Recap 2017 (Part 2)

READING, BLOGGING & LEARNING

In overall, I can summarize my focus of this year is of the above three things. I surrounded myself with many books and had a non-ending reading list; I’m a happy me. I blogged as I intended and I learned some things. It’s a contented year I must say despite losing myself at some points of time but all in all, Alhamdulillah.

In the past few years, I was in search of things that I could do to improve my wellbeing and upgrade my financial. I decided to get involved with businesses that I thought could make a side income for me. I was influenced by other people’s success but I forgot that money was not a wise driving factor for me personally. Other people can be very positively fervent being money-driven and can love what they do if it’s promising dollars but me? I’m just so spoilt and being in business is actually not my thing.

When thinking of 2017, I decided to do things that I love and will make me happy. I did just that and I can feel the beauty of following my heart and living simply.

UMRAH

My Umrah Trip in January was the most treasured memory of my life. I’m so grateful for it because what makes it be more meaningful to me was it happened after a huge crisis I faced in the end of 2016. It’s like a gift from Allah and 2017 will forever be a special year to me because of this.

ME-TIME

My kids are growing; they’re not babies anymore. I can feel that motherhood gets easier and less demanding compared to the years after birth. My husband can now handle the kids without me so they always had boys’ outings without Mom, doing boys thingy. And me, I’m having so much (or enough) me-time alone at home! I believe mothers would agree with me that me-time is such a luxury for us. It’s something that I really struggled about in the early years of motherhood. This year was such a honeymoon for me and I know this comfort won’t last. Soon my kids are going to school and that will add new responsibilities to me and I’m ready for that.

TOASTMASTERS

I joined Toastmasters in May 2017 and it’s the beginning of another notable journey for me. Speaking in front of many people, speaking impromptu took a lot of courage in me and it’s not just a piece of cake. I’m glad I did it anyway and I’m very consistent in attending the meetings. I happened to join the new Pathways programme and I’m quite clueless about the new format. I hope the momentum won’t drop and I’ll be more proactive in planning my speeches.

 MOVING HOUSE

It’s something unpredictable, gave us headache but made a good shift, anyway. For the record, it was our first move after 5 years of marriage with two kids.

FINANCIAL

I remember ranting about this in my Recap-2016 and too bad, it is the same again this time. Oh my God. I don’t mean to complain but for real, life is getting tougher and tougher financially. Look at the economy, the cost of living in KL nowadays honestly its killing. When it comes to money, it’s all about surviving months to months and every payday makes a “phewwww, we survived!” kinda relief. Or is this just a phase that we have to go through? We began building life for a better future but it’s also taking its toll on us. This is just a phase, I keep telling myself. I don’t mean to blindly rant but I want to remember this significant chapter of our journey. Things will change sooner or later and after all, it’s all about the rezeki that we totally have to rely on Allah and rezeki is not just about money! Shukr for everything.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Alhamdulillah, it’s another healthy year for us with only slight illnesses sometimes. The kids were down to fever about 3 times this year and the worst was in September during Hajj Eid. We didn’t really raya that time. The rest was okay.

My parents turned 59 this year. They’re in good health but of course not as perfect as they’re oldster already. My dad’s diet is quite affected since a year ago; he’s turning very thin. My mom has been fine except recently she’s having problem with her ears or hearing and it’s causing her vertigo and had to undergo some tests. It got better after medications and didn’t have to further any more procedures. It’s kinda worrying to hear such things. Turning into 6 series next year, I pray for their health to always be in the best condition. Ameen.

mamaabah

My beloved Abah & Mama

BIG FAMILY

In summary, my side welcomed a new niece in August; baby Amanda Sofyia – my brother’s second daughter. And another brother got engaged which means we’ll be welcoming a new in-law next year. May Allah ease the plan. No new addition on my husband’s side, everyone is growing existing families.

NEW PET

Should this be a highlight? Of course! Haha. We have a new resident in this home and it’s a bird. It’s a small type of parrot called a Budgie bird and my son named her as “Somey-somey”. Haha. It’s supposed to be “Comel-comel” but Edhany lisps the letter “C” so that’s what happened. It’s all about the kids anyway; it’s what they wished for because kids love animals! Except me when I was a kid. Haha. Began on 4th December of 2017 and more updates on this in later post.

somey2

Somey-somey 🙂

KIDS GOING TO SCHOOL

Or actually, kindergarten. Last year, we were contemplating about sending our 4-year-old son to school this year. There is a choice whether to basically start them at 4 or 5 years old. We were totally not mentally ready for the new commitment and decided to begin in 2018 with both boys going at the same time. It was just kindy but really a big deal for us to actually decide the best for our kids. I cannot imagine determining universities later. We studied things carefully, tawakkal as much and signed up this one. Next week is the time and I’ve been having mixed feelings knowing the fact that my babies are heading to another phase of life!! How time flies.

lcstuff

Kindy stuff  of Little Caliphs

I’M PREGNANT

I’m pregnant of baby number 3. Alhamdulillah :). After months of contemplating whether or not we should be adding a new member in this family, it finally happened at the time we least expected it. I discovered this pregnancy in November and now I’m in the 12th week. Since then, morning sicknesses got so dominant I don’t have control over my body anymore. It happened to be in the year-end – the time of the year that I usually got really eager preparing for the New Year from the planner-stuff, goals settings and recapping memories all that but this time? I was just all lying down at home for many weeks and gone on MC for many days. Too bad, too bad but finally in this final week of 2017 I get up and fight all that. The whole year has been so good I can’t just end it like nothing happens. So here I am, wrapping up my 2017 in two posts that I will want to re-read one day. Now let’s keep all the pregnancy stories of the first trimester in a special post in 2018! Maybe this blog will return to its original purpose which was a Motherhood blog, right? Will see…! Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah and welcome “Lil’ in Me No. 3”.

upt

Positive 🙂

THE END

That’s all about it. I love this year very much. Good Bye 2017.

familyof4.JPG

Till the next post,
SALZY

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Wives of Prophets

Finished another book – “Kisah 12 Isteri Para Rasul” (The Stories of 12 Wives of Prophets) by Harun Ar Rasyid, published by Karangkraf. This one has accompanied me for the whole year of 2017. Bought early of the year consists of 12 stories, made it one story per month so now I’m done.

KISAH-12-ISTERI-PARA-RASUL-book.jpg

The stories are of :

  1. Hawa, wife of Prophet Adam a.s
  2. Wailah, wife of Prophet Nuh a.s
  3. Sarah, wife of Prophet Ibrahim a.s
  4. Hajar, wife of Prophet Ibrahim a.s
  5. Wahilah, wife of Prophet Lut a.s
  6. Rahil Binti Laban, wife of Prophet Yaakub a.s
  7. Laya Binti Mansyar, wife of Prophet Ayyub a.s
  8. Safura, wife of Prophet Musa a.s
  9. Khadijah Binti Khuwailid, wife of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w
  10. ‘Aisyah Binti Abu Bakar, wife of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w
  11. Hafsah Binti ‘Umar Al-Khattab, wife of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w
  12. Ummu Salamah, wife of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w

May Allah be pleased with all of them. All stories display good examples except two, Wailah and Wahilah, who were the opposites.

After reading this book, one thing I can conclude is that; being a woman and standing by the name wife of a man requires a lot of patience and sacrifices. These heroines of Islam were the wives of the Most Nobles but their lives were so full of challenges. Allah put them in their respective difficult situations to then make them the idols of latter ummah. It’s so different from the expectation that we have as a lady in the current life. Ladies now typically have always been dreaming to be catered with this and that by the husband and competing to be the luckiest wife ever. Anything less would lead to disappointment. Of course that’s our rights but if we can understand the purpose of this life in the dunya and how had it been to the leading ladies before us and if we really take them as the examples to hold this role, would we still be comparing our lives with others? Let’s redefine ‘being lucky’ and extend our understanding beyond this mortal life. I realized now it’s really important to know the stories of more Islamic models and comprehend their journey rather than fancying the lives of others on the social media. Ooops!

Of all stories, one that has always won my heart is the story of Siti Hajar (may Allah be pleased with her), the wife of Prophet Ibrahim a.s. It’s well known, I’ve known it earlier too so reading from this book was a refresh to me. It’s a really beautiful story portraying real faith and tawakkul of a woman towards Allah s.w.t. With all those, Allah honoured her patience by making Sa’ie as the ritual pilgrimage. All muslims who perform Hajj and Umrah must travel back and forth from Safa and Marwah that serves to commemorate Hajar’s search for water for her son and God’s mercy in answering prayers. That’s how glorified this one particular Woman in Islam for the trials she faced. Subhanallah.

Prior to performing my Umrah earlier this year, I was so anxious about Sa’ie. Did my research and came to know that the total walking distance seven times from Safa to Marwah back and forth is more than 3 kilometres?! My God. I once joined a 5-kilometre run programme so I could estimate the distance so to me honestly, it’s far! Considering myself as not an active person and with the challenge of Iman that would disturb me when performing Umrah, that was scary. Sounds exaggerating but really I told my husband I was so worried about not being able to finish the walking just because I’d give up and stop at all.

Surprisingly there, Sa’ie was the most… I can say, my favourite part of the rituals. The traveling was really calming and spiritual I actually have no words to describe my feeling when doing sa’ie. It was not tiring at all because I was all the time reminded by the story of Hajar, imagining doing exactly what she did all the way. Thank you Allah for the unique strength he granted me and all others.

We completed our first Umrah on the first night in Mecca. The next night was the first time my mom and I went down for qiam. After completing our sunnah tawaf, we found a spot for us to continue with prayers and tafakkur. Then I asked my mom; “Ma, can I go to that side (saie area) for a while? I want to perform Sunnah Saie.” My mom instantly chuckled and said; “Hey, there’s no Sunnah Saie! There’s only Sunnah for Tawaf. Saie is only done within Umrah. Haha.”

“Oh really? Hahhaha.” I laughed too for obviously such a non-basis thought I had in mind. Funny with myself but deep down I felt a bit sad for not getting to do saie as I wanted to. So I asked my mom how many times would we be doing Umrah here, she said 3 or 4 times. There and then, I was so determined to do the maximum and Alhamdulillah I managed to perform Umrah for 4 times. On the final round of saie I teared up so badly, I walked really slowly not wanting to end that rite. It was really a priceless experience indulging the sirah of Hajar and writing this making me miss the places so much more. Siti Hajar (may Allah be pleased with her), the saie rite and the wisdom behind it have impacted a particular area in my life in a very positive way after I came back home. May all Muslims that have never been there will have the chance to go to the Holy Lands, and those who’ve gone will have the chance to repeat in the best condition of ourselves. Ameen.

All other stories are also very much inspiring in it’s own way. Learning sirah of the believers is really important for us to live this life as they’re the real examples for us to follow in working this life towards the eternal one; the hereafter.

Till the next post,
SALZY

11 Years Blogging Anniversary

Happy Blogging Anniversary to meeeeeeeeeee….!!! This date, 11 years ago was the day where it all began. I can’t believe it’s more than a decade since, wow! And this is my very first post that I published in my blog.

1st blog post1.JPG

Hahaha… So funny okay! With the funky spellings and all… My God.

I started blogging in 2006 with my old blog; My Kunang-Kunang. Kunang-kunang means the yellow bugs – a kind of fireflies (I guess?) or insects that flash at nights in yellow. Why, is just because I loveeee yellow so much it’s my all-time and forever favourite color so I tagged it as the symbol of my space. I like yellow because it’s bright and royale. I always prefer something bright, lively and colorful. My next favourite color is brown, because brown and yellow make a complementary combination!

Back to My Kunang-kunang, the tagline was “It’s Just All About Me”. Haha. I was in University when I felt my life was so fun and interesting and I had a lot to talk about. I got crazy bunch of friends, I started driving, I learnt new things, I met new people and not to forget; I studied hard too (err, are you sure, self? hahaha). That’s when I thought of blogging. The writing wasn’t consistent but continued for a few good years.

However, it was not a solid 11 years. I once stopped blogging at all for quite long. Family was expanding, errands were multiplying, I couldn’t make time and plus, an inner conflict that stopped me from exposing personal stories or thoughts for whatever paranoid reasons. Nevertheless, I never stopped thinking to write and write again. There were actually a few times I attempted to re-blog but I just didn’t get the momentum to get in gear. So again and again I wrote a few lines and left it unfinished. And this is what I just found in a folder in my laptop :

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Haha….My ‘attempts’ to come back – once in 2013, and once in 2015. And believe me I have a lot more handwritten drafts in my note books I’d been wanting to type and publish, to type and publish, but it just didn’t happen. It’s such a struggle that I believed there are people out there who understand this in one way or another, maybe not in blogging but in anything else. Or maybe it’s just about time?

Because finally, finally… After four confusing years, it all ended. I found my reasons, I eliminated my excuses and above all, I got my true inspiration. Now here I am, celebrating my 11 years anniversary as a blogger! It’s almost a year since I came back, I write constantly, I find solace and peace in what I do and I hope you too in any, anything that you endeavour. And at any milestones, on any remarkable dates; don’t forget to celebrate because memorably, that’s where it all started for a journey worth taking.

Till the next post,
SALZY

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

Errasy’s Birth Story

Earlier this year, I went through some tough times raising my 2 year-old toddler who was in the terrible twos phase. It was a real struggle to face his tantrums almost every single day and night when anything I did couldn’t settle his cry. Once he got disappointed just for a tiny thing, his tantrums would last up to more than an hour with non-stop crying and screaming. Can you imagine?

I was so stressed and felt like giving up. One night I isolated myself away and decided to blog about him and his current temperament so I poured all my unhappy feelings in a note book for me to type later. Today is his birthday. I flipped the notes that I wrote months ago and somehow, it curved a smile on my face. The tough motherhood phase has passed; my baby is now a happy boy! At least most of the time, not like before Alhamdulillah. So I cancelled my intention to write all the things in my notes because today is his 3rd birthday, I wanna reminisce the sweet memories of me giving birth to him.

Errasy was born through a planned C-section. I was all awake during the operation waiting for my baby to be pulled out from my tummy. It was a different experience, scary because when I delivered my first born, I was unconscious. This time, I savoured every moment in the operation theatre (OT) in my nervousness.

The atmosphere in the OT was quite relaxed even though everyone was moving around, here and there. I think I heard music being played if I was not mistaken but that was not my focus. During the operation, these people were having conversations with each other like there’s nothing going on in the room when actually, they were cutting my tummy layer by layer okay. In my mind thinking, maybe this c-sect operation is just like cutting onions to them especially for non-emergency case like this. Haha, my God! What a creepy thinking while on the surgery table.

Now comes the most thrilling part to me. When the ‘cutting’ process was completed, they informed me that in a little while they will pull my baby out. My heart was pounding fast, excited and nervous at the same time. When they took a peek at the baby who was still positioned in my tummy, the doctor’s assistant instantly said to me – “Emmm…..the baby is just like you.” She said it in a very casual way making me feel so curious. What did she mean? What did the ‘like-you’ like? I wanted to ask but I felt so weird to be talking when I knew my tummy was wide open and bloody so I kept it to myself, wondering in silence.

In less than a minute, Errasy was safely born and immediately shown to me. Such a beautiful moment and again the assistant said to me – “See…he is so fair! Justttt like you!” Awww….. Was that what she meant earlier? I was soooo over the moon the second I heard that. Having to see my baby fresh from the oven was already wonderful, the remark from her beautifies the moment even more I was so speechless!

Errasy was then taken by the nurses and the operation continued but I couldn’t stop smiling in bliss. It was one beautiful moment throughout the delivery process that will forever stay in my memory. The words “the baby is just like you, he is so fair just like you” stuck in my mind repeatedly whenever I throwback my second maternity journey and even every time when I look at my baby who now has turned 3 years old, today.

errasy newborn

Excuse this vain mommy people! Haha… the same comment if uttered at any other time wouldn’t make me feel flattered like this. It’s just because it happened at that very time, it created an unforgettable mommy-moment to me and I gotta record it in words, mind me. Hehe.. And I believe every mother also has her own exclusive cloud nine moment when giving birth to each child, right! *Care to explain. Ahaks*

My second baby, my second pregnancy. His coming was a surprise, I didn’t expect that I’d get pregnant again when my first born was only 10 months old. Such an unexpected gift, enlivens our lives with his funny characters I called him an entertainer in this family.

ayadean

Dear Errasy Eddean,

Happy 3rd Birthday my baby! May you grow healthy, wealthy, wise and lucky. Be a good boy now and rise as a good man in the future. Thank you for bringing so much happiness to us, we’re so blessed to have you as that cutie little brother. Stay close and clingy to Mom as you always do, I may seem annoyed with your childishness but please know that, deep inside my heart I’m loving every bit of it!

Mom loves you so much, Ayash Ayadean.. Always, and forever. Happy Birthday. 

Till the next post,
SALZY

Forever My Girl Crush

In life of an every girl, there must be a moment she’s struck by a feeling of Girl Crush! A feeling of liking another girl. Either she’s an outstanding senior in school, a popular young singer, an acquaintance or can even be, the girl-next-desk? It’s clearly non-sexual, a positive jealousy I might say or more likely, an intense feeling of admiration just because she’s awesome!

I had a girl crush too. That happened when I was only in standard 5 and she was……the magnificent, the one and only….. ERRA FAZIRA!!! A popular actress, singer and also the Malaysian Miss World 1992. Well that’s enough to tell that she’s so beautiful that’s why I liked her!

erra estee lauder

Source : The Star

It started out when I was watching her film titled “Gemilang” in 1997. From there I became her fanatic fan until today and I just realized that it has been a remarkable span of 20 damn years! For 20 years I’ve been sticking to her, following her journey, her ups and downs in life especially in her marriages and with those, all I can say is she has made and is still making a noteworthy biography I adore so much. She’s not just beautiful. She’s a devoted daughter, an independent lady and a very mature person – these three main qualities that attracted me so much into admiring her.

Well, I may be not the kind of fans who’d run to her concerts or events just for the purpose to greet and have a picture with her. I’m not accustomed to that. My old-school mom disregarded this entertainment obsession so I had no access to go see artists. But, every time she’s out on the screen, I’d be on the front line watching without blinking and my mom would be shaking her head. She’s so gorgeous!

I still remember when I was in school, there was a campaign to encourage students to make it a habit to read newspapers daily. So everyday every classroom was supplied with a set of newspapers and that was the time Erra got married to Yusry KRU. For days the media was flooded with her wedding pictures and for that every single day too, I’d be the first one to grab the papers before anyone else. I’d quickly flip the entertainment section and keep the pages away. Hahaha! I didn’t want it to crumple they’re for my collections, “don’t touch”. The cynical boys in class were teasing me they said; I gotta pay for the class’ papers fees. Haha, hello! It’s freee.

After she married Yusry – the famous, the richest boy band in Malaysia – she still worked hard for her career. She got the choice to take-it-easy and rely everything on Yusry but no, she continued working and she said; this is herself, she was born to be independent and that she has her mom she’s taking care of, so she would hold the responsibility on her own. With that, my 18-year-old self was so impressed. I was about to live a semi-freedom life, from there I knew that being a woman, we have to be independent. In certain things in life, we really have to be assured of ourselves and know why we do what we gotta do. My Erra taught me this. Hiks.

Most people who’re close enough to me knew about my thing towards Erra. When she and Yusry got divorced, the news was out on TV and I was alone at home. I was shocked and so devastated but at the same time, my phone was beeping with so many incoming messages from my friends updating and asking me about the divorce! ‘What?’ ‘Why?’ ‘Are you OK?’ ‘Any comment?’ Hahaha… That was so funny.

Oh ya, for your info, we have one similarity. And that is….we’re both MOM! Haha.. Yes, yes… I copied her, exactly! When she had Aleesya and I knew that she was called by Mom, I was again fascinated. She’s so unique okay. So when I got preggy I decided for that too, hehe. It’s uncommon in Malay community and sounds weird when I first announced it to people that my kids will be calling me Mom but later, it’s just natural. I didn’t tell people that I chose it because of Erra but knowing me well, my friends finally found it out! Haha. Whatever, this one thing, we matched!

Everyone’s life is not perfect, and so her. She was engaged once, broke up. Married twice, divorced both. Netizens have all the unproven reasons to criticize her status but she kept it cool. She responded things in a mature way and moved on life. And just recently, her second ex-husband Engku Emran remarried and she uploaded a picture of her with Aleesya and Laudya Cynthia Bella, and posted a very pleasing wish for the couple that touched many hearts including mine, of course. She’s just lovely in her own way, how can I not love her? And the way Emran treated her as the mother of Aleesya after the divorce somehow tells how respectful she is in the eyes of someone who had lived a significant life with her.

erra pepatung

Source : Pepatung

Being a girl who crazed over celebrities’ stories on the magazines was typically non-sense. But after 20 years of time travelling looking up to somebody, this has created one of the colors of my life. It’s not just a plain obsession; I knew I’ve learnt a thing or two. From someone who was scarred by life’s tribulations, the scars made her nothing but only more beautiful and till now she’s standing even stronger in a graceful way. Erra Fazira, you’re one of a kind!! I love you and may Allah bless you always. I’ve never met her, but she’s close to my heart.

These are pieces of stories about my Girl Crush that I grew up with ever since I was 11 years old. Nana Nerra, did you have a Girl Crush?

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