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

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

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! 😥

Hadith.JPG

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

Recap 2016

The last day of 2016 was an ordinary weekend to me. Housekeeping, cooking and wrestling with the kids. Later in the evening I sat and wanted to take some time tweeting a bit about my 2016. But somehow the Twitter connection was bad, nothing that I texted managed to get posted. It kept failing until the clock tick that changed my age, I don’t feel like posting them anymore. So anti-climax.  But because I have a blog now, it’s worth to migrate them here and I can elaborate longer, for future remembrance.

It started well with some resolutions set. Mainly two things, I wanted to do and learn stock trading seriously and also started my online business. These two did not go well and not something that I will continue in 2017. Not that I don’t try but it just didn’t work out my way. It’s ok, I know learnt something from that beyond that. At least I tried. No regret.

The year that I did not involve with pregnancy, labor and breastfeeding activities (direct feeding only). Both kids are toddlers and I’m kinda comfortable with that. Had a session with husband on recapping our 2016 and goals setting for 2017 and we’re thinking of another no-baby year for us. I am just not ready physically and much to focus on Dhany and Ayash. But if there’s rezeki in that way, of course it must be a blessing from Allah . Just hope that everything will be easy.

I went to UK! London has been my dream place to go since I was born. Maybe I hoped I was born there. Haha. Finally a dream came true on my 30th birthday. Credit to my bestie Lia for the ad-hoc plan and of course my dear husband for the permission. I have such a cool husband when it comes to this. Alhamdulillah.

Now I have a new dream place to go. I will just let it be in my subconscious mind. It’s far and costly but who knows one day it will come true in the easiest way possible? Just like how London came to me. InsyaAllah.

We had our first family Raya photo-shoot and I love it so much! It wasn’t perfect but so meaningful. I wanna do it yearly and see my family grows.

2016 was a healthy year. Healthy in a way that there was no hospital admission to any one of the family members. Only some illnesses at some points of the year and we’re then back to normal. I have to remember this because being healthy is a huge blessing from Allah. I don’t want to wait until the time we get sick to only realize the gift of being healthy.

Savings failed. At the end of 2015, we bought a house. So throughout 2016 we’re settling down with the agreements and down-payment. All of our savings gone to financing that future house of ours. Hopefully we can do better this year. It’s so scary to live without extra cash on hand with the current economic condition.

September 2016 was the most significant month to me. Something happened that took an unexpected turn in my life since then. It’s irony that I always mention September is my least favourite month because I don’t like number “9” (haha, no point) but this September is precious. It’s not that usual wake-me-up-when-september-ends September. It’s a September to remember and I praise Allah for what He has planned for me and my family.

2016 has been another remarkable year. Good Bye.

Till the next post,

SALZY