Excuses Excuses

I remember when I was in school, we had this elocution piece called ‘excuses excuses’ I remember the first few lines of it and few from the middle and the whole gist of the story in my head. There have been several times that I have told myself that phrase when I find myself in a fit of “I don’t have time”. For the most part it is true for a mom, especially if you’re new and trying to get a hang of your new life. Sometimes there are just some facts that we need to be told in a non-sugar coated manner for us to stop the sulking and get into action.

The recent past, since my birthday has been all about figuring out myself and being more conscious of my time and accomplishments; and like always I was looking for inspiration when I stumbled upon this amazing mompreneur, and her video just struck a chord, I love how blunt she is and well, I instantly saved the video on my playlist for future reference.

When I look around and observe other moms, who are my age and how they’re satisfied with the domestic duties and marathons I wonder why I can’t find full satisfaction in that. In the end it’s all about brought up, if a girl has been brought up and raised with skills that help her within the domestic chores and that is painted as her only duty and contribution to the world then that’s all she will do and will find full satisfaction in it. Not that I was raised to take over the world and travel to the moon, my personality just won’t allow me to be satisfied with my role as a mom only, I need to play other roles, self-satisfaction, improvement and pushing the envelope of capabilities and goals is essential for me. I respect every woman who has made a sound decision to do what she is doing, in-fact this goes for all of humanity. Men and women who are aware of why they’re doing what they’re doing, and if it brings them the satisfaction in life then it’s amazing. Those people will inspire others, without a doubt they will.

For being a strong headed woman with dreams, it’s sad that I don’t have sane amount women around me who have the same goals in life. We all need guidance and inspiration, we also need to inspire and lift other woman, that’s the beauty of being leaders, you are constantly in the energy of passionate, motivated people who want success and you can learn from them and also help them out whenever possible.

All in all, the excuses have to end. Excuses don’t help anyone, in-fact they have a crappy effect on the people around you. A frustrated self, only increases the anxiety and causes negativity around us all. Forward has to be the goal, a tiny step at a time, as long as we’re moving forward, we will continue to have clarity in life.

Goodbye twenties

People think your twenties end when you turn 30yrs old, when actually on your 29th birthday you have completed your twenties.  I am writing this post in reflection of the decade that was.  Well, to say the least, it has been tricky. So much so, that I have been in a state of utter confusion since last year, and the intensity of the confusion increased starting 2018. I wasn’t looking forward to my birthday, I don’t celebrate them big anyway, but I was just not into it. At one point I even told my husband no more cakes starting this bday, only accomplishments will be celebrated. Anyway, the mother came and the cake was cut. Guess we don’t control our lives as much as we’d hope.

What bothers me the most about my twenties, is the naivete, the lack of achievement as per my potential and the excruciating amount of pain I have gone through. I am my own worst enemy according to a dear friend of mine. And I sort of agree, constantly, wanting more for yourself can make you ungrateful. This is especially true if you don’t have goals set, and don’t set values for those goals. How significant would it be to achieve goal X and goal Y etc. In the process you stop appreciating yourself for who you are as a human, separate from the achievements and the shiny stuff.

I was pondering a lot over what I would’ve wanted my twenties to be like, especially since I didn’t plan them. Then I shifted focus to planning the thirties, but the uncertainty of life makes it so difficult to set a bloody goal. Like all introspection, this too led to me to understand a little bit more about myself. I like to only put my time into what I am passionate about ; to the point that I will just not bother doing anything else. So for example while people can earn doing a job they dislike just to make the money, I simply can’t. My mind, soul and body just can get it to together for that. In conclusion, I need to find my passion and just dive right in.

The most difficult part is to separate your career and personal life. The work-life balance is the most tricky for women all over the world, the unsolicited mom guilt, societal pressure and dealing with everyday life issues makes it extremely difficult to find sanity. My twenties have been about family life, children, marriages, and my Sunday school. Nothing else has taken up a significant part of my twenties. Since I have put in all the effort and sacrificed so much for the children, I deem it pointless to throw away all that hard work for a job that may make me stay away from them for hours. My children are my achievement, just as much as my madrasa. So the next question is, what about the potential that lies in intellectual activities. I know I am not employee material. I know I want to start and run a successful business, that’s my intellectual/career aim in life now. Just to clarify I’m not money driven person too, I derive satisfaction from intellectual stimulation and achievements in problem solving. There are several components to wanting a business of your own, It’s not easy to start a business, let alone make it work. The mantra here is, there’s no rush.

I have been a major rush rush person, which is good especially if you live in Hyderabad wherein majority people are lazy and too laid back to do anything. Now that I have entered my thirties, I have told myself that I need to calm down, be clear, and not waste energy, and intellect on activities that neither reap results nor satisfaction. Side hustles should only be side hustles, never should they be considered as a permanent solution, nor destination. I know I want to home-school both my kids, I know I want to be there with them as much as possible, and I know I want to be an entrepreneur. I do believe I am one of those human beings that were meant to be parents one day. And I know for a fact that my skills will be wasted on anything but business.

Basically it’s all a matter of time. The thirties are about maintaining clarity, and taking strong steps towards achieving what is possible. Faith is crucial, not just in yourself, but also in your creator who undoubtedly has power over everything. I am clear on what I DON’T want my thirties to be, and what I DON’T want in my thirties and that helps plenty.

I have done my fair share of observing peers on social media, and imagining what their lives are like based on those few moments captured in pics/videos. And that’s been a learning experience, I am always happy for others, I am not an envious person. And I look at those things and try to derive inspiration, and broaden my horizon of achievements. Entering my thirties, I am not as concerned, not as bothered, not as affected by others and their lives. Surely, we all have different prerogatives and I am not them. I do not wish to achieve anything in life to make others envy me. Inspire, yes. Being an inspiration for someone is a beautiful thing, not everyone has the capacity to inspire through their life.

I guess I will need more “me-time” and make efforts to ensure more of that for myself. Not for a salon visit, as much as spiritual growth. What’s me-time when it doesn’t help you grow as a human? if “me” isn’t becoming a better version of me then; the me-time has actually been a waste.

Being grateful isn’t easy, complaining is. Being grateful in practicality means you whine less, because surely we have much more to be grateful for than to whine about. And the crux of all that comes form faith, no in human beings, not in your family, not in your friends, but the one who created them all and you. The one whose spirit lives in you, and the one to whom you will return.

🙂

Life update!

So it’s been long and I have to give you guys a life update. I haven’t been active on my blog but definitely enjoying the social media. Where have I been you ask? Well I went to Dubai for a much needed break, and enjoyed my time with the siblings. They hadn’t met baby Abbas so that was great. He was totally pampered and enjoyed his stay. It’s too bad that he won’t remember any of it, but I took LOADS of pics for memories!

                   

 

Since I have been back, I have been running around the court to sort out my daughters custody case. And by the grace of Allah and the many prayers of every justice loving person in the world I won in Sept! It’s only a matter of time that she’s reunited with her mother .

My holiday gave me a lot of perspective on things, got to spend some alone time and made note of how I want my life to be. We don’t realise how much we throw some things very dear to us at the back, just because we have become moms. Motherhood doesn’t have to takeover you or your life. If we loose our identities as individuals we will never be a fulfilled parent and role model four our children. Our kids need to learn how to be centered from us.

I have never looked forward to an end of an year before in my life. Right now all I can think of; is how to make 2018 and the following years the best years of my life. I guess with age and experience we learn to take certain things as they come, be patient in some scenarios and fight like a lion in others. I guess that’s what wisdom is all about. I am trying my best to keep motivated, and surround myself by people and media that helps me achieve my goals.

Vacation and all that comes with the mindset

I am all for vacations in life. Married women tend to have a whole another situation when it comes to vacations, especially moms. I have noticed a lot of moms just get too caught up in their routine lives and aren’t able to plan a vacation. For many who live away from their family, their holiday is all about meeting their family than actually exploring the world. It’s almost like a choice you have to make, between family and your lifes goals. We all are not able to take vacations whenever we wish, finance being one of the major reason. With a family to book tickets, and plan an itinerary around, you need a lot more of it!

What I have learned is that “me time” can serve as good mini break while life takes over. We need that time not just to pamper ourselves, but to be able to think about us, and where we are and where we are headed. I often times find life to be moving way too fast to be able to even breath. Especially with a baby around, it gets even more tough, add to that your everyday responsibilities and you’re one lost soul. I have observed that since becoming a mother I very easily put everything that has to do with me to the side. The attitude is ‘Will do it later, after the baby is xyz old…’ It’s like a bottomless list of priorities and whatever has to do with me gets lost in the bottomless pit. Sad isn’t it. Take a moment and think, you too may have thrown some of your lifes goals in that pit!

Thing is no one trains you how to live your life with periodic vacations. No one prepares you for things, mentally, physically, emotionally or even spiritually. I do believe if the moms of my mothers generation were more insightful, thoughtful, or simply vocal, we would be prepared for a lot of what we experience as surprises. Not to blame anyone, I am being realistic, and hence talking about it myself. There will be plenty people ready to make you feel guilty for taking a break, some don’t understand the concept of ‘me time’, and as a mom you are so aware of the incredible list of tasks that you feel bad to skip some to take time out for yourself.

I used to wonder what people get from a ‘weekend getaway’ but now I understand, that few hours away from routine helps a lot. The world isn’t how it used to be before, cycling for hours to school/work, walking to your cousins place, getting together on weekends for a tea, writing letters, and waiting patiently for responses. We live is a world that is too fast paced. We ourselves aren’t ready for what we have created, we do not have the coping mechanisms for our inventions and innovations. So what do we do? We vacay as much as possible, however possible and try to maintain our sanity to get through life 🙂

Essentials of success

There are quotes that inspire me, every-time I read or even think of them, one such quote is from former president of India Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam;

The beauty about this quote is, that it is a criteria for you to know what you’re passionate about. You won’t lose sleep over a gig or idea that you’re not interested in. It’s the things that you fantasize about, what you truly want to achieve that you can pass away your time dwelling in it.

To achieve dreams, and be successful there are several things that come into play. For me personally, it has been 1. time management and 2. facing the challenging situations/ restrictions you are in. We are living in a world where a lot of our work can be managed online and work never sleeps. People who have inspired me have been those who know when to do what. There are no timings to emails, do them early in the morning, or later at night. Make the most of the hour that is going on. That’s the major time management lesson. That’s how I understood the ‘Time is money’ idiom. Truly there’s so much that can be achieved, while people look at you and think “how you did it!”, it’s not super-power just practical thinking.

Restrictions and challenges, this is one that required me to change a bit of my personality and thought process, hence it was rather difficult. It’s a phenomenon I still struggle with, because while you will always have 24 hours in a day, you will have different issues to face each day. Unpredictable ones! As a woman, restrictions can be health, pregnancies, children etc. some of these are exclusive to us. I never had a healthy smooth sailing pregnancy so maybe that’s the reason why it was such a challenge for me, also the daughter was 28 weeks preemie! If you work from home, to get the support and understanding from the people around you s very difficult at-least initially. You will notice a lot of now accomplished YouTubers and bloggers talk about what they faced in their initial days, but as they pick momentum people around them started to understand.

I came across this video some time back, and well that’s what inspired this post really. I thought to myself, there are plenty things I want to achieve, in terms of goals. But there are some I have already achieved and am successful in, the thoughts made me ponder over what got me the success with my Sunday school, and in other things in life. And came this post, with my two findings of true success.

Criteria for me will always be to be able to sacrifice everything except your morals and family for your dream. If you’re at that level, where you can give up sleep, a meal or two, a splurge purchase, just so that you get a teeny tiny step closer to your dream, then you’re going good, and you’re going strong. What are your secrets to success?

 

 

 

A little inspiration

Gobble down some coffee after opening your fast and YouTube one of your favourite subscribers to chill. I have a tonne of work to do, I have two teacher training workshops coming up, the madrasa starts on 3rd July, my uni classes start on 2nd July and have a pending post of Himalaya, the product stares me everyday. Story telling sessions lined up for my internship, and while I contemplate the to-do list in my head, I went on to Fleurs YouTube channel after a very long time to just chill.

And after watching a couple of videos I stumbled upon this one. And even though she’s basically just talking about herself, and working as a full time YouTuber, I found some inspiration to focus on the tasks I have at hand (Which as I enlisted are MANY).

I admire people who are freelancers, or their own bosses. There’s something more demanding about a job like that, you have to be super organised and constantly prove to yourself that you are just as inspired as you were in the beginning.

In life we may find inspiration from and in people, places, a simple quote, an image just about anything, but the real challenge is always to maintain that level of passion. Especially if you do multiple things, and have multiple responsibilities, it gets rather difficult. Not because the to-do list is longer, but because you have to constantly prioritise everything on that to-do list.

Here’s where my struggle usually lies. Should I first finish work, or blog? should I cook now and then do laundry? Shall I take a nap or stay up and finish the reading work. Add to that parenting and well you’re set for a busy busy schedule.

I liked from this video that she decided to show the side of life of a YouTuber that isn’t all glam. That isn’t as materialistic, and makes you appreciate the efforts that go into any job. The  most successful and richest, people in the world struggle, it’s just that their struggles are not what are photographed and talked about. We only see the greener grass, or rather are shown the greener part of the grass.

What I have learned from expereince is that it is important for us to take time out and ask ourselves every few months if we really truly want the things that we are working toward?, are we really getting there or getting side-tracked? Because as we evolve we may not want the same things from life, and it’s better to know sooner rather than later. It is important for all of us to maintain a balance in personal and professional life, just what our goals in general are, and stick to our decisions. Being aimless is the most disastrous thing a human can do for himself.

It’s always good to hear, watch success stories. And it makes me genuinely happy that people are open to share about their experiences, and inspire others.

 

Times running out!

That’s what I have been telling myself since I can remember. Since my marriage actually. 2008. All I could think of was how much I was missing out on what my peers were doing. Well they were studying, working hard on their education. And while I started my graduation in 2010 after Batool was born, I still felt bad that I was behind my peers.

It took me some time to realise that ‘better late than never’ is a good philosophy to adapt. Now while I pursue my masters, many of my friends have stopped at their graduation and are working. Working away, working hard. While many of them may have an ultimate direction, most of them are just caught up in the job circle. Where I wish to not be stuck for the rest of my life.

I have constantly found myself asking “what have you accomplished?” that question haunts me, while I do genuinely keep moving forward, there seems to always get lost, seem to always never be satisfied. I have realised that is because I do not want to do the ordinary. I keep myself busy and involved enough to be able to update my CV every month at-least with some professional development, I am constantly thinking about the next opportunity to do a course, or attend a workshop to broaden my horizon of possibilities. Few minutes ago I came across this article which talks about the true hard-work required during your twenties.

‘Once you become an Actual Rich Person, with a business drowning in opportunities but short on talent and you deal regularly in financial figures that contain more than one comma, you start to see how this works. It’s easy to have a successful business if you can find really smart people who are willing to do really hard work for you, in exchange for a high salary. But all these younger people seem to just want to sit around and network and have cocktails. All the hard workers already run their own company.’

Reading the above lines of the article made me realise that I have been wanting results way faster than it’s humanly possible. I have certain limitations and challenges that are exclusive to me. Life is difficult, and while I am still in my twenties it’s a safe enough zone to focus on hard-work and aim for results maybe in the 30s. I will turn 27 this July. The problem is to find that pause button, the ‘take a deep breath’ zone so that I am able to recharge and get back into the drift of things.

I think part of my understanding has to now be the fact that I can’t resist adding more and more responsibilities, and expectations on myself. It’s just how I am wired. I work very hard, exhaust myself and crave for a break, and then get back into the cycle of madness. But maybe this time the goals have to be clearer. Maybe now a timeline of achievement has to be marked. No matter what, Multi-tasking is a skill I have command over, the more I do, the more time I am able to make for more things, the more I become organised. The more stationery I have an excuse to buy 😉

Somewhere we all live under expectations from ourselves that are beyond our capacity. These could be related to our family responsibilities, work, education, everyday chores etc. The point is to master the art to edit out, be patient and be human in all of it. I guess this is something that will always be a part of my life, maybe I will never find a place in my life where I would be doing only one or two things without craving for more. At this point I believe accepting it as a positive thing is the only way to be happy about it.

Let there be sanity!!

 

 

 

2016 is about priorities

It’s a new year, a chance for us to make new amends, change our point of you, just feel like some mercy is on you. For me this year is about prioritising and being reasonable. As a parent is is especially difficult to put yourself anywhere in the top 10priority list. It is a fact. We always put the needs of everyone else ahead of our own.

This is something that has been engraved in our minds and heart, to the point where we lose our own identity as soon as we give birth. It’s difficult to snap out of this zone. It is hence very important to just make a list of what you want for yourself this year, for your child/family. Where do you want yourself to be in the end of 2016. Bottom line is, if you’re happy, everyone around you will by default be happy.

For me this is the direction, no matter anyone says, all I will focus on is my priorities, and focus all my energies into that. Moving forward is crucial, no matter how many years it would take for you to attain your end goals.

What are your priorities?

 

 

Randomness in pics

I had been taking pics over the past two weeks of what I am up to, and boy was I busy! So here’s a quick rundown of what I was upto:

Indulged in some proper junk post class on the way home…

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Magnums Chocolate truffle is the best

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Went to chennai to resolve university issues and write the practical exam

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Check out this cabs sticker at the airport! Hilarious!

IMG-20150703-WA0031View from the plane

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So glad to be part of the world when we’re technologically advanced enough to fly through clouds and view them like this! I wish I could live on clouds.

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Waited at the Chennai airport for good 4 hours before we were allowed to get in. They don’t have sufficient seating arrangements in the airport, which is super inconvenient for tourists/non residential travelers.

IMG-20150703-WA0033Received my re-issued passport!

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Worked like a maniac to complete the record, flew to Chennai again for it.

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New academic year at madrasa began! Was doing prep for it while in Chennai after classes.

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Liked the chandelier in the hotel, looks like falling stars…

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Saturday 11th July was a super busy day, had 9AM class at HAP secundrabad, then went for the SEN orientation at school. Followed by Iftar at my cousins fiances house.

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Batools class door, so cute

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Batool really enjoyed spending time with family, and I relaxed too, and even though it was a late Saturday, I was all prepped for another busy day at the madrasa.

Quite a bit of regular homework coming in PP2 she’s finally gotten settled into the class and is coping up okay.

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As for the coming days, I have an exam on Wed, a target submission of assignments on 30th, group counseling sessions at school, and may add spoken Arabic classes to the list after Eid 🙂

The birthday month started off very hectic, planning for a dinner out with my gal pals on Thurs! Looking forward to just relaxing and enjoying the company of young, spirited women who keep me sane.

Organising for school

I am big on preserving memories, I have a box full of cards, presents, autographed shirts etc. And since Batool is going to a new class, it only makes sense to start preserving her memories. I have photos all organised by year, and at PTM his year I got files of all her activity work, so I sorted them according to date and filed them in a blue box file her school gave.

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CAM03413I also inserted the schools journal, for memories.

CAM03414Amongst the papers were some activity sheets that Batool hadn’t done. I kept them for practicing now.

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It was such a relief to see everything all filed up together. I will continue to do this every academic year. It helps you to visually see the difference and improvement in the skills of your child as well. Children too can be motivated to do better by seeing the change.

There’s a lot of work to still be done, my school starts tomorrow and well, there’s much to be done! But excited for a new adventure, every year is great fun, looking forward to Batools new year as a big girl in PP2!