Monthly Archives: January 2017

forever young

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Greetings all! I know, it’s been well over a week since I last blogged. So much for hoping to blog weekly! Each night I try to get on the computer after my children have gone to bed, but I’ll be too shattered to put my thoughts down. My hubby said it doesn’t matter if I blogged every fortnight instead, no point sticking to my once a week writing if it’s not of good quality. I suppose he has a point. Anyway, here I am tonight, missing my blog and ready to share some thoughts with you!

Now that we’re officially middle-aged (my hubby disagrees, he who still has thick curly hair and taut tummy compared to other men his age!), I cannot help but hear of illnesses and deaths all around me. I mean, we do hear about it all the time, but somehow it stays with me a bit longer than usual now that I’m older. I remember losing a very dear cousin of mine when I was about 20. He was barely 17. My first real loss, I was devastated, but I quickly bounced back. I was very sad but I didn’t go around thinking that it could also happen to me. Like being ill or being involved in a tragic accident, it’s unfortunate that it had happened to others but surely it wouldn’t touch me? I then heard of several University mates passing away in my mid 20s, again same line of thoughts occurred. Afterwards a few relatives died suddenly in their late 50s, I remember how I wasn’t too bothered at all. Until my own dad passed away in my early 30s, then it hit me real hard!

I went around like a zombie afterwards, I kept thinking about death. Life seemed really bleak from then on. I wanted to wear all black permanently, I felt no joy whatsoever. My husband was really patient with me, always there to pick me up. I then found happiness once more when my daughter was born the following year. Children keep you busy 24/7, they are the essence of life. You cannot be half dead whilst raising children, you have to be fully awake. You need to be alive in every sense of the word! So my life resumed its normalcy. All 3 of my remaining grandparents also passed away the same year, but I could handle it. I was busy with my family life and more accepting of death. I then lost my dear Uncle a few years ago (so sad, he reminded me of my father a lot), I was able to deal with my emotion through one of my posts, Goodbye Uncle. Until now of course, fast forward 15 years, we arrive to where I am today.

Now it’s like an everyday occurrence almost; I hear so and so being ill, I hear so and so dying. And I start questioning my own mortality, I know I’m being morbid but I just can’t help it. Today I went to the doctor’s for my health check-up, all seemed fine (Alhamdulillah) apart from the usual hormonal change that women my age go through. Even that made me a little upset, I feel as if I’m not able to cope. My hubby said I’m strong and I’ve been through a lot, he’s certain I can jump pass this next hurdle in my life. InshaAllah, I can. But it just breaks my heart to pieces to hear one of my friends from boarding school being terminally ill, yes, at my age. So very young still, as many would consider. Another school friend passed away a couple of years ago, also from cancer. I can’t brush it away anymore like I did 2 decades ago, certainly not. I have to take heed, it’s a reminder. Illnesses and deaths remind us of our temporary existence in this world. One day we too shall perish, sooner or later we don’t quite know.

What do we do in the meantime? We carry on living until our last breath. We do our best in carrying out the roles in life we’ve been carved out to play. We continue to strive for success and happiness. We try to help those around us, we try to be good people. We don’t falter or lose hope. And that’s how I’m going to get through the rest of my life. I shall stay positive, my family needs me. I may be middle-aged, but that’s just a number. I need to stay young at heart, so that I can carry on. There will be thorns here and there, that’s for certain. But I can ride through it, I shall try my best. I shall make the most of my life, no one else is going to do it for me…

With that I end my post. I’m reminded of another favourite of ours at boarding school back in the 80s. Forever young, I want to be FOREVER YOUNG! Do you really want to live FOREVER? The wordings moved me even back then, now it seem very apt. The world we live in today, so much more advanced but still full of pain and suffering. But as Anne Frank (diarist and fugitive of the Third Reich) once said, “Think of all the beauty still left around you and be HAPPY.” Go listen and ponder, a very beautiful song indeed…

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England 1996, my first month away from my homeland Malaysia

grateful heart

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I just celebrated my birthday at the weekend, so close to my 5th decade already! A thought crossed my mind; will I live to see my 50th, 60th, 70th or 80th birthday? Actually something else triggered this line of thought, a visit to my bereaved friend’s place mid last week. She’s a lovely 70 year old lady who I befriended just over a decade ago. We first met at the local library where we chatted casually. She was skeptical however when she learned that I home-educated my children. I remember how she challenged my views, she’s of the old school where there’s only one route to education. However, over the years she’s become rather fond of me and vice versa. As my children grew older she could see that I’ve done a fairly good job in educating them. She respects me for it and I value her wisdom, advice and friendship. She also loves reading, hence our first meeting at the library many moons ago. So you can imagine how well we got along over the years. Despite the age gap, I can relate to her easily each time we met and chatted.

The last time I bumped into her at the library again (late last Autumn), she told me that her husband of 50 years has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. It was sudden, no one saw it coming. Then we heard of his passing in early January. I managed to pop round to see her last week, she was grateful I came. She was calm but I caught the tears in the corner of her eyes. She told me how her husband refused any further treatments. Her husband had said that he’s had a good long fulfilling life (he turned 87 just before he died). He didn’t want his life prolonged any further. And 50 years of marriage, what more can she ask for? Everyone has to go someday, like it or not. Main thing is to focus on the blessings, the times you’ve shared together. Her words rang in my head for a while afterwards. I hugged my husband tight and cried when I got home. I realised the future is not ours to see, life is like an open-ended storybook. My parents had 34 years together, until my dad too, passed away so suddenly. What about us? What’s in store for us? How long have we got left?

I can worry and wonder all I want, but it wouldn’t do me any good. You can’t go around living your life like that. You’re supposed to take one day at a time. You focus on the present, you live from moment to moment. You be thankful for all the little things that come your way each day. You be grateful that you’re still alive! I’m reminded of my elder sister at this point, yes, I had an older sister who died in infancy. She was named Siti Baizura. My mom used to tell me how fair and beautiful she was, even as a baby. We visited her grave every year on Eid when I was growing up in Penang. I sometimes wonder what it would have been like had my sister lived. But I’ll never find out. My sister died, I was born a year later. I cheered my parents up just by being born, I took their grief away. They never forgot their eldest who died, it was apparent from the graveyard visits. But their focus shifted, they were happy once again and blessed with 3 more daughters!

I end this post with a grateful heart. I cannot foresee my future but I shall focus on the present and learn from the past. I’m grateful for every little thing; the air I breathe, the roof above my head, the food on my table. I’m grateful for the chance to continue living, to love and to be loved. I don’t know how long I’ve got, only God the Almighty knows. But I am ever so grateful for the 48 years I’ve had, I know I’ve been truly  blessed. The miracle of living, to experience a glimpse of heaven on this earth, for that I can only put my hands up and say, Alhamdulillah (Praise be to God)!!! And now let me get back to filling the pages of my open-ended storybook, somehow I’m not so afraid anymore…

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birthday bouquet from my family in Malaysia!

One of my favourites back in the 80s, I think it holds a new meaning for me now….

old songs

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Greetings again! On to my second post of the year! Since my Instagram is already full of my family pictures and activities, I’ve kind of decided that my blog should focus more on myself. But you never know, it might change again as I go along, I’ll see how it goes anyway. As my regulars would know, I’m quite fond of including songs at the end of my blog posts. But you’d be surprised if I tell you that I hardly listen to them any longer. I think I kind of stopped listening to songs when my children came along one after another. It was only when I started blogging that I looked up for songs that meant something to me in the past. I thought it would be a nice way of spicing up my posts for a bit.

I started enjoying songs a lot as a teenager whilst at boarding school in Malaysia. We’re talking about growing up in the 80s here, the songs then were simply awesome! Not like today’s rubbishy trashy ones. Even all the supermarkets I shop at tend to play songs from the 80s and 90s most of the time, probably targeting middle aged moms and dads like me. We’ll buy more when we feel good, right? The moment the more recent songs come on I can’t wait to get to the checkout counter and leave! That’s how much I loathe them. Even my youngest girl who’s almost 8 agrees with me. She’s got good taste. But certainly not my eldest son who is 17!

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The good old days, with my best buddies from boarding school. Can you spot me?

Anyway, one of the cassettes (no CDs yet back then) I remember proudly owning of was Debbie Gibson’s. She’s about my age and I absolutely adored her, used to dance to her songs all day long. I’m sure both my younger sisters would remember if they read this post! We used to call the Royal Australian Air Force radio station based in mainland Penang to request for songs (I grew up on Penang Island, Malaysia). The DJ was Australian of course and the radio show was for the Australian expats living in Malaysia. But I tried my best to sound like an English speaking girl just to get my favourite songs aired. What a joy when most of the time he played them, I’m not sure whether he realised I was just a local Malaysian girl who was into music big time!

Alright, I guess I won’t blabber on too much this time around. Still trying to get the hang of blogging again! But yes, it does get easier for sure as several of you commented. I certainly feel much more positive after pouring my heart out about dealing with negative people in my debut post. Good to know I’m not alone. People are people, just have to deal with them the best we can, even the difficult ones! Anyway, hope you enjoy this Debbie Gibson number I used to love. Brings back memories of my teenage self bopping along to it. Hard to imagine, I know! But hey, everyone’s young once upon a time, right? When I reminisce the good old days I can’t help but smile. Always young at heart…

welcome 2017

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welcome 2017 words on spring note book

Greetings everyone! This feels kind of weird, me getting back to my blogging world after a whole year’s break! I have to take baby steps I suppose, hopefully in time I’ll get the hang of it once more. I miss writing down my thoughts and feelings like I used to. As a result I crammed everything in my 2016 diary! But this time around I think I’ll not post countless of pictures to accompany them. Instagram is a better platform for that! So you’ll have to bear with my writing here more than anything else.

Plenty has happened to my family and I within a year, both good and bad. But such is life, as humans we amble along and make the best of whatever comes our way. Some things are beyond our control, we just have to live by it. No matter how awfully painful. Like the death of a loved one for instance. But other circumstances like dealing with annoying or difficult people, those who constantly try to bring you down, or those who don’t really hear what you’re saying, is more manageable (but challenging) I think. It’s well within your power to handle the situation the way you think best. What would you do? Easier said than done though sometimes. Depends on your relationship with that person. I used to be tolerant of such people who surround my life, but of late, I’ve had quite enough. Maybe I’m getting older and wiser, or perhaps I’m just tired of it all.

But then the more pure hearted you are, the more likely you are to get hurt. There are people out there who use you sometimes (intentionally or unintentionally), they don’t really care how you feel inside. We lead such busy lives these days, who has time for that sensitive soul? Nope, they don’t care at all. So let it be. You can either choose to get hurt each time, or move on. I say let’s get a move on! Life is so short after all. Close that door firmly behind you, look ahead. There must be others who love you unconditionally, no matter how imperfect you are. There are those who choose to close their eyes to your flaws and recognise your worth. There are genuine people who’s always there for you, both in good times and bad times. Focus on those beautiful souls. They are the ones who make life worth living…

I usually end with a song! This one is in memory of a remarkable singer who shaped my teenage years. Somehow this song also sums up this debut post of mine for 2017. Wishing all my readers and followers a Happy New Year 2017, may it bring you more sunshine than rain. But if it does rain a lot, get that umbrella handy!