Three Repetitive Advices

Don’t you notice that when we live with a same person for a significant number of years, the person tends to indirectly talk about a particular thing over and over again?

Today marks 6 years of me living with my husband in a happy marriage. We talked a lot, every single day about many things but when I looked back, I realized there are things that we talked so repetitively about. Or, he, what I actually meant here.

He talked about something once, certain points, with certain wordings, clearly, understood and absorbed by me but later, not long after, he mentions about it again. Of the same points. Of the same wordings. That sometimes makes me think that ‘is this devaju? ‘No, it’s not. It really did happen before. He really did say it before. But he’s repeating the sameeee things so when I said “ya you’ve said this before” he would just say “ya, that’s about it.” Them urm, okay.

And not long after, he’d say it again. Or maybe long after, but not long enough as my memory is still retaining the facts oh why on earth must he be mentioning things many times? Do you live with this kind of creatures? Or are we all like this too? Haha me maybe, without realizing it.

Along with our anniversary, I’m writing down these 3 advices from my husband that I’ve heard countless of times in these 6 tender years.

First, is to never say “IF” or “IF ONLY” or “WHAT IF?”

Like “If only I had done this the other way around, things would’ve turned out much better.” – this, in regards of being regret of things that had happened or been done.

Or another way is in regard of overthinking of what’s gonna happen in the future that’s beyond our control.

But this if-ness is so me. It’s like built-in within myself that makes it a habit of mine. I’m saying and I’m thinking of these if’s like all the time and I relate it to all things. Hurm, that’s why I grew up being such an overthinker who tries to control everything which ended up making me feel stressed of my own.

And because of this, I don’t like him to remind me to not overthink or to not say what-ifs because it’s natural and I think it’s necessary to be well-prepared of whatevs. But this too actually comes from a hadith that says ‘If only’ opens the door to Shaytaan’s whispering.” 

Now what, self? It’s forbidden by the religion, by Allah and by the Prophet (pbuh)! And it’s reminded through my husband in his repetitive advice that I really have to hold on to myself and keep close, and to not say ‘if’ excessively till it could become a sin. Things happened means things happened. Accept, and submit, full stop. Phew, this is hard! But, Lillahi Ta’ala, I’m trying my best!

Second, is to never discriminate the love for kids

When I was a little girl, I was so conversant with these ‘family terms’ that people called a certain child as the “golden child” and the other certain as the “black sheep”. I was so familiar to observing families or siblings of many that they must have these two subjects among them. I thought it’s a normal thing. I thought it’s possible for a parent to love one child more than another just for what they deserved based on education, or behaviours, or prettiness? For God’s sake!

But with my husband, he objects the facts of that ‘family terms’ in total and disapproves it to exist in our family at all. He always reminds us (me and him too) to never discriminate the love for kids. Each one deserves equal yet total loves and attentions from us no matter how clever or naughty they are, the first, the middle or the last, a boy or a girl. Yes, we tend to differentiate the kids, we tend to compare them. To compare things or people is actually very natural and humane. We compare everything that we encounter every day. And every kid is definitely different from one another but in the end, we do not discriminate the loves we’re pouring to each of them.

Being accustomed to the observation since I was young, this is such a very important advice I have to keep with me in growing myself as a mother with more kids upcoming. Mentioning this repetitively makes it a culture in our family and from there I realized that yes, between Edhany and Errasy, we couldn’t really identify who is more dominant than another though they’re quite much different. Like the CGPA concept we have in university, the scores in each subject might vary from each student but on the finals, both get 4 flats!

Third, is to embrace aging with no shame

This is not really an advice from him but I willingly take it as an advice for myself from the way he repetitively says or acts about this particular issue – aging. My husband grows grey hairs as early as in his 20’s and even heavier now. My God, he’s really turning all whites by 40’s! But he’s all okay about that. Of white hairs, of wrinkles, he never freaked out. Yeah maybe because he’s a male and he’s married anyway but it’s not that he doesn’t care. He has this distinctive point of view that aging is a good thing, is something one should embrace rather than reject. It’s the fact that we can’t reject getting older so what’s the point?

I don’t know. I think I really enjoyed being young and beautiful that I slowly found myself averse to accept the fact that my joy time has passed and it’s telling me through the change of my own physical and looks. I do enjoy my life now but it’s different. It’s just different in a way that I can’t explain. Haha… I don’t know. I think I really have to reflect on this more spiritually than physically. Come to think that it doesn’t make sense to be asking for long live but not wanting to grow old, right? Wake up! Now I’m making my husband as my aging-idol; one who can’t wait to look like Amitabh Bachchan one day. Haha.

With these 3 repetitive advices, Happy 6th Anniversary to us.

To my husband, it has been 6 years I’ve been listening to not just these three but many more other lectures repetitively from you, I’m sure. It’s gonna be a lie if I tell you I’m not bored. It’s seriously so borrringgggg you know?? Hahaha. Please grant me The Most Honest Wife Award now cause I can’t wait till the 20th anniversary to confess this. Lols.

Jokes aside.

As much as I might feel annoyed of being ‘nagged’ of the same things over and over again, after all what he said are the right things that I actually have to ponder deeper rather than just listen or complain that it’s been repetitive. Married folks, we don’t know until when we’ll still have this pleasure of talking to a companion so before it’s too late, let’s realize this blessing and be grateful for it. A spouse is also a messenger. Light conversations, teasing or even arguments could actually convey very important messages, never ignore.

As ever,
SALZY

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How Tests Are Meant To Be

January delayed post

I was away from my country around these dates a year ago, I brought myself to the most grandiose place of worship in the world; Mecca. It has been a year?? It feels just like yesterday! Everything was still so vivid, so near to my virtual vision sometimes I don’t feel like I’ve left the place. But it’s been a year already I can’t believe.

My trip began on 20th January 2017, we were supposed to touch down Medina on the 20th itself, night time. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, we only arrived at noon of 22nd January. Two days of delay? Read here to know what’s happened.

Five times of flight delay with so many problems in between Astraghfirullah I couldn’t believe it happened. I’m not a frequent traveller, I never faced travelling issues and I’m not a flexible person. As much as I know everything is not under my control, I’m still very dependant to my plans and hard to tolerate uncertainties. Still with all these facts, things happened and became an experience to me. Now that “I’ve been there” for such cases.

My feelings throughout the first three delays were actually very okay. Because you know, we’re about to head to perform ibadah I was so in a peaceful vibe. I’ve cleansed my heart from hatred and dissatisfaction weeks prior to that and set to face everything with an open heart. So when things like these happened, I was so in control and kept faith that everything would be okay and we’d fly through eventually.

Even though we had to be waiting so long, even though we had to move back and forth to the hotel, I was all fine. I took everything as a blessing in disguise like we’re compensated with a nice hotel room, we got all day free delicious buffet spread and that we’re still safe in our country. Plus, I was all the time with my mom so when Mama is around, what else matters right? We spent our free time discussing about our schedules in Saudi, my mom recalled her experience and all that jazz.

Everything was initially, fine.

Until the 4th delay.
Until the fuss that went on with the tardy passengers.
Until I had to sleep on the floor at the waiting area.
Until the 5th delay.
Until we had to return to the hotel for the second time, with our checked-in luggage.
Until the system down for 3 hours on the 6th attempt to check-in.
Until the technical issue with the printed tickets.

Until alllll those, my patience ground finally became uneven. My hopeless-self started to get into character. The positive vibes in me had scattered around the airport and evaporated nowhere. I was all annoyeddd…!

But what to do? What did I get to do when everyone was also facing the same thing like I was? I had my mom there, I had my relatives there and other pilgrims too I can’t be blowing up my anger right in front of them all, no?

Zikr, zikr, zikr….and reflected.

I know those all were tests from the very first delay. But when I think again, the first and second delays were actually not ‘real’ tests. Because it’s something I could easily face. It didn’t test my patience level, it didn’t break my hopeful heart, it didn’t even make me cry. Those were not actual tests for me.

Tests; are meant to be hard, are meant to shake us and are meant to suffocate our faith if it’s not too much for me to say this. When we’re in a ready position to face come what may, we could actually be tested with something out of expectation. And we cannot say things like “I can tolerate if things were the other way around but not this, particularly not this!”. We cannot say “It’s okay if  the delays happened on the return flight, not this!” No! We cannot design the tests, can we? It’s specially designated to us and we’re meant to feel shaken by that in the first place before we find the way out. That’s why it’s a TEST.

Tests can be in many forms but one thing is for sure, they’re meant to be hard. If it happens to be easy and we can face it with no or less trouble and feel that we’re strong enough, hold back; remember how tests are actually meant to be. Though we might feel that we’ve gone through a lot in life, always remember that was not the end. The end is yet to come; all that we hope for is The Help for us to go through everything well and bring us nearer to Him. After all, “Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity.” [Quran, 2:286]

It was so touching arriving in Medina two days from the supposed time after so many obstacles. We couldn’t rid from feeling sad of losing two days of precious time in Medina because schedules were not adjusted. But the very first thing that the Mutawwif reminded us was to remove any remorse and be all grateful that we finally made it there safe and sound. It made our journey became more meaningful and much treasured. Thank you Allah.

Life is a test. That’s what it’s meant to be.
Tests are hard. That’s how they’re meant to be.

As ever,
SALZY

A Stranger That Inspires

I think it’s a bit weird for me to be talking about someone that I never knew. In fact, I never knew this person at all when she was still alive. Just right after she left this world, then only I got to know about her existence. A stranger that I couldn’t identify any mutual acquaintance between us, not even one. Nonetheless, the story of her life has gripped my heart in a very mesmerizing way.

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Photo Source : Instagram @nikidznidalila

 

The Late Nik Idzni Dalila Binti Nik Mahmud – a grown girl, 25-year-old when she passed on, a student then a doctor, a wife, a cancer-fighter.

The day that she passed away on 27th December 2016, the social media has gone viral by the news. I was first not interested with it but the level of “virality” was so high that everyone was sharing the posts with crying emoji and I kept seeing the husband and wife’s pictures with screenshotted captions crossing through my timeline. Too much, I thought…‘What’s the hype?’ So I clicked on.

From one article to another, one Instagram post to the next, scrolling and scrolling, I then became very perplexed! It’s so like a made-up story. This girl was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer, still wanted to continue study, stayed far away from home, found love to a very devoted guy, got married though she’s in that condition, finished studies, became a doctor, health got worse, resigned, came back home, passed away on the very first wedding anniversary! Are these all true?? I didn’t believe it’s a real story, did you?

I stalked all the pictures and was also directed to her blog. Days spent reading almost everything, it was first really heart-breaking but as I read and read, I found that this girl was truly a living proof of miracle! Her life, her illness, her very strong self, put together made one of a kind character that taught me so much real life lessons and impacted me in a way that left me thinking and reflecting about so many things in my life. I was like given answers I’ve been puzzling for so long. And what made me felt more touched was because all these things came through someone who’s no longer around. One whom I don’t and won’t ever get the chance to know in person. A stranger, but truly a godsend that had inspired me through her words she left visible.

I believe there were many other people in kinda similar situations like her but maybe she’s the one that Allah chose to flick my heart and send His messages to me. I learnt from her that being sick is truly a blessing from Allah, it’s not an unfortunate event, not a bad luck. That’s how we always perceived bad things – not just sickness but any difficulties. The way she treated this test from Allah was really extraordinary. She recognized every blessing she gained despite having the cancer and chose to be grateful for everything. When I felt like how lucky she was to be herself, I asked myself; ‘She’s sick, she got c.a.n.c.e.r, she died at only 25… How could I say she’s lucky for all that?’ From there I understand the true meaning of “blessing” in a way that I never deeply thought of.

She inspired me to blog. You know I’d been contemplating to blog for so long. I had long lists of things discouraging me from taking the plunge but most of all was because I feared that I’d regret of what I write myself. I was afraid that in future I realize what I’ve written was all crap. I was scared of being fooled by my own words. But in her blog profile she said this;

A single statement above was like resolving all my contemplations. She’s so full of courage to say this, I was so moved. I can read hundreds of blogs and get inspired, I can read fancy popular blogs and feel enthusiastic to do the same but nothing, nothing really beats my doubt to actually get started. 5 days after her passing, the New Year slipped in and I delayed no more. That’s how it started with many more blogging inspirations I obtained implicitly from her. Truly, she’s the reason for this.

In January this year, I went for Umrah and it was about a month after I knew about this wonderful soul. On my last round; I performed the Badal Umrah for her. It was just spontaneous when I was about to pronounce my niat, I thought of her in my mind so I dedicated the Umrah for her. After I completed the Badal Umrah, I was drawn with a sense of guilt in me. I doubted my action about doing it for her, who was a total stranger. I knew it was already my fourth round of Umrah, all our late relatives have been covered for Badal (by my mom and brother as well) but I still felt that I should’ve prioritized at least someone that I knew in person, not an unknown at all to me. But it’s all done, I wondered why must I still feel that way? I returned home with this unsettled feeling.

Back home, I told my husband about this ‘conflict’ within me. I thought I just wanted to express my feelings but finally my husband came out with something so relieving. He said; “It’s okay, you don’t have to feel this way. Maybe that was a blessing from Allah to her, through you. Maybe when the time you want to niat that, Allah made you think of no one else but her, though she’s just a stranger to you. It’s Allah’s will specially for her; I guess it’s nothing to be felt guilty of?”

I felt like a heavy load in my heart was vanished at all. That was really, really, really calming. Because true! I did not plan that? Her name instantly crossed my mind at that very moment. Indeed it’s Allah’s will, I feel so overwhelmed to be clarified this way. Because if really that’s how Allah blessed her for the strong faith she kept through her tough times in the dunya, isn’t it an ultimate success? Think that, if everything that we have to go through in life is to promise Allah’s blessings for us in the hereafter, what else matters? T_T

I just hope that my Umrah obligations were all valid and accepted and from up there, she would gain the rewards too. May Allah forgive her sins, grant her Jannah and reunite her with all her loved ones one day. This world is indeed temporary; we all will be there too.

It’s been exactly a year since the day she returned to the Creator, and it’s been a year too I’m living life through her wisdoms. If I were to be asked; who is one person that has changed my life in 2017? I’d say it’s definitely her. On earth, we’re two total strangers that had never met eyes, never crossed paths. But in two different worlds, I feel so related to her and this connection I believe comes from Allah as spiritual guidance for me to cruise this life more wisely. Thank you Stranger, for all the things you had done.

Rest in peace, Allahyarhamah Nik Idzni Dalila Binti Nik Mahmud (1991-2016)

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Photo Source : Instagram @nikidznidalila

Innalillahiwainnailaihiraji’un

Till the next post,
SALZY

I Want To Remind Myself

13th October 2017 marks 8 years anniversary of our love relationship. On the same day itself, my husband went for his company’s Annual Dinner event and brought home a lucky draw! Since when he became so lucky? Haha. It’s a Free Lunch Buffet Voucher for 2 pax @ Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside B’s Restaurant. Yeay… We consider this as our anniversary gift, then. Alhamdulillah.

pullman

Today we set to utilize the voucher. Didn’t wanna delay the pleasure and also to celebrate our son’s birthday which was two days ago. Actually, I’d been planning to organize a birthday party for him since early of this year. I’d been saving money, outlining the stuff and listing to-do’s for the event. It’s one of my important agendas for 2017 because we haven’t done any parties for him before. We did one for Dhany but none for Ayash. It’s not that it’s really a must for us do party for every birthday, but once in a while would be nice, right?

Alassss, my plan turned to no avail. Due to? Budget constraint. Haha. This year our financial goes on a roller coaster ride. I thought this is the year that we could save more for more big things upcoming. But it turns out to be just a funny thought. So many more unexpected things came rolling into our pockets and rolled out loaded. At this time, we’re just so broke! Huwarghhh…

And so I cancelled my plan to organize the birthday party for Errasy. We just couldn’t make it, baby. But with this free voucher that dropped from the sky just in time, we seized it for a little celebration with our little family.

cakes

boys

The cakes! Haha…call it a “DIY”. As long as there are candles on it, it is a birthday cake! What a cheapskate parents we are…haha. ‘Desperate time calls for desperate measures’ so mind us okay. Creative mom I am. Lol. Happy 3rd Birthday my baby Errasy! We loveeee you.

We spent two hours indulging the foods and later sightseeing around the hotel area and went home with happy tummies. Free meals are always extra delicious, right? Hehe. Thank you Allah for today and I’m taking some time now for a gratitude moment.

At this moment, I want to remind myself that even in time that we can call ‘hard times’ like this, we still have the opportunity to have fancy meals at a lavish place.

I want to remind myself that at the time we thought we couldn’t spare any money for self-reward like always, a lucky draw decided to reward us with something of our favourites (buffet dine).

I want to remind myself that my plan was unsuccessful but it’s replaced with something more meaningful.

I want to remind myself to be thankful with whatever I got and not whine over insufficiency.

I want to remind myself to be grateful and Allah will increase.

I want to remind myself that with every hardship comes ease.

I want to remind myself to not be hopeless because The help is near.

I want to remind myself that keeping faith in hard times is most rewarding.

I want to remind myself that despite all these we’re still blessed, we’re always blessed.

Things I’ve known so well but at this moment, I just want to remind myself.

Alhamdulillah ‘ala kulli hal.

family

Till the next post,
SALZY

Forgiving When Not Even Sorry

The past week was depressing to me. I was hurt, I was offended. Something happened that didn’t only make it a bad day but a bad week as a whole. I think I haven’t felt this kind of feelings for so long. Problems come and go but rarely it’s about something that makes me feel so offensive. This time, it was just frustrating enough.

I was so down, I tried to control myself and told myself to forget it and not to feel so bad for what’s happened but I just couldn’t keep it silent. I’ve learnt to let off things but this; I couldn’t just ignore the issue so I confronted the person. Sadly, badly, the person was not even sorry for what I felt and it’s just taking my anger to another level – depression!

For days I’d been agitated. Life has been a bit challenging lately but I maintained positivity with me but this thing was just making things worse. After a week or so whining in this gloomy feeling, I told myself to stop and deal with it. Deal with this feeling because dealing with human did not work. At least I tried.

In my quiet time, I self-talked to understand myself. I made it clear of what I was so sad about it and why. I knew the root cause that triggered my anger and I knew the solution was to confront and I was all ready to forgive but…………..the person was not even sorry! Just how could it be? That was actually the reason for my lengthy despair. Yes, a week spent in tears is long okay, I’ve been wasting time.

And so I told myself to forgive, forgive without an apology. Honestly I felt so hard to do that cause I was so hurt so again I made it clear for myself as to why do I have to forgive?

First, I wanna do this for Allah, Lillahi Taala. Taking the person aside, this thing was a test for me on how I would react to it and for it to be a test; of course it’s hard. Allah knows I feel tough about it so when I try to fight this feeling, He looks at my effort. May He have mercy on me and make it easy. Istighfar a lot!

Second, I wanna do this for myself. This pathetic state shouldn’t last for long. I have a lot of things to attend to and time is ticking. This year is reaching the end so let’s get busy as always! Not just by forgetting about it but forgiving it. Trying to forget the hurtful thing is a method of ignoring but no this is not my way. How can you tell yourself to just forget it when you’re not senile? I want to forgive this in a way that I acknowledged my feeling, I entertained it for a certain reasonable period and I expressed it out – through cries and through this; writing. Writing is my intangible medication and by writing about this, I got a clearer vision of my reasons to forgive and may this also serve as a reminder for me whenever I am recalled about this through evil’s whispers. Oh God, please keep it away from me.

Lastly down to karma. No, I don’t mean for karma to happen to the person who has hurt my heart but rather, it might be a karma that’s serving me back for what I’ve done. Maybe I did this to other people; the same exact thing or anything that played with someone’s feelings too. I must have, and I did not apologize. Always we heard when one was being mistreated or betrayed, he would say ‘oh wait for karma to pay you back!’, not realizing that what was happening might be the karma to him, actually. So yeah, this may be the reason why I don’t deserve an apology. I’m sorry…

Spreading these whole things cloudless, I see it’s very little to associate the person and the apology that I demanded as the matter-of-fact. Majorly, it’s about me! Our problems, our disappointments; more often than not they’re about us and how we deal with it. The people, the surroundings, the other little problems that we thought making things worse are all just the characters in this episode. And again it’s a test. We may say that “I forgive people every day, every night, I live with no grudge.” But when the real test strikes, you know it’s not that easy this time, not as always. Just remember, this is when our faith is going to be leveled up. Stay strong inside!

To know this, I then separate the offence from the person who’d hurt me so now, the person is standing free from the mistake. Things happened, it did what it did so now what’s left is just me to spell out my forgiveness.

And so I forgive this person, with all my heart.

i forgive you

 

End of my forgiving-without-an-apology process, you’re welcome =D.

Till the next post,
SALZY

Teach Your Kids at Home

Yesterday, we attended a pre-school’s briefing for parents who planned to enroll their children next year. They organized the briefing to explain about their programmes, syllabus, learning techniques and so forth. Our kids are going to kindergarten in less than 3 months! I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed this whole year and now, at this very moment, this feeling bounced triple. It’s the decision making time. Too many things to be taken into account and everything is crucial. But I’m not gonna talk about that because we’re almost there. A bit more things to be finalized and there you go kids. Hopefully it’s the right decision.

During the briefing, when the principal talked about children’s outcome from the learning, she advised parents to be involved with teaching at home; not just depend on the teachers in school. Well, it’s common, right? In today’s world; everything is on the fast lane. Primary schools’ exam questions are not like our time before they’re much advanced. And so to catch up with this, parents must also teach their kids at home, revise what they’ve learnt during the day and keep track of their development. For a fact, it’s our responsibility anyway. Oh my. Did you just load bricks on my shoulders?

Heavy, and hefty. That’s definitely the feeling every time I think of this particular responsibility. But yesterday, the way the teacher put it in her words when reminding us to do teach our kids at home was so uplifting. She didn’t simply say; “Parents, you must must must teach your kids too. You can’t expect only teachers to do our part and expect your kids to excel.” Typical reminders we heard yet so weakening. She had this message in her speech but this is how she worded it;

“Parents, do teach your kids at home too. Why? Because we want you to also gain the shares in the hereafter, not just us. For every word and every letter in the Quran your kids will read all their lives, there will be rewards to the ones who taught them since they started to know Alif, Ba, Ta. Also A, B, C. Should all the rewards go only to the teachers in school? We want you to gain your shares too. Teach your kids at home, okay?”

Such a beautiful perspective. Focusing on the benefits rather than warning the cause of failures when this is only a beginning. Reminding us on the essence of teaching reward on top of sending-to-school reward and paying-the-fee reward. Telling us the true purpose which is not merely to grow clever kids but to gain as much rewards for the hereafter which is also correcting our intention towards Lillahi Ta’ala. Hinting us that this heavy responsibility is one that we won’t want to cease.

The words lighten my shoulders that were dropped just now. This is my new journey as a parent and this graceful encouragement is one that I will keep close to my mind in holding this responsibility. All the best to me and all parents out there. Let’s do our part!

Till the next post,
SALZY