Toastmasters : Impromptu Speech is Killing!

You have no idea what’s gonna come out. You go to the front, take a random pick, look what’s written on it, face the audience and there you go! Two minutes – TALK!

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Photo : Google

That’s how it is; the Table Topic session in every Toastmasters meeting. Scary as it sounds? Of courseee… It’s an impromptu speech, okay. You’re not prepared with anything. Like I said, it’s killing!

This is usually the first agenda of the meeting and knowing this, the moment I entered the meeting room, I would get butterflies in my tummy. It is volunteer-based but sometimes when there’s really nobody wanna raise their hands; the Table Topic Master will just point to anybody and if it’s YOUUUUUU. Hahhh…. Gotcha! Hahaha

That extreme feeling is usually for a first-timer. The more frequent you do this; you won’t actually have that stage-fright as bad as your first time. I can vouch this because that’s what I experienced too. I’m still scared now and still not very confident but I believe, I’m better now in that nervous department comparing to the early days.

So what’s so scary about it actually? Honestly to me, the most nerve-wracking part is that if I don’t understand the thing at all. I mean, if the vocab written has never been in my diction, how?? My God! What do I do thennn? Because the format can be vary. Sometimes it can be like a question for us to answer, sometimes a picture of something, it can also be a collection of idioms. Yea, idiom is tricky. It’d be funny if the thing is well-known by everyone but you. Huwarrr… Luckily this has never happened to me so far. Please don’tttt…!!

Most times, things sound much worse than they actually are. Now, what’s not scary about impromptu speech? Actually they say; you can talk about anything! Anything at all. Yes, there’s no rule on the content of your speech. If you don’t understand it fully or you just have no idea to talk about that particular topic, we can just divert the topic to anything related, anything on our mind.

For example, your pick goes like this –

Malaysia has reached 60 years of independence. What do you think makes Malaysia an independent country?

Urghhh…Suddenly you gotta be historical and factual. Worse if you’re not a patriotic citizen. Hahaha. So, what can you do? You can actually divert the topic but still related to the word “independence”. Why not talk about yourself as an independent person! Talking about yourself is the easiest thing you can do and in fact, it’s quite impactful. I mean, pick a strong point about yourself that you can share with the audience and believed, many can relate personally.

You can start like this –

“Yes, Malaysia is an independent country we all know but the question is, are we all independent enough? Like me, ……”

There you go with bla bla bla. Make sense?

And that’s what actually Table Topic is. It’s not really formal and the evaluation won’t be so critical. The whole purpose is to urgeeee to you take the challenge and just do it! And after all, it’s only two minutes guys! Two minutes is fast, trust me. After you have passed the challenge – well done or not so well done – I tell you, you will have this feeling of accomplishment that you did it!

Have you ever heard this –

“We more often regret those things which we do not do than those which we do.”

This is true enough to me. Every time when the Table Topic session was running, I must have these contemplating feelings playing on my mind –

“Should I?…. Should not?”
“Go?…… No?”
“This time?….. Next time?”

And while I was still fighting my fear alone in my seat; the session ended, six people have taken their shots and all the picks have been revealed. And me?? Left behind with a little regret cause I’ve been defeated by my coward self! Loooooooser!!

Ahhh…. I believe each of us has our own bucket list of things that we’ve been considering to do in life. We contemplate every day, we contemplate for years. Let’s not waste time. As long as it won’t compromise our faith and religion, do give ourselves a try because know that we have nothing to lose. Have your purpose, know why you do what you gotta do, and GO!

As for this speaking thingy, this is still my current constant battle that I’m struggling to overcome but now I know that above all, impromptu speech is NOT killing at all.

If you’d like to know the kind of topics that we have in our Toastmasters meetings, click here.

Till the next post,
SALZY

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Till the next post,
SALZY

Errasy’s Birth Story

Earlier this year, I went through some tough times raising my 2 year-old toddler who was in the terrible twos phase. It was a real struggle to face his tantrums almost every single day and night when anything I did couldn’t settle his cry. Once he got disappointed just for a tiny thing, his tantrums would last up to more than an hour with non-stop crying and screaming. Can you imagine?

I was so stressed and felt like giving up. One night I isolated myself away and decided to blog about him and his current temperament so I poured all my unhappy feelings in a note book for me to type later. Today is his birthday. I flipped the notes that I wrote months ago and somehow, it curved a smile on my face. The tough motherhood phase has passed; my baby is now a happy boy! At least most of the time, not like before Alhamdulillah. So I cancelled my intention to write all the things in my notes because today is his 3rd birthday, I wanna reminisce the sweet memories of me giving birth to him.

Errasy was born through a planned C-section. I was all awake during the operation waiting for my baby to be pulled out from my tummy. It was a different experience, scary because when I delivered my first born, I was unconscious. This time, I savoured every moment in the operation theatre (OT) in my nervousness.

The atmosphere in the OT was quite relaxed even though everyone was moving around, here and there. I think I heard music being played if I was not mistaken but that was not my focus. During the operation, these people were having conversations with each other like there’s nothing going on in the room when actually, they were cutting my tummy layer by layer okay. In my mind thinking, maybe this c-sect operation is just like cutting onions to them especially for non-emergency case like this. Haha, my God! What a creepy thinking while on the surgery table.

Now comes the most thrilling part to me. When the ‘cutting’ process was completed, they informed me that in a little while they will pull my baby out. My heart was pounding fast, excited and nervous at the same time. When they took a peek at the baby who was still positioned in my tummy, the doctor’s assistant instantly said to me – “Emmm…..the baby is just like you.” She said it in a very casual way making me feel so curious. What did she mean? What did the ‘like-you’ like? I wanted to ask but I felt so weird to be talking when I knew my tummy was wide open and bloody so I kept it to myself, wondering in silence.

In less than a minute, Errasy was safely born and immediately shown to me. Such a beautiful moment and again the assistant said to me – “See…he is so fair! Justttt like you!” Awww….. Was that what she meant earlier? I was soooo over the moon the second I heard that. Having to see my baby fresh from the oven was already wonderful, the remark from her beautifies the moment even more I was so speechless!

Errasy was then taken by the nurses and the operation continued but I couldn’t stop smiling in bliss. It was one beautiful moment throughout the delivery process that will forever stay in my memory. The words “the baby is just like you, he is so fair just like you” stuck in my mind repeatedly whenever I throwback my second maternity journey and even every time when I look at my baby who now has turned 3 years old, today.

errasy newborn

Excuse this vain mommy people! Haha… the same comment if uttered at any other time wouldn’t make me feel flattered like this. It’s just because it happened at that very time, it created an unforgettable mommy-moment to me and I gotta record it in words, mind me. Hehe.. And I believe every mother also has her own exclusive cloud nine moment when giving birth to each child, right! *Care to explain. Ahaks*

My second baby, my second pregnancy. His coming was a surprise, I didn’t expect that I’d get pregnant again when my first born was only 10 months old. Such an unexpected gift, enlivens our lives with his funny characters I called him an entertainer in this family.

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Dear Errasy Eddean,

Happy 3rd Birthday my baby! May you grow healthy, wealthy, wise and lucky. Be a good boy now and rise as a good man in the future. Thank you for bringing so much happiness to us, we’re so blessed to have you as that cutie little brother. Stay close and clingy to Mom as you always do, I may seem annoyed with your childishness but please know that, deep inside my heart I’m loving every bit of it!

Mom loves you so much, Ayash Ayadean.. Always, and forever. Happy Birthday. 

Till the next post,
SALZY

Planner Hunting

It’s October and October is always marked as the time for me to start planner-hunting! 3 months away to New Year it’s not too early to start thinking and preparing for new resolutions, new goals and new you because we’re already in the last quarter of this year.

This time I am so captivated. I found sooo many planners being produced by local entrepreneurs! Actually since last year I’ve seen this trend was coming but this year it’s just like booming. Well done, people! I wished I could buy all of them because each one is unique and come to think of the effort to create a product; a book that is untypical, pages of different layouts with focal details is not easy. I fancy all of them but I’m also restricted by certain budget so I really have to choose.

Next year, I decided to execute a Bullet Journal – a customizable organization system; which simply means a planning or journaling method using two old-school tools: a pen and a blank note book. Blank! No calendars, no boxes, no dates ready-made for you. There’s a certain system taught on the blog by the person who initiated this technique and it’s evolved by many more planner-people. But all in all, after I’ve done some research on this particular interest, what I can conclude is it’s all up to you!

The layout you want to spread, the symbols you want to recognize are all up to your own creativity or non-creativity. Haha. The point is to make it work for you and even if a single way doesn’t suit you, you can instantly change it in the next period – week / month. You can keep it simple to the simplest or you can pour your creative juice all over the pages. Ideas shared on blogs, Pinterest, Instagram’s #bujo hashtags are plenty you can just copy and enhance.

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Photo Source : Tea and Twigs Youtube

 

Why do I choose to Bullet-Journal? Ok I gotta write this. There are loads of fancy planners out there ready-made with fantastic layouts and designs but why am I choosing this type of planners for next year? BuJo requires a bit more manual works and demands more of my time and attention so here is me acknowledging my reasons so when the time I feel so tedious with all these, I’ll continue to keep up. Hope so!

 TO DIG CREATIVE ELEMENT IN ME

Everyone is born with some sort of creativity within themselves – everyone is creative and I want to believe that. Because that means it includes me too! Haha. The difference is that some people are just so gifted while some others have to be nurtured for their hands to flow and I’m in this category. With Bullet Journal, we have to create the layout on the pages all by ourselves so this is where I’m giving myself a chance to try this and that. My interests are mainly on letterings and doodles.

TO ELIMINATE PERFECTIONISM FROM ME

Perfectionism kills creativity and even productivity. I’m not a total perfectionist but there is a perfectionist spot in me that withhold me from going further, from trying to do new things in life just because I am always not happy with my newbies imperfect outcomes. With BuJo, I have no choice but to just do it and there surely must be smudges and flaws here and there that will distract my eyes. With these, I will train myself to be cool with that, keep going and learn to turn errors into fine corrections.

TO DEVELOP HABITS

And eventually change myself to become a better person. How? By applying Habit Trackers! Habit Tracker is basically a rapid log to record your repetitive doings. It’s a great way to compile the same activities all in one spread rather than re-writing the same tasks multiple times per week in each day-section. With this, you also can instantly view in summary on how well you’re doing with the habits you’d like to develop and also projects you’re working on. It also works as a reminder when you see many boxes are not marked so that’s why it is called habit-tracker and it’s easily applicable through bullet journaling. I have practiced a few trackers this year; some work well with me some need to be improved so I’m gonna continue more for next year. It requires a lot of work in the beginning of constructing the trackers but along the year, it’s gonna be really helpful!

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I have purchased a LEUCHTTURM1917 Metallic Gold Dotted Medium A5 Notebook as for my 2018 Bullet Journal. Usually, I will start setting up my planners in December but this year this activity begins early as everything is DIY!

This is my special agenda every single year when New Year is approaching. What about you? With or without a planner, do have something in mind for you to set as your goal. Look forward to it but don’t forget to still enjoy this year as we have two more months remaining. Seize every moment!

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