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Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Autumn/Winter 2016

Girl starts year 2. What a milestone. 

She had her summer braid cut off tonight, and her two front teeth are missing. Her nails cleaned off the nail art I designed for her and trimmed to perfection too. 

As I labeled and wrapped her books tonight, I realised she will be off to boarding school and university in another two blinks.

In no time at all, Bean will be joining Girl in the same school and saving us the hassle of multiple school runs in different parts of the city.

It has been a bittersweet 21 days in Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Both Girl and Bean grew so much in that time. I grew too, perhaps.

Remember this, my lovelies:
1. Give your best attempt at life; and 
2. Enjoy growing as a person.

I love you both very much.


Saturday, 30 July 2016

Concert Day

Make-up? Check!

Costume? Check!

Dance steps? Check!

Here we come!

It was glorious. Girl and the entire school
performed so well they made my heart swell with pride and joy.

What a wonderful end to Spring/Summer 2016. Syukur alhamdulillah.

Report Card Day

Girl concluded her final term exams and have since moved on to one of the most fun time in the school calendar - concert practice!

I met with her personal tutor on 28.7.2016 and whilst her academic results are excellent, we could work with The Big School to enhance the delivery and experience for Geography. 

Girl is not in the top 3 of the class this year but she is in the top class of one of the top schools in Kuala Lumpur so I am not fussing over her. The two things she must promise to do are:
1. Enjoy her school life as much as possible; and 
2. Always give her best effort.

Bravo, Girl! I am so proud of your eagerness to learn. Hearing you declare,
"I did my best, Mummy!" tells me you have got the spirit of a survivor. 

May Allah swt continue to bless your mind, body and soul to be the best you can be! 

Goodbye, Year 1. Hello, Year 2.
Friday, 22 July 2016

Insomnia

Salam my lovelies,

I usually fall asleep within minutes of my head touching my pillow. 

Tonight is an exception. Rare exception.

So much happened yesterday and it is not quite sinking in. I have so much to be thankful for, and so much more to ask for from our Most Beneficient and Most Loving. 

To those who faltered along The Straight Path, may your journey back to Him be easy and clear.

To unjustly separated families, I pray for your joyful reunion to brighten up your precious lives again.

To unjustly separated lovers, I pray for your reconciliation and tranquility in growing together once more.

To impatient lovers seeking instant gratification and answers. I pray for your Light and Truth to come swiftly.

To all who envy, may Happiness and Blessings be manifold in your lives that you will never be envious again.

Amin. 
Wednesday, 20 July 2016

The 7th Anniversary

We did nothing to celebrate the 7th wedding anniversary recently. 

One card from The Other Half stating how sorry he is for all the pain and suffering he has put me and the kids through, backed up by his reasons why he way he is.

I booked his appointment for him to see a marriage counsellor and a mental health professional; a very special gift from my broken heart because I want him to be happy and functioning again. 

We will work this out. InshaAllah.




Sunday, 17 July 2016

Final Term Exams

How is your weekend going, my lovelies?

Girl is sitting for her final term examinations tomorrow onwards and we have not done as much revision as we did previous term. I blame myself for not being 100% dedicated this time because of the emotional turmoil on the home front. All I can do now is make the best out of today and pray for the best!

We were given the exam dates and topics before Eid and the entire Eid week was spent at The House. Both Girl and Bean had a good time running up and down staircases, raced on their toy trikes, chased each other in the garden and indulged in the cookies and ice-cream that only The Grandmother would give them (eating of those sweets
made them sick!). Relatives visited and before you know it the school break was over with hardly any work done.

Her Mandarin paper results were encouraging despite my not helping her much with revision because we are blessed with one of the most patient and sweet Mandarin teachers at The Big School who makes lessons and revision all quite fun. We adore this young lady very much! What would I do without her? 
Saturday, 9 July 2016

Visualise

One of my weaknesses in the last 7 years is that I have stopped visualising my future. 

I have been taking it one step at a time, subscribing to predestination set by Allah swt for me. 
Proviso: Before You compose your hate mail, please know it in your heart that I am a relatively new Muslimah so please spare me your khutbah. Your support, guidance and love is greatly appreciated and may Allah swt bless you abundantly.

How did I lose this important life skill of mine? Visualising.

I set out to reflect the other day, without blaming anyone or judging myself.

1. Difficult pregnancy with Girl.
I did not visualise how motherhood, breastfeeding, parenting and coping without a helper was going to be like. I just did what had to be done as it happened. Nausea and vomit for 20 weeks left me depressed and I had quit my job at NatOilCo. Only one person spoke to me about the situation and it was the HR Manager. She still is my good friend and counsel today, years after we have both left NatOilCo. She remembers offering me the option of working from home until the pregnancy was over but she also understood how I had zero support network and have no choice but care for Girl myself. Leaving NatOilCo was a mistake and I still miss it for different reasons constantly.

2. Breastfeeding Girl when pregnant with Bean. 
Repeat of the above "just do it" and mostly relying on Allah swt to send me ease. We had no helper still, and towards  the end I had to ask for a part-timer to help clean The Flat during my confinement period. It was so bad on most days I had to drink coffee to perk me up during my pregnancy with Bean just so I could read Girl another book or sing her another song. Alhamdulillah Bean turned out alright. I wanted to hire a confinement lady to help us out but the suggestion was shot down by MIL. She cooked my meals and helped to watch Girl for about 4 weeks before busying herself with her own daughter's family visit. Instead of 44 days, we had about 28 days of confinement food. I cooked the rest of the meals after that. I don't remember the details of how we coped but we somehow did. It was one big blur.

3. Looking further back, when I first met The Other Half, I did try to visualise what we were going to be like but just could not. I was working 12 hours average at a high-stress tight-deadline environment which left me no brain cell or time left at the end of every day. He was working 12 hours shift work at HP before switching to 12 hours day, 4 days a week shift at Air Products.
We both were tired (I had given up social life at this point of time) and went on autopilot mode. Dinner, sometimes a movie when we were both not working late on a week night. There were no deep discussions about what we want out of life. We were just existing.

It is haram to date from the point of view of Islam and it bothered him. He proposed 4 months after meeting me. I wanted to say "No" but was sincerely worried he could not handle the rejection. By then, I was a newly minted Muslim and wished I had a bit more personal time to get more comfortable with being a practising Muslim. Against my better judgment, tired from being overworked and lost hope in a closure with a past relationship that had not happen after a few years - I said "OK". 

The ring was wrong. There were no flowers and no chocolates. He cried about an hour after proposing, as we stood at a corner at Mid Valley Megamall because he knew he was not going to be able to afford to give me the life I was working for with financial and eventually retirement goals. 

That was when his parents stepped in with a short engagement period 5 months instead of at least a year. The reason was his sister's family was coming back for a trip that July and it would be quite costly to ask them to return for a wedding the following February. Against, against my better judgement, I relented to suit them. With barely 5 months to prepare for a wedding, I went on autopilot for event management. If I had a year and a chance to review the situation, I would have broken off the engagement. Retrospective wisdom: now I know his parents had seen it coming and mitigated the matter. 

Soon after we were married, my MIL told me "not to worry" about my finances because they were going to let The Other Half inherit The House and that his ASB  account will generate some dividends to tie us over. I knew deep inside it was not going to be sufficient and neither were those in my name. By this point, my bachelorette pad had been sold to prevent my debt from accumulating. 

My biggest mistake? I kept quiet. Out of respect for the elders. 

I understood and knew I had to work for my own sustenance and contacted my headhunter in Singapore. Which failed and went back to square one because of lack of support network, no nanny and no helper and worst of all no permission to work outside the home. About 2 years later, my FIL offered me a position with minimum salary so I could stay in the professional loop and care for Girl. Of course I am grateful but it does not bring me to my financial or professional goals. It is more like a "please do not get a divorce" pacifier. In the meantime, my MIL kept telling The Other Half "She will ask for a divorce and take the kids with her". They saw all the pain and suffering and warned their son but not offer me any help to better the union. Do you see it, or am I imagining the selfishness from their part?

The point is, visualise. 

I have not visualised anything in the last 7 years and it is about time that I do again. I need time off to be able to do that. Map it out. Without distractions. Take a solo trip for a much needed time-out.

What would life be with (or without The Other Half)?

What are my sustenance options?

Will I be able to juggle shared custody for Girl and Bean? 

Will I find myself again? 

Will I just be plain tired of trying to make ends meet, on my own?

Visualise.

Pray for answers.

Pray for signs.

Pray for ease.  

Pray with me.