Happiness in Life is Made

"O, happy the soul that saw its own faults" – Rumi

Opportunities

I have been blogging from my phone ever since I downloaded wordpress apps which I must say, is very user-friendly and I can type away whenever and wherever.

Over the radio this morning, Ustaz Badlishah talked about opportunities. Almost instantly it hit me: that opportunities have knocked on my door more than once in the past years. Some of the opportunities, were well-received while many others went swooshing by like a fast train, leaving only the dust and the sudden jolt of noise. Then: nothing.

I remembered at Raudhah, in Masjidunnabi at Madinah,  I prayed that Allah blesses me with unknown sustenance from unexpected sources. But when it happened, I did not even care. Isn’t it weird that you ask sonething from an important person, and when your wish is granted, you do not take it and worse still is you are acting as if you do not ask for it in the first place?

Astaghfirullah, what have I done that made me think that I have the ability to foresee what is best and what suits me when multiple opportunities come right at your door?

U.B quoted someone – “If no opportunity comes knocking, build the door!”. Subhanallah! With the spirit of thirst for knowledge, experience and abundance, with the intention to give back, it is going to be my call. Nobody else will do it for me. Only me.

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Life simple pleasure

Whenever I feel like I need a moment of hirameki, I would either:
– imagine Sydney Harbour
– drink fruit tea
– watch uplifting dvds

So tonight, while pulling by the curbside waiting for Munawwar, I watch for the umpteenth time: Julie and Julia. I love Amy Adams. I just do.

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I am happy already.

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The homework helper

The kids are growing each day and unlike other parents, I admit that I have not been so helpful with their homework. Partly because, they usually do a super quick work in the class ( and thus the usual outcry of “No homework today, ummi!” from whatever they were playing with) and another part because even when they have homework they would not usually ask for help. I have been thinking I had experienced such as primary-goer too. My usual subject when asking-for-help-homework-moment would usually be art. I assumed that my work was not neat enough or beautiful enough and they made me unhappy with myself and ended up doing bad drawing. (No teacher would praise me for finishing that difficult task anyway so why finish them if you could not get an A?) In retrospect, I realised that I was quite a perfectionist in myself. I would always arrange my colours in the box as they were when I first bought them. And no, I don’t like dirty corners on my eraser either so I would rub it on my desk to “clean” it from the black pencil marks.I even made sweeping my class job into act of charity by collecting all the stationary especially pencils that I found under the tables into a container and whoever needed them could use them.

For those who do not like the usual messiness of crayon on your kids little fingers, try this out!

Where was I? Oh yeah, my kids homework. I was peaceful in my head regarding their homework until the report card day (does that sound familiar? epiphany always occur during the report-card day *sigh*) when I was told that my eldest was not finishing his homework on time. I did not know how to react. First, I thought should I be angry and promised to have a long discussion regarding this with him later but then I thought oh well, these are my kids and the teacher did not seem to care enough about my child as an individual. But what really struck me was that my son told his teacher that he did not finish them on time because I was not there when he needed to ask me regarding his homework. My heart was crying inside, not because that my son did not finish his homework, but because I was not there when he needed me the most. The tell-tale signs were all over ( the problem with a doctor as a mother) but denial is the biggest and sometimes the longest challenge for acceptance to problems. No awareness equals to no action.

With the recent realisation that I must help them with their homework, and also the echoes of my friend (who by the way home-school her children) regarding the importance of actually, physically, intentionally sitting with your children doing whatever the children want to do, I announced yet another ongoing project of happiness: Homework helping. What I am currently doing is coaching them with their schoolwork. Let them get the feel of what the material is about before they start their class and later let them do a pre-test (well actually I let them do the pre-test and later the skim reading). I always believe that nature plays pivotal role in determining our children temperament, and just like me, I know that I learnt better the hardest way when I was younger. Meaning, that mistakes hurt but would forever be remembered. (Which was quite a challenge considering that I was quick to abandon any project when I foresee failure looming ahead). Knowing this, and knowing that learning style can be “learnt” and “re-learnt” I intended to groom my children into the habit of learning in a systematic way. When things clicked together like pieces of puzzles, the homework helper is born. I have to say, that I was quite happy already now that my husband helps with the Quran, religious subjects and Arabic language. The expertise has been there all this while but again if no awareness, no action!

The altruistic part of me know that I can do better if I engage others in such project. One because, somehow I know that my kids would also learn from others, be it on the subjects or the mannerism when having others in the house and two, it helps me to focus on being consistent that every Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I have coaching project instead of doing other unimportant stuff elsewhere and the stakeholders are not just my kids.

It is still early to say anything regarding the effects of this project of mine for the children. For one hour on those nights, I have started seeing the sharing of books and dictionary, opinions changed for certain questions and answers and the older helping the younger ones. I cannot predict if my effort would change their grades form, Cs to As. All I want them to understand is that I will be by their side when they need me.

Later I will share with you the wisdom of study motivator regarding the useful strategies to study any subjects in a systematic way. Keep coming back.

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My wish since last year…

I will tell more about this later

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7 reasons why sending kids to school should be included in my project of happiness

What is ferry? According to my humble online dictionary , it is not just the boat that  we can catch to cross the sea to Penang Island, it is also a verb which include to transport people or goods in a vehicle. See here.

So on my wish list this year, is to ferry my children to and from school everyday. Some people my think, “What the? I ferry my children to and from school and anywhere on earth everyday!”. But believe me, there are many parents out there who have this on their wish list but yet to make it come true. This is why:

1. The route to school is different from the route to work. If parents insisted that they are going to send the kids to school and then to work on the very opposite directions they will turn up late to work.

2. They do not have the vehicle to do so. If they own a motorcycle and they have to ferry 4 kids one at a time, imagine the hassle.

3. They are not able to because of the working timetable. Some start at 7 if they work morning shift and return at 8 if they are on night shift.

So I am happy that starting from this school term I can send my children to school, because:
1. they have better mood and not feel too tired after school
2. they can have early lunch as opposed to at 4 pm last year
3. they can finish their homework as the result of better mood and happy tummy.
4. they can do other important stuff like playing soccer in my bedroom or watch tv or find stuff on the internet after they have done their homework.
5. they listen to me more intently in the car ( boy, we have such a long discussion on everything)
6. I will happily put on the sermon by our fav Ustaz en route to school. See here.

Most of all, I am happy to be at the giving end.

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While I am busy recharging my camera battery

So, last night I finally had organised a get-together that I have kept in my mind for too long. When I first moved into this house, I was thinking to regularly invite people to my house now that I have the space to entertain properly. Besides my extended family members who come in once in a while, I had only entertained large crowds three or four times in the past years. So this year, I decided for my own happiness that I should start acting on my wish-list.

The event was Family F.I.R.E 2012(which stands for Fizikal, intelek, rohani and emosi in Malay) delivered by the awesome couple: CoachSha and CoachRidz from ShareRich Resources (who collaborated with Madam Maria and husband as Principal Learning Facilitator & Consultant at Marff Resources Sdn. Bhd creating this module). They are English trainers with an experience of more than 10 years, and has a book entitled Fasih Berbahasa Inggeris (F.B.I). They are parents who homeschool their children too! See here. I noticed that younger parents like us are lacking of support system in terms of novice and better parenting styles as the challenge surrounding us grows even as I type this. With Family F.I.R.E 2012the objective is too make family-ing a verb, with mission statements, filled with activities that strengthen the family web in order for us to arrive to a vision. I, for one would want to just simplify it to HAPPINESS.

 

I figure, I really want do something that would stimulate the mind and soul with my favourite subjects such as parenting besides entertaining my friends to a sumptuous (ahem) home-made or locally-bought food and drinks and friendly chit-chats. I believe in what other people has described as virtuous cycle of doing good and spreading the goodness of the people to the world. On the other hand, I hope to harness warm friendship of those who are new to my circle of friends and support local businesses too (the satay man would be one example of a happy caterer that night !).

I was thankful to both speakers who drove all the way from Kuala Lumpur for this gathering. Also my heartiest appreciation to those who attended including Non and Adli with her daughter Aisyah, my colleague Dr Nurul, husband and kiddos, my neighbours Kak Ita and Kak Adib and also my new friends Asma and Azila. I really hope they all have benefited a lot from the session.

To those who are interested to host the Family FIRE at their place, do contact CoachSha or CoachRidz for a kick-start to your own happiness this new year.

I did not manage to capture many photos that night, but Najdah did snap some of these photos. Enjoy!

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Can I write whatever that crosses my mind?

Ok. I want to take beautiful pictures using my humble Canon camera. I would love to shoot a photo a day but considering other stuff I would probably fare better with a photo per week. Or maybe several photos per week. Minimum one.

And the fact that I want beautiful pictures, I reckon I should teach myself how to use photoshop too. Or should I just focus on taking  good pictures first?Image

This is a sneak-peek to my photo-taking skill. I wish I can be as good as her.

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