A Writer or a Quoter?

I was composing a blogpost when my husband came and sat beside me. I stopped typing and had a chit-chat with him.

Me: You remember yesterday we went to the kindy, the teacher reminded us to teach the kids at home?

Hubs: Yea..

Me: You heard she said about the reward in the hereafter and all.. That they want us to also gain rewards as well..

Hubs: Yea..

Me: It’s soo thoughtful, right? I gotta write it on my blog!

Hubs: *nodding cynically* Your blog is like a ‘copy-&-paste’ blog, right?

Me: What? No?

Hubs: Yea… You heard something, or you read something, you like it, then you post it on your blog. It is ‘copy & paste’.

Me: *jolted* Hey. No! I don’t copy-paste things. I write with my own words, I write from the heart, okay? If I read something or I heard something and I wanna put it on my blog, I would quote it. I’d put the name of the author or whoever said it or if I don’t know I’d still acknowledge it’s not from me. I won’t pretend that the bombastic words are mine? And sometimes I don’t even take things directly; I rephrase things but would still address the original ideas. It’s not copy-&-paste, hello?

Hubs: Oh, okay. So does that mean your blog is a ‘copy-&-paste-&-paste’ blog?

Whattt, again? Is that just how you rephrased your statement earlier?? With that, I went with “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” to the longest vocal cord in my throat!!!!

How dare he?? This guy really had no idea about this writing career! Come, onnnnn….!!

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But that short and sharp opinion left me thinking for a moment.

Maybe he’s right. Maybe what he said was true. Maybe yes. I read something, I hear something, I like it, and I park it here. Add my comment, publish. In short, it’s copy-&-paste-&-paste. In fact now now I’m copying and pasting what he said.’

Hahahhahahaha! Like seriously! Okayyy…. Now it’s digested.

So yes, really. Actually, when I was about to start blogging again, in my mind was all about the things that I read from my books that I wanna share with people. It’s a lot of new things that I get to know from reading but I didn’t have a medium to exude them. I don’t have a book club and I don’t prefer social media. So I thought blogging is the best idea for this and this has become my main purpose and I’m happy with that.

But this comment from Mr. Sarcastic makes me realize that whatever it is, it’s not original. Maybe, 50% of the content of this blog is all from others and I’m just the ‘presenter’. Out of nowhere, my ears were suddenly echoed of the advice from my English lecturer when I was in Uni. This is what she said when students loved to overuse quoting-technique in essays because obviously it’s easy. She said; “This is your essay. You sign off your name. If you’re quoting so many other sources then the essay won’t belong to you anymore. And this makes you not a “writer”, but a “quoter”.

God bless my teacher. After years of leaving school, her words are still relevant and beneficial much. Hence, a writer or a quoter? Wait, let’s now take a look from the eyes of a reader. Let me slot in a bit of a book-review, shall I?

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It’s a book by Robin Sharma titled ‘Who Will Cry When You Die?’ – A collection of thoughts on life lessons in helping people to live great lives. I loveee the book so much because it’s so meaningful, it’s packed of light advices yet very significant and deep.

Buttt….there’s one thing that’s kinda disturbing throughout my reading which is – QUOTES. There were like tooooo many quotes from so many people included in it. I noticed that and wondering why is this like a quote book?? Until I reached the part that he said in all his books, he loves to use quotations from the world great thinkers because a quote contains a wealth of wisdoms in a single line. Nahhh then only I got it – he likes quotes, so he quotes quotations in his books. Okay.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s good, it’s very much inspiring but as a reader, when I pick a book especially from a particular author, I’d expect to dig as much original thoughts from the writer him/herself, not others. Hence to me albeit how good the book is, that too many quotes scratched one star from the rating I could give. My two cents!

After alllll…… my point here is not to argue about whatever writing style one would wanna apply. I don’t mean quoting is not good it’s what I liked too and I do love quote books. What I come to think is, from the honest comment made by my husband, I now fathom out that to grow as a writer, through blogging or through any medium, the best is to try to produce as much thoughts that come from our own critical thinking. Make it the first of its kind other than just evolving from world existing ideas. You got me?

Hence again, a writer or a quoter? For now, just a casual blogger who will do whatever she likes. A mixture of both I guess, haha. Thank you Hubby for the constructive feedback on my dear blog though it’s quite cynical at first I hated you for 60 seconds! Along the way, it’s something that I’m taking note of for my own good in my current and future undertakings.

Till the next post,
SALZY

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Arranging My Bookshelves on Goodreads

I think I’m funny. I played around with the Goodreads apps browsing and adding books only to know that I created 10 shelves in total! Haha… Who on earth needs 10 virtual bookshelves when you can actually load thousands of books in only one default Read shelve with no-collapse assurance? Me, and I have my own justification. :p

Here’s the list of my shelves :

bookshelves

Four Read shelves labelled by years? That’s triggered by my date-oriented nature that really thinks I need to group my books based on the year read. If possible, I wanna sub-group them by months, hehe. But of course it’s not necessitous and as years pass by; it’s gonna be so messy to have these 2018, 2019, 2020 and so forth. I think I will just cancel the rest and only maintain the current year and the default read shelve for older books.

Just for now, I wanted to see my collections since 2015 – the year I revisited this hobby after abandoning it for quite some time. My God I’m so good at abandoning things even they’re some sort of entertainment to me. How could it be, self?

Well, I can say that was since I got married or more factually, married to a no-bookworm. My husband, he doesn’t read books! We still remember a moment in the beginning of our relationship; the ice-breaker phase. On the phone, we talked about our favourites and I told him about my reading pastime. I went on and on talking about my favourite books, this book and that book. And he was like.. clueless. Didn’t know what to reply vis-à-vis books and so he tactically diverted the topic into movies. So then we talked about movies. No more books. Haha. It’s funny to recall it now yet funnier to realize that I didn’t grasp that hint telling me that we’re so contradict so why did I marry this man?! Hahaha..

And so 2015 was the year I returned to reading as I was setting up my goals for the New Year, I searched for things that could activate my brain other than just fulfilling my to-do list with the never-ending house chores and life errands. My current collections are all starting from only 2 years ago and it’s growing I’m loving it!

Moral is, even though we don’t marry someone who shares the same interests with us and even if our spouses are more dominant in influencing us to follow their stuff, it doesn’t mean we have to give up things that we love to do. Sometimes we tend to abandon them just because we donned our head with multiple hats. But hey, don’t let our concerns toward others steal the concern over our own selves, okay? While my husband is not a book lover like I am, that wouldn’t space a distance between us.

Till the next post,
SALZY

Riddle Time

You’re about to use an elevator from Ground Floor to go up. There are three elevators; elevator A, B and C. You must use elevator C because you’re bringing a furniture so you must use that Fire Lift. There are 16 floors in the building.

Now, Lift A and B are at Level G where you are now. While Lift C, the one that you want to use is at Level 10, all idle. Every time you press that ‘Up’ button, either Lift A or B will open but not Lift C. Lift C stays idle at Level 10.

Question is – How do you wanna make Lift C comes down to you? Hi hi hi.

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Think think think….. or give up? Yes, I know it’s hard. Because this is a Cambridge-level riddle. Hehehe… Scroll down!

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That was my own situation yesterday. My landlord delivered a new fridge to our home so I ushered the fridge boy from his Hilux. While waiting for him to push the fridge, I ran to the lifts and faced the above problem. I kept pressing Up but had no response from Lift C until the fridge boy arrived and I sighed, “Hmm.. I think we gotta wait so long. This Fire Lift is not coming down!”

The fridge boy said, “Oh, no problem” and steadily he pressed the Up button, Lift A opened, he pressed Level 16, got out and the lift moved. Did the same thing to Lift B and it went up too. Pressed the Up button again, Lift C moved down and…..opened!!!

Jawdropping I was like.. Wowwww…so clever!!! Clap clap clap!! Hahhahahha.. I felt so useless. Not only that I couldn’t help him lift the fridge, but also fool I was. Ashamedly yet in cool I said, “Wa you’re so smart, huh”. He said, “Oh no it’s common..always do that in offices and all.” Aw so humble.. and pheww…! I’m not fool then. It’s just his everyday thing. Ahaks.

So guys, if you’re facing this kind of situation, use this trick and be the hero, okay! Don’t be like my husband. I quested him this riddle this morning and he gave me the funniest answer ever! He said, he will use Lift A or B, go up to Level 10,  get in Lift C, go down to Level G. Hahahaha!!! Who would do that?? What if you go to Level 10 and Lift C moves to other levels?? I was imagining him chasing lift from floors to floors like a cartoon! Hahaha… Worse than me because I’m less tired – me with my thinking face, I would wait at Level G forever, okay! =D

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

Teachers of Life

I thought I don’t wanna make this blog a date-oriented one. Like when it’s anniversary, I reminisce anniversaries. Birthdays, I make wishes. Special celebrations I talk about it too oh too cliche but somehow that’s how it seems. Haha.. Maybe because when I check my planner and it marks these important dates, it gives me ideas to write. Nonetheless it’s just my first year of re-blogging, let’s just say that it’s my style. Lol.

So it’s Teacher’s Day here. I wanna make a tribute to my special teachers…who, don’t have that official teacher-title and didn’t go through certified degree to educate but somehow, become the ones who gave me the most lessons…in life.

My Dad. Back in the time when I was a little girl, my dad was a busy man. With the professional career he held and a business he ran all by his own and my mom, he used to not have much time with us. Whenever he’s home, we all must eat together and that’s the time we would have conversations and he would do the talking. He talked a lot and repetitively the same things. One of the things he always emphasized was something that I thought I did not pay so much attention to, but actually had been absorbed in my mind and my whole body and finally shaped me as I am today. That is – The Importance of Planning. Really. You can ask all my siblings and if they couldn’t recall, that tells you they literally slept on the dinner table.

And that’s what I am now. I basically plan everything. If not in detailed in my planner, on any rough papers. I don’t jump onto the road not knowing where to go. I plan earlier. If I don’t have a single pen, my mind would be chaotically ordering things. When an urgency occurs, I’d get panic in an instant for things that didn’t go as I planned. I take this as both my strength and my weakness but all in all, this is me. Thank you Abah for shaping a unique criteria in me to live my life. I appreciate it.

My Mom.  If I were to write a biography of her life, it’s gonna be a thick series. My mom has gone through a lot in life, even until these days. She is one strong woman that if all her trials were to be accumulated to embody herself, she would stand like a real iron lady with a sword. The sword is her faith in Allah that everything happens for a good reason if not now, someday.

My mother grew up without a mother. Her mom passed on when she was only 10 years old. That maybe the reason why my mom is a bit less affectionate with us, the children. I couldn’t recall my mom calling us “sayang” or something like that and even if we said “I love you” to her, she would reply with – “Okay”. Still, this doesn’t make her less of a mother. Her devotion to the family is priceless and that is true love. This tells me that the way we were brought up will influence the way we parent our kids too. We may copy exactly the same style if we think that’s just the way it is, or take a total opposite if we wished things were different. In the end, we will realize that there’s no perfect way to raise a child and being a mother is all about giving our best to the family, no matter what happens.

My Mom is so generous she gives endlessly. Her giving personality is mainly what I grew up watching. But somehow, I don’t think the attitude liberally flows in my blood as I’m always worried of insufficiency – typical insecurity. But of course I wanna be like her too. So one day I asked her, “Ma, whenever you give, I mean donate, what is actually in your mind? What makes you always wanna give? Aren’t you afraid that your money would go zero before you could refill your purse? Or, is it that, you keep telling yourself – ‘the more you give, the more you will get’? Is that your motivation?” And my long tiring question was only answered with – “I don’t know. I just give”. That’s all. It kept me quiet for a moment to digest that short reply because it’s so deep. Deeply teaching me – sincerity. Without being mentioned, without explanation. Thank you Mama for the hidden wake up call. I will better myself.

Last but not least, My Husband. The one that came into my life much later than other teachers but gradually becomes the one who taught me very much lessons too. Among the first things he taught me in the early days after the wedding was, cooking. Haha.. Yes, I was one spoiled girl who grew up with most things being prepared by the maid so cooking requirement was definitely a big deal for me to get married. Thank God for someone who didn’t only accept my imperfection but also turn it into an improvement.

My Husband. He possesses creative skills and thinking which I hope will be inherited to the boys too. He is my reference for any matters I doubt, especially on religious issues, I can rely on him – at least as a first opinion. In marriage, we are two very different persons making arguments our recurrent dealings. I take every clash as a lesson though most times, it took some time for me to see the silver linings. Directly and indirectly, all that come from or through him are special messages to me. The point is to think.

My Dad, my Mom and my Husband, are godsends as the Teachers of My Life. The very personal ones. WhatsApp Image 2017-05-18 at 6.13.38 PM1

Till the next post,
SALZY

EE Turns 33

When he caught his first white hair on his beard his reaction was,

“Wow, the next Amitabh Bachchan is in the making!” 

Haha… This is the very foremost person I met who is that excited about getting old. Normally, people would freak-out. I mean, that’s me.

Yesterday he turned 33, my Husband. I planned to make a little surprise birthday celebration with the kids for him. The best time to teach them what “Surprise” is.

Buy a cake and candles – pick-up the kids early – cook dinner – pray Maghrib – and – get the kids ready to eye at the window checking for their father’s arrival.

That was the plan. Lately has been busy period so I was very sure he gotta come back late!

When I picked-up the kids from the babysitter, I briefed them about what we’re gonna do and they were like, “Ooooo OK OK OK”. Especially my first son, he understood the idea and got excited. On the way up to our apartment, we talked about that too and were like yeahhh let’s do this Ayah’s gonna be surpriseddd!

And suddenly out of nowhere…. GAHHH!!!

-End of story-

My plans met end of story. Why on earth did he come back early today?? I was stunned looking at him laughing a proud laughter that everyone was shocked! We got in the house laughing and yeah he knew it already! He did hear our conversation earlier cesss!

But because the kids were excited and did not understand that the plan has spoiled, I thought we should go on with it. Asked hubby to go in the room and we prepped the cake and lighted up candles. Shouted “DONE!”, he’s out andddd…..surpriseeee!!! HAHAHAHA. That’s it. Our first Mom-and-kids surprise plan for Ayah’s 33rd birthday! Soooo spoiled yet so memorable. ❤

Happy 33rd Birthday My Love. The kids learned something today. 🙂

Till the next post,
SALZY