Friday, September 30, 2011

Another year, another step wiser

I celebrated my birthday a week ago. Let the number be my little secret... not that any of you didn't know anyway, but maybe for strangers reading this entry. Anyways, I always like to think that I'm 25. Hardy har har! Why? Because I think I like being 25. And also maybe I like my life best when I was 25.. when I was just myself. Me. I was not a wife who has listen to a hubby (obediently), I was not a mother who worries about her children or who yells a lot, I was not a housewife who's on duty 7 days a week, 24x7. I was just me. Me who goes anywhere I like with my red ramshackle car (as my sister put it!), me who's not worried about going home from work at 3am and go back again at 8am (only during peak project period ok!), me who gets excited on Fridays and starts planning for the weekend with great friends, and also me who didn't really care if I have only RM10 left a few days before payday because I will just eat at home and ask (shamelessly) for another RM10/day from my dear brother who I was staying with. And frankly, I miss that 'me'. Years and years had passed and for sure I can never go back. I can't even re-live the situation. Too much had changed, for better or worse. But I'm sure I'll be bored to death had my life stayed they way it was when I was 25. So what I can do now is just go back the memory lanes and dream!! Good enough to make me float for a while before the reality hits and brings me down again. Oh well!

Somehow as age is catching up, I can feel life is getting tougher and it teaches me to be stronger and wiser (hopefully). I tend to view life differently and I somehow glad for all the things that happened to me since I was 25, be it good or bad. The life happenings shape you to what you are and how you think today. 

My wish for this year , and I think this will be my priority wish every year, is that I wish for another birthday next year in a healthy condition.... not necessarily wealthy but enough to get by. And another one and another one. May Allah hears me out! And how thankful I am to be able to write about my birthday this year and pray I will still be here writing, next year.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happiness... is it really there?

Oh please don't be choked by the title. Yeah it may sound ridiculous, but to some people who's never been happy, this is a very valid question. But to some, it sounds absurd. It actually really depends on how you describe happiness.

I chanced upon a very interesting book on happiness as I dwelt with the meaning of happiness with some friends. I was trying to figure out whether or not I'm happy since I've becoming such a pessimist being, and since I couldn't answer somebody who asked me "what was your happy moment in the last six months". It really scared me that I couldn't answer that question though I somewhat guess the reason behind it. The book came just timely. And it was a page turner. 

The book, entitled "Hector and The Search for Happiness" is written by Francois Lelord, a psychiatrist in France. Apparently there's a whole list of Hector other books i.e Hector and The Secrets of Love, Hector and The Passage of Time. In this particular book, Hector travels from Paris to China to Africa to the USA and along the way he creates and keeps a list of observations about happiness from the people he meets. The travel comes about from his dissatisfaction with himself. At the end of his journey he listed 23 lessons about happiness. And most of it relates to the reality of life we often overlook. It could be a simple daily experience but we didn't think of it as part of happiness until it's being pointed out to you. I'm going to list only some of the lessons that appeals to me (you have to read the book to know it all!) and of which I may have experienced it at any time of my life.

Lesson no. 1 - Making comparisons truly spoils your happiness. 
Lesson no. 2 - Happiness often comes when least expected.
Lesson no. 3 - Many people see happiness only in their future
Lesson no. 4 - Many people think that happiness comes from having more money or more power
Lesson no. 6 - Happiness is a long walk in beautiful, unfamiliar mountains
Lesson no. 7 - Happiness is not the goal!
Lesson no. 14 - Happiness is to be loved for exactly who you are.
Lesson no. 16 - Happiness is knowing how to celebrate
Lesson no. 20 - Happiness is a certain way of seeing things.

I shall stop at Lesson 20 as it will kill the joy of reading the book if I were to reveal all. The book is written in a very easy-going language, rather informal and very interesting and easy read. You can digest it easily and I truly loved the way the writer relates the facts and the stories, it just makes sense!

Having read the book I come up with my own conclusion about happiness. Happiness is not a constant feeling. It's not something that you should look for, it should come naturally right from your heart, it's not a plan thing or something for you to ponder about. Happiness is an instant feeling! If people ask you if you are happy or not, the answer is subject to your current situation. Surely there are happy moments for me for the last six months but I couldn't answer as I was looking at it differently. So perhaps I should redefine the meaning of happiness.. in relation to my disorderly life!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Hari Raya

Another month leaving without notice. Here I am wanting to write about my Hari Raya when everybody else is starting to write about the coming month or maybe talking about the coming pilgrimage or even about the next hari raya already. Oh what the heck.

As always (as dull as it may sound!), Hari Raya means lots of food and family gathering. My Hari Raya has become somewhat a routine for the past few year without me realizing it. I cooked the same food - rendang n such, visit the same relatives, exchanging gifts, same raya shopping, even baked the same cookies. Then again, not necessarily no fun. It's just that perhaps I can do something different next year.. something better and non-routine. Perhaps raya somewhere else. Perhaps visit other relatives and visit many more friends. 

The apparent thing that stuck in my mind this raya is that the "old" people I visited seemed to look older, sadly.. which also reminds me, I am getting older too (ouch!)! One uncle who was still walking last year, cheery and can remember very well has started using walking stick, looked weak and barely remember his own age. He even looked at us somewhat in confusion. It was very sad! Another uncle who was bedridden last year is still bedridden and did not recognise even his own children. And one uncle is no longer around as he passed away just before Ramadhan. I also managed to visit my former ustazah whose son is my good friend since primary school. She remembers me very well, she even remembers my sisters and brothers. Sadly she's on wheelchair due to diabetic and some mild stroke.

This year also saw me meeting my half-aunties whom I have not seen for many many years (last I saw them when my dad passed away which was 22 years ago!). I felt good to get to see them though the meeting was a coincidence as we visited the same relative's house.

Back at home, there were a few "open houses" that we went which were mostly neighbors. Obviously I'm not that popular a person to get invited to so many open houses in any weekend. Some people had like 7 invitations in a day. Either my friends didn't host any open houses or I'm simply not invited. It doesn't really matter.. it's just something to ponder!

Oh and I managed to complete the 6 days of Syawal fasting, Alhamdulillah! And hubby too! Something we rarely do. Hopefully we'll do it again next Syawal, insyaAllah.

So perhaps there are some differences after all this raya. Alhamdulillah. Perhaps next year will be a better one. InsyaAllah.