31, But Thens…

Ambition was one of the most common questions being asked when we were a kid. We’d be like “When I grow up, I wanna be this…I wanna be that”… answering people. When we’re alone, we daydreamed beyond everyone’s expectation on us. It seemed like a very long way to go but we just couldn’t wait. Couldn’t wait to grow up and be what we wanted to be. Be on our own.

Today I turned 31. I am already at the when-I-grow-up age that I looked forward to when I was a little girl. I am an adult now and in fact, I’ve been an adult for years already.

But then… I am not the lady I pictured myself as, when I was young. I used to be very ambitious, you know? I wanted to be a career woman with corporate dress up and look intelligent.*Laugh*.

But then, here I am. A wage earner of a multi-national corporation who works 9 to 5 daily, an average executive who doesn’t seem like climbing the corporate ladder any higher. I have no professional certification to high-price my CV and I dress simple. Well, that’s not too bad. I’m happy with my job and daily routine now. Work-life balance.

But then, is this what they call a ‘comfort zone’? Am I already in a comfort zone at this age when my career has not even reached a decade yet? Always a parent’s wish to see their children grow up, get a good job and be successful. Is this a success already? Apparently not what I ambition-ed.

But then, what do I do to stand prouder of myself? Nowadays, doing business is more highly regarded in the community. You’re perceived as more independent and strong by running a business especially if you could brand yourself or your product.

But then, doing business was never in my frame. In fact, I tried, once, but it didn’t work out and I just didn’t enjoy it. And then I tried stock trading. It doesn’t have to plead people to buy, I just had to gain as much knowledge on the economic ins and outs.

But then, it’s still so heavy to me. It’s like going back to college with an obsolete brain but it’s okay it can be polished. With my duty at work and as a mother, I juggled. I couldn’t spare time on the day to study the stuff so I stayed up midnight. I joined one-time classes on the weekends and left the kids with my husband or the babysitter with extra charges. I called it a sacrifice.

But then, I realized my attention to my family went condensed. Even when I’m with the kids, my mind was busy picturing the charts and whatnot. I also had disagreement with my ex-stock-dealer husband who differed my trading practice and a lot more issues. This clash of priorities was so demanding. I was thinking, why do I have to trouble myself with all these problems when I don’t have to? I have a fine job and a steady family who needs much of my attention now so I should just focus on them. And so gave up trading.

But then, the kids will grow up and things will slow down. That time, I will look back and might be regret that I did not push myself a bit harder. I will grow old, retire and live depending on my pension money which maybe has lessened due to early withdrawals. What a force. I’m not gonna live the life I can call a success. So what do I do with my LIFE??

But then,  I realized all of my thoughts are all about life. Life in the dunya. The life that is certainly not permanent. I remember during my Umrah trip earlier this year, our first tawaf was led by the Mutawwif. After finishing the seven rounds circling the Kaabah, we performed prayers individually and gathered facing the Multazam (the part of the Kaabah that is between the Black Stone and the door of the Kaabah) for the Mutawwif to lead the du’a, we followed with ‘Ameen’. The du’a was so long. In my silence, I was surprised that the whole content of the prayers were all on repentance. Asking nothing but forgiveness. Nothing health, nothing wealth, nothing happiness, nothing worldly. I was stunned but in the end cried too.

Seriously…my life had been all about the world like it’s never gonna end. I always looked back thinking if-only’s when life is all what Allah has willed it. I’d been thinking of the life when-I-grow-old when growing old is not even certain. I’d been looking forward to my future age when the ultimate future is Jannah that we hope for. This is why I have so much but-then’s in my life. This gotta stop.

There’s a quote that says, “When you wake up with no other intention but to worship Allah, you have found the purpose of life”. Have I? For the next 32nd year onward, InsyaAllah. I’ll do my best. May Allah forgive me and all us for the excessive worldly thoughts over the life after death.

But then? Happy Birthday to me 🙂 Alhamdulillah.

Till the next post,
SALZY

Book Review and To-do

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

One Day It'll All Make Sense

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Till the next post,
SALZY

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

I Like Me Best

“Nowadays, I often speak to a group of young mothers. They ask me, “Well, how were you be able to raise your son the way you did?”

To begin with, I never liked him more than I liked me. I don’t mean love – I loved him more than anything. But I always liked me best. If you don’t like yourself, it makes it very hard to like and love your child.

So when I was raising Rashid, there’s no way that he could have three pair of shoes if I only had two. And I’m the one working? That’s not reasonable, mothers.

How in the world do these young mothers go buy their child a designer something that costs a hundred dollars and you don’t have a savings account? You don’t have a house. You live in an apartment.”

From the book “One Day It’ll All Make Sense”
by Common with Adam Bradley
The quote above was from his Mother

EE Turns 33

When he caught his first white hair on his beard his reaction was,

“Wow, the next Amitabh Bachchan is in the making!” 

Haha… This is the very foremost person I met who is that excited about getting old. Normally, people would freak-out. I mean, that’s me.

Yesterday he turned 33, my Husband. I planned to make a little surprise birthday celebration with the kids for him. The best time to teach them what “Surprise” is.

Buy a cake and candles – pick-up the kids early – cook dinner – pray Maghrib – and – get the kids ready to eye at the window checking for their father’s arrival.

That was the plan. Lately has been busy period so I was very sure he gotta come back late!

When I picked-up the kids from the babysitter, I briefed them about what we’re gonna do and they were like, “Ooooo OK OK OK”. Especially my first son, he understood the idea and got excited. On the way up to our apartment, we talked about that too and were like yeahhh let’s do this Ayah’s gonna be surpriseddd!

And suddenly out of nowhere…. GAHHH!!!

-End of story-

My plans met end of story. Why on earth did he come back early today?? I was stunned looking at him laughing a proud laughter that everyone was shocked! We got in the house laughing and yeah he knew it already! He did hear our conversation earlier cesss!

But because the kids were excited and did not understand that the plan has spoiled, I thought we should go on with it. Asked hubby to go in the room and we prepped the cake and lighted up candles. Shouted “DONE!”, he’s out andddd…..surpriseeee!!! HAHAHAHA. That’s it. Our first Mom-and-kids surprise plan for Ayah’s 33rd birthday! Soooo spoiled yet so memorable. ❤

Happy 33rd Birthday My Love. The kids learned something today. 🙂

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