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

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

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

Made My Day Enough

The whole world celebrated women on the 8th of March 2017. Companies had events for the women in the offices, they gave flowers or chocolates, shops had discounts specially for ladies, clubs did charity sales for single mothers and the social media timelines were all loaded with the wishes…“Happy International Women’s Day!”

When the world was making us feel special for that one day, I did not even get a single wish from my dear Husband. How sweet is that? Knowing the fact that he is not really a date-conscious person, I was sure he had no idea IWD ever existed. Even for birthdays or anniversaries, I got to hint him earlier so that there won’t be any fights afterwards. Typical man, poor wife..Haha.

So yeah I did not really expect anything on this IWD but still, he gotta feel guilty okay! The next day I said to him…

Me : You know yesterday was International Women’s Day? Of course you know, I even mentioned about it on my FB. You don’t even bother to wish me. *pretentious-sulk*

Him : You’re not a woman! You’re a girl…

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Awwww…. I’m melted! Hahahaha..

Even though that’s such an escape I know!! But still… that made my day enough. Of course receiving roses is special but telling me I’m young as a girl in that spontaneous reaction made me feel so flattered! I accept that and you’re off-guilt, Eddy Erman…only for this time!

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! 😥

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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

Stop Being Greedy

It was only 2 months away when my mother offered me to join her for Umrah this round. She has been planning for it since a year ago and I was not in the list. So two months could be quite a surprise for me! My beloved mom was sponsoring the whole fees and I just had to prepare myself and stuffs so it’s definitely a “YES, I’m going”.

kaabah

If we dived into the heart of every Muslim, deep down inside there must be a spot of desire to touch down the Holy Lands Mecca and Medina. These two places of worships are the cities that never sleep. Despite the huge crowd at all times, it is also a place that you can find true peace and serene.

I am no difference. I was too happy and excited to visit the dream place of mine but…knowing the fact that my husband is not joining us disappoints me a little. I also have to leave my two toddlers again after the UK trip previously. I was thinking…erm, this is not what I want. I do wanna go for Umrah but of course I wanna be accompanied by my beloved husband. Couples that pray together stay together, no? I felt like it’s gonna be an imperfect trip of me going “alone” leaving my important people behind. Erm…but that’s okay.

And when I started to inform people that I’m going for Umrah and that I’m going with my mother and brother, my husband is not is joining, kids are not joining, I instantly got the responses like…

“Whyyy are you leaving them…??”

“Oh it’s not gonna be fun!”

“Yeah, travelling with kids is a little trouble but separating with them is worse!”

“Pity those kids being left by mom for weeks”

“If I were you, I just can’t!”

Darnnnn….!! Those mommy-sensitive words were hitting me like a rock. My excitement all gone in a second and I suddenly don’t feel like going. I started to ramble to myself; ‘I should just wait till the time we can all go together’, ‘it’s not gonna be a meaningful Umrah for me’, ‘this is not what I want, this not what I want’. I cried.

I cried, I cried and I istighfar. I istighfar countlessly until it calmed me down and I started to think…wisely and talked to myself;

“This opportunity, is like a dream comes true. This is what I have been praying for my whole life. It comes sooner than I ever thought. It comes in the easiest way…an offer of thousands of dollars without me having to beg for it. I am going with my beloved generous mom and I am going to spend the whole time clinging with her doing her favourite things at her favourite places. A place that I can feel the nearest to the Prophet s.a.w.. A place of Baitullah.”

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Darn! Again…I was like suddenly awaken from my reverie and fired by “Hey, Stop Being Greedy, Woman!” shouted from all around me!

Greedy. Yes…that was it! That was the reason for all my dissatisfaction and disappointment! I am greedy. I have got what I can call a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that was not only dreamed by me but many other Muslims but I was still not thankful enough and focused on what I don’t get. Oh human, that’s just too bad. 😦

That was my moment of wake-up call. I beat myself and Istighfar some more feeling what a bad slave I am but somehow thankful that I realized it early. Suddenly a feeling of joy and excitement embracing me fully and I just couldn’t wait for my trip. And those mommy sensitive responses? No, that’s not for me. My friends didn’t mean to make me feel bad. Those are just normal reactions and I was just too sensitive. Of course I missed my kids so much but being away to focus on my obligations to the Almighty is my priority too.

Stop being greedy, people. Gratitude is the source of happiness while greedy is totally the opposite. I remember another episode of me being greedy and repented, began to thank more and things changed afterwards. Not keeping this post any longer, to be continued.

Till the next post,

SALZY