April 10, 2012

Snippets and then some

I am a little afraid of the possibility of burning out… I hope I have not bitten more than I could chew. Else, I probably would end up being Chewbucca, with its ummphs and grunts and wailing… Was that even funny? OMG.

At work, two major projects are undergoing. One short term, the other spans for three years. One software and change management project, the other a network infra project. All the awesomeness and sweetness and I am thoroughly enjoying every bit of the smile, the tears, the sweat and the blood (I cut myself handling some paper-works…) I am also supposed to improve the process for managing a certain type of project under one manager. And most recently, taken up the challenge to focus on change management projects under another manager. Yup, I’m reporting to two different managers, one lady the other; gentleman (LOL, Kak Dayang, stop laughing).

At school, I am the elected Team Leader for the current subject, and we’re supposed to come out with a group report and presentation within the next three weeks, one week has passed since our first weekend meet-up. On top of that, there’s one individual essay that each of us has to complete; apparently this essay will be the differentiator to our marks, since all group reports will mean same marks for everyone in the group. So, I need to do very much very well for the essay to ensure distinction for the first module.

At home, I spent last weekend not looking at my work email (primarily because I left my BB on my table at work) and not opening my school books or sitting down doing the assignments. Saturday was spent doing laundry in the morning, and taking the Little Princess for a little socialising with my best buds. I didn’t get to talk much with the girls though, Little Princess was demanding my attention the whole time! Note to self: Leave your kid in the capable hands of your loving husband a.k.a. the devoted father when you want to spend time with your girlfriends. Next meet-up she’ll stay at home!

Owh… God willing, insyaAllah, we’ll be seeing the inside of our humble abode very soon. Am so excited about it, I could jump up and down everyday. We have to be more frugal with money now. Since my decorative instinct is kicking in, and I’m not sure where to look for bargain location, I might end up spending more than I should! Someone please help me on this! Share where are the places to get excellent quality furniture at good price and someone who can do a 3 feet cabinet under RM1K.

As a daughter, I’m getting more and more worried about the wellness of my parents. They suddenly look so fragile. No, they are not frail or anything like that, but looking at them, and watching my daughter growing, I suddenly get the knock behind my head that I am aging too. And my parents… I just can’t imagine not having them. I have to quickly make peace to the cycle of life, or else I’ll be too devastated when the time comes. :’( My only pray is that they stay healthy and be with me for as long as possible… A pray like any other child, I supposed… I love them. And no amount of success or high degrees or famous certification could ever make me feel any better should Allah SWT decide it’s time. Allah, please make me stronger, and make it easier for me to submit to your will. Ameen.

March 2, 2012

Where Are We?

In the aftermath of Erykah Badu’s cancelled concert, I quietly reflect on it and the responses that I read and heard. Everyone has an opinion why Malaysia is a backward nation or how phobia of war on Islam is spreading. If you google the story, you can even read comments that non-Malaysians are giving. Some angry, and some surprisingly understanding.

I can’t really call myself Erykah Badu’s fan, I don’t know her songs though I am sure I have enjoyed them now and again. I enjoy listening to R&B and Soul music. I just don’t really bother finding out the title of the songs and who sing them… :-)

Let’s look at the issue generally. Any country has a right to refuse entry of a person, for any possible reason they can come out with. It’s the right of the government. It’s their country. Even from international business perspective, a country can forbid foreign companies operating locally to send back their profit to their parent company in their own country; if they see it to be economically fit. Malaysia did this once during the economic downturn in late 90s. This is to protect the country’s economy.

Some country even stop the operations of foreign company and all foreign workers are deported. This happens. All the time.

Yes, Malaysia has made the international news for revoking rights to perform or reject the application altogether for a number of international artists. We’ve done it before, we just did it this week, I’m pretty sure we’ll do it again in future. Regardless whether it is politically motivated or not.

Yesterday morning, the Executive Officer of Centre for Independent Journalism of Malaysia was interviewed by BFM on this issue. She said something about not to expect non-Muslim to know or understand the meaning behind the Arabic characters. She also said that what happened is due to political mileage, and some people are trying to say Islam is being attacked in Malaysia. I beg to differ.

We have to understand the American culture. They are mostly individualistic bunch of people, with little regards of other people feelings. And this is not just a generalisation, this is based on research. With this mentality, what they do, is basically for themselves. To them, the arabic word is just art, just like the cross, star of David even the tree of life. They can make fun of their religion, and they will not be chastise for it; so much. I’m sure there are still prudent and respectful, God fearing Americans. But get this, they are so detached that most of the times they don’t realise what they do are affecting other people in different ways.

So, I ask you now; as a Malaysian, do you not see that our society is still pretty much communal and reserved? What response were you expecting other than anger when the picture came out. True enough for some of us so called “liberal” Muslims, we do not mind. But let me tell you, it is because we are slowly becoming individualistic ourselves. So what if some people are crying foul over the tattoo? Let them be. At least, there are still people out there brave enough to stand up for their religion, for people to learn to respect this Almighty being we prostate ourselves to.

I haz a little sadness. It has been said that the weakest stage of Iman is to disagree in silence, in the heart. I was thinking to myself, do I even fall in this category? I saw the picture of Erykah Badu with the tattoo long time ago. But unobservant as I was, I didn’t even realise there was a tattoo spelt “Allah”… I feel sad. Is it because I am so detached from my religion, that I am becoming ignorant of things like these? Have I slowly becoming too “liberal” that I do not care when other people are using my religion carelessly?

Yes, they may not understand, and they may not care. But hey, I as a Muslim myself, shouldn’t it be part of my responsibility to educate people on my religion? To tell them, look, this thing that you think is only art, is very very much dear to Muslims. True it’s just a bunch of arabic characters, but it represents something so big that the characters do not do it justice. I should be able to make an impact, and make people realise that it is not something to be so casual about. But I should also be able to explain it in educative way, and not just shout foul.

Truthfully there are more important, vital things to be discussed with regards to being a good Muslim. But now and then Allah SWT throw to us a little challenge, a little test, for us to see and reflect how we react to it. And we should not just ignore it, at the very least, if it is bad, we could disagree in our hearts.

Sometimes we see artist changing their lifestyle to be more Islamic. Some people joke about them. At least they are making progress. True enough, they could pull the holier-than-thou attitude, but hey, that’s one of the weaknesses that they have to overcome. And for the rest of us, have we started to make the journey to be a better Muslim? For all we know, they might have more favours from Allah SWT than we could ever will get…

Anyway, for people to ask for revoking of The Star’s license is too much. Come on people. They have apologise. Move on. In this I agree with the EO of CIJM. Don’t go for blood just because you think it’s the way to go. Be matured, Islam is so much more gentle than that. Be a living example of it’s embodiment.

This is a long post. I’m tired. Have a great weekend ahead y’all. Take care! :-)

February 7, 2012

The Mid-30s

Less than two weeks ago, I celebrated my 34th birthday. Ala… what’s so secret about the number right? Hahaha…

To say that I’ve accomplished much, would be a lie, for there are lots of things that I would want to be doing at the moment. I don’t even have a house under my own name, yet. What I have is a string of debts, necessary and otherwise. Haha…

I will not compare my success and achievements with others. For what I have now is what I can handle, and I wouldn’t be so arrogant to say that I deserve more, now. I thank The Lord for all that He’s bestowed upon me, blessings after blessings that sometimes go unnoticed, unappreciated.

The times that I spent for silly things, for empty talks, for day-dreaming, and yet so little time spent in remembering Him, thanking Him. This year, again, I vow to be a better servant than last year. Lord, give me strength to be persistent and consistent.

I am not getting younger. Now that I have a child, it is a constant reminder that I’m growing older, and soon I will be taking over my mom’s age. And because of this, it is a painful realization that my parents are also getting older, their strength ebbing away.

Where I am now is probably my mid-life. That is if I live until the age of 68. I can’t understand why people keep saying 30s are still young, when you’re only about 20 years away from retirement. And what can you do within that remaining years to achieve more than now? It’s all about opportunities and a little bit of luck.

Sometimes I feel as if I’m sailing through life without a direction, just following where the wind is blowing. Thus, the phrase “going with the flow” is not really a good phrase to base your life on. We must have direction, we need to have a destination. And one sure destination is meeting Him. How we meet him, that’s the direction that we need to decide.

Anyway, HAPPY BIRTHDAY JADE! May you be wiser and more cheerful from today onwards! May you achieve your dreams, your needs and wants, may you have all the love that the world can give you. May you be a great wife to your hubby and an awesome mom to your daughter. I know the wish comes a little late, but hey, better late than never!


January 23, 2012

The Week That Was…

One week ago today, I was slowly recovering from the fright.


Just a day after her 11-month birthday, my daughter was admitted to KPJ Tawakal for lung infection. Two days before that, I was at a project kick-off, where I was about to deliver the afternoon workshop, when I received a call from The Hubby, they were on their way to the ER. Little Princess was not doing well. She had  fever over the weekend, but was fine on Monday. Little that I knew, it will be the start of emotional journey for me and the rest of the family.

Upon receiving the call, I told my colleagues I have to leave, and passed the presentation to my Account Manager. While driving, my heart is beating furiously, thinking what could’ve gone wrong. She only had fever, that went up and down, yes, and a little coughing. When I arrived in the ER, the nurses were sponging my daughter, and she was crying looking frightened. It broke my heart. I immediately picked her up from the examination table and hold her tightly close, whilst the nurses kept on sponging her. I later told the nurse, I’ll do it myself while nursing her. I did not let myself cry, not yet.

We went to see her paed half an hour later. She ordered blood test and urine test. The look in my little princess eyes.. while the nurse wrapped her in the blanket to hold her still to draw blood… I couldn’t get it off my mind. She looked at me with a question, “Mami, what are they doing to me?” I had to hold my baby down while the nurse drew blood from her. I did not let myself cry, not yet. Held her close immediately after it finished. Once out from the room, I could not hold myself back any longer. While comforting my daughter, with istighfar and tasbeeh non-stop… I cried. And cried. The Hubby hugged me, but still I cried.

We were at the lab area for more than an hour, waiting for Little Princess to pee, but she didn’t. So the doctor asked us to come back to her room. While there, my baby peed, and the urine was sent to the lab. Her blood had traces of bacteria according to the doctor. So she prescribed antibiotics, and I do not want her to stay in the hospital much longer. We went back. It was Tuesday.

Wednesday, I stayed at home, looking after her. She was well. Laughing and playing. All day long. Just the two of us. It was her 11 month birthday. Then that night, she started to act differently. Her breathing was heavy, and when giving her water to drink, I felt as if the water came out through her lungs… I tried not to worry, for she slept soundly. In the morning, she seemed very quiet, not quite herself. She just wanted to sleep and lie down. Her breathing was  still heavy. I called her paed, and she advised me to bring her in.

It was Thursday. And this is where my nightmare really started…

There was no room available to admit Little Princess. I was beside myself. I couldn’t quite control my emotions. My baby was turning blue, and they would ask us to wait??!! But I know, oh I know the nurse was trying her best to get any available room. There were rooms should already been available, because the patients were discharged, but they still hadn’t check-out, taking their own sweet time to get their asses away from the hospital. Such selfishness! Such stupidity! Such heartlessness! No caring whether other people would die out of their careless actions! The paed did not even want to look at my baby, but she looked worried. She lost a patient before, maybe there were myriads of worry running through her head… We finally managed to get an adult VVIP room.

My baby was not doing well. That’s what the doctor said. Her condition had worsen. She ordered an x-ray. Again, I was with Little Princess throughout. Held her down, assuring her that everything would be fine. Reciting dua close to her little ears, while she hold on to me with her frail hands and frightened eyes. Ya Allah… only you know how I feel inside, please, please let my baby be fine… Please make her stronger… Please make her brave… I couldn’t stop pleading, and pleading… I have no power at all to make my baby better. Only He does. He can help, and He will help me!

They put her on oxygen then. She had drip in her little hand. Pumping water and antibiotics into her little body. Ya Allah… seeing this tiny little person with all the wires around her… She also had a sensor around her little toe that tracked her oxygen level and heartbeat. And my baby, she had very little energy, just lying there. I slept beside her in that big hospital bed. We had to move rooms three times before we finally had a single room to ourselves.

I kept on thinking… I just started sending her to the daycare. Only 3 days the week before. And she’s already like this? What did I do wrong? Where did I miss it? The Hubby told me not blame myself, and portioning the blame will not make our baby better. He was right of course, but what have I not done enough?

Friday, when the doctor came in the evening to check on Little Princess, she looked… relieved. The antibiotics were doing their job. But my baby still needed the oxygen tube on. Owh… I haven’t told you about the first physio session…

Friday morning, I brought her for physio session. I was prepared for the first part, but not the second, eventhough the physiotherapist walked me through it. I was not prepared for the tiny tube to be inserted into my baby’s nostrils and mouth! No! But I knew I couldn’t stop it. In fact, in one occasion, I helped to open my baby’s mouth, because she was clamping it tight. Ya Allah, make me strong! inwardly I screamed… The moment it was finished, I held her tightly, held her, and held her. They wanted to put her straight to the drip, but I said no. I wanted my baby to have what normal moment she could before she’s confined back to the bed.

You can say it’s normal for babies going to the daycare to have infection or to be admitted. But I still say NO. It’s not normal for these little people to be confined to hospital beds with tubes around them. NO! NO! NO! A thousand times NO! They should be healthy. Happy little people, running around enjoying their lives! You may say it’s normal for your baby, if you want to. But not for me. Never for me.

Little Princess had three more physio sessions before she was discharged on Sunday afternoon. Yes, she was discharged on Sunday. But it was an emotionally harrowing four days of my life. The hospital walls closing in every single day, I though I would go crazy. Ya Allah, please, I don’t ever want to go through this experience again. Ever.

On Saturday, I was supposed to go to the induction session for my MBA course, but I didn’t go. I thought that would be my escape for a little while from the hospital. But owh… the words a loved one could say to make you feel really bad about yourself. I felt awful, I was the worst mother in the world for wanting to be away from my baby, just a little while. Ya Allah, forgive me. Hana, forgive your Mami for being so weak. I am so sorry for even thinking that I’d the rights to escape. Everyone else came and went back. Even The Hubby could leave the hospital to get a change of clothes, etc. But no, not the Mami. Mami had to stay.

My Little Princess is recovering well. She’s almost 100% back to herself. No more coughing since yesterday, Alhamdulillah. She had to continue a course of antibiotics, and finished up the antibiotics that was prescribed to her in the hospital the past week. She’s filling up back the fats that she lost in that week that she was unwell. Every time I saw her ribs and legs and hands these past two weeks, I couldn’t help but cry. She’s not a plump baby, thus she looked really frail without the fats on her body.

Needless to say, no one would be able to understand what I felt, except for a mother, except for a woman. For we have this tiny part of us that Allah SWT has given to us and only us. And this feeling that you feel, once you’ve seen your child in that way, it will never go away.

O Allah, thank you for making my daughter better. Thank you for listening to my prayers. You only test me with tests that You know I could go through and not more than that.

January 22, 2012

Road to MBA

I am adding a new tag to my blog. Initially I wanted to create a dedicated blog, but I decided against it just ten seconds later. I have a number of blogs to manage and update, and I’m already falling behind. Way behind. Therefore, I decided to just add another tag to this personal blog; “Road to MBA”.

Yes lovely people, I am now a student again. I decided to pursue an MBA degree for variety of reasons:

  • To get in depth understanding of the business world
  • To start speaking business lingo
  • To meet new people, exposing myself to variety of fields out there
  • To finally fulfil my dream of having a master degree – self satisfaction
  • To take the next step of achieving my goals

It was not an over night decision, really. And this decision requires perseverance and high commitment. I have worries, doubts and insecurities about this decision. But I’m going ahead with it. Because if I let the worries, doubts and insecurities rule me, I will still be at the same level, no change.

This decision requires perseverance and commitment not only from myself, but from The Hubby too. And most probably the Little Princess as well. Indirectly it’s affecting my parents and siblings, thus their understanding is needed. And if I let all these dependencies hold me back, I will never fulfil my desire and dreams. I pray that Allah SWT will make this journey easy for all of us. It’s two years, and I wish it to be a great one.

It’s a balancing act really; Self, Family, Work and Studies. I’ve got to make the time for every important aspect in my life. I know I will be able to achieve this, and my target is to get Distinction by the end of two years, always scoring higher than 70% in every assessment. Most importantly, I know I will be able to achieve all this, because I have the support and love, unconditionally from The Hubby. :-) Thank you Sayang!

I missed the induction that was scheduled last week. I’ll write all about it in another post, later. My first class will start in February, coincidentally, on the birthday of the Little Princess! Haih! I have collected all the study materials, text books and even received the RM200 voucher under the 1Malaysia Book Voucher scheme! So happy and thankful. Management and business books are not cheap!!

Well, I’m geared up for the haul. Got myself a study table, a comfy chair and a nice whiteboard with awesome markers and magnets to go with it. I have table calendar and planner in place. Owh… not to forget a bright table lamp to light the midnight oil. Wish me luck! Pray for my success!