hand gestures.”
    This is the most obvious. That’s my habit anyway but during the speech, I even overdid it. Gotta watch these hands next time. The evaluator said, every gesture should be purposeful.
  2. “Too static.”
    I did not move.  I purposely did not move. When practicing, I tried to casually move a step or two but the risk is that I would get distracted and go blank at all. No way! So I glued my feet on the ground. Will practice on this later.
  3. “Less pauses.”
    Those who knew me in-person surely know that I naturally speak like a train. So this is what happened live. Actually I controlled this in my practice. I timed myself and every time it was all reaching 6 minutes. But on real play, my time recorded was only 5 minutes 17 seconds. I was speeding obviously. He reminded us to use the power of pauses for the audience to absorb what we say. Okay!

EXPERIENCE & FEELINGS

All in all, well done, self! I’m so glad I did it anyways. For once I broke through my fear, my self-doubt and timidity with this challenge and what I can say is, knowing my level and competency, I’m pretty satisfied with my first performance. Thank God, Allah eased my say. I’d less fumbles and most importantly I didn’t forget my script because I didn’t bring any notes with me. Because this is the first one, this is the best so far. Hahaha. Now, I’m on to the next. Bring it on!!

Till the next post,
SALZY

Toastmasters : Finding the Old Me

Hello everyone. On 29th of August 2017, I’ve done my first Project Speech at the Toastmasters. Here I’m presenting the text of my speech for anyone’s reference on Ice-Breaker topic and also for my own keepsake. After reading this, you’re welcome to continue reading my next post as I talked about my experience, tips learnt and some ideas for Toastmasters newbies to kick-off your shot. Click here.

Thank you Toastmasters of the Day and Good Afternoon everyone.
My Name is Saleha, and this is my first speech. It’s on ice-breaker, so I’m gonna tell you a little bit about myself.

First, let’s have a flashback to a time when I was in university, 10 years ago.
When I was a student, I was a really active student. I joined clubs and societies, I involved in events and programmes.
And these activities required me to speak in front of many people, give speeches and lead a team.

In class, whenever the lecturer said; “Anyone wants to volunteer?”
I would go… “Me!” I loved to volunteer in class!

And I loved doing presentations! You know in every subject we have assignments and we have to present our assignments? That was the time I looked forward to in every semester!
Well, not saying that I was so goood. But it’s just something that I enjoyed doing.

So… that’s a little bit about myself when I was in U. But that’s an old story. 10 years ago.

Later, after I graduated, I worked. I worked in a position that was….not presentation-oriented.
I didn’t have to speak in front of many people, I didn’t even involve in open communication.
Most of the time, I worked with the computer. And it was really busy it was all about work, work, work.
I didn’t have time to really join events or be a committee in programmes or be active.

So you can see the difference about myself and my life – when I was studying and working.
And I can say that, in about 8 years of my working life, I never really did a proper presentation.

Except one day. That was… in BP already. There was a group of Graduate Trainees, you know..some of you are GTs here.
So this group of GTs, they made rounds from department to department and they were coming to my department.
So my boss asked me to prepare a presentation for them regarding our job scope.
Just to give them a little exposure about our roles, what we do for the company and all.

So I was like… “Okay, no problem, I can do this.”

Buttt….on the day when I was about to present… I tell you, I was so nervous! So scared I was shaking so bad!
It was only 5 minutes simple presentation but my voice was like cracking all the way I couldn’t speak properly!
I tell you… It was a really, really baddd presentation!

So after the meeting I was like… what happened to me?? Why did I present like that?
I was thinking…these people are GTs. They’re juniors. I am senior. And I was just talking about my daily job so what’s the big deal??
It’s something that I know of, of course I’m good at it so why was I so nervous?? What’s so scary about that??

I felt so embarrassed with myself. I felt so embarrased with my own self!
Because, that was the time I realized that I have change… a lot…
From someone who was confident, well-verse. Now I become very timid and… not convincing at all.

So I thought…. I gotta do something! I gotta change myself I can’t stay this way. I wanna improve myself. I wanna find my old self!

But I was thinking… What do I do? What do I do to improve myself?

And suddenly one day, I met Alex (the TM President) at the Career Fair event that day and he explained to me about Toastmasters.
He explained to me on how it works and what it’s all about.
And I was like… oh, this is good. This is what I was searching for! This is the place I can improve my skills. This is the place… I can find the old me! Right….

So… this is why I’m here today. Speaking, in front of you, for the first time.
Taking the challenge, and making a pledge that I will improve myself.

This is my new beginning. Do you think I can do thisss? *Smile wait for the “YES” =D*

A little bit before I end my speech.

In life, always we hear people say that we have to move forward, move forward, never look back.
But to me, at some points of time, we really do have to take a break, pause for a moment.
Look back, and reassess ourselves. And see, how much different have we been?

Better? Or worse?
If better then good.
If there’s any quality in ourselves that we cherished, that is good… Keep it. Never lose it.

But happened to be, because time passed by and life changed from one phase to another. And we also changed.
We’ve become a different person. Someone we’re not proud of. Not like before.

So what do we do?
We do something, to gain ourselves back!

That’s all for today. Thank you very much everyone. Back to you Toastmasters of the Day.

Till the next post,
SALZY

Bad Feelings Habit

Currently reading – The Bounce Back Book by Karen Salmansohn. Bought early this year and target finished date; end of this year. Really?? A year taken to finish a single book? Yes! Hehe. This is how I read ‘tips books’, or quote books. Books which contents are formatted in points form, have only brief explanation and they’re not linking to each other. You may read them not in sequence and mostly they have many pictures or graphics.

The Bounce Back Book

Quote books, for instance they have 50 quotes collection and I time-frame it for 6 months. I will allocate reading only 2 quotes per week, it can be in sequence by page or just randomly. Why? So that I can allocate my time for other books at the same time; books of total wordings that require continuous reading from cover to cover or else, you would get lost of the plot. Also, by reading and pausing, you allow some time for thinking and applying what’s advised before moving on to the next one.

What a lengthy intro you must be quizzical what does this have to do with bad feelings habit, right?? Haha, sorry. Back to the book, The Bounce Back – presents 75 tips to regain your footing after a life setback. Haven’t finished but really would love to share this one advice that really hits. At least to me, and I think it’s not something specific for traumatic situations but also vital for everyday life.

It tells that Bad Feelings Habit is learned habitual responses towards situations that have been triggered in the past. Example, you came from a broken family, you watched those bitter arguments of your parents and how it ended up – these were the ‘past’. Now that you’re married and currently facing a rocky situation with your husband. Your condition itself is stressful but what added salt into the wound is; your family history. Your present is re-triggering the feelings from your past due to similar situations. It’s like you’ve ‘learned’ the feelings so you tend to react the same way. It is actually a habit! When in fact, you should separate out any feelings from the past and don’t let them get in the way of dealing with your present emotional trauma.

So heavy talking about this. Let’s take a simpler example, my own one during my son’s potty-training mission. When he began to understand the ‘nature’s call’, he would come to me and tell “Mom, I wanna pee” – most of the time, when I wasn’t free. I was cooking, I was eating or even when my favourite drama was on important scenes! Always, always I’d feel disturbed and respond to him drearily like, “ahh…why now?”, “like, again??”, “oh please, Dhany” – so bad right? Haha. Well of course I still attended to his request, it’s a must! We went to the loo together with my mouth babbling this and that.

Until I realized this is not healthy! My son was progressing for another milestone and Mom was being so discouraging? What a bad habit. This is what the book called the ‘Bad Feelings Habit’ that brings about negative reactions from me to my son. Poor boy.

So I decided to change – I set in my mind that every time my son calls to accompany him, I would immediately say “Ok, take off your pants and let’s go to the toilet” – before I could think of any annoyance or disturbance at the moment that could affect my feelings negatively, it moves me to put whatever chores on hold and do what Moms gotta do. Just by practicing a single statement, things changed emotionally better to me.

That’s how I can relate when I read the topic. Not similar but something that we repetitively feel which actually can be changed. I think I have a lot more bad feelings habits I need to analyse in myself. Those situations that we perceived as an “allergy” to us and let it take control of our emotions. Those people that we thought bring us that negative vibes when it actually comes from within. Let’s get rid this “roller coaster of feelings” as the author says.

I like this book. It dug out all kinds of creative ways to overcome your adversity and put them in simple straightforward bounce-back assignments. The pages are also fancy and instantly lifting up your mood the moment you flip it through. Will continue reading till the end.

Till the next post,
SALZY

Winning & Losing

“Playing sports prepares you for life.” The quote that I came across only in my 30’s just to spank me that I’ve never really played sports so I am never prepared for life! “There’s a discipline, there’s a force to it. It created certain habits that I still follow today. I had to go to practice. I had to run suicides. I’m not going to let myself get tired. When you challenge your mind and body like that, it tends to bring out the warrior.” – Common @ Rashid. Well, kudos to those who have been living life sporty! I guess I’m too late already so let’s just survive.

We ended our April with hubby’s racing competition. The whole weekend was spent at the Sepang circuit cheering for Ayah. The kids had fun running here and there while I almost fainted chasing them. Well it’s still fun, babysitting in a different environment. Haha. The race was fine on the first day but contrary on day 2. My husband crashed and did not finish the game, injured a bit.

We went home and chit-chat about the race – our usual postmortem where Hubby recalled his performance and mistakes he made. To me, getting involved in rough games like this is just troubling yourself. That’s why I don’t play sports, let alone competitions. Or even examinations by choice. You gotta deal with the stress prior to the match or test, and afterwards, if you lost or failed it, you’re down to frustration! And shame some more.. Losing is embarrassing, no? It’s like having a big “L” stuck on your forehead anywhere you go. This is not my thing.

Anyways, that’s just my say. Conversely to my Hubby, he has an opposite idea of what competition is all about. Firstly he said, racing is his passion. He loves Motorsports so much he could just enjoy himself by going for a ride hitting cool corners or joining open track days if he really wants to whip on the circuit. But, entering competition is another thing.  If I said dealing with the pressure is all the fuss, that’s what he wants – the pressure that he can’t gain from any fun rides. Only in competitions, he learns to deal with the pressure and the way he copes with it determines his performance. If it’s not a competition, he could hit his target time and apply all the skills he’s learned but in real game? It’s not that easy. The challenge that it’s not only about winning over others but actually more to building strength in yourself to defeat the pressure in YOU. Yea.. I did see him isolating himself minutes before the race began. The do-not-disturb moment, the pressure-coping moment.

But then, what about losing? Yeah you learnt something but isn’t it frustrating going home empty handed after all the effort and investment? “The point is to Never Give Up.” His all-time motto that he always pronounced in arabic – “La’ Tai-asu”. Winning or losing; it’s not the end of everything. Winning is good, but you also can’t be on the cloud nine for too long or it will just build up ego in you that ‘I’m the champ, I’m the best’. Losing? Grasp these words – “I never lose, either I win or I learn”. There’s always next time to do better and try harder. The way he deals with it is always by reminding himself that this is a give and take with Allah. Getting the chance to join the race with sponsorship is already a blessing, not getting a place and collided some more is just something he got to tolerate and redha. I guess, it’s a balanced mindset to be moderate in both situations, for both results. After all, things weren’t worse and there’s another coming game he’s looking forward to!

This conversation changed my all-my-life perspectives on competitions and sports – just another view to agree with the quote above. So, any contest I can join to challenge myself now? Hahaha… Better not! I still need time to process this new thought because I’m a bit old already. No, not too late but please expect slow progress. Haha.

For now, let’s aim the kids. This conversation also stroke me that, it’s good to encourage the kids to join competitions from the early school years and all the way growing up. Real life is full of challenges and failure is something humans cannot avoid at some points – of course, nobody wins all the time. And by being in competitions, we parents can teach them motivations to cope with the stress, deal with disappointment and manage winning excitement – so they can apply everything in their life. A way to discipline and build up confidence in them and also to know their strengths and weaknesses, interests and dislikes. Wow I speak like an expert when it’s actually not my forte. Surely when the time comes, I gotta push everything to Hubby to handle the kids, and mom too!

Till the next post,
SALZY