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

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Blogging Goal Updated

From 50 posts to 60 authentic posts for 2017. Whoah ‘authentic’, haha. I mean, me Salzy originally writing from the heart, teehee. Not those wordings or quotes from other people. For the past 8 months, I have written 38 posts in this blog for this year. That means, for the remaining 4 months I gotta write 22 more posts. That’s a lot man! And why am I doing statistics analysis here?

Because, I am a very calculative person. Number-person. Everything on my board I will convert into numbering. How many posts I wanna blog in this month? How many books I wanna read in this week? How many pages does every book have? How many this, how many that? I count years, I count days, I count down. I count everything.

You may think everything I count is purposeful but actually, most of the time, I count for nothing. I just want TO KNOW. Hehe. I need to know it. If there’s any information presented without numbers, I feel so blurry. I can’t brain it in the first place. When it comes to money, I might sound stingy but actually I’m not. That’s all I’m saying. Haha.. Bye!

Till the next post,
SALZY

Current Mommy-Feelings

I had a conversation with my 4-year-old boy about having a baby. My 4-year-old son demands a baby! No, not a baby. He wants two babies! Two babies for goodness sake, haha. I guess it’s something common for mommies with toddlers to come across this kind of situations. When kids are growing up to an age that they know there are humans littler and cuter than they are, they become so fascinated over and they wanna own them! I think in their minds, babies are the most sophisticated toys they could ever have, so they start demanding for ones. Ready for that, mommies!

While entertaining all his quests about this funny matter, I also came to wondering; when is my time for the next one? My youngest child is turning three very soon so that means, it’s been almost three years since I started calling myself a mother-of-two. Then, when am I going to be a mother-of-three? I have mixed feelings when thinking about it.

First, I do want more children. Having only two kids makes relatively a small family. In my life, I’ve been imagining myself having a slightly bigger family comprising of…four kids? Or three or five. But not two because two is very little even I myself have 6 siblings hehe. Erm, yes I imagine my life. We all do, no? Hahaha. So yes, I’m wanting a baby number 3!

But threeee? Two parents and three kids, outnumbered! Even now we’re so handful with these two boys I can’t imagine handling three kids at a time. Commitment. Commitment. Physically, mentally and the hardest part is… financially. Hmm, well.. I always thought to myself that children are blessings, they bring more and more rizq to us even though the expenses are going to spike up. But hmm again…sometimes my faith is not strong enough that now and again I do feel shaken when staring at the excel sheet of my salary projection, baby number 3 goes out of sight at all. Sigh for my poor conviction.

Baby #3 doesn’t come down straight from the sky! S/he comes through another pregnancy so when pregnancy being mentioned, that also means morning sicknesses, backaches and stretch marks coming altogether. I feel so heavy picturing another round of 9-month tummy hopping but hey that’s not bad. Being pregnant is fun! At least based on my last twos, second trimester onwards were pretty smooth sailings. I enjoyed foods so very much! And it was nice having a tiny resident in me too so yeah I miss being pregnant. Aww..

Giving birth? Erm..this is a little trouble. I had two caesarean deliveries before so surely expecting another one next. When it’s a planned operation, it’s usually smooth and steady so I’m okay about that but there are certain procedures I dislike so much making me feel so reluctant if I had to go through those all over again. But it’s called a package so what to do? Nobody said giving birth is ever easy.

All in all, what I’m craving so much is the newborn baby smell! And of course the baby itself because I love babies!! I miss doing all those baby-thingies like swaddling them, breastfeeding and bathing. Confinement period was bliss to me. The first baby year is gonna be topsy-turvy but also the most interesting one. The phase that will grow us not just in parenting but also in life and as a person ourselves to be.

Anyhow, always, after all the thinking and contemplating, I will collect all these thoughts, embrace and release them all up high to the sky of tawakkul. After all, no matter how I thought of the possibilities and the impossibilities, everything is up to Allah’s plans for me and my family and His arrangement is definitely the best! And even if I am not destined to have any more kids, and that only Edhany & Errasy are my all offspring, I will always be thankful and happy with this little family of mine. These hopes and anxieties are just my current mommy-feelings.

Till the next post,
SALZY

Blogging, a Journey

Mission accomplished. Hey, I have reached my target number of blog posts for this year! Yeay.. allow me to congratulate myself for reaching my 50th post in this Salzy Mommyhood WordPress, for 2017. Fifty – that was the target to average about 1 post per week consistently yet obviously I’ve done more than that. Well done, self!

Well, well… I know this cheated a bit. Haha. Because only those ended with “Till the next post, SALZY” are the ones genuinely written by – yours truly. Other posts are just a piece of quote in my Quote-of-the-Day series, some are just straightly copied From-the-Book-I-Read’s so they are not really me writing. Still, the pieces are so meaningful to me hence it’s significant to keep them here in my blog and for sharing with you guys. And hey it’s only August, meaning I still have 4 more months to go so maybe I should renew my blogging goal? We’ll see, we’ll see..

8 months of consistent writing – it’s wonderful, honestly. I’m glad that I took that shot of making a comeback right on the New Year night and did not delay anymore. I found a satisfaction in writing despite the effort I have to make to find time to sit and focus on the monitor. A way to nurture a habit and realize that, when we keep going with the just-do-it attitude, slowly it becomes part of ourselves. If only I could apply this to every discipline I want to pursue in life, I would be a superb human. But no, it’s not that easy. I can apply this in writing because it’s already a passion in me. Other things might be a force that demands a huge motivation to carry on. Well, that’s what life is.

Blogging is also a way to know ourselves better. I just knew that, the best time for me to write is when I am ‘down’. That low period. Sad, worried, stressed, ‘PMS’, disappointed, unhappy, all kinds of negative feelings could be thrusted out by spending time with my other self – blog. It’s not that I rant about the problems I was facing, I talk about something else but the distraction makes me forget about my problems temporarily. It’s like manipulating the commotion I was going through by busily thinking of what to write. Ideas are pouring and words are flowing through my fingers not like other happy time – weirdo me! I also don’t understand why. Haha. And after I finalize a single post with my standard ending, it brings me a sense of accomplishment. It brings back my happy-mood! It’s how blogging works like a therapy to me. Doesn’t solve a problem, but close to it.

Taking this as a journey that has no specific direction, for now. Thinking has never stopped, searching and keep searching. Anything worthy, will be dotted here.

me2017

Till the next post,
SALZY

A Dream Job You’re Wishing For

BP

I received this letter last week unexpectedly, just because I forgot my anniversary with the company that I stepped in 5 years ago. 5 years! A complete set of fingers to tell me that I’ve been here for such a significant duration. 5 years of undeniable blessings I can say. Having a job, a solid source of income is really something we can’t take for granted of that we should be thankful every day, not only on paydays okay. In total, I’ve been working for 8 years since I graduated and this is the second company I work for. 8 years and 2 companies – pretty loyal, no? Hehe, or maybe just unaggressive in finding opportunities.

I began my career journey in 2009 and what I can say is it was not a good start. The first company I worked for taught me the harsh truth of working life. Unreasonably heavy work load, bad boss, stupid system and sickening people surrounding me every day. It was so stressful and in fact the most stressful period of my life making me traumatic if I throwback the moments. Driving to work felt like handling a cable car – so heavy and the weather was always gloomy all the way to the workplace. In those 3 years, I lost appetite badly and turned from an originally thin girl to almost anorexic. That’s how ugly a bad job could make of me and that’s a true story.

Of course there were still good things I should be thankful for – the knowledge, the experience and there were still nice people I could talk to – and yes I did, thanked God for every little thing I gained from the company. And thank God I have my mom, she was there listening to my whine every time I came home crying. That was all my motivation when dealing with the depression with the hope that things would change for me even though I thought it was impossible. It was my first job and that concluded an impression that working life was never a good thing. I wanted to go back to my wonderful and happening university life but that was just impossible. And it was also impossible for me to not work because I am an adult already, so adults work, adults must work, we have bills and loans now, a pile! So all I thought was, then on and for as long as I’m w.o.r.k.i.n.g, my life is miserable. Nuff said.

But who actually said so? It was just a blind assumption of a hopeless young girl who just began to ‘live’. Who just hasn’t realized and truly believed the power of the Lord who can do miracles. After three years trapped in such a destructive environment, I married my husband and moved to KL. A few months of job hunting, I finally secured a position in here where in the beginning I brought with me the assumptions from my previous work life to the new one, just to be ready to face the “norms”. Amazingly as the days went by, my guesses got all wrong. This place is bliss! The people, the environment, the culture and the boss are all so nice I never thought they existed. Things totally changed as different as night and day. I turned to a positive person, happier and fatter! Haha.. that was due to another reason as well –  being married, exactly.

Alhamdulillah I’m happy here. At the moment, I’m surrounded by the people whom I can call friends, not just colleagues. Work-life balance is something really necessary for employees and this company has it ready. Flexi work arrangement and tolerant superiors who understand our commitments at home, not just all work. Some days are bad days and some people are unpleasant which can’t be avoided anywhere but I choose to focus on the good. This place is my comfort zone.

Of course not everything is perfect and I’m not telling those means to brag that I am the lucky one to have the best job ever. No, I’m still at a moderate level of the career ladder and in fact I am not a good employee enough so how could I boast? What I’m trying to tell is, guys, if you’re having a hard time at your work place or have been going through such a disappointing journey to find the right job I truly, truly understand the feelings, because really I’ve been there. If you could see, Allah tested me for three years to grant me with such a wonderful gift I couldn’t ask for more. If you’re tested even longer or harder, imagine what’s awaiting for you in the future! Allah’s arrangement is beautiful. When He tested me with the stressful job, I was single and had less commitment. My focus and weekends could all be spent at the office and no one got affected. Now that I have a family to look at, He gave me a work-life balance job, a company that’s so supportive towards mothers. Our stories are different but believed; the best is yet to come, right on time.

Two years back, the oil and gas industry was having downturns and that affected the company as well. As a result, it worked through a few cycles of retrenchment that impacted even some of my lunch buddies from other department. It’s so devastating to know that from a steady position you held for years, suddenly being told that you’re out of place. It somehow threatened everyone’s security and belief on the company’s stability, including mine. Things improved after that but the incident somehow serves as a constant reminder to me to rely everything on Allah because anything could happen and that a good job does not guarantee a fine end. While I’m cherishing my time here on this anniversary, I pray that if you’re seeking, soonest Allah will bestow you with the dream job you’re wishing for. Ameen.

Till the next post,
SALZY

Snap a Picture & Talk about It

JemyAira

Happened to be, it’s TV. So what’s up with TV I am going to talk about? I guess let me reveal to you about my behaviour when watching TV. Just so you know when it comes to watching drama on TV, I’m a very expressive person. If the story is funny, I’d laugh my lungs out. If it’s a tearjerker, I’d cry a river that will flow into oceans. Romantic scenes like above, blinking heart eyes. Suspense, I’d panic like I’m the one to be killed or being chased. I would go OMGGGG, Noooo, Dammit!!, Huwarrrr to the highest pitch so whoever watching with me around would surely get annoyed with this temperament but what can I say? When I start gluing my butts in front of the TV for a movie or drama, I naturally dive into the characters and my name instantly changes to the hero’s or heroin’s name. If you’re too like me, know that you actually can be an actress. Hidden talent! Ahaks

Being expressive when watching is fun, and healthy if I could add. At least for ourselves, not for the annoyed buddies they might go depressed after that haha. Being expressive itself is important in our daily lives because our heart (I mean the heart-shaped hearts) is a storage of limited space. Just like the real heart that takes in blood through the veins and pumps it out to the lungs and other body parts; the blood doesn’t, and in fact cannot, stay there forever or else – I don’t wanna mention scary things.

Same goes to the feelings and emotions that we collected from our days, remember that our heart is just a stopover especially for the negative feelings. It is hurtful to let it stay for long so what do we do? Express it out! Talk to a good-listener friend, write a journal, cry alone or most effectively, cry to God. Don’t ignore the feelings with the thought that it will later fade or be forgotten just like that. Yes, time heals and this is too what I always tell myself when dealing with problems but at the same time, do something in a way that can entertain your heart a little. For example, watch TV emotionally! Haha, does it help? If not, find a better option.

Okay, this means I am done with the task “Snap a Picture & Talk about It”. This is an activity from the book I just finished reading – The Tao of Writing. This book gives me an understanding of writing based the Tao Te Ching – a Chinese philosophy. It’s really basic yet significant, to get anyone who found it hard to write, don’t know what to write about or been losing words; to simply get started. Many suggestions listed but when the eyes met this one I was like, okay easy I can do it now. Grabbed my phone, turned on the camera and saw the TV through the lens. Snapped it up and began writing. I’m done!

tao writing.jpg

Till the next post,
SALZY

Moving House

I never, ever thought this was gonna be one of our agendas this year. After 5 peaceful years of living in our first rental house since we got married, without any calls from the landlord, no rental fees increment, no nothing no problem; suddenly we gotta move out. One fine evening a message came in from Hubby intro-ed by; “We have a problem”. Is that how you announce a bad news? Come on Hubs, it’s not a problem. It’s a BIG problem!

2 months’ notice and that’s it. True headache. I know it’s a common thing in life, people come and go from one house to another before they finally settle down at a proper place for long term. We do look forward to it but we thought it’s gonna be an exciting well-planned experience moving to our own house, not out of the blue like this! But our future house is still way under construction and there’s no chance to extend the tenancy of this house anymore. In an instant my brain was loaded with the hassle of this moving house thingy. The house-hunting, packing unpacking, spring cleaning and whatsoever. I was in denial for a moment trying to tell myself this is not happening.

No point. “This is really happening”. And so house-hunting began. From Googling, to annoyingly driving slowly, to loading the Whatsapp with home pictures – the rooms, the toilets, everything – to viewing and declining; we finally secured an apartment in just two weeks’ time. Booking done, move-in date confirmed.

After this one issue resolved, I told my Husband : “Can you imagine? In two weeks’ time, our life will change!”. 

Hubby replied : “Mom, nothing. will. change. We’re only moving house. The new house is just 5 minutes away from here, walking distance. We’re still working at the same places, route to work no change, the kids will still be sent to the same babysitter, it’s not that they have to change school, it’s not that we gotta do new registration for them. Nothing will change.” *No sweat face*

Hahahahaha. I’ve been making a big deal out of all these!

Hey! I’m a homebody okay. My home is my life. So when my home changed, my life changed. How could you not understand that? But I didn’t even try to explain it. Slowly absorbing his points and for a second I was like, “yeah..nothing change”. Fairly agreeing and calming myself at the same time.

Truth is, I am so bothered with uncertainties. Living in comfort zone sometimes will make us forget that nothing remains forever, or for as long as we like it. This is like an alarm for us to always be thankful for the everyday thing, before anytime it can be taken off from our clutch.

Moving house like now now was never in my programme, but it’s definitely already well-planned by Allah. It looks rushed and head-aching but He made it easy for us. The new place is much better than the previous one. Nicer view and better facilities. Only that, it’s affecting our financial commitment more than the existing as we couldn’t get any better offer than what we secured 5 years ago. It’s just impossible. Believe, and hopeful this will still be within our abilities. May Allah ease.

I am foreseeing 2 years of living in this new place before moving out again as we’re so looking forward to stepping in our own house, soon. Oh, forget it. 2 years is a long way to go we don’t even know what’s gonna happen next week!

Till the next post,
SALZY