Kids Away Time

It’s Mother’s Day and I’m just here at home with my younger boy. Hubby’s outstation and my elder one is away from home. This boy, he’s also outstation – at granny’s hometown a.k.a his most favourite place! We sent him off for two weeks so we’re just parenting one child at the moment. Less hectic.

Both of my kids are so attached to the kampung, my husband’s side. They got their grandma there, aunties, uncles, cousins and friendly neighbours. Those people who always pamper them with what they want and oh, not to forget the chickens, ducks, goats, cats, rabbits and all the pets you name it. How can it not be fun there?

The very first time I left my son there with my mother-in-law was when we’re welcoming our second born. I was off for my confinement and he was only 1 and a half years old. I missssed him so much I cried most of the time. This mother-child separation is never a good idea I promised not to ever separate with my kids anymore, even for a short time. It’s not only about missing him but of course I was also worried about him, right mamas? His health, his safety. Sure everyone would take a good care of him but the fact that he’s miles away and should anything happen, we’re hopeless!

But then, you know… I come to understand that this is like a family culture. It’s different from mine. My parents won’t request us to leave our kids to them but with my in-laws, vice versa. I was first confused whether or not we should do that because our kids are still toddlers. Like is it right to hand your kids over while you’re home, child-less? My husband is on the other side. He’s okay with the idea of leaving the kids for a while as he knew how his mother really wanna spend time with her grandkids. So I was alone. It’s not nice to say ‘No’ so there you go kids. Have some fun leaving your mom crying at the corner of the bed.

What? No!

The kids are partying with the animals feeling like the king of the jungle while Mom is crying at the corner. of. the. bed? “Come on, Mom. Have some fun too!” – I told myself.

Yeah, after a few rounds of having this child-less period, I learn to control my emotions better. The most important is to appreciate the time that I have for myself and with my husband alone. Rather than worrying the unnecessary things, I remind myself that I have sooo many personal things to do. Things that I can’t do if the kids are also ‘interested’ to join. Like, blogging? Hehe.. This is the time I can write longer posts without pauses. Reading? I do read all the time even when they’re jumping on my body but this is the time I can read in my quiet zone which is so peaceful. Shopping! Without having to rush home because the kids are waiting. I can go for a movie with my husband, try out new restaurants and even pray without being climbed!

Plus, I think, what kind of grudge is that when you don’t allow your kids to be with their granny? Especially the in-law’s side. Some might do that and they sure have their own reasons. But to me, when I flashback-ed the time when I was a kid, I also had these chances to stay at my grandma’s home (father’s side) for a certain period. What if, my mom didn’t allow me to just because it’s not what she favors? Adult issues, won’t it be weird to a kid?

And so I tried to view this kids away time in a more healthy way, not just for us parents. There, they can explore different things from what I cater for them at home in the city. The environment gives them more exposure to the nature. They’re boys! Go play more with natural dirt than just Lego. Both are good anyway. The animals.. oh, sorry. They can’t have this with Mom because I’m so chicken when it comes to approaching animals. Big-family bonding and also the flexibility to mingle with people other than just us the parents.

At home, I apply some rules in hope to discipline them and when they break it, I gotta teach them a lesson. When the time is not right, I become a monster. So sometimes yes, I admit that it’s not all the time fun with me at home. Grannies don’t parent the kids. We, parent the kids. Once in a while when they get to escape to a different atmosphere for quite some time, I guess it’s good for both sides too. After all, it’s only 2 or 3 weeks and then with the will of Allah we will be reunited, blissfully.

At the moment, only my elder son is away so I’m having an exclusive time with my baby boy. Yeah, 2 and a half years old and still baby! He clings to me and I cling to him, oh boy. Happy Mother’s Day 🙂

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

Worst Horrible Companion

“Shaitan only wants you to suffer. Imagine taking a best friend or a closest companion as an advisor who’s constantly whispering and these only go to destroying. When you turn away from the remembrance of Allah, this is what happens. This shaitan becomes your horrible intimate companion.

And what happens when I turn away and I’m not remembering Allah through out my day? I left myself open to the enemy and this enemy comes in and now this enemy becomes my advisor.

What is so dangerous about this is that you cannot see him. And so when he whispered, guess what? You think is your idea. You think it’s your idea.”

Yasmin Mogahed @ Silver Linings Talk, Malaysia
15th April 2017

Confessions of a Planner Addict

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Till the next post,
SALZY

Waiting For A Miracle?

“Allah may grant you a miracle according to what you perceived is a miracle. And if you don’t get what you perceived is a miracle, you need to know that what He has done for you is always a miracle.

You need to know this.

When Allah doesn’t give you what you want, you need to know He’s always done whatever He wanted.

That is a miracle for you. You may not understand it.”Mufti Ismail Menk

Reading Diet

“A reading diet is basically reading different types of books. A lot of people tend to stick to one genre of books because that’s what they like but they should liven up their reading “diet” by reading other types of books like classic books, educational books, etc.” https://answers.yahoo.com/ [What is Reading Diet]

I came across this term today. It’s something that I always do especially when setting up goals for the new year, I don’t know there’s a specific terminology on that. Hehe, cool. Some other definition says it’s about allocating how many hours a day or a week to read what. Depends on individual as for myself, let’s take it as a diet for the whole year of 2017.

Speaking of genre of books, my all-time favourite is; self-help, or you call it motivational books. I’ve been reading this kind of books since my university time and I could not stop. Self-help books are always inspiring and they keep me going with my daily life. It is the first section I will head on to whenever I pay a visit to bookstores. I have read everything self-help. Family self-help, Islamic self-help, parenting self-help and even a self-help for a broken-heart. This genre will never go out of my reading diet.

But when setting up my reading goals annually, I will add-on other genres too. For 2016, because I was involved with stock trading, my focus was more to investment books and related. My favourite pick I would love to recommend to anyone who’s searching for a good investment book is the ‘Secret Psychology of Millionaire Traders by Conrad Alvin Lim.’ 

Non-fiction was my favourite when I was a student but now, not anymore. I even had a collection of Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella. It’s been awhile I haven’t been reading novels so I added it in my list and the target was to read three novels in the year. So yeah, I did it three but somehow, it wasn’t really fun anymore like when I was younger. It was so draggy to finish one book, haha you know the feeling.

shopaholic

Here comes 2017, I have set some new genres to feed my reading appetite this year. Those are Religion (Islam), Places and Biography. These are sooo rare to me..hehe. All these while, I do read Islamic books but those are more to ibadah guidelines, du’a collections and Islamic parenting. This time, my approach is more towards worldly issues that happened in the history of our religion. It’s pretty mortified to admit that my knowledge on this subject is so scarce. At times, I avoid to read on these topics because I think it’s too heavy for me absorb. But hey, I’m 30 already I should make a change! Until when do I read just my favourite genres and not grow? I will start with this book “Jerusalem In The Quran by Imran Hosein” recommended by my reading buddy, Aimi. She’s been recommending all those heavy-to-digest books to me. She said “stop lahh reading all those self-help books, read theseee” haha so cruel! But yeah, gonna give myself a try. I’m sure there are so much interesting facts about my religion I never knew existed.

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Places. I am not a frequent traveller. The first time I went out of the country was only at the age of 30. I even haven’t finished visited my own country. The problem is with myself. I am not adventurous and travelling is absolutely a big deal to me. I’m not the kind of spontaneous guys who can just pack and go with only minimal planning. But I know the benefits of exploring places while it’s also a sunnah of our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who, amongst other things, saw it as an essential way to seek knowledge and appreciate God’s creations. To develop the interest, why don’t I start with reading books on places or travelling tips which I saw quite a plenty nowadays produced by local travellers. That would suit me.

Biography is the story of someone’s life. Personally, I love to learn from people’s life experience. Every individual has his own stories and especially for successful people, there must be a journey worth taking. Sometimes, life can be so dramatic yet real. How do these people get through it? What do they learn from it? After all that happened what has actually made them today? What are their personal thoughts on life? My mom has a biography book of Prof. Dr. Muhaya and when I read through, I can’t be more inspired. She is gold. May Allah bless her and my mom too.

There goes my reading diet for 2017. What about yours? I can’t wait to head on to my favourite bookstores to splurge myself with books. Whatever your pick is, may we all gain something from it and this is gonna be another year of contentment. Happy reading!

Till the next post,

SALZY

Even If I’m Right

When I was young and immature, I stood on the principle of “Customer is always right”. Customer services at restaurants, shops or online must be at par performance. I was fussy, strict on my needs, could not tolerate mistakes and I am always right.

After graduation, I worked in a company as a junior executive. Being in Finance department is well-known of it’s stress and heavy workloads. More to that, I had a bad boss who was so inconsiderate and always finding mistakes. I was so bullied but as an employee, nothing much I can do than just bear the pressure on me. Until one point I couldn’t take it anymore, I blew up and had a fight with the manager in the middle of the department. I knew I was right and everybody knew she’s sick and annoying so I knew everybody would be on my side. I shouted right on the boss’ face and we’re fighting over a matter. Afterwards, we both were called by the senior manager to solve the problem. I even cried in the room. It was the most stressful moment dealing with sick people.

As I grow older, I realized how bad was the attitude. Looking back at those incidents I feel so ashamed of myself. Bursting out in public is really embarrassing no matter whether you are right or wrong. From there, I learned to control my anger and never want to get mad over minor issues with minor people.

Even if I’m right, it is not worth it to waste my time arguing with these toxic humans. Even if I’m right, I don’t deserve high blood pressure to prove myself right. Even if I’m right, I don’t have to embarrass myself in front of the public who actually don’t care that I am right. They don’t deserve my anger.

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On customer services, I always bear in mind that these people are doing their job. When things don’t go my way and they apologize, I learn to say “it’s ok” even when it’s actually not ok. There is always another day and I’d be hopeful it will not happen again.

But when services are truly bad and the staff are really sickening, of course I feel like teaching them a lesson. This case, I’ll do it right, I’ll tell them and them only, not the whole restaurants or shops. I’ll do it once only and if they’re still rude, I will just walk away and know that there’s no next-time for this company anymore.

I remember an episode on Grey’s Anatomy when Dr. Alex Karev was having a fight with another doctor and Meredith Grey was there to stop the argument as they’re almost punching each other. She pushed Alex to the side and asked him to walk away. She said “Walk away! Walk away….justtt…walk away…” Alex left straight and not turned back at all. Hehe…I love that scene and dialogue so much Meredith is great! Karev is cool! Hence every time I happened to be involved with this kind of situation, I’ll whisper this to myself and walk away. Feeling Meredith. :p

While of course for Muslims, we’re advised to always istighfar and stay calm. I’m still not totally a cool person but I hope as I grow older, I age wiser. I always admire oldies who are very calm and patient when it comes to irritating issues that youngsters would just blow quick tempered. I’m not sure it’s because they’ve gone through things like mine or they’re born tolerant or they just have no energy to nag. Hehe..I’m kidding.

Even if you’re right, yes you’re right.

Till the next post,

SALZY