Sunday, May 24, 2015

When The Going Gets Tough ...

Husband left a week ago and the plan was for him to attend to the Rohingyas who landed in Kedah. He is supposed to be away for two weeks and at the rate that things are going, I am not sure whether he would return next week. Maybe he would, just to take a fresh set of clothing's and then off he go again. At times, I realize that I take him for granted. When he is around, I just love to pick on him. Bila dah tak ada ni, macam miss pulak cos nobody to talk to and banter. The Aces are around, not all the time full quorum because the 1st and 2nd Aces would return home and go back to their respective universities during weekends. Nonetheless, they do keep me company, especially meal times and TV watching times, otherwise biasalah buat hal masing-masing.

Work is as usual, endless. As Monday appears, I wish that Friday is fast to arrive. Relieved when Friday arrives cos that marks a weekend. During weekends, I just want to stay at home, relax and do nothing. But when I realize that Sunday is almost over, I would ask myself, where has the weekend gone, what did I do during this time, can I have another day off, etc etc. If only we can work 2 days and rest for 5 days in a week, kan heaven!

At work, I think I have lost my mojo. My time management sucks. My participation in meetings, is like from a scale of 1 to 10, I fail miserably. I always give a rating on my participation and contribution in the  meetings that I attended. So far since the time I continued working in Oct last year, the highest scale that I have reached is 5! Pernah once I rated myself a 2! Below the line betul. Bang my head - I need to buck up. A friend suggested to read this book Stand Out by Dorie Clark. I must look for this book next time I drop by at Kinokuniya. Hope it will motivate me or if not change me. I wonder if my contribution at work commensurates with my earnings. The scariest part is, if it doesn't, apa nak jawab di akhirat esok. Eee .... takut.

Tomorrow is Monday and hopefully this week is better although I know things will start even busier. Looking forward to next weekend cos there will be a retreat in Ipoh. Nice!

I have in my mind the one below at the moment. In syaa Allah it is for the better.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Saturday Morning Work-Out

A couple of years ago during INSEAD management training which I attended, the organizer did not only organize the business management syllabus for us, there were also physical training; either we went to the gym or we did the aerobics. The physical training instructor was this 44 year old lady who was very very fit and everyone would easily guess that she is only in her mid 30s. Almost every day when I went for the work-outs led by her, I wondered if I could be like her when I reached her age. Without realizing it, she was an inspiration.

I am not a person who exercises diligently or who has its fixed schedule as to when to run on the treadmill. I do jog and brisk walk once a while whenever I am free. It will just be a walk at the park nearby the house, or swim at hotel during outstation trips or vacation, and now the latest "craze" is climbing hills. Well not that I do them often, baru dua bukit sudah panjat i.e. Bukit Gasing and Bukit Broga. More often than not, I would do a bit more extra work-out when I realize that my thighs are touching each other as I walk, or when I cannot buckle my pants or sarong yang sepatutnya ada dua jari kelonggarannya. That is the KPI weight for me.

On a different story, my 5th Ace who will be taking his taekwondo black belt grading in 3 weeks time has been procrastinating in building up his stamina. As part of the grading qualification, he has to run 5 km in 30 minutes. He promised me that he would jog in the evenings yet when I returned from office these past days, I always found him sound asleep. This has been going on for two weeks.

I don't exactly remember but I think last night I must have dreamt about KLCC and Twin Towers, the place I used to work.

The Twin Towers 

So this morning after knowing that the husband has left to the airport as early at 3 am, and today is not a day for grocery shopping, I forced the 5th Ace to follow me to KLCC Park. Liat betul nak bangun and after the show of the rotan and much threats (including mama is not talking to him for the weekend and surrendering his handphone), he had to budge ( yes!! Mama memang terror in this episode when it comes to the 5th one, to the dismay of the 4th one ).

5th Ace

The 4th Ace obligingly followed as she just need to de-stress herself from the ongoing exams. Anyway, she is becoming some like a health freak, hence a piece of cake to persuade her, unless she is so mengantuk or moody.

I love jogging at the KLCC Park because of the running track. It doesn't make you feel easily tired. For the 4th Ace and the 5th Ace, this is their first time here. Well maybe no. I think I have brought them here before when they were small to play at the water park. The water park is closed now.

Black pairs of shoes seem to be the trend now

We jogged and ran for three rounds together with other regulars. Haish!! Envy their fitness level. There were other activities going on, the yoga and the bootcamp. I wish I am more fit to do these. I gave up yoga because it was just too painful to stretch and bootcamp is never in my dictionary. They say no pain, no gain. For me, I am satisfied that I can still run at this age, bukanlah to qualify for marathon, but suffice to make me feel good. And that I could be marked at par with that then 44 year old lady training instructor.

Mama with her purple dumb bell

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Long Lost Tailor

The guests were busy finding their seats in the Wisma Perwira ATM Ballroom. We checked where we were supposed to be seated and quickly made our way to Table no 5. The ballroom was already half full with family and friends. We were attending Sarah's happiest day - Sarah weds Husaini. Sarah's mother, Kak Su is hubby's cousin. All four of us, Aliah, Alim, husband and I were seated with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law and their family.

I saw Abg Nan who just arrived at the next table. Abg Nan is also hubby's cousin. He came with another guy clad with pink baju melayu. Without me noticing, Aliah approached the pink baju melayu guy. They talked for a while then Aliah waved at me, asking me to come join her. Baffled, I went to the next table.

Aliah : Ma, this is my cikgu yang teach me how to sew.
Me     : Oh ye, ke? Hallo.
Abg Nan : Larrr... Ini lah Abol. Ingat tak?
Me     : Abol? Yang jahit baju tu? Oh my God.. Is that you? Kenapa you look very different? Remember, you sew my wedding dress?
(Hubby after seeing the commotion, came to join)
Abol   : Ha, dia ni memang nampak familiar (he shook husband's hands)
Husband : Eh, betul ke ni Abol? Lain nya.
Me      : Dulu kan you gemuk sikit.
Abg Nan : Ah ah, Abg Nan yang makin sihat. Aliah kenal Abol ke?
Aliah   : Dia lah cikgu Aliah yang ajar jahit kat UIA tu.
Me       : Masha Allah what a small world. Abol ni lah yang jahit baju kahwin mama.
Abol    : Ha ha... Lama sangat dah. Saya jahit baju kahwin dia and sekarang anak dia belajar jahit dengan saya...

The conversation went on and on, about how Abol made my baju kahwin 23 years ago and Aliah's sewing classes.

It is just so wonderful to meet old friends by surprise and it is even more wonderful when you know your present life is connected to him, without you even realizing it !

Abol and Hubs

One of the hantarans for my engagement was the kain lace, it was meant to be the kain to be made as baju for the wedding at the reception held at the groom's side. I was elated to receive it, because I had never had a baju kurung lace before. At the same time worried because I didn't know how and where to tempah the same to be a wedding dress.

Hubby then suggested that I made it at Abol, supposed to be a well known tailor. I tak kenal lah siapa Abol ni then. He knew Abol who is Abg Nan's friend, this guy who makes baju pengantin. 23 years ago, most people rent songket for their baju pengantin but to make a lacy one for my wedding... ? Hmmm... Tak sure lah how to go about. Apparently when hubby was in his teens, he always lepak at Abol's tailor shop in Bukit Bintang. After being convinced by hubby, I took up the offer and within the next few days, we were at Abol's shop in Masjid India discussing the wedding dress.

I found Abol very meticulous, lemah-lembut, creative and full of ideas. Guess guys like him, the likes of Salikin Sidek and Rizalman have these special traits. Twice we went to his shop, one to take my measurement and another to do the fitting. The results - I loved it. I wish I could post my wedding picture clad in the peach baju kebaya, however, the picture is not syariah compliant hence please imagine this petite lady wearing it then. I was 41 kgs at that time, and now.... tengok je lah. I hardly can fit in. Berangan jugak to hand it down to my daughters, malangnya they are way to tall then me.

The size 6 kebaya pendek I wore at my wedding 

After the tempah-menempah baju episode, I never had the chance to meet Abol again. I was busy starting a family. We lost touch. I gathered that Abol still takes order and makes baju pengantin. He does it from his home at Kg Melayu Subang.

Abol's call card. He still maintain his signature label. 

On a different note, apparently, in UIA they have curriculum of sewing added to the credit hours. Aliah who was going through a hard patch last year decided to take up sewing to keep herself busy. So when UIA offered this subject as part of her skill set, she quickly signed up for the class. I bought her a portable sewing machine last month and she has made good use of it thus far. Adalah dua tiga helai baju yang dah siap, although the first piece had to undergo many times of re-do.

Cheap and good tailors are hard to find nowadays. You can never know if Aliah's rezki is from menjahit. Or at least tak payah sibuk tempah baju, but jahit baju sendiri, kan :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Appreciation Reinforced

Recalling the Andy Williams song ..

"Where do I begin, to tell the story of how great a love can be,
The sweet love story that is older than the sea .."

Well, this time it is not about beginning to tell a great love story. It is where do I begin after a long hiatus. My last post was in August last year. I consider that as a forced blogging because I just had to put on record my trip to Spain as many of my friends wanted me to share about the trip, hence the itinerary of  "I Pun Pergi Spain Uolss". Remember Mak Cun. Yes, that was probably why I went to Spain after being inspired of Mak Cun's story apart from I have been longing to go see the magnificent Alhambra. Although I wrote a post last year, which is like, eh, baru lagi ... I do not consider that as an istiqamah blogging because the one before that was in May 2013 !

So when Kak Teh of Choc-a-Bloc put up a challenge on fb and persuaded the bloggers to continue blogging with the tarikh keramat 6th May 2015, I thought why not. I will take this challenge like I took the challenge of climbing Gasing Hill and Broga Hill two weekends in a row. Nowadays, it is bercinta to take this kind of challenge especially with the distraction of fb, instagram and the so many tingkaps of  WApps. Many appreciated her calling broadcasted to everyone who was once a regular member of blogosphere. Even if it just stops at 6th May, at least we know that we concertedly pushed ourselves and make this happen. I know some if not all would greatly value what Kak Teh had initiated. From the posts and feedback I saw on Sentraal Station, the motivation is overwhelming. Even those who have not blogged before but only left tracks and footprints are now eager to start somewhere.

This brings in to the topic on appreciation. When you appreciate someone, you are indeed thankful and grateful to the person. Inadvertently you would like to give something back in return. It is also a sign of respect. Judging from the number of donations, be it in-kind or monetary form for example in the Kelantan flood situation beginning this year or the recent Nepal earthquake, I can't help but notice that Malaysians are generally kind-hearted, suka ambil hati and always try to avoid hurting others. Do we similarly and deliberately show our appreciation to our loved ones or closed ones?

When I was small (of course even so now) I appreciate my parents so much that the thought of hurting them or made them kecik hati, got me all worked up and at times went to pieces. Even if I was in trouble, the last thing I would do was to share with them my worries and problems. I know if I did, firstly, I could end up getting their ramblings and scoldings secondly, they would worry to death, thus that is the last thing I want to do ...  for them to worry. Obviously I was no angel, and because of that I had gone to the extent of lying to them in order for them not to know the whole story. What happens after, is for me to bear, janji, my parents did not know. I remember being heart broken (ini kes boyfriend lah!) when I was studying in UIA. I was supposed to go back to Seremban like any weekends but I did not which was a very rare thing for me not to do during weekends. Had to call home to inform my parents that I was very ill,  did not have the energy to go back home and that I would be fine to be under the care of my friends. Padahal, mata bengkak menangis, hati bengkak sakit etc etc. To me that was having highest regard of the parents who had time and again warned me never to play with fire because it will burn myself. It did. And I didn't want them to know. I appreciate them by giving me the early warning of chronicles of adulthood but I had no heart to show to them that I did not heed their advice. Hence let me bear the brunt.

I noticed that the Gen Y children now (the Millenials are unlike us the cool Gen X), they like to pass their problems to the parents. Some will argue that, baguslah they are open minded, they want to share their problems with their parents, the parents will understand and know what their problems are, no generation gap, blah blah ... I don't deny that it is true. However, my view is, if it is going to hurt the parents so bad, or if it will end up indicating that the children do not appreciate or respect the parents, or if it is as if passing the blame to the parents because they think the parents have not brought up the children properly (perception ! perception !) then better don't say or share anything.  To me if you appreciate the parents, you will as much as possible try to solve and settle the troubles yourself, and if ever you want to share with the parents, seek their wise counsel and advice. Never make them solve the problem for you neither for them to shoulder it. Learning to share, seek advice and solve the problems yourself are all part of growing up.

Similarly when a wife works equally hard like the husband, ...  correction the wife works harder, I think it will definitely reduce the ego if the husband could show a bit of appreciation and recognition. It can be in many ways; as small as saying thank you or a peck on the cheek, foot massage, take the garbage out, make hot choc, surprise her with a Prada handbag, give her a diamond ring haha.. terlebih pulak lah kan, ... But why not? We always take things and people for granted. Little that we know that small things we do go a loooonnnnngggg way. Dulu zaman courting, we don't mind doing it for the sake of winning the sweetie's heart. I know of a person who stayed in PJ, travelled to Ampang in the early morning to pick and send the girlfriend to work in Bangi, when that person's office is opposite direction, that is in Klang ! I wonder if the sweetie has become his wife, does he do that still? Ah well, predictably he bought her a car so that she can drive herself. Yes, that is more likely to happen. The point remains that do most people still appreciate the wife if she works as hard plus sacrifice other things like her money, invaluable time, and a whole lot of other priorities and preferences in this world for the sake of caring the husband and the offspring? Oklah..  I retract, not wife je, spouse for that matter.

When I was the boss aka the head of department, I will make sure I arrive early at work. My mantra... being on time is late. With my busy schedule, meetings from morning til late evening, I hardly see my staff. My standing instruction: if they wish to see me for guidance or instruction, come meet me as early as 8 am before I start attending meetings. It worked for us, I was happy and so were they. Now that I am no longer the head of department, I wonder why my current boss can't be like me. It is definitely not a good leadership trait, not to mention teamwork. Being there for the subordinates is also about showing one's appreciation to the staff. If they can be early to work, sacrifice their time to see you very early, my view is the boss should be no different than the staff especially when it comes to discipline.

We still need to learn a lot more about appreciation. Appreciate what you have, before it turns into what you had.

Makcik bloggers strike again !!

Appreciate is appreciating the bloggers' calling :)