Friday, December 31, 2010

carpedium

Currently in a city in the east coast attending an engagement and a wedding -of the same person.
Since we got here it has been raining continuously; something which is common this time of the year. So it looks pretty gloomy -like winter minus the freezing cold air..
But still the rain has not dampened the mood of the guests who have come to celebrate/ support the joyous occasion.
I suppose it is a pretty significant date to choose to be married on the 1st day of the year.
New year, new beginnings. New life.

Yet in actual fact you can make ANY day significant. You can start anew at any given date. There shouldn't be a reason to wait, really. Cuz you and I know we may not have much time left on this earth of ours.

At 35 years old, after 19 years of smoking, someone dear to me finally decided to quit smoking. It's been over a month and he's still going strong. (God, please let him quit for good..)

After 10 years of a childless marriage, a couple I know decided just yesterday to adopt a 3 day old baby whose mother didn't want him, only to find out they were a few minutes late to decide and someone else had beaten them to it.

Ok, these are just some examples of taking control of your life. Answering the door when opportunity knocks. Carpedium.

But of course there are times when you must take time to think about things thoroughly before even deciding. After all life is about the choices that you make. Once you've made the wrong choice, you'll have to live with it for the rest of your life.. So seek His guidance in times of doubt, make your choice with confidence and don't look back.

I pray that we are always under Allah's guidance and that we will make the right choices in life and not wait too long to reinvent or renew ourselves. May 2011 be the year for us to do grander things in life. InsyaAllah.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

klcc

Am sipping latte at the level 2 food court of klcc. Arrived here just before the crowd pulled in. My quiet breakfast is no more. Apart from me there are others too who are also eating alone.. I'm ok with that.. there are times when you should be alone without company. Lets you gather your thoughts better I guess.. Ok, clearly I'm bored- waiting for a friend.. And now I have to go clean my tudung after spilling my food just now as I was attending to my mobile facebook.. :p

Saturday, December 25, 2010

the annoying orange

I just met him.
LOL.
Some students told me about it once but only today out of sheer boredom I came across it on you tube and decided to watch it.
Only saw the one vid with the Jalapeno.. made me laugh and thus clear away some blues of mine.
Why am I blue?
Can't answer that cuz I don't know.. (i think..)

Ever watched `Legends of The Fall'? Brad Pitt was in it (*sigh..) He played one of the sons of Anthony Hopkins.. Falls in love with the same girl his brothers do too - Susannah. She gets engaged to one of them (not him) who gets killed in the war. So with him out of the picture she eventually falls into Tristan's arms (Brad Pitt)- the favourite son, after the fiance's death. To add to the drama, being the `free spirit' of the family, Tristan decides to go on a journey and goes away leaving Susannah behind for a long time.. So she ends up marrying the other remaining brother, while still pining for Tristan..

To cut a long story short.. Tristan returns from his long `journey of discovery', becomes the good son again, marries and lives happily with 2 kids.. One day, they all go to a fair and bump into each other. Tristan with one child on his shoulder while the pregnant wife holds the other child. A picture of a perfect happy family..

And that's one of the scenes I remember the most as being the most heartbreaking of all. The moment Susannah sees that picture in front of her.. her expression says it all.

I think I had that expression this morning. I think something hit me.

It may not have been in the same scenario as in the movie nor was it under the same circumstances.. (I have no `Tristan' who I'm pining for ok..) but it sure made me remember that scene.

What does this have to do with the annoying orange? Nothing. Sorry..

But it reminded me of this:

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. - Desiderata


It made me look back at what I have and be thankful:

Take what comes to you and give thanks. Qur'an 7:144

And it reminded me that... Verily with every difficulty there is ease. Qur'an 94:6


So, even if I became `Susannah' for a moment today and ended up in tears.. (lately it falls so easily), I am not going to let that image affect me in any way again.


O' you who have believed, persevere and endure and remain stationed and fear Allah so you may be successful. Qur'an 3:200

And He it is Who sends down the rain after they have despaired, and spreads His Mercy... Qur'an 42:28


If you're finding this post a little cryptic, well, some things don't need to be spelt out in detail.
If you don't understand..then, tough ;)

ps/ if you haven't watched the movie I mentioned before, go watch it! it's a good movie.. :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

a shrunken memory

You never really forget things at all sometimes. What happens is just that you push a memory away from you, bury it somewhere you wish you'd never find again and then one day, bam! It hits you from nowhere and things come flushing in. You can't stop it. You suddenly remember. And then you realize that you've never really forgotten. The memory has just been dormant and shrunk into size. But it's still there. A shrunken memory..

Monday, December 20, 2010

after 20 years

Two days ago I attended the most anticipated event of the month. My secondary school reunion! From 100 students or so in our batch, around 40 plus of us made it. Not bad..

If you refer to a previous post, I did not manage to lose much weight before the event.. (Only about 1 kilo).. Plus that was the day I was having skin `issues'.. after trying to get rid of some spots a few days before, they remained on my cheek till that night :p

Aside from that, I did not regret going at all.

Even though I did not remember half of the boys.. oops men, (and one or 2 girls) who came.
Even though at one point it felt like school days once more when each gender shied away from the other.
Even though I could not eat much as I suddenly got all flustered and giddy trying to talk to everyone at once.
Even though I did not get to speak to every one of them.
Even though I felt upset when some didn't remember me - their own classmate/ homeroomate!


You'd think everyone would have changed.. well, not entirely. There were still those with that same face and shape - much to the envy of others! :) But the most obvious changes were the guys I guess.. all like `bapak org' sudah.. hehehe..

Considering the amount of time spent with those people 20 years ago, it came as no surprise when seeing most of them again didn't make us break into a long conversation. Of course basic questions were asked- occupation, children, (yes, I got that question of course and surprised looks..), where I lived.. Those who knew me better asked about my siblings, etc.. But I ended up having `extended' conversations with only a limited few.. Which to me was good enough.

I always wonder how people saw me back then. And if they saw the same me 2 days ago.. Because I saw the same thing in some of them just like I saw them 20 years ago..

I actually have fuzzy memories of my time at that school. Don't get me wrong, I loved it there. Relationships in the dorm meant more at times than in the classroom! I think if all of us stayed there till the end of form 5 we'd be tighter than now. Parting ways after form 3 was painful and I think I hated the paths they made us choose at that time.. I think everyone else who left felt the same way too..

So I applaud the organizer - my homeroomate! (who I had forgotten was in my homeroom.. ouch) and who sponsored the whole thing! Bless him..

Reunions exist not because you want to compare your life with others, but more to get connected once again. To go back to a place you shared together and hold on to a piece of that once more. Sometimes it's good to remember the good old days so that you can create better days in the present. Or at least to know that once you shared a life someplace that was pure, fun and free. It surely made you the person you are today so what better way to cherish it then to reconnect once more..

Meeting each other again really brought us back to the place we all loved. Especially us who left too soon..




things i will particularly remember:
People who never spoke to me before actually did that night! (including someone I admired.. hahahaha..)
Some told me I looked the same! (compliment?) and `smaller'? :D
Spoke to a long lost friend.. :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

iqra'


Two piles I am aiming to finish this holiday.
Only one pile is being given attention.. It's obvious which one I think :)
Can't get rid of the habit of buying books when one isn't even finished.. I think among the pile is about 4 books I've started on but not finished reading..
The other pile.. well, I did start on it - BEFORE the hols.. and that was it. Will start on it again very very soon.. ;)


But this one





I must always make sure I find time to read too.
Because sometimes I forget..
Knowing very well that it is the ultimate guide to one's life..
Allah forgive me..





Sebagaimana riwayat Abu Umamah yang maksudnya:

“Aku pernah mendengar Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam bersabda: “Bacalah oleh kamu al-Qur’an, sesungguhnya (al-Qur’an) itu datang pada hari qiamat menjadi syafaat kepada pembacanya.”

(Hadis riwayat Muslim)


I hope that it's not because I am `free' this holiday that I will be giving time to reading the Quran but that it will be a common practice that will stick with me always.


Diriwayatkan daripada Abu Hurairah Radhiallahu‘anhu yang maksudnya:

“Bahawa Rasulullah Shallalahu’alaihi wasallam bersabda: “Sesiapa yang mendengar satu ayat daripada Kitab Allah Ta’ala (al-Qur’an) ditulis baginya satu kebaikan yang berlipat ganda. Sesiapa yang membacanya pula, baginya cahaya di hari qiamat.”




Thursday, December 16, 2010

20 VS 44

January 2009 was when this blog first came to be.
I wanted to try and see what it was all about - wrote about it in my first entry.
Was just reading my previous posts of last year and I think it mostly was a little emotional ;)
Many big things happened anyway so I guess that was inevitable.
I was not into `advertising' my blog too so that meant.. out of the 20 posts I wrote there were like 5 comments altogether I think.. It's ok, the writing part for me was more important than getting the responses. (plus only one or 2 people knew about it..)

2010 = 44 posts so far.. and almost every month.. and more than once in a month too! And a number of comments = like!
I think it's because I now understand how blogs are like - after reading several blogs which inspire and fascinate me. Writing is not a problem still, getting the responses is a bonus and now, exchanging knowledge and learning from what you write and read is the most valuable part..

So bloggers, let's continue doing that, ok? ;)


ps/ but sometimes.. you do purposely write cuz you want people to respond.. and that's cool.. but it's sad (sometimes) when people don't.. haha..

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

vain?

After a recent outstation trip to hubby's hometown I think I have returned with a little extra fat on me. Feel `lumpy' and heavy.. yucks ;p
Why is it that holidays always does that to people?
You get together and buy food (you can't find where you're staying), you gather round the table and chat, laugh and eat and eat and eat.. Somehow food tastes hundred times better when you're eating it with company. Good company.
Not only that, it's hard to say no when people start cooking for you and presenting you with all sorts of food.. and that's only breakfast!
Oh well.. to the gym I must head - more than usual..

This worry I have on me now is also cuz I have a secondary school reunion to attend in about 3 days! Help!
Ok, am not really bothered about looking `wider' than I was say..20 years ago - the duration of time I have not seen most of those people.., but also cuz despite my shortcomings I will be bringing with me - married but with no children.. I just basically want to look good.. haha.. Vain? Let's just say I want to go there feeling confident.. and I must look the part by losing some kilos..
Will I be able to do it in 3 days?

Ok, realistically maybe I can't. Whatever.. I'm going to meet old friends.. and in 20 years everyone will have `aged and expanded' as much as I have.. :D Am sure I'll find it hard to recognize some faces, but I hope it'll be a good meeting. And I'll try not to feel inferior or upset that some people have 5 kids or such when I have none still.. (though I know the common questions will be asked - anak berapa dah?.. oh takde anak lagi?.. berapa lama dah kahwin?) :p

So hope this reunion will be fun and not awkward.. And that I will forget about my `lumpiness' and all.. and be happy to catch up with old friends.. :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

under the weather

I think I'm one of those people who rarely get sick, praise be to Allah for that.
Yet when I do fall sick, it happens usually during the weekends or a long holiday like right now.
Mind over matter. That's what I tell myself when I refuse to give in to my `helpless' condition..
If not I'd not be able to get things done.

Yet of course our body needs to rest. Needs to heal. So rest we must.. and with that, I bid farewell for a while until I get back to my normal self.


Abdullah r.a berkata, Rasulullah bersabda:

“ tidak ada seorang muslim yang ditimpa cubaan berupa sakit dan sebagainya melainkan dihapuskan Allah taala dosa-dosanya seperti pohon kayu menggugurkan daunnya.”


God willing.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

new year

1 Muharram 1432H
a new day. a new year.

Happy New Year!

A time to:

Reflect on past behaviours and seek better ways to be better.. =)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

a place to go back to

Am sitting in front of my sister's laptop at my parents' house.
Blessed am I that my parents live only about 30 minutes away from my place (20 on days with less traffic).
This means I should have no excuse not to see them. Once a week. That's the most I can do actually, which is good enough.
Decided to sleep over here last night since I missed seeing them last week. Kinda like catching up on lost time. :)
A good idea I must say cuz so far we've had dinner and breakfast together.. after this, lunch!
No matter how old you get, going back to your home that once was.. is still the ultimate joy. Having had the privilege of being raised in several homes, I will always remember the places I grew up in.
Passed one of those places yesterday and it brought me back to a time when I was carefree and well.. young! Kinda feel sad that the house where I was born in has been sold- my grandmother's house. I guess when my late grandma started living with her children, no one was able to look after the house.. first it was rented out.. then sold. Hence I have no `kampung' to go back to anymore.. But I suppose the decision was made under best intentions.

So, wherever your parents are, that's your `kampung' to go back to. It's good to have a place to go back to. Where the history of the place is partly your history, the place you know you belong in and when you return to it, it gives you some sort of comfort and serenity you can't get elsewhere.

I think of the house I own now or maybe in the future (if I move), and hope that I too can make it into a place worth coming back to. Where one will feel comforted, loved and just happy to be home.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I can speak Malay

As one who teaches English, I try to avoid speaking in Malay with students.
I would say that 99.9% of the time, English is used in any lesson or conversation. It should be 100%, really.
On VERY rare occasions I use Malay, purposefully, to get a point across, and this in turn leads to peals of laughter from students.
Somehow that makes me feel embarassed. Like I've done something wrong. Or funny. Not.
But hey, I can speak in Malay of course, and they must surely know that that's the lingo used when not in teaching mode...

Anyway, as English has been such a big part in my life.. (I was already speaking fluent English since I was 4 and with a hint of British accent too!) and has been the reason why I went into teaching, I sometimes feel guilty of not enriching my Bahasa as well. I have not read a Malay novel since Form 5, I think! I read English newspapers. Listen to English speaking radio channels. Watch English movies. Buy English novels. Even cook western food more than Malaysian food..Even my blog posts and facebook statuses are most of the time in English. Hmm.., I could be accused of leading such an `English' life!

Yet, I do still enjoy listening to Malay songs.. I do watch Malay dramas, I of course love Malay food.. I wear the Malay traditional baju kurung throughout most of the year, goreng pisang is top on my list of afternoon delights and I would like to name my future children with Malay names like Melati or Melor.. ;)

All in all, going back to the point of this post.. I realize I should take the time to give more attention to the Malay`ness' of things in my life.. starting with language maybe. I harp on students to understand the culture of a society in order to be more attune to the language they use. So, I may need to go back to basics again and appreciate my own mother tongue once more.

Ok, my Malay is a little rusty I think so don't laugh.. Here goes..

Catatan kali ini sebenarnya telah diilhamkan oleh kata-kata seorang anak murid yang berkata baru-baru ni : 'peliklah dengar teacher cakap Melayu'.. Apa yang peliknya kan.. sebenarnya memang itu bahasa kita..

Kalau tidak kerana tugas sebagai guru Bahasa Inggeris, mungkin BM akan digunakan sepanjang masa.. Hakikatnya, telah lama bahasa itu ditinggalkan dan mungkin tiba masa untuk menggunakannya semula - paling kurang pun dengan membaca bahan dalam bahasa.. hehe.. ok tak?

Ok, does reading my thoughts in Malay sound weird too compared to hearing me say it?

I will try to love Bahasa Malaysia and appreciate it. So I'm ending my post this time with 2 Malay poems/ pantun:


Tingkap papan kayu bersegi
Sampan sakat di Pulau Angsa
Indah tampan kerana budi
Tinggi darjat kerana bahasa

Cuaca gelap semakin redup
Masakan boleh kembali terang
Budi bahasa amalan hidup
Barulah kekal dihormati orang


Sehingga bertemu lagi di lain masa.. :D

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

45 minutes

45 minutes is how long it takes to bake a simple chocolate cake.

I have always loved baking. I think this passion I have for food started very early on in my life.. like when I was 4 or 5.. My mum told me one day I came back from school and was proud to announce that `I had seconds' - the school that I went to served free lunch and I actually asked for another round of whatever it is they were serving.. :) Maybe it was the dessert. Ok, this has no relevance to baking but it shows how I loved eating.. and still do..

Desserts are my weakness. So I guess that's why I enjoy making them and eating them.

Anyway I just baked a cake. Well almost.. After preparing the batter for a simple chocolate cake I set the timer to 45 minutes.. And instead of seeing a perfectly shaped cake in the oven after 45 minutes passed by, I was greeted by a flat one! The oven was switched off! By me of course accidentally..

And now I have to wait for another 45 minutes... :(

While we're waiting.. let's just talk a bit more about cakes..

I've baked all sorts: cheesecake (my specialty), chocolate, orange, peanut butter, sandwich cake (with jam in the middle).. Cheesecake wins I think cuz I've baked that the most.

I've baked for birthdays, for raya, for no reason, for students, for family, for friends..

Everytime people eat my cake they're always happy. Happy that it tasted good (i hope), happy that they got homemade cake - even though I fail at presentation.. happy that time was taken to bake it..

So in short, make someone happy by baking? Of course not. Maybe we can just take the time to do simple things for others. Cuz really, the one who gives is probably more happier than the one who receives..

Ok, now I can actually smell the cake from where I'm sitting.. That's more like it.. May the cake turn out well. Will be feeding some 20 or so students tomorrow! ;)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

in times of great stress

"In times of great stress or adversity, it's always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive"

Am aware of the levels of stress currently flowing through the lives of a lot of people I know, students and colleagues.
But what is life if it is stress free?

“You never will be the person you can be if pressure, tension and discipline are taken out of your life.”

It is there to teach you about perseverance and patience. About managing time and about leading an orderly life.

It also makes you be on your toes and not let your mind go idle..

So take it in with stride and guts and with a sane mind.

InsyaAllah, even if stress is overpowering you, you'll be able to handle it well..


“Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.”









Wednesday, November 24, 2010

12 hours ago

About 12 hours ago I acted on impulse and left 16 boys without a lesson.

Were my actions acceptable?

Maybe. Hopefully so.

It's funny when a person gets angry, it only leaves them feeling worse.

But I hope that my actions also left an impact on them so that they will understand the heart of the matter - which is to treat my class with respect and not take it for granted.

Will this happen again? Hopefully not.

Just remember to tread carefully in the future my dears and know that our intentions are good for we only mean to lead you in the right direction..

Monday, November 22, 2010

soul mates

I am dedicating this post to a certain someone who at the moment is a little bit of a lonely soul (you know who you are..)

From an NST article (Do all of us have soul mates?) I read yesterday it said that:

`Humans are made up of four arms, four legs and a single head made up of two faces, but they are split in half and condemned to spend the rest of their lives searching for the other half. If and when one half meets the other, the pair would be swept away by feelings of love, friendship and intimacy'

But it also said that:

'As much as the soul mate mythology sounds promising.. beware of clinging to ideals'

'Often times it's used as a form of escapism. When people are down and out, they cling to the hope that there is one person in the world who will sweep them away from all their sorrows and problems'

Among others it also claimed that:

'Hollywood has created ideas which cause us to be disillusioned. Movies, books and song lyrics have created this notion that you need to find your ideal woman or man to live happily ever after. It's a lot of hype, like a slogan. It's a concept and idea, rather than something real'

So... what do you think? Is this all true?

Allow me to put in my two cents' worth:

Before I tell you what it is let me start with a story. Bear with me, please.

When I was 18 I was just learning to socialize with the opposite sex. I mean like be friends with guys. Somehow my secondary school years deprived me of getting to just be friends. It was a liberating experience. Of course I found them interesting creatures who were fun to be with. It was really nothing romantic. just pure friends.

Eventually, it was easy to just be friends and there was a time when I became close to one of them. It was a good friendship which later I spoiled by placing other `feelings' into it.. Still, it was great for a while as my feelings were reciprocated. But it didn't last long. We were 2 worlds apart and it just couldn't work though I wanted it to. And with the end of the relationship it ended our friendship too. And till this day I feel guilty of having spoilt that friendship in the first place..

Anyway.. where is this story going?

Ok, the point is this. When you're young, you'll meet people and feel things for them and hope they are the one. It's ok. It's normal. But always allow a part of you to just go with the flow and take one thing at a time. Sometimes a soul mate is revealed through time. It may not be instantaneous or love at first sight.

Jodoh dan maut di tangan Tuhan. Believe that. But of course we must work for things to happen, pray and tawakal.

Matters of the heart are always complicated. But it's something you have to go through in order to learn what is it that you want in the end.

After 3 failed relationships, I met my husband when I was just about to graduate.. Totally unexpected *. The first time we spoke to each other, I had this funny feeling that I had known him before* cuz it was so easy to talk to him.. Corny? Maybe. But the NST article also said that those* were some of the signs that you have met your soul mate.. haha..

Alhamdulillah, after 10 years of marriage our love is strong. He tells me he loves me everyday and that I'm beautiful too..:)

So kids, your time will come InsyaAllah. I pray you meet the right one eventually.. It's ok to kiss a lot of frogs before you meet your prince.. (metaphorically speaking). Just be careful along the way cuz heartbreaks are not really easy to handle..

I'll try to be around to give some sisterly advice if you need some, ok? ;)


ps/ The article also believes that 'There may be more than one soul mate in one's lifetime'.. so meaning if one passes on or leaves you, you may well likely find another.. wallahualam..

Sunday, November 21, 2010

the day before Monday

1. The day of rest
2.The day I try and get a lot of things done (laundry, cleaning, office work)
3. The day to cook. (lasagna today)
4. The day for family.
5. The day for cycling!
6. The day for some peace of mind before a busy week ahead.
7. The day to give the cats a bath.

I'm doing all of the above accept for maybe no. 2.. and of course no. 5 :( .. But I guess, at least being in the comfort of your own home is already considered `resting' even if I'm trying to squeeze so much amount of unfinished work..

At least today I finally managed to do no. 7 and they all now smell like babies.. thanks to the baby powder scent of the shampoo ;)
Usually I start with the most scarediest cat of all - Hiro. This one is fiesty and grumbles throughout. Just now he tried to attack the water coming out of the shower..


Even though I dry them with a towel, they have to dry themselves again. Naturally they do this by licking themselves.
I have some lazy ones like Hiro who prefers to sit still and wait for the hot weather to dry him and also Snowball who kinda hopes that she will get dry naturally.. lazy cats.. ;)

Finally there's Woody - our first cat who has mastered the art of being bathed and will sit so obediently and quietly while water runs through him. Plus he knows how to dry himself real good so he's always the one to dry up fast :)

Somehow I find that bathing them is therepeautic even though some of them meow really loud while I'm doing it so it could sound like they're being tortured.. :p Talking I think helps calm some of them down.. so in the end I get some manja meows.. it's not like they don't like showering I think.. saja mengada.


Here's Woody licking himself.. :) This can be done anywhere in the house.. which means a few places in the living room get wet due to their still-dripping-like state. I don't like this.. but I have no choice since I close the door so they can't go outside to dry themselves.

So anyway, the day before Monday is kinda special considering I get to do certain things without any interference. But there's also that feeling in the pit of your stomach which dreads going back to work tomorrow especially after a week's holiday ;p

But back to work I must go and I know it'll be fun actually cuz I will meet colleagues and students once again.. (psyching myself) :D

Monday, November 15, 2010

WhatsApp

I consider myself moderately tech savvy.. so when Wawa introduced me to WhatsApp I immediately downloaded it on my phone and in less than a month, we have been communicating almost everyday.
This I think is amazing considering she's in London and me here in KL..
It is like ym or any other chatting device but.. the fact that it's so instant like an sms-chat-like app makes it cool.. Cuz it all happens through our phones and we can be anywhere to do this.. So far exchanges have been in the form of audio notes and pics plus videos (only frm Wawa).. Personally love the audio note cuz sometimes recording your message is more fun than typing it! ;)

Ok.. maybe I'm still `jakun' .. but this goes to show you what technology does to let people `connect' with each other.. absence makes the heart grow fonder indeed, but it also brings people closer together - with the help of an application, a suitable phone plus internet connection.. :D

ps/ it's fast cuz you also don't need to login or logout.. ;)

Monday, November 8, 2010

me, nature and a bike


Once a week in my oh so busy life I get to spend time with nature and my bike.


A lot of my friends (who've known me for a while) are finding the fact that me, nature and a bike are not really a likely combination.. ok, make that me + sports, especially a mountain bike..



The fact that I was never the sporty kind must be the reason why.. I have a rather interesting past when it comes to sports..
But that's a story for another time..

Back to me, nature and my mountain bike - a Scott Contessa.. :).. Well, it was a birthday present from dearest hubby - which came 2 months before my actual birthday. All in the spirit of wanting me to spend time with him when he went cycling.. bless him :D..

Mind you, I was not without my doubts.. I was like, are you sure you want to get me a bike? I said, why not just a handbag.. I seriously couldn't believe me going into something I saw (at that time) as an extreme sport.. But with some coaxing I caved in and could not refuse such a special gift.. (the handbag can be a present next year..)

And here I am, 6 months later.. in love with this whole MTB thing.. and wanting to go riding every week, even if it's just around my apartment..

The picture I have posted above was taken yesterday at FRIM, Kepong.. The usual place we go for our rides. It's such a beautiful place offering many trails to suit your ability and also pathways for hikers, joggers and even picnic spots..

It's just so exhilirating to cycle amongst nature and feel the rough terrain as you go downhill. The wind in your face and a feeling like you're gliding through. Makes you feel free.. I thank God I'm healthy and fit to enjoy this hobby. So go ahead and try it. I guarantee you, it's super fun! :D

Thursday, November 4, 2010

bloggers are thinkers


I'm always amazed at some blogs I read.. especially those that make me feel all warm inside or make me reflect on things being said..
I suppose bloggers all have the same trait.. they're all generally `thinkers'. They pour out their hearts (some bloggers) and most importantly draw upon issues that strike a chord..
This all will not surface if they were not putting deep thought into it..
Hence, thinkers they are..


-Thinkers= an IB Learner Profile-

Friday, October 22, 2010

when the birds leave their nest

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Absence I think also can make people forget.
Technology may connect people much faster and easier these days but in some cases it is not to be.

This I suppose is one of my laments of the `sweeteners' I mentioned in my previous post, who have gone off and built a nest elsewhere.. and may have forgotten me.. They don't send postcards.. , write messages on facebook.. or find me on ym.. :(

Back in my student days, people took the trouble to WRITE to each other - like with pen and paper.. send an occasional postcard or greeting card.. Getting something in the mail was such a JOY... and the process of it all.. i mean, I so enjoyed writing.. I was one of those people who could write pages and pages of letters.. I hope I told good stories.. ;)

Times have changed and people just write short messages on facebook or rely on skype to communicate. No letters or aerograms.. People are losing out on the pleasure of holding a letter in their hands.. the fun of finding a nice pen and paper to write on..

Ok, I get it, move with the times.. but you can always write long messages in one's inbox too, right?

Well.. no use blabbering here.. I suppose I must try not to expect too much out of people.. But how nice it would be to receive a letter in the mail once again.. I guess I can only dream..

Thursday, October 21, 2010

the `sweetness' in life

When I was about 9 or 10 (I think) I always `role-played'.. For some reason, I was always a career woman - a teacher! with a baby and husband to go back to.. In my role play of course the hubby was imaginary, but the baby was played by my most cherished teddy bear.. (I wonder where it is now..)
Reflecting back on this, I suppose the role I had for myself was what I saw my own mother doing..
Flash forward 25 years later.. here I am, a married, career woman - minus the kids. I guess I should be grateful that 90% of my vision has come true despite desperately wanting the remaining 10 to appear..
While listening to the radio on my way to work today something hit a chord in me. A guest speaker said that one will never know the sweetness of life until they have a child, and one will not be able to appreciate the sweetness of time when they have children.. Does this mean that I have only been tasting one kind of sweetness?
Of course I can only imagine how life would be for me if the tables were turned.. but I could still be getting other forms of `sweetness' in life that may not come in the form of a child - of my own blood.. right?
I think about the `children' in my life right now who are not really mine but who I always claim to be mine ie - MY students. I would like to believe that they too provide the `sweetness' in my life (even though sometimes they can also leave bittersweet or sour tastes in your mouth). They can be a source of entertainment, inspiration, hope and also a catalyst for a headache.. :p Which is probably similar to what one would feel about their own child.
I may not get the sweetness that the man was talking about this morning, but I sure do have alternative `sweeteners' that make up my life..


ps/ The man on the radio also said `Count your blessings, not your misfortunes', so I thank God for all the good things he has granted. Alhamdulillah..

Friday, October 8, 2010

just because..

sometimes,
just because we never look, it doesn't mean we never see
just because we don't hear, it doesn't mean we never listen
just because we never say it, it doesn't mean we don't care..

but the truth of the matter is,

sometimes, it's better to show that you do see and listen and that you do care. .

Tell someone you care for them, before it's too late..

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

connections

How long does it take one to form a connection with another person?
Some people may take days, months or even years.. some just minutes.. (probably)
In my line of work, connecting with people around me may come naturally but then again, after a decade of teaching I do find that there are still some relationships (with students) that need to be worked on. It is really impossible to `connect' with everyone and to those few that I do click with.. well, that I call chemistry.. :)

Anyway, in these recent months I've acquired new friends through the sharing of the same hobby.. Maybe it's because we meet up only for that purpose, so it bugs me that I run out of things to say when we hang out. I mean, is that all we have in common? Our passion for cycling..? Or have I gone out of practice when it comes to making friends..

I once read an article about meeting up with old friends. The sad truth that it revealed is that when you finally meet old friends again after 2 decades, you just don't have anything in common anymore to share. I mean, yeah, you went to school together once and were close.. but after years of separation you just can't connect at the same level anymore. Even despite being facebook friends! (maybe I should delete them from my list.. haha)

Back to my point on CONNECTIONS.. simply put, there are just some people who you can connect with and sadly there are some who even if you want to, it will not happen. No use beating yourself up to find out why..

I'm lucky to still have a group of friends (from Uni years) who are still my most cherished and trusted friends till this day.. I feel sad too for some friendships that have ceased to exist due to distance, years of separation, etc.. but I suppose that's only natural in life.

I believe in the saying that you can be friends with many but keep only a few who are close to you. They'll be the ones who you can really count on.

I hope to form more friendships in the future but will also tread with caution lest I get carried away by the thrill of new friends..

Despite all that has been said here, friendship is definitely worth investing in. So, hold on to good friends, nurture the relationship and learn to keep it alive. Naturally, you'll form a connection that will last for decades.. InsyaAllah..

Monday, September 27, 2010

rainy days

After a few months of dry spells, Alhamdulillah rain has taken its place.. So far I think it's been pouring everyday..
From where I stay this usually means the house will get cooler - air-cond like, and the cats who seem to enjoy the coolness (i think) curl up on the dinner table - huddling together to be more specific, just to keep warm.. They really are a sight for sore eyes.. :)
Ironically these past few days, there's been no water- on and off, at the workplace and boy is it difficult when there's no water.. Maybe worse than no electricity..
When I was in boarding school many years ago, we had moments of no water now and then and this meant walking around the school compound looking for possible sources of water - like in the toilet at the academic area etc.. Once we had to take water from a little waterfall behind our hostel- that was precious... There was also a time when we waited for the rain to fall - it was heavy rain at the time, and we put our pails out so it could be filled.. The one I remember most was actually `showering' in the rain!! Talk about using it to the max.. That was real fun.. ;)
Well.. water is precious and without it life will just feel.. well, unhygienic.. May the school not have any more runs with no water.. pity the students who have to bear with it.. At least I can go home and shower properly! ;)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

in the festive mood

This will be short as I'm not really supposed to stay away from the `rendang'.. ;)

But before I stay away from my blog for too long.. I thought I'd add in a new post particularly on my current thoughts - RAYA!

This year it's `my turn' for the first day.. and as usual, my role will be to help mum in the kitchen..

Apart from raya cookies which I can never stay away from, the part where I get to spend time cooking with my mum is definitely the moment I love the most about raya. I thank God my mum is still strong and healthy at 67.. As most mum's are.. she whips up the best meal.. and she's just the best!

I hope I can be like that too one day. Almost there maybe! ;)

I hope that I too get to spend time in the kitchen with my children and I hope that they love those moments and cherish it..

The festive season is truly a joyous one.. but let us not forget those who are not able to be with their loved ones, or even may not have a home to go back to.. May Allah bless their lives in other ways and may we all be grateful for the blessed life that God has granted us..

Happy Raya everyone!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Do you believe in miracles?

I was asked that question just now by a friend who was waiting anxiously for her husband to wake up from a coma.
At that time he had been unconscious for almost 24 hours.
With a blood clot in his head and some broken ribs and bones one cannot really say..
Doctors said not to put on any hopes. They also DIDN'T say he had no hope and neither did they say that there was.. Tricky situation.
I answered, `Yes, they can happen'. God willing.

Everyone dreads losing the one you love. I must admit it crosses my mind. Not because I want it to happen. But more because I am afraid of if it happens and also because you don't know how/when it will happen.
I wrote about death before in here and so am not trying to repeat myself .. Yet I believe deep down everyone knows it will happen to them one day. It's just that not knowing when is what scares you most. Or maybe, knowing when, can also scare you.

I can't stop thinking about what my friend was saying just now in between her tears (and mine too..). Her sorrow became mine for a while and made me at a loss for words. I ended up with the cliche lines: `be strong', `pray hard', `say Allah's name a lot'.. (zikir).. I somehow wished I could have been more varied in my choice of words.

It is not really easy to comfort people or offer words of solace. But I believe that at times like that just being there could be comfort itself. Giving a hug or even just listening and nodding could also be enough.

I pray that God will ease the suffering she is going through and give her the strength to go through this difficult time in her life. May this holy month serve as a blessing for her troubles and give her miracles. Amin..

Sunday, August 22, 2010

after 4 days

4 days was all it could take me to stay away from facebook. I should have gone cold turkey for 7 days.. So, I cheated.
I finally succumbed to my need to log in after realizing that there were people I couldn't get hold of without fb.. Which meant that the usual mode of communication - the handphone- was not so reliable in some cases..

What I observed of myself in the 4 days:

1. I was thinking about it everyday
2. I was listening to `facebook conversations' from others around me.. not because I wanted to but that's what almost everyone around me were doing
3. In my free time (that was usually used to go on fb): a) I played games on my mobile - i RARELY do this, b) I did housework I'd normally put off till later.. (bad..), c) I got to sit down and focus on hubby/myself/ the house/the cats/ life..
4. I was also worried cuz I couldn't send messages/ wished ppl birthdays cuz i wasn't online..

Conclusion: I am an avid user. (a positive word than `addict')

The question is : do I really need to be there everyday? The answer: No.

After 4 days, i received 53 notifications, 4 messages and 1 friend request. All in which DID NOT need to be read so urgently or responded to promptly.. (mostly were comments on a picture one of my students had tagged me that ended with a series of comments by others..) But I felt almost `left out' not being able to be there and read about others' life.. This makes me wonder if that's so bad?

When I finally went in I spent almost 2 hours responding and `catching up' on things.. See where the time goes when your wrapped up in it? But maybe that is equivalent to spending 30 minutes on it per day.. which I do do I guess..

Anyway.. I still want to try to keep my `distance' away from it. Only because I don't want to end up feeling so compelled to check it every now and then.. Am sure there's more to life than wanting to update your status or pics or read up on what people are doing.

It would be nice to just call up someone too and chat instead of only reading about them on fb.. Who says we have to follow all the trends in life? Sometimes going old school is also enough.. i think.. ;)

But society seems to say that it's not enough in this day and age.. Go figure.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

let's try this out

I'd like to try and stay away from facebook for a week (or more) starting today. Will be `observing' myself to see what I do when I'm not online.. That should include ym too I guess.
For a change I'd like to live my life without that `force' in my life..