Disconnecting…

During my Umrah trip earlier this year, I disconnected myself from the world – pretty much, the entire time. I wanted to focus myself and my mind totally on the most precious journey of my life visiting the holy lands and performing obligations. Now that Ramadan is coming, I am thinking of doing the same too.

You know, I have this sort of serious addiction to the phone, or social medias, in particular. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, What’s App. These four icons are just enough to shove away my time without I realized it. Sometimes, or most times actually, I just wanted to check something on the phone but that something usually turns to many things. Just so many things coming my way and I just couldn’t take my eyes off of them. Though I can excuse myself that there are many beneficial things I gain from the social medias as well, I can’t deny that time has been wasted so much. Scrolling and scrolling, that is a syndrome already.

Knowing myself well, I was determined to log out from everything and uninstall the apps at all for the whole 12-day trip – except What’s App, with the restriction to only respond to family groups just for quick updates. Time was extra precious I couldn’t afford to miss a thing, just because my eyes were on the phone and stole all my focus. So we weren’t best-friend for a while and one funny thing I found out was that, all the while prior to this trip, I always complained that my phone has grown too old that the battery could only last for less than an hour! When I was in Mecca & Medina, the battery lasted up to 2-3 days before I needed to recharge it. Haha I laughed at myself, amused and shamed at the same time.

And there I had the most splendid time ever. The view, the sound, the serenity were just so indescribable. I think I blinked less than usual. Not only mesmerized by the natural surroundings, I also paid good attention to the talks by the Mutawwif every time we gathered for briefing and on the bus going for ziarah. My mom said that I was lucky to have this Ustaz conducting our Umrah because he is so good. He didn’t only lead us but also instilled the elements of soul fulfilling, which is not what she experienced with other Mutawwif in her previous Umrahs. Ustaz Bakri, may Allah bless him and his families.

Divorcing myself with the phone for some time did not harm. I don’t regret not having a single picture with the two most beautiful mosques, I captured the views in my memory. I did snap more pictures at the hotels and ziarah places. Since I came home, there’s no single day goes by without me re-imagining myself around Masjidil Haram and Nabawi. Sometimes I am at the rooftop, sometimes right in front of Multazam. And I believe I will return some day, InsyaAllah.

Well, my Umrah as a whole wasn’t perfect, there were times I got tired and so sleepy I couldn’t sit straight. When I remember those times, I wish I could repeat my Umrah and patch the flaws I made. That’s what I can hope for but better off, I should look at what I have now – which is the incoming Ramadan the holiest month of all, if Allah wills me.

I plan to disconnect myself as I did and devote myself to more ibadah and related. Its a bit longer then the umrah duration but its still no harm, self, won’t harm. With the list of things ready for me to-do during the month, I think I’ve overbooked myself. Haha.. Being ambitious as always not considering the glitches I might surely have at some points of time. But the intention is there! Hehe..And truly I wanna better myself, even if it after all will only result just an inch of betterment from my current state.

I will always keep in mind these words by Nouman Ali Khan from one of his videos I watched. He explained the Quranic concept on improving ourselves and this is how he put it.. “Allah tells us to pray, all the way to closer – and I’m using ‘all the way’ on purpose. To Allah, you’re getting closer – not the closest, not to the end. You’re making it closer to guidance is the eventual goal. And for human being dies pursuing betterment – not perfection, just betterment – they’ll have, later, a successful life.”

Closer, better. Happy fasting everyone. May, in this month, we find the new contentment of life while striving towards betterment. Disconnecting…⁠⁠⁠⁠

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

A Day at the Book Fair

Yesterday was a happy day! I took a day off just for the purpose to visit the International Book Fair Kuala Lumpur (PBAKL) at PWTC. The biggest annual event that gathers the most books, one that I always looked forward to attend. This was our (my bestfriends and I) one of many activities that we did together back in our university time. I remember we took an LRT together, a few of us, and spent long hours in the heaven on earth. It’s always so good to have buddies sharing the same hobby. Books bring us together.

It has been a few years since my last visit to PBAKL even though I always planned it earlier, there were always a hitch during that one important week of the year, and that left me frustrated. The feeling of stepping into the book fair was so overwhelming. Haha. I don’t know why, books can really make me happy. At first I just walked freely as I felt I have plenty of time here today! But hey I said to myself, don’t waste time it’s only 6 to 7 hours I have then ting ting ting Cinderella has to come back home!!

And so I did it systematically. I checked out the floor plan and the levels and the halls they had and made a few rounds picking, flipping and putting back the books without buying anything yet. I snapped the picture of some books that seemed interesting, with the prices too. Went for lunch first, visited P. Ramlee exhibition, made another round and suddenly it’s 4 pm and my hands were still free from any shopping bags! I was already exhausted (oh my, so old) and so I sat down somewhere, scrolled up and down the pictures in my phone deciding which ones to buy and to drop.

The next cycle was me like a fast-forwarded cartoon popping in and out from one booth to another transacting those lucky books into my possession. A little mistake that I did not mark which-book-is-where so for a certain moment I wandered around and if I was really a cartoon, you could see me cross-eyed, with question marks above my head. Lesson learnt.

Ended my day at my kinda happy place carrying heavy shopping bags, met some friends for dinner and went home with blistered feet yet still, smiling big. 😀

Till the next post,
SALZY

31, But Thens…

Ambition was one of the most common questions being asked when we were a kid. We’d be like “When I grow up, I wanna be this…I wanna be that”… answering people. When we’re alone, we daydreamed beyond everyone’s expectation on us. It seemed like a very long way to go but we just couldn’t wait. Couldn’t wait to grow up and be what we wanted to be. Be on our own.

Today I turned 31. I am already at the when-I-grow-up age that I looked forward to when I was a little girl. I am an adult now and in fact, I’ve been an adult for years already.

But then… I am not the lady I pictured myself as, when I was young. I used to be very ambitious, you know? I wanted to be a career woman with corporate dress up and look intelligent.*Laugh*.

But then, here I am. A wage earner of a multi-national corporation who works 9 to 5 daily, an average executive who doesn’t seem like climbing the corporate ladder any higher. I have no professional certification to high-price my CV and I dress simple. Well, that’s not too bad. I’m happy with my job and daily routine now. Work-life balance.

But then, is this what they call a ‘comfort zone’? Am I already in a comfort zone at this age when my career has not even reached a decade yet? Always a parent’s wish to see their children grow up, get a good job and be successful. Is this a success already? Apparently not what I ambition-ed.

But then, what do I do to stand prouder of myself? Nowadays, doing business is more highly regarded in the community. You’re perceived as more independent and strong by running a business especially if you could brand yourself or your product.

But then, doing business was never in my frame. In fact, I tried, once, but it didn’t work out and I just didn’t enjoy it. And then I tried stock trading. It doesn’t have to plead people to buy, I just had to gain as much knowledge on the economic ins and outs.

But then, it’s still so heavy to me. It’s like going back to college with an obsolete brain but it’s okay it can be polished. With my duty at work and as a mother, I juggled. I couldn’t spare time on the day to study the stuff so I stayed up midnight. I joined one-time classes on the weekends and left the kids with my husband or the babysitter with extra charges. I called it a sacrifice.

But then, I realized my attention to my family went condensed. Even when I’m with the kids, my mind was busy picturing the charts and whatnot. I also had disagreement with my ex-stock-dealer husband who differed my trading practice and a lot more issues. This clash of priorities was so demanding. I was thinking, why do I have to trouble myself with all these problems when I don’t have to? I have a fine job and a steady family who needs much of my attention now so I should just focus on them. And so gave up trading.

But then, the kids will grow up and things will slow down. That time, I will look back and might be regret that I did not push myself a bit harder. I will grow old, retire and live depending on my pension money which maybe has lessened due to early withdrawals. What a force. I’m not gonna live the life I can call a success. So what do I do with my LIFE??

But then,  I realized all of my thoughts are all about life. Life in the dunya. The life that is certainly not permanent. I remember during my Umrah trip earlier this year, our first tawaf was led by the Mutawwif. After finishing the seven rounds circling the Kaabah, we performed prayers individually and gathered facing the Multazam (the part of the Kaabah that is between the Black Stone and the door of the Kaabah) for the Mutawwif to lead the du’a, we followed with ‘Ameen’. The du’a was so long. In my silence, I was surprised that the whole content of the prayers were all on repentance. Asking nothing but forgiveness. Nothing health, nothing wealth, nothing happiness, nothing worldly. I was stunned but in the end cried too.

Seriously…my life had been all about the world like it’s never gonna end. I always looked back thinking if-only’s when life is all what Allah has willed it. I’d been thinking of the life when-I-grow-old when growing old is not even certain. I’d been looking forward to my future age when the ultimate future is Jannah that we hope for. This is why I have so much but-then’s in my life. This gotta stop.

There’s a quote that says, “When you wake up with no other intention but to worship Allah, you have found the purpose of life”. Have I? For the next 32nd year onward, InsyaAllah. I’ll do my best. May Allah forgive me and all us for the excessive worldly thoughts over the life after death.

But then? Happy Birthday to me 🙂 Alhamdulillah.

Till the next post,
SALZY