March 18, 2014

sorry saved the day.

And that day was yesterday.

Yesterday morning was... for want of better word, rough.

It wasn't even close to 8 a.m. when my husband texted me, asking me to search for his house keys. His keys were the bigger bunch; it had not only the main entrance's keys, but also all other keys to the doors in the house. Losing it was definitely a cause for concern, so you can imagine how I was about to "lose it". And he told me that the last time he remembers seeing those keys was when I locked up the grille when we were leaving the house on Sunday morning and that he can't remember whether or not I gave them back to him.

Mentally, I was having a monologue with him,

"How on earth could you lose something so important?"
"If you already knew that it was missing since yesterday morning, why only search for them now?"
"Why am I to blame in this whole thing (although he never blamed me for anything)?"

And like every single time I get angry at my husband for something he supposedly did or didn't do, I replay my mom's advice in my head, which is to -

"never say anything harsh to your husband, no matter how mad you are. you cannot take back your words and harsh words are words that hurt."

I inhaled, I exhaled. And I decided not to respond. 

I was running late. For some reason, my scarf took more time than usual to fix, Luqman slept in late (of all days boy! On a Monday! WHY OH WHY DON'T YOU SLEEP IN ON WEEKENDS, HEHEHE). I was forgetting things and of course, that monologue kept playing in my head and I was trying not to lose my temper over everything else. 

Finally left the house with baby on one arm and bags on the other and rushed to send Luqman to school. As I was dropping him off at his playroom, I saw one of the teachers organising diapers when it hit me, "OHMYGOD, I did not just forget his diapers, did I, did I?" Frantically, I searched his bag, to no avail. I left him anyway and sped back home to get his diapers. 

And then I remembered my staff pass, and noticed that I didn't see it in the car this morning at the spot I normally put it. So, after packing Luqman's diapers, I frantically searched each and every one of my handbags, of course at the time cursing myself for having so many of them and "why on earth would anyone make handbags with so many compartments anyway" questions were firing away in my head. Unfortunately for me, even after I turned the handbags inside out, my staff pass was nowhere to be found. 

I rushed back to Luqman's school, dropped off his diapers and rushed to the office. I was already late. I had to beg security to get to Level B3 and then had to rush to security counter to get my temporary pass. Meanwhile, I was scouring my handbag for any signs of the staff pass, when I suddenly discovered my husband's house keys entangled with the cobwebbed mess in it. 

"No wonder he couldn't find it in here. Even I took time to find it."

So then, I RAN upstairs and it was already 8.45 a.m. 

Not even half the day was gone but I was already sweating profusely and to make matters worse, I was wearing a very easily creased white shirt. *Sigh*

***

yesterday.
Oftentimes, my friends who are about to get married ask me whether I know for sure that he's "the one". I always tell them that I don't. For me, marriage is a "gamble"; and a good one. And constantly, my advice has been to find someone you can be friends with because for a long while after you get married, your spouse becomes your best friend, even perhaps your only friend, so you've got to choose well. You don't want to marry your dad, but your don't want to marry someone who can't lead you either. So, it's okay to be a little bit picky, I think.

But sometimes I think because I've known him since I was 20 and because we have been friends for that long, despite the wifely duties I do daily, I sometimes forget that he's not just my friend, but also my husband. 

And my husband deserves my respect and my apologies when it is due.

Regretfully though, egotism is my biggest problem and my biggest vice. And because it does me no good, I have recently decided not to be so egoistical about things. Say what you feel and feel what you say.

So, I said, 
"I found the keys. I'm sorry about the keys. I really don't remember it (the keys) being in my bag."

And he said, 
"It's okay, as long as it's not lost."

I then told him about losing my staff pass, and he told me that he put it in compartment between the seats because it kept on falling! Haha. I quickly ran back to the car and found it where he said it was. Finally, I clocked in at nearly 9 a.m.

But you know what? Despite the terrible start to the day, yesterday turned out well. In fact, the whole day was wonderful. 

So, I reckon that saying "I'm sorry" definitely saved the day. 

Say what you feel, and feel what you say.

March 12, 2014

this hits too close to home.

You know how on some days you feel like doing absolutely NOTHING? 

Yeap.

Today is that day for me. 

"Today, I don't feel like doing anything. I just want to lay in my bed."

Sounds familiar? 

Yeap. 

The day didn't begin badly, no. It began as it always does. But for some reason, by the time it was nearly 8 a.m. (so early, I know!!!), I was already losing my patience. I was gritting my teeth; annoyed with the constant wailing/whining of my son. In fact, at one point, I even told him I felt like slapping him. Of course I didn't, but I had to say it out loud so that it would sound so sinister that it would SLAP ME back into reality. 

Today is just one of those days.

And today is passing by SO S.L.O.W.L.Y.

***

Unless you're really and I mean REALLY ignorant, you would know that MAS' craft MH370 vanished early Sunday morning. Today is the 5th day of search and rescue operations, with no real clue as to what really happened. Everyone is beginning to get on everybody else's nerves and I'm annoyed with the social media (especially) and the mainstream media is catching up with the cheap publicity they are gaining for sensationalizing "news" . 

I'm so affected by this incident. I really am. 

I keep thinking, "That could have been anyone of us."

My husband, prior to leaving Service, told me of his intention to join MITI, if he had the chance. He felt like he needed the international exposure to make him a better officer and I agreed. I agreed that he do whatever necessary to improve his career. But he left Service anyway, upon receiving a better offer. 

And that Public Servant on board could have been my husband "seeking for international exposure" in Beijing. And just yesterday, he took the words right out of my mouth, "That could have been me, love.", he said solemnly.

My sister just left for Queensland a couple of weeks back; she got stranded in Melbourne because they couldn't catch the connecting flight to Queensland (they're okay now! got the next flight out!). Even so, I was so worried because it was the first time she was travelling without a chaperone. At least when she went to LA there were teachers around. I was so worried about her. 

And that could have been my sister on board, furthering her studies abroad, in hopes of becoming an architect. 

I haven't travelled in the longest time now. My mom tells me that Beijing is beautiful, especially in winter, albeit the cold weather. 

That could have been me, wanting to experience cold weather abroad. In fact that could have been my whole family on board, hoping for some fun family time away from home.

It could have been anyone of us. 

This incident hits too close to home.

***

"Alright, good night." were the last words uttered by the Captain. 

I keep wondering what really happened. There were no distress calls, no nothing. It just disappeared into thin air. 

While people think that's the most illogical thing to have happened (which I sometimes think too), this incident proves to us that there is a greater being than any of us combined. The most advanced technologies are used in this Search and Rescue Operations and yet, all the answers to the leads found have been "negative". They could not find anything, not a trace of evidence. What other logical explanation could there be? 

This reminds me of that fateful day in Hyde Park, at the Public Speaking Corner. The speaker was a Muslim and he was talking about faith in Allah. As he was making his point, one of the members of the audience interrupted by asking him, "If your car breaks down in the middle of the road, who do you call? The mechanic or Allah? How do you prove that Allah exists?"

At the time, I didn't properly understand the concept of Qadar dan Qada' and I was so afraid of conflict that I ran away from that spot. I never got to know what the Muslim man's answer was.

Now that my mom has retired from work, she has more time to attend religious classes, so she shares with me the things she learns  - 

"People often misunderstand the concept of Qadar dan Qada'."

People often quote "Dah nak jadi, nak buat macam mana. (it was fated, what can I do)" without properly understanding the whole concept of Qadar and Qada'. The simplest example is when people don't have money. They would often say that, "Dah memang rezeki aku macam ni, nak buat macam mana." Not that it's entirely wrong, but it is wrong if someone says that, while in reality that person is not putting any effort into gaining some income. Do you think that money will fall from the sky, just by you sitting on the prayer mat praying for money to come? No! You have to put in EFFORT and PRAY that your efforts would be blessed and that your prayers would be answered. Likewise when someone is sick who says the same thing. If you have not been watching your diet and your lifestyle, how can you say that Allah was the one who made you sick? These are among the things that my mom learns from her classes.

 Remember "Segala yang baik daripada Allah, yang buruk daripada diri kita sendiri?. Yes. From my apartment unit, I can hear the tazkirah at the surau, so while cooking dinner, I normally get free classes as well. The ustaz also says the same thing; that Allah is not the giver of bad things. Allah will always give us what is good for us; if it turns out to be bad, you either brought it upon yourself or there is actual goodness in the thing we deem as bad. 

Am I making sense here? Of course your head is right now running with thoughts of, "how unqualified this person is to talk about these things" and "what the hell does this have to do with anything". So, I'll just cut to the chase - this; this whole incident of the aircraft vanishing - is Qadar. It has been ordained by Allah as such, because as you can see, there's nothing you can do about it vanishing. IT JUST DID, WITHOUT A TRACE.

What you can do now is - to put in efforts to search for it. And to pray, and I mean pray, not just hashtag #prayforMH370 for the sake of jumping onto the bandwagon or because it's cool for everyone to see your oh-so-cute selfies (the worst kind, really!) because remember the concept of  "Usaha, Doa, Tawakkal"? Apply it here. You can't change Allah's Qadar (about it vanishing, because it just did), but you can probably change the fate of that craft by putting in efforts into finding it. And even if your effort is through prayer (not that you can do anything more than that unless you're part of the rescue team), then, PRAY.

Whoever your god is, please, just pray. It's the least (probably most in this case) that you can do.  

So here's to hoping that the craft will be found, in whatever state Allah deems best. 

Altogether, Amin now.  

***



March 06, 2014

yesterday.

Since my husband started working in KL, we have not been able to have anymore lunch dates (duh,obviously). At first, I was okay with it, like I really, really was because after all, absence does make the heart grow fonder, does it not?

But then, it grew too fond. 

Last week, it became unbearable. I missed having him around to have impromptu lunch dates, I missed having those 40 minutes in which we would normally have the most fun in a week, I missed the jokes we normally make just to destress each other. Okay, I missed him, you get it, don't you.

So, yesterday, when he happened to be around for work, and I didn't have any meetings to attend, the moment he said, "I'm on my way", I was already out of sorts, getting nervous, putting on lipgloss (I know, I know, big deal right, hahaha).

And since we've basically run out of the normal places to eat in Putrajaya, we decided to try a new place at Ayer 8, a new place which just recently opened. I was kind of nervous to try something new, because what if it sucked? Today (yesterday) was supposed to be special so I wanted to avoid spoiling it in any way. But we went anyhow. 

***

Almaeda Restaurant is a cozy little restaurant fronting the lake at Precinct 8, Putrajaya. It was a little bit difficult to find at first, due to lack of signage (and we told this to the owner of the restaurant already) but if you're planning to go, it's located at the lower ground floor. Meaning after you park your car, you'd have to take a flight of stairs down to the place. At first we both weren't sure if the restaurant was already open (as most of the shops there only stated "Akan Dibuka") but after walking a bit, I told my husband that I'm convinced it's already operating, "Love, I can smell the fooooddd". "Yeah, I can smell it tooo!" (that's how hungry we were.) Hehe.

When we finally reached it, there weren't that many people around, perhaps only 10 of them? Uh-oh, I thought. That was normally a bad sign right? But since time was ticking, we decided to give it a go anyway. 

We picked a table and as we were about to settle down, one of them (not sure whether owner, manager or server) at the restaurant told us that they were worried we would get too hot there since it was by the window and the sun was basically blazing through directly where we were sitting at. Ah, so nice, I thought!, as they directed us to a better seating area, still by the window but this time with a fan above our heads. 


I ordered the Chicken Mandi and my husband ordered Lamb and service was really fast. But when I first saw the chicken, I was like, "Oh, man, I think this is going to be dry". Much to my surprise though, it wasn't dry at all! And the rice is among the nicest I've tasted (trust me on this because (1) I love rice; and (2) I have tasted quite a few and nothing comes close to Saba', which is my favourite). The lamb was nice and tender as well and so much for offering a bit of my portion to my husband (at the beginning of lunch), I ended eating the whole meal on my own! 

After that the owner (I presume) came up to us and asked us how the meal was and offered us some baklava samples. I politely declined because I have tasted baklava that was a little too sweet to my liking before, but since he insisted, I obliged, and boy was I pleasantly surprised! So, yeah, I had a really good lunch yesterday and that's how Day 5 of my #hanisa100happydays was basically made.

***

Since the place (Ayer 8) is really new and there weren't many people around and not many shops have opened, I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to do my so-called OOTDs. Hahaha tak habis-habis. Told my husband about this and he asked for my phone, meaning that he was okay with it. Thing is... he didn't care to count before he snapped any of my photos and I ended up looking like some retard in the photos! 

Some of which look like this...


Which is why, this photo below made it to my Day 6 of my #hanisa100happydays. 


I look so much better being myself (don't you think?). 

Next time I do a so-called OOTD, I'll bear that in mind. Allah gave you (me) those pearlies (teeth) because you look good smiling. Maybe Allah just wants me to be happy, hihi. So, Alhamdulillah for that.


March 05, 2014

letting off some steam.

Before anyone shoots me down or sends me freaky text messages (hihi), I know, I know that I pledged happiness for 100 days, but be rest assured that this by no means means that I'm not happy today or that I'm already giving up on the challenge. It's just a sign that I am as human as humans get and that this is a low point in my day today and that I just needed to let of some steam. 

"When it rains, it pours", was what my colleague said to me a few weeks back.

That phrase has been stuck to my head eversince because IT'S JUST SO TRUE!

Everyone who knows me well enough knows that I love to work; not only for the money (I don't earn that much to begin with) but also for the constant challenge it poses to my capabilities, be it my mind, my physical strength and also my ability to juggle. Even when no one believed I would survive working where I'm working right now, I challenged myself to work it out to prove them wrong; and to prove myself that I can do what my mind tells me to do. So far, so good as I've come to love my job that everyone else (who ironically have never done before) hates. 

But if there is a downside to this job that I love, it would be the working hours. I begin work just like everyone else in the Public Sector and because of the long hours it entails, I opted for the last WP, which starts at 8.30. Almost always, I am early because like Adik says, in the more developed countries, "being on time is late". So, I try to make it in time, rather than on time. 

This is how my day typically goes;

I reach the office at about 8.20-8.25. 

I switch my laptop on.

While waiting for it to load, I go and get my drink. 

Some mornings I eat breakfast (most days packed from home, so I don't go down to the cafe), and most mornings, I'd be checking my mails while eating, having my drink. 

After sorting my mail, I start work. 

The only time I am away from my workstation is when I go to the loo, or when my boss calls me for a discussion or if I am instructed to attend a meeting. 

When I am away for a discussion or meeting, I can never tell what time it'll end. It depends on the complexity of the matter. 

On some days (which seems like most), the discussion will end after 1.00 p.m. By then, everyone would have gone out for lunch (which I normally don't do anyways, even if I had the time) and that's when I either (1) get a quick bite from the cafe; or (2) eat the lunch I packed from home. 

While having lunch, I'm either browsing the internet for news or well, just eating. 

Right after lunch, I would go to the loo, perform prayers, read some quran and by 2.30 latest, I would be tap tapping on my laptop again. 

Again, the only time I leave my workstation is when I go to the loo, go out for a discussion or I'm out attending a meeting. And again, I can never tell what time the meeting will end because it all depends on the complexity of the matter. On some good days, it'll end at 4.30. On some bad ones, it ends at 8.00 (p.m.). 

On those good days, I would come down from a meeting and immediately get working on the report(s) that we need to submit each time we attend a meeting. I do it immediately not because I am a goody two shoes or because I am skema (well, I am a little bit skema, fine), but more because I don't want to procrastinate and later forget what to report. Plus, I can never tell what tomorrow will bring, so I get everything done, when I can. 

Normally, at 5.00, I will take a break for prayers. And then, I will continue whatever it was I was doing. If the report is done, I'll wait until the next day before I submit as I need to proofread it the next day, with a clearer head and fresher pair of eyes. If I have some pressing work (the types which can wait), I will only leave work at 5.45 to 6.00 p.m. but on my more tired days, I normally don't wait beyond 5.40. And I love these days because I get to take Luqman to the playground and cook dinner and later read books together with him.

Those are my (really) good days. On some days, my phone would ring at 5.25 and I am called for a discussion (for work that just cannot wait). At a workplace where nothing is not urgent (meaning everything is urgent), that's kind of expected. I would then attend that discussion and it'll normally end around Maghrib. 

But those are the better busy days. On the really busy days (for work which can't wait at all), I would sometimes be in a meeting from morning and up 'til midnight and the next day I'll be at work by 8.30 a.m. again. And the next morning, I go through the same thing as abovementioned, hoping that that day would be one of the better busy days rather than really busy ones. 

Lost your breathe yet?

That's not the worst. 

Weekends; if there's work that just can't wait at all, AT ALL, we're all on standby. So far, I have managed to avoid this by giving my all during weekdays, even to the extent of volunteering to stay back as late as it requires or doing work during lunch hour, but yeah, there's always that possibility that I would need to come in; like how I've been given the heads up for this weekend, for instance. 

***

I know that doing work with utmost sincerity will help me reach my goal in the hereafter and honestly, apart from the ridiculously long hours, I don't mind it at all. I know this because I am hardly tired when I get home. Maybe it's because I look forward to meeting my family that keeps me from being fatigued, but I also believe that if I hated my job, I would be tired and complaining about it all the time. But no, I am hardly ever tired. I've come home from work at 11 (p.m.) before and immediately started the laundry, washed the dishes, packed Luqman's bag for school and arranged and cleaned the house before I finally hit the bed. And I still wake up early enough the next morning to prepare my husband's breakfast, iron his clothes, send Luqman to school and to get to work in time.

But be that as it may, I still know that I still have a duty to my family, especially to my kid, who is my amanah, and I always keep that in mind. 

I hope that Allah will continue to grant me this strength so that I will be able to continue my job, both at work and at home, without jeapordising myself in any way.

I also hope that when I do take time off to rest (like how I'm doing right now writing this post), or go out for the occasional lunch, people would not question my integrity and my mismanagement of time, as I've never disclosed this schedule to anyone before (apart from those close to me) and that on the days I do go back early, I would not be questioned for running to my next shift at home. I also hope that people would cut me some slack if I am unable to finish all 8/8 pieces of work assigned to me in the month of February as there is only one me and I can only do so much.

I also hope that those extended hours have been made public be thankful that they have been done so, because to me, extended hours are a thing of norm and nobody knew that working as a Public Servant would entail this much work. 

There. I feel so much better now. 

Happy Wednesday everybody! In any case, my Day 5 of #100happydays has been made already ;)