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

Confessions of a Planner Addict

Guys! Do you realize that Ramadhan is only 38 days to go?? Yes, it’s true and I’m sooo excited about it! It has been like 2 months people keep sharing the countdown update to welcome the holiest month again. Suddenly today I realized that it is just next month! 27th May 2017 to be exact.

And do you know why I am suddenly so excited?? Haha. Yesterday I went to this Silver Linings Talk by Ustazha Yasmin Mogahed at the Federal Mosque with my buddies. There were a few booths opened outside of the hall selling her new book and also other Islamic products such as Ramadhan Planner. Ramadhan Planner guys?! A planner specially designed for us to carry the month wholly? It’s sooo cool I bought it straightaway! Even the fact that I already have an all-year planner.

Just so you know, I’m a Planner-Addict. I loveee planners so much I mean physical planners not digital. I can’t welcome a new year without one and in fact I always have more than one, mind me. Each for different purposes. Not to forget the accessories like colorful pens, stickers, note pads, washi tapes and clips!

Knowing me and my interest, people around me always associated me as an “organized” person. Planner – planning – organizing – organized. Particular, meticulous, proper, detailed and not to forget the most of an overstatement one; “OCD”.

The truth is? I AM THE MOST CLUTTERED PERSON ON EARTH.

My life is cluttered, my brain is cluttered, my desk is messy, my things are everywhere. I am lazy, a big procrastinator, unproductive especially in the mornings, a slow decision maker. I have so many things in mind and they’re stringing to each other. And while they’re pulling and twisting in my head, a panic-ball kicked in out of nowhere just to get lost in the crowd and makes the whole system jammed!

Now you are jammed too? Sorry for the negative vibes. Haha.

That’s how I am the total opposite from what people thought I was. Reality is I am struggling with my slothful self to get my things done. This is why I always need a planner to keep me going, to keep me sane. But that still does not mean I am an organized one. Sometimes, I can’t or just don’t want to even make time to sit and think of the day. And so I go on live unprepared.

Things get messier, new priorities coming, multiple postponement finally becomes urgent and in the end, I get stressful myself. To make it worse, my body reacts to stress in a way that makes me sick and emotional. Worst? When it’s accompanied by that P.M.S!

Up to this point I will get back to my planners and restart my life. Re-arrange things in order based on the importance and urgency, re-motivate myself, meditate moments, clear my mind and there I go. And the cycle goes on and on in a high frequency. I mean, staying organized can last for just like…a week or two? After that, “drama” begins again.

You see…such a big deal myself is. And you’re telling me I am orrrganized?? That is just an annoying sound I can’t process. I feel like have I been faking myself all my life?? I don’t! I just do what I love to do and I do it my way. But why are people seeing the other side of the coin?

If only they knew how disturbed I am with the random good comments they make on me, they’ll know how funny I am. Or maybe they don’t even mean it? Thinking too much. Haha. I remember when I travelled to UK, a friend of my friend called me “Ms. Inventory” when she saw my multiple pages of packing list.

And she said “Oh My God! Your house must be sooo systematic, right?”

You said my houseeee?? I crumpled my 10-page packing list with rolling eyes and sigh! No, I’m kidding. Hehehe…

That’s how perceptions are killing me softly. And so I made this confession that I am not an organized person that you thought I was. I struggle with myself daily to be a better person, to appreciate time that I have because “By time, indeed mankind is in loss.” [Qur’an, 103 : 1-2]. And planners are my little helpers and I’m doing it also due to my true love for stationery so much! My childhood obsession that never fades as I age. The end of my confessions.

Oh yeah, the Ramadhan Planner. I can’t wait to officiate it as it’s dated starting from Sha’ban month to start preparing for Ramadhan, and Sha’ban is just next week, guys! Ya Allah, may we all utilize the month wholeheartedly and gain as much compounded rewards as we hoped for. Let’s try our best.

Till the next post,
SALZY

What I Learned From 5 Years of Marriage

18 February 2017 was my 5th wedding anniversary with my beloved Husband. They say, the first 5 years is the first phase of marriage. That means we’ve passed the first phase but what’s the score? Question is, how many phases does a marriage have? Haha.

So what has 5 years taught me so far? A lot! Too many.. Rewinding 5 years, I believe the person I tied the knot with is not completely the same person anymore. Same goes to me! Time changed, things changed, people changed. We went through a lot, we grew from just a couple to parents and to parents-of-two. We love, we argue, we discuss, we fight, we rekindle and repeat. Enduring and enjoying everything in 5 years, these 3 marriage lessons I’d love to share.

BEING A SUPPORTIVE PARTNER. “Behind every successful man, there stands a woman.” But the woman is not only standing. She has to faithfully support her partner for what he chased for. The problem is, how are you going to support a partner doing something you don’t like? Here comes tolerance. Tolerance can be the most common advice we hear about marriage but one that takes the most effort too. Marrying someone who loves Motorsport so much and devotes himself into it, while I have no idea and no interest about it all, was no fun. Tolerance is just overrated, ignorance is better. So I never really involved myself into his activities and avoided any conversation related to it. When he wanted to chit-chat about his rides, I changed topics. When he watched racing shows, I left.

Until I realized these behaviours slowly bored our marriage, I decided to change. I love him and love is about accepting the total person, including his pursuit. I changed my prayers from hoping him to stop doing what he’s doing; to asking Allah to open my heart to love and support my husband’s true passion. I ask Allah to keep him safe all the time, keep myself calm from worrying so much on the risks and a lot more. I also pray for Allah to reward him with winnings if it’s good for him. After all, I thank Allah for destining this kind of partner to me. It’s not that I have an abusive husband! And you know what? Wonderfully since then, I see more rezeki coming his way in that aspect. He began to get opportunities to join track days at the Sepang Circuit, built a team, entered the Malaysian Superbike Championship 2016, received sponsorship and won podium positions. Alhamdulillah. It’s not that I’m saying it all because of me, but I learned that by supporting my husband, for the sake of Allah, we are happier.

RESPECT FOR FAITH. Generally, we respect people for some qualities in themselves and one of them is for being responsible. If someone who has the responsibility on us (in any other aspects, not marriage) and he or she is really responsible, we’d respect him for what he is or what he’s done. Sometimes, we choose not to respect the person because he is not fully responsible so he doesn’t deserve it. Common humane behaviour.

But in marriage, respecting the husband is an obligation come what may. Do we have a choice not to? Yes, it’s the same like choosing to go straight to hell. Nauzubillah! But then again,  being a normal human and standing on a position titled ‘Wife’, I can’t avoid being selfish and demanding too. From the basic necessities to extra money to household chores to emotional attention to children to future plannings to everything; so I will respect him. Because? Those are his responsibilities. Question is, are we married to a perfect person? No, nobody in this world is perfect, nor our partners or ourselves. Still, obeying the husband is the key to Jannah. We can’t apply that common humane behaviour, above, in marriage because that’s not what we’re taught of. That’s why we are always reminded to say “I love you for the sake of Allah”. Have faith, remember the reward that Allah has promised and remember the punishment too if we don’t! 😥

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PRAYERS CAN CHANGE. Everyone has a dream marriage or nowadays what people hashtag : #relationshipgoals. We want partners who tolerate, communicate well, be there when in need, is pious, loyal, all ears, appreciative, romantic…all sorts of qualities. And these all, we can mindlessly gain them in the beginning of the marriage, sounds right? Newlyweds oxytocin hormone :D. But along the way with our daily routines, occasional problems arisen and also knocking parenthood, we might overlook our partner once and that only can stop us doing our loving acts and slowly fade the spark in the relationship. Or, you never even had the kind of relationship you wanted? You’ve tried but all you get is frustration? I tell you, prayers can change, prayers do change. To me, stop putting so much effort to gain our partner’s attention because we are women. We don’t chase. Men come to us. Hahaha… Jokes aside, prayers work miraculously. If you believe in your #relationshipgoals and it’s for the sake of Allah, never stop hoping. Pray harder.

Entering the 6th year and more to count, I am pretty nervous of what’s coming. The past 5 years were a bumpy ride but we made it thus far. Things I mentioned above are still the things I’m learning to master. This post serves as a reminder to myself in the future. If you found it beneficial to you, I’m happy. If not, I apologized and please take it as words from just a 5-year-old girl in the world of marriage, still young! 🙂

Till the next post,

SALZY