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

Ink of the Oceans

This morning we recited Surah Luqman and did some tadabbur. My husband picked a verse (31:27) and when we went through the meaning, I was like; “Eh, why do I feel like we’ve come across this verse before?”. Hubby said yes he purposely picked that verse and asked me to recall which verse in which surah previously. Oh too bad I couldn’t recall :/ . It’s actually the other almost similar verse in the Friday-ritual surah; Al-Kahfi (18:109). Let’s take a look.

Alkahfi Luqman1

Spot the similarities? Both verses are telling us about the wisdom of Allah. The point is important yet the metaphor is beautiful. In Al-Kahfi it says, the ocean as the ink will never be enough to write the words of Allah while in Luqman adds, even with another 7 oceans, it will still never be enough to write the words of Allah. Indeed, His ‘ilm (knowledge) is boundless.

Imagine a single pen that we use for writing every single day. How long does it take for the ink to finish? Months? How about having the oceans as the ink? Masha Allah! We can never reason how much, how broad His knowledge is.

Two things hit me this morning when I pondered on these aayah. First is to never think like we know everything when we think we knew-it! Stay grounded. Second, when we are clueless about something, don’t wreck our head out to explosion. Ask Allah. He knows best, He knows everything.

These two dalil we have to hold to keep in mind about the Al-Hakim. With the same symbol, the oceans, it’s mentioned twice to emphasize. Or maybe more? Wallahu’alam, these are just what we found and a lot more we don’t know. May Allah guide us all.

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

Book Review and To-do

I just finished a book that is a biography. Title : One Day It’ll All Make Sense by Common with Adam Bradley. The author is an American rapper, actor and film producer. I was attracted by the title that it’s like telling you how life can be full of question marks but in the end, it’ll all make sense.

One Day It'll All Make Sense

So yeah it started out with the story of a broken family that he came from and how from there he went through life achieving his dreams. Nicely written and thoughtful but also too detailed and so many names mentioned. Nevertheless, what I really like is that throughout the chapters, there are passages written by his mother speaking her view of his life from her perspectives.  It’s like a parenting book as well.

At the end of the book, there’s a study guide by Dr. Mahala Hines discussing on the topics to relate the contents of the book with us. For example :

“Rashid (the actual name of Common) writes about love and fear influencing the decisions he makes. How do love and fear influence the decisions you make?”

Something like that. But I’m not interested with that one. I’ve picked these two prologue activities as my to-do’s :

In the prologue, Rashid states, “I also realize that my life is an expression of all those I have known and all who have known me.”
List at least five people who have made an impression on your life. Explain how each person has shaped who you are today.

In the chapter Take It Ez, Rashid wrote a letter to his younger self. His own person who once did not know what the future had in store.
Write a letter to yourself as if you are a thirty-year-old reflecting on your youth.

Now, does this mean I have a homework? Yes, one that has no deadlines 😀

Till the next post,
SALZY