Month: January 2014

If I Ever Attempt OOTD

OOTD means. “Outfit Of the Day”

Usually used on fashion blogs, or other places where people show others that they are wearing or have worn.

(urbandictionary.com)

I don’t follow fashion much, as you would have guessed, but I really enjoy looking at what people are wearing. I follow some fashion and lifestyle blogs for their beautiful photos and of course, that blogger’s fashion ensemble of the day.

I don’t have the courage to do the same thing (because there is really no thought process behind my choice for the day), but if I ever attempt to post my Outfit of the Day, and put the hashtag #OOTD in here or my Instagram, it will definitely look like this.

Image

For today, AND pretty much everyday.

And the caption will go like this:

Abaya/Long Dress of unknown brand, Shoes from Primavera, Hijab from Ariani, Bag from Fossil, ring from Habib Jewels, bangle from Sri Pinang.

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The Newfound Place to Play: SOGO KL Starz Garden

 

Despite our best effort to plan our logistics and ensure at least one of us parents reach home earliest possible, sometimes things go unplanned. Like last week, when my husband thought he could leave his office early and pick us up but eventually could not. The system went wrong and he just had to wait.

Luckily, the car was parked at my place. I decided not to wait for him with Isa in my office (as I already ran out of things to do with him there), so I brought him to the nearest shopping mall – SOGO. My intention was to have my early dinner (I skipped lunch so I was starving to death), and maybe go to the ‘Home’ section of the department store.

However, even after we’ve done all that my husband was still stuck in the office!

Oh, by the way, I can now enjoy going shopping with my son – I picked up a few plastic baskets and to avoid him running around, I let him carried one of them.

Back to the story.

It could be another hour before my husband could come, and I knew I had to be resourceful to keep my son entertained. At that moment I recalled a colleague of mine telling me that she used to bring her son to the playroom in shopping mall – so we quickly headed to that place (Level 7) and yes, it was indeed the best thing I could do because Isa was extremely delighted.

I was a SOGO loyalty card member, so I had the first hour free.

But of course, we had to extend for another 45 minutes, hence having to pay MYR6 since his dad still could not get out of his office by then.

Here are his cheerful face enjoying the playroom’s ball pit. It was his first time in such a pit.

Of all the fancy toys they have in the room, Isa preferred the ball pit and a train. He just ignored the rest, or maybe touch them for a second or two before going back to the pit (and the slide of course). It’s a proof that he doesn’t need many fancy toys (which we insist on not getting him any) – he could not focus, and those interactive toys bored him after a minute or less. He’d prefer pushing the toy train and get some real actions.

Well, anyway, I am glad I have an alternative to the ever boring and expensive Suria KLCC as a waiting place. The washroom and changing room are available for the kids so yeah, I’d say why not for a second visit to SOGO Starz Garden

Wearing Abaya : Funny Things People Said to Me

Click image for source

Click image for source

After one and half year of wearing abaya only (well, 95% of the time) outside my house, I can only laugh at certain remarks I received.

From my mom: ” Do you want to try wearing maybe a dark blue abaya?” My answer was no, I am sticking to black. FYI, my mother doesn’t wear black, and wear ultra bright colours only – the kind my father loves.

From my dad: “ Is it okay wearing a black abaya in corporate office?” To which I answered, yes, no problem at all. If they can wear miniskirts, why can’t I wear an abaya?

From a colleague I rarely meet: “ You have given birth, haven’t you?”. This was just when Isa turned one, and when I last met her I was heavily pregnant.

From another colleague, also one I seldom meet: ” Are you pregnant again?” . This was 5 months post delivery.

From another male manager in my office, on the day the whole department when for bowling, where I wore a long shirt and pants – they are not black : ” Ah, why suddenly you look younger today? Usually you look like a mother.” This one came from the manager who when we first met told me I looked like a university student X-D

From a colleague I meet in the office everyday: “Are you really going to wear black everyday?“. Yeah, I am prepared for that. Maybe you should look at my wardrobe.

From Isa’s child minder: ‘Isa screamed ‘mommy’ when he saw, through the window, a woman walking in black dress.”

From my mother-in-law, when she saw me wearing non-black outfit once : “Oh, you are looking pretty today!”.

However, funnily, the female co-worker who sits next to me all these times, only recently noticed my all-black appearance – which is exactly what I expected in the first place.

Of course, on days I do not wearing abaya, I got heads turned – and of course more remarks: that I looked different, I looked more cheerful, I looked younger, that I am dressing up…

I’m pretty sure there were more funny things people say about it which I have forgotten. As much as I could not care less about their comments I try to take note, just because I want to share them with my husband later!

Of course, I do received comments on a more positive note. Many of my family members and friends love some of my abaya, and many asked where I bought them. I happily share.

I always stress, or maybe hint would be a better word, that the reason I choose to wear an abaya is more on the simplicity part of it, and how it makes my life more efficient, from not having to worry about matching my hijabs to my clothes, to the fact that that I can perform my daily prayers without having to wear additional garments.  It is never about me being more religious than the rest, or whatnot.

Meanwhile, until those around me are accustomed to what I wear and NOT wear, I’ll be ready for more funny remarks!

Motherhood: Of Fear and Hope

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In all my life I have never heard a mother call out to her child as he or she goes off to school, “Take a lot of risks today, darling.” She is more likely to convey to her child, “Be careful, darling.” This “Be careful” carries with it a double message: “The world is really dangerous out there”… and… “you won’t be able to handle it.” What Mom is really saying, of course, is “If something happens to you, I won’t be able to handle it.” You see, she is only passing on her lack of trust in her ability to handle what comes her way. ~Susan Jeffers in ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’

I spent four years away from my homeland to get a degree. Manchester was a 13-hour journey by flight from Malaysia, and the flight ticket doesn’t come cheap. With the monthly allowance I received for my sponsor, I could only make the journey home once a year, at most. My parents are not that well-off either to make the trip to Manchester, so we only saw each other every 365 days, during my summer breaks.

But there was a summer, the summer of 2007, when I decided that I would spend three quarter of it in Egypt instead of coming home. My mother supported that decision even it meant that it would be another year before she could set her eyes on me. Only when I observed my friends – who sometimes were forced to abandon their traveling plans etc. just because their parents missed them and needed them home – that I could understand the gravity of my mother’s willingness to let me make full use of my youth (in this case, travelling and learning) at the expense of her own emotion. 

There are many other instances that made me realise I am who I am now because my mother (and my father, who’s even more protective) can contain her fear and anxiety of letting her daughter live her life. Her fear and worry has never become a hindrance for me to grow, to experience life and  to grab the wisdom that comes along with those experiences.

So now I intend to be the same mother, or maybe even better. I want to be a mother (and a wife) who has full trust on her ability to cope with everything that comes her way with regards to her loved ones.

And I have to tell you, it is and will be difficult.

It is difficult not to stop Isa from running because I fear he would fall down and hurt himself.

It is difficult to learn that Isa will try to do more things that will give me heart attack while he’s learning.

It is difficult, I know, to one day let my son leave me, hopefully to serve God and mankind as he should.

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Elizabeth Stone puts it correctly when she says having a child means that you are having your heart wandering outside your body – you practically have no control over it, but unfortunately you still feel the same pain when it hurts.

I have always told my unmarried friend – my biggest battle these days is to  not being dragged down by my emotions. I have to keep reminding myself that my child is not mine. I gave birth to him, I might be the one who nurture him, there are certain rights of mine he needs to fulfill, but he is never mine. God lent him to me – and He is going to ask me if I have brought him up as God wanted me to – to serve Him. He’s never, ever mine to begin with.

As I keep reminding myself of this reality, I have never put any hope that when I reach old age, Isa would be the one who’d fill my loneliness. Or the one who’d feed me. Or one who takes care of me. I pray and pray that should that time comes, I’d able to handle it on my own, that I’d gladly let him serve and work for the greater good.

I told my husband of my observation of the ’empty nest syndrome’ – and I told him, I don’t want to go through that, and I need to start preparing for it now. I do have some plans here and there – but ultimately I want to occupy myself goals I’d like to achieve, so when the time comes, I would not want be the needy parent who doesn’t have anything to do but interfering on her child’s marriage or getting into quarrels with the daughter-in-law.

Maybe I could be like this lady who made it a life-long quest to memorise the Holy Quran. And completed it at the age of 82.

Maybe I could be like this lady who worked to get her PhD. At 90.

That’s why yesterday, even I was so tempted to go to a coffee shop and enjoy its designer coffee, I dragged myself to the gym. I want to be as healthy as I could,so as to enjoy the present AND to not  become a burden to my loved ones should I be granted a long life.

Motherhood, indeed, gives you a different perspective on life – the fear, the anxiety – oh, how much I have changed.

Of Choices

Husband just told me it’s going to be 1.5 hour before he can pick me up at work today.

Isa is at home with his grandparents who came to visit, so I am free to do what I wish.

1.5 hour of precious me time- and I AM still contemplating whether to spend it at the gym or going to a coffee shop and write in my Quranic journal.

Oh, I’m torn.

 

 

 

I Will Sleep On It

dont_go_to_bed_angry

The favourite catchphrase of my big boss is ‘I’ll sleep on it first’, whenever he could not find a good solution to a problem posed to him.

I like the phrase.
I like it, and I apply it. Very frequently.

Especially when I am angry and upset with my husband.

You see, one of the oft-repeated marriage advice I have ever read or told is this: Forgive and forget everyone before you sleep.

And I confess here: I could not do it.
And having known how a good night sleep (or even day, but night works better so far) will miraculously erase whatever amount of anger I have in myself, I’ll choose this path.

The prophet Muhammad taught us that:  When one of you becomes angry while standing, he should sit down. If the anger leaves him, well and good; otherwise he should lie down.

It is true, at least for me.

It is amazing how I could not recall, 99% of the time, why and how I got angry in the first place when I wake up from the sleep. I do not know how it really works. It could be that most of my anger and upset stems from the fact that I was tired and hence easily get irritated by the tiniest thing, so a good rest cures. And the bonus to choosing this method is that it refrains me from saying hurtful words out of anger.

It’s true that in marriage, we need to learn how to fight and forgive like children do.

I see myself improving in this aspect, though. Our arguments are indeed getting much shorter after two years by marriage (somewhere around 5 minutes these days).Well, it could last longer than that all right, especially if I apply this ‘Sleep on it’ method – since sleeping as a part of anger management will never be shorter than 8 hours.