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

Advertisements

Recap 2017 (Part 1)

It’s December now let’s recapppp….!! Wow it’s so overwhelming. It’s the time of the year that we rewind our minds to re-walk the year that we flipped day by day, we thought we’re moving slowly but actually 365 days have been folded without we even realized it!

What happened to our goals that we set up in the beginning? Gulp! I must cringe a little thinking of this cause I know I don’t accomplish everything in my list. Do you gulp too? Would you think to just forget it and it’d be better to start with a fresh set of goals for 2018? No guys! Stop right there. The New Year can wait and this soon-to-be an old year needs a proper goodbye. No matter how lousy we thought a year has been, when we look closely we could actually identify even more blessings in disguise. Maybe we don’t accomplish what we wanted to but something else slips in out of our expectation and makes the year be more meaningful than how we planned it to be. Who knows?

Earlier this year I posted my Goals 2017 in this post My 2017 Has Just Started. So let’s go through it again one by one. Don’t laugh okay? =D

new-year-resolutions-2017

SPIRITUAL – Learn harfiyah (Qur’an translation by words)
Not accomplished. Huhu.. My target was only to start learning and cover just three pages of Surah Al-Baqarah but still I didn’t manage to realize it. I did start and try to learn from a book I bought from the Pesta Buku KL in May but honestly I couldn’t follow the teaching, it’s not as easy as I thought and slowly it’s abandoned, I’m back to referring the tafseer as usual. And so it’s a mission not accomplished but, but.. I’m not giving up. I will try again, restart and find a more systematic way of learning the Quranic language. I hope I’ll make it someday.

SPIRITUAL – Memorize a number of surah in Juzu’ 30
Checked. I focused on this in the Ramadhan month revising the surah that we easily articulated when we were a kid but growing up? Most are forgotten, or just me in this case. Surah Lazim only? Because they’re short and within my ability. Hehe. I’m really so bad at memorizing. Another reason is that, those surahs are the ones that we usually recite in our prayers. In the book 33 Ways in Developing Al-Khushoo’ – Humility and Devotion in Prayer, it says that one of the ways to increase our khushoo’ when praying is by varying the surah that we recite after the Al-Fatihah rather than just repeating the same ones in all prayers. It will make us be more focused and careful with our recitation and it’s also a sunnah. It’s what done by the Prophet (pbuh). And so I had with me this book below that I bought from the Pesta Buku as well. It’s like a children’s book but it’s so good for us adult too because it has the Surah as usual, the normal translations and also translations by words. And also an asbab al-nuzul with conclusions of the histories. It’s making my memorization easier and more effective. Truly a good revision and I managed to cover a number of surahs that I have actually forgotten. This practice shouldn’t stop. I will have to continue with more surah and keep repeating the current ones too because forgetting is easy.

Surah Lazim

alkhushoo

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT – Learn lettering art
I did it!! Calligraphy was really an impossible thing for an ugly handwriting like me but slowly, finally I could flow the pen and create nice wordings at the very least! I actually joined a calligraphy class once just to find out that after all it’s a skill that I have to nurture and be patient with myself. It takes time and I almost gave up but the one who encouraged me to continue doing it was my own husband who joined my lettering activities at home and produced many pretty creative letterings and doodles too. I’m enjoying this!

letteringart.JPG

My amateur piece of work

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT – Learn to ride a motorbike
In my dream. Haha. I don’t know why I set this as my goal because when I thought of doing it, I doubted my purpose. My husband was all ready to coach but I was so reluctant and kept delaying it. Eventually, this goal is buried.

HEALTH – Do health screening & dental checkup
Done health screening but missed my dental checkup. Oops!

HEALTH – Exercise regularly
Yes I did, which I mean by simple morning exercises. Regularly? Yes, but I did not track myself. Sometimes I missed it for many weeks but I can say, overall, for the whole year it’s something that I did constantly. I should track myself closer next year.

HEALTH – Jog weekly
I did itttt!!! Allow me to be proud of myself as I managed to pull myself through the year doing something that I hadn’t been doing for years! Seriously I couldn’t recall the last time I actually exercise and jog regularly cause it’s been too long ago but this year I managed to drag myself down to the park at least once a week, sometimes twice a week and jogged until I feel tired. Hehehe. My office has this monthly Fun Walk & Jog programme after work so I never missed it. On Wednesdays and Fridays we’re allowed to wear casuals so always I am ready with sport shoes from home. My office campus is a pleasant area to jog around so I’d shut down early, go down and run before my husband arrives to pick me up. In June, we moved to a new apartment that has this gym facility so I started gym-ming with my husband but erm, I’m not used to running on a treadmill so I don’t enjoy it much. Jogging at the park is more fun! Well, I’m still not really fit physically as I don’t push myself so hard cause I don’t want to be demotivated. The point is just to get off my arse and keep doing it so once this has become a habit, I will increase my level of physical challenge. Chewah!

funwalkjog.JPG

Fun Walk & Jog @ Bangsar South

ROMANCE – More dating (without kids)
Yes, we did it, everyday. Every morning at breakfast, on our way to work after sending the kids to the babysitter. Are those considered a date? Haha. We had movie dates twice and other couple times were usually in between running errands. Romantic much?

breakie.JPG

At our favourite breakfast spot in PJ

ROMANCE – Communicate better
Not properly defined so how do I evaluate this? Haha

FAMILY – Family holidays at Langkawi
Noooo… 😦

FAMILY – Playtivities with kids
Hurm, guess I did this only in the first half of the year. Was so enthusiastic with so many ideas from the Facebook I prepared one activity after another during the weekends. I lost momentum after the Raya period and did less fancy activities with the kids after that. Oh, Mommmm….!

CAREER – Move to other position or department
This was actually my main focus of the year. I really wanted to shift cause I was triggered by my close colleagues who left for better offers. But you know when you’ve tried but luck is not on your side, how would you perceive it then? Me, I simply thought it’s just not my rezeki yet and I was kinda disappointed. Until a friend told me that it’s not that it’s not my rezeki at other places, but actually my rezeki is there in my position now. So why should I leave? It opens my eyes and makes me realize so many good things I am benefitting here so why should I trouble myself at other unpredictable environment? I remind myself again that it’s really important to be happy at the workplace so if I’m now happy, what else matters? Can’t I just be thankful? Earlier today during the KPI review I told my leader that I cancelled my intention that I told her earlier this year and that I wanna stay with the team. Hahaha.

CAREER – Join events as committee
Yesss.. I am a member of the CSR Club in my office and I did involve in the programmes and it’s so much fun!

wishing tree

Wishing Tree Event by BP BSC Asia CR Club @ Pediatric Institute HKL, Nov 2017

FINANCE – Creative savings
Haha. What I meant by creative savings was actually saving money by keeping a particular color of notes and never spending it. It’s again an idea from the FB. For example, keeping all the green 5-dollar notes, or yellow 20-dollar notes so by the end of the year they’re gonna make a striking color mountain. So where’s my mountain now?? I built it! But volcano happened. Hahahaha failed!!

FINANCE – More sedeqah
Let’s keep this undisclosed, shall we?

FUN & RECREATIONS – Join volunteer activities for charity
Once onlyyyy.  I joined a friend go to a Refugee Centre to spend time with the kids teaching and playing with them. Nice one. I wanted to join more external parties a.k.a NGOs for these activities but at this phase, I’m quite family-bound so it’s kinda not practical for me to leave the kids for outside programmes. Well I should find something that can involve them as well, right?

unchr

At UNCHR Refugee Centre

FUN & RECREATIONS – Organize birthday party for Errasy
Also not done and I don’t want to promise anything next year. Huh!

SOCIAL – Outdoor potluck with Rockchicks
We had this! Yeay.. I really wanted to have this agenda with the girls but another friend has voiced it out earlier and organized such a fun picnic at the Botani Park, Putrajaya. Cool!

SOCIAL – Keep in touch with far friends
I meant not through Facebook, but through personal Whatsapp or calls. But hurm, I’m still missing many of my people.

OTHERS – Reading diet
Books on Religion – checked.
Biographies – checked.
Places – not checked. This answers why I am travelling nowhere, durh!

OTHERS – Blogging
As you can seeee 😉

Okay doneee recapping my goals list of 2017. Overall, it’s an average accomplishment I would say? Some checked, some not checked and it’s always like that for every year. Haha.

Heyyy…this post is too long already but I am not finished yet. I still have a lot to talk about this year, so? To be continued in Part 2!

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 :

blogging attempt.JPG

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

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 : 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

Congratulations, Lia

17.7.17 – A beautiful date to remark a beautiful memory. Today was my best friend’s big day! After almost 4 years struggling to achieve her dream to receive that doctorate in Accounting discipline, she finally made it last year and today was the official graduation. It was held thousand miles away in UK but we, the friends, in Malaysia did not miss to witness the ceremony broadcasted live through the web. Like wow, technology! With the very clear video plus a 360 virtual reality live stream show, we really could feel the heat in the University of Manchester’s hall. Hehe really, the music sound was ding ding ding making me feel extra nervous that I would miss the moment. But with the friends on What’s app group together updating each other to get ready, it turned into an excitement. This friend’s graduation is a shared happiness, and a shared success too! Hence, we also own partial of that Doctor of Philosophy, yeah? Hehehe.

CONVO1

Congratulations my dear!! You did it!! I’m sooo proud of you. A PhD completion in less than four years? It’s a big wow. This journey wasn’t easy, you nailed it. Come what may, you got it. You deserved to be happy, you deserved to be proud of yourself. Well done, doc!

Last year I went to UK to visit her when she was still there in her final year. I flew alone and it was my first time travelling out of the country. From just a normal text conversation, suddenly she came out with an idea to drag me to her place like it’s just next door. This is how it started. I went to Genting Highlands with my little family and it was night time. It was soooo cold I couldn’t stand that 17 degree temperature outdoor. In my mind was – this is only Genting, not UK! UK is definitely colder but I wasn’t sure how low. So back home, I texted Lia and asked her what’s the normal temperature there in Manchester she’s living. She said “7 – 8 degree at the moment, why?” I was like whattt?? That’s damn cold how do you breatheee?! She replied “Why, are you coming??” I laughed and told her about Genting and so.

Three weeks after the conversation, I touched down UK and breathed in the coolness myself. That’s how simple a partner in crime worked the impossibility. It was spontaneous but timely, the day I arrived was the day Lia had the green light to submit her final thesis. So the very first place she brought me to visit, out of many interesting places in Manchester, was the printing shop! Haha.

UoM  MBS

I’m glad I was part of the journey, the very least one. The highlights of today’s occasion in some way flew my mind way back in our college time when we were students, pursuing our first degree. Those years we talked a lot about the future, our goals and dreams, like an open book. Our plans and preferences differed, making it fun listening to each other. Lia had always wanted to continue studies to the highest level, PhD. Who would’ve ever thought, after 10 years, the ordinary talk finally took its turn into real play. All praise be to Allah who listened and willed the plans as she wished for.

 

Convo2

Being the witness from day one she voiced out the wish, I felt touched because I know the ride wasn’t easy, it’s flawed and bumpy. Not everything worked out the way we wanted it to be as we hoped everything would be smooth but Allah shaped it with a mix of sweet and sour of life. After all the sweats and tears, He finally handed the final result wrapped in the most beautiful package of persistence and determination. At this point, we couldn’t be any happier and more grateful. Indeed, Allah is the best of planners.

Today was one of those days that I sat with my chin cupped reminiscing the good old days. We’re blessed.

Till the next post,
SALZY