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?

 

 

 

Patience

I have never in my life heard anyone categorise patience as something positive. It’s always the last resort of the weak, the unfortunate. In fact even when advised, it’s said with

book 3

a sadness, like the most hopeless thing in the world is to be patient.

Well, all this changed when I listened to this liberating lecture on YouTube by Maulana Syed Muhammad Rizvi. I had read a book on patience, which can similar content as in the lecture, however the introduction and explanation of patience by Maulana Rizvi was eye opening. There are many concepts that we taint with our human thoughts, dirty them with our little minds, and spread the notions with people around us. It’s sad, that something as beautiful as patience has been so ridiculously and openly projected as weak.

I have been maintaining a separate book where I make notes of lectures that I attend, or any other meaningful lectures. And few minutes into this lecture, I had to pause, and pull out my book and start making notes. References of such sort and very helpful to me, I also have a small notebook where I write quotes that have relevance to my life, or inspired me, or changed my thoughts. Significant things should be made note of.

It will still take time to truly believe in the power of patience, and practice it in the right manner, and know when it’s too much. But I do believe, most of us struggle with patience, we all go through hard times in life and all of us struggle in the patience period.

I am glad I came across this lecture, shared it with friends and family, and now on my blog.

🙂

 

27

Something different happened this year on my birthday. I am no longer afraid to grow old. The feeling is totally gone. I used to always joke and wish anyone on their birthday saying “Congrats you’re one year closer to death!” And while I wished myself the same, I realised that I should be grateful for the year that has gone by, no matter how it went, I am alive, and I have survived the downs and stayed humble during the ups.

Another conscious move that I am making it to think in terms of destiny. What has God planned for me this year, and be excited each day, and be thankful each day of the people and happenings. For surely I do not control everything and I need to be able to focus on the day and make sure if my Birthday didn’t bring me a whole year closer to death, I at least made the most of the few days/weeks/months!

Been thinking of death more often as well, as a reminder of the inevitable returning to your creator.I fantasize more about heaven now, and think seriously about life after death. Not focusing on long term stressful goals, even if it is my education, because you just can’t plan anything.I am going to make an effort to make the most of the present.

How did my Bday go?

Well it was a busy day just like last year, I had a training to do at SAFA. After which the hubby and I had lunch at Spice 6, picked up my red velvet cheese cake from Eclaire and headed home. It was a busy day, the cake was yummy as usual.

safa training

cake

I have to say the packaging of the cakes at Eclaire is beautiful. Eclaire is my go-to place for baked goodness, I love their chocolate cupcakes, and triple chocolate brownie cake, it’s very heavy but if you’re a chocolate lover, you’ve got to taste it!

IMAG0491

I had been told by cousin to visit Spice 6 but I only could get around to doing that recently, and I am in love with their Arabic platter, takes me back to Dubai, it’s so filling and delicious. They are known for their lebanese food, I have been there twice already and ordered the same platter! It’s just yum!spice 6

The hubby couldn’t make up his mind on the birthday present, so I asked him to buy me a stationery obsession I was having, this pen has been in my wishlist since forever, I didn’t want to buy ANOTHER pen without having a good enough excuse. And what better excuse than your birthday!

pen

It’s a matte black Parker. Lovely!

I am looking forward to life. And not concerned about growing older, going to take each day, one step at a time. 🙂

 

 

 

What defines you?

Have you ever asked yourself this question? Are you someone who has ever tried to define yourself?

Many a times it’s the simplest questions that get us confused, What are your hobbies?, Who’s your favourite author?, What character from a fiction would you like to meet? etc etc.

This pause, this state of frozen mind happens when we aren’t clear about ourselves. What truly defines us? I have decided to change my job in the next academic year, and while I am in the limbo of applying or jobs, and having a zillion other ideas for generating an income for myself, there’s that odd feeling. I defined myself as a student, as a counselor at a school…that was the main focus. And now I wonder who I am. More importantly it makes me ponder about what things/people I let myself get defined by, what responsibilities, career choices, etc. I define myself with. And what truly should be the best expression of myself, because let’s face it, there has to be consistency. Change is constant, but we are the same, we evolve, truly we do, but there has to be clarity on who we are.

26fcf9e127023b55bc1dab3feacf45a8

 

 

 

This is the current struggle that’s going on in my head in the recent past. It’s a difficult phase, as it is life is pretty adventurous and has it’s own drama, and unforeseen situations, and circumstances thrown right into my face. However I am trying to find stability, the stability that comes with relying on yourself, and not another human being.

It’s almost like a greed. I am greedy to be independent, to achieve certain targets, then again they make me wonder if I am chasing the right things. Who is to know? Who is to provide clarity? A conversation with God would do me good!

So here’s maybe the easiest question you’ve ever heard, or the most difficult;

What defines you?

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?

 

 

The pressure of 'I'

Fact: the laziest of us believe we worked hard when we want to achieve something. And while some of us are realistic of where we slacked, it is a great feeling to achieve goals. The best feeling of the achievement is not the achievement of goal itself, but the fact that “I did it”. This concept of “me”, “my hard-work”, “my effort”, is great, no doubt, but the counter effects of it when we fail are super bad.

The concept I am trying to present is pretty simple. Most of the time when we are unable to get what we want despite the effort, there’s plenty resentment we pile upon ourselves. “I couldn’t”, ” I should’ve”. The ‘I’ and ‘me’ creep back into the picture, but leave us feeling miserable.

I have learned to be humble and accept that no matter how much effort I put in, only what’s decreed best by my God is going to happen. And if I don’t keep that faith, the negative impact when “failing” would effect me a lot. If I did it, it’s because I put in my genuine hard-work, and the lord was happy as well, and if I were to not attain my goals, in-spite of working hard, I should try to reflect and understand where I went wrong, what could be wisdom behind it, and focus on moving on, having faith that whatever happens happens for the best.

We are too weak to be expecting perfection from ourselves, our own pressures burden us. Being realistic, rational, and using our common sense helps us be the best that we can be. Pushing boundaries of achievement is great, no doubt, but what is important is to not lose yourself in the highs and the lows. We can’t spend our lives beating ourselves down, believing we are the only cause for our success and failure, that we determine our destiny completely, because we don’t. We don’t even know how long we’re going to live!

There’s too much pressure when we isolate ourselves for being the sole reasons behind our success and failure, and frankly no one wants that. And no one can make you feel that you are incompetent, and we should try hard to not get carried away by praises, and appreciation as well.

Part of being an adult is to be sane, and acknowledge that all our decisions effect others in our lives, and people around us are in some way looking to us for some guidance, and learning from our actions. Maintaining sanity poses to be crucial hence.

So relax, and when you look back at the year, and the many goals you had set, remind yourself that you’re human, and only the best happens. Developing insight on issues, showing gratitude, and prioritising is all you need. Set new goals; realistic goals, enjoy the company of the people in who love you and most importantly appreciate yourself for making it through another year of life.

The past and the present

I have heard this many times, “don’t think about the past”,  “Live in the now”. And like many such things I have heard, I know they will make sense to me only when they will make sense to me.

We are all unique in our abilities and it takes a certain insightful moment, a certain number of days for us to “get over” anything. Grieving loss is very important, but there can never be a number on it, a duration, a perfect method, we all have the right to go about it however we want to. And the most important thing in such times is having the right kind of people around you, who let you dwell in the sadness and in the right moment pull you out a little further.

I chose (unconsciously/consciously) to stick to the past, revisit it, think about it, ponder over it, and have made the conscious decision to stop, because I realised I am losing too much of my present because of the past I didn’t even enjoy. It’s not worth it. Not at all.

Another significant realization has been that we on a regular basis don’t tend to be grateful for simple things. This happens even more when we’re sad, I have decided to be grateful for the pleasant weather in the morning, even if it lasts only few hours, for the auto guy who is happy to use the meter, the student who sees that I  have run out of water and offers to fill  my flask, grateful for warm water for a long shower in the night while the daughter cooperates and sleeps, grateful for good writers who write good books so that I can unwind even if I manage to only read 2 pages…..Truly, when these small things become a great cause of pain for us a lot, then why not appreciate them when they’re going right?

I can’t afford to mess up the relationships in my present, for the wrong people I happened to be exposed to. Our experiences shape us, the negative ones make us the strongest, but we decide what from our life will define us. And I do not wish to be defined by my past relationships. I want to enjoy and reciprocate to the ones in my present. It’s not right to be worrying about what took so much courage to end! 🙂

Everyday, is a day for us to learn about ourselves and be better as human beings. Exploring ourselves is liberating. Feel free, it’s awesome. There’s no one and nothing stopping you but your mind. Ask it what it wants, figure it out and find your freedom!

An update in pictures

I have ideas, and think ‘oh I should blog about this!’ and then that mental note remains just that-a mental note.

Days have been flying by, and I have not changed, keep piling up more things to my schedule. It will take me a lot of time to truly make my mind stop rationalising a mad schedule for myself.

Anyway, I was taking pics, and while they may not be super interesting, it will make up a decent enough blog post for you guys. Some thing is better than nothing, isn’t it?

Took quite a few selfies;

CAM00141

 

 

CAM00330

 

Captured some moments of the daughter enjoying at the play area at school;

CAM00417CAM00411

Got her a haircut on Guru Nanak Jayanti holiday on Wed! Oh how this one enjoys them….

Admired her sleeping…..It’s actually therapeutic, I always imagine what she must be dreaming about. When she was little she would smile in her sleep…

 

Admired the greenery at school…I spend so much time in my room with students counseling all day, I didn’t notice the lovely green plants all over the entrance. Had to take pics!

Did some colouring, trying to find things to relax me, getting out of the house is not a ready option. Plus my busy schedule doesn’t allow me to be able to do that. My HAP course ends in a week, I shall be having more time after that!

CAM00430

CAM00419

I had ordered The Story of Psychology, after being reommendation by Dr.Diana Monteiro (My teacher at HAP), waiting to finish off with the David Sedaris book before I indulge into this.

CAM00408

On Thursday Mir Imran the scientist visited the school to interact with our students. It was not my working day, and I just wanted to sleep in, had a few things on the agenda (I must admit), I somehow got myself to school and well, was inspired. The preceding day I had a ginormous mood swing, and desperately needed some inspiration. Was glad I attended the session, came to realise something crucial that has given me insight.

CAM00455

Decorated Batools school binder. Feel like a proud mom! Loved using all the glitter, was so fun!

IMG-20151126-WA0005.jpeg

Distributed inter-madrasa competition certificates to students on Sunday, below I give one to my daughter!

IMG-20151122-WA0039

Hmm, that’s about it….Probably will post a rambling post soon…..

What have you been upto?

 

Unconditional Positive regard :)

Relationships aren’t meant to be stressful. I am talking about all the relationships we form during the course of our lives. Friends, family, lovers, spouses etc. They are meant to provide something beautiful, they are meant to liberate us.

wpid-quotes-seen-miraculous-elizabeth-gilbert-480x480

Your friends shouldn’t make you feel restricted, your husband/wife shouldn’t make you feel bound, your family shouldn’t make you feel contrived. In my little experience in life, I have started to value the relationships that are consciously formed, we can’t change the people who are part of our lives because they’re linked to us by biological bonds. This makes it crucial for us to create an environment around us that makes us feel free, stable, connected and liberated at every step. For this first we need to know who we are, and what we are looking for in these friends, partners, lovers, etc.

upr31344115437730Some people are not capable of giving this freedom. Avoid them, they’re toxic, they will take everything you have and leave you wondering why you even bothered. These people are in majority, I am warning you. I learned the hard way, well, at some level I consider myself stupid beyond explanation of naivete. I really was taken for a ride, but learned my lesson, learned more about myself, and while trust issues may be part of my life for some more time, I have realised that it is not wrong to stand up for yourself, and demand the respect which was supposed to be given by default. When you let go of such people, they will reveal even more of their colours. But they will never see you the way you are, they’re blind to goodness, unfortunately. And if you’re lucky and strong you will get yourself out of the environment such people create.

I am glad I have a support system that makes me feel thankful to Allah every moment. Friends who know when to do what, how to make me laugh, when to provide support, how to be blunt and honest, most importantly they are 100% welcome me for who I am. It is important to have this bunch of people, and important to reciprocate these relationships with the same respect and sanctity. Apart from my lovely friends I also have a lovely partner who is supportive and liberates me, accepts me, has unconditional positive regard for me. The freedom that comes with adding someone to your life is something to be experienced, words can not describe them. I am content. And with the sanity, and faith I believe we all can be honest, and accept people, and demand acceptance, pity those who can’t get out of their bubble and enjoy life and relationships to their best. We only have one life on this earth, we ought to make the most of it.

Let’s make a conscious effort to not judge, have unconditional positive regard for people around us, so that we can enjoy every relationship to the fullest and feel liberated. It’s challenging, but definitely not impossible, and worth your while. Trust me on that 🙂