Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Resilience of the Ice Age Squirrel

Recently, I decided to add Wednesdays as one of my do-not-get-out-of-bed days. Simply because I received bad news even before I could get out of bed and start my day. That day was doomed for gloom for me.

All my life, I've had many challenges and tribulations that may render many maimed for life.That one piece of paper sentenced me to a bleak future.

I don't consider myself a coward who recoils from any form of challenges and obstacles. When significant people tell me to jump, I would never hesitate to ask "How high?". But would you feel when you are asked to jump a certain height and as you're jumping to make the mark, they decided to raise the bar to the point you can't reach it? When such occurrences happen over and over again, during your life span, it is difficult to not feel like giving up.

As I was feeling low and vulnerable, the feeling of imcompetence and inferiority started seeping in through my pores. I resolved to feel redha for whatever He has designed and planned for me. I can do that. But, I also needed to be told what to do next.

Then came the revelation, imbedded in a simple cartoon flick meant for kids. I was given a glance of the Ice Age 2 trailer promo and zoomed my eyes to the tenacious little squirrel and his acorn. I saw how he never gave up getting his hands on that acorn and kept on at it. Suddenly my next move was clear as crystal to me. NEVER GIVE UP ON A GOOD THING!!

Looks like those people who have no faith in me would have to do better than a piece of paper to stop me from my passion! They can either embrace me into their circle and have me as one of the best contributors in the field or they can continue to try to be an obstacle in my path and I will forever be a thorn in their side and the loudest critic to their unproductive and most often self-contradicting ways. Cakap tak serupa bikin!

As far as Allah and my conscience is concerned, I am not committing a sin. I am helping many souls in need of guidance and wisdom and He has given me abundance of those. It would be a sin if I don't help those people when I am capable and willing to do so. How am I suppose to answer when Allah asks me "Why didn't you help them?" I do it in the name of Allah the Most Merciful and Loving and He pays me very well....

So, from today onwards, this little squirrel has become my biggest IDOL! And it will stay that way until I don't need him anymore. Thank you Allah for this wonderous clue. I understand now. Alhamdulillah...

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Dial M for Marriage

Whaddaya know.... Come this October, my husband and I will be celebrating our 16th year wedding anniversary. Most will consider us lucky to have lasted this long. But to those who know us better, they will sigh a big relief and mutter "Alhamdulillah...". However, my husband and I will still be holding our breaths, palms up in prayers and grounding our feet down to prepare ourselves for many more years of hard work, heavy loving, hundreds of forgiving and wheel barrows of earthly understanding of one another.

My husband and I (henceforth termed as "we") don't believe in luck. But we are staunch believers in The Divine Contract and the concept of soul mates. We believe we are soul mates. We believe that those who don't believe in soul mates haven't met their's yet. When they do, they will.

We believe that hard work means the dance of deflection we tango every now and then, especially when one of us is testing the other's patience, leaving the other feeling like a potential homicidal maniac. We believe in faking forgiveness until it becomes sincere. We believe in transparency in communication but not transparency in items of clothings (except in the privacy of our bedroom, of course!).

Although we can't say that we have the secret of eternal marital bliss, we do try to keep to the basic tips on how to make a relationship work. Here are a few rules for a Happy Relationship. This excerpt was taken from a fantastic book titled The Muslim Marriage Guide by Ruqaiyyah Waris Maqsood:

1. Tell each other you love each other.
2. Never both be angry at the same time.
3. If you have to criticise, do it lovingly.
4. Never bring up old mistakes.
5. Never go to sleep with an argument unsettled.
6. Neglect the whole Dunia rather than each other.
7. Pray together at least once a day.
9. Remember it takes two to quarrel.
10. When you have done something wrong, admit it.
11. At least once a day, say something kind or complimentary to your partner.
12. Do not go to bed more than 10 minutes after your partner.
13. Listen when your partner is speaking.
14. Remember that your spouse is more important than the tv/match/video etc.
15. Notice when your partner is wearing something new, or has a new hairdo.
16. Remember anniversaries.
17. Thank your partner for their gift or effort on your behalf.
18. Last one up, make the bed.
19. Notice when your spouse looks tired, and do something about it.
20. Never run your partner down, or criticise them in public.

And finally:

Good humour sometimes wins battles that force and reason lose.

Patience is the ability to count down before blasting off.

'My wife has a terrible memory; she remembers everything.'

'Spouses have a keen sense of humour; the more you humour them, the better they like it.'

We have to learn to be our best friends, for we fall too easily into the trap of being our worst enemies.

Matrimonial indigestion is something we marry that doesn't agree with us.

Love at first sight is about as reliable as a doctor's diagnosis at first handshake.

When a wife is not talking to her husband, she is trying to tell him something.

Discussion is an exchange of intelligence. Argument is an exchange of ignorance.

A good mother is not a person to lean on, but one who makes leaning unnecessary.

The philosopher who said that work well done never needs doing again, never lived with an untidy spouse or children.

Happiness is getting the tissue out of the box before you sneeze.

and last but not least:

It is impossible to sneeze and keep both your eyes open at the same time. Don't believe me? Look forward to the next sneeze and see if you can keep your eyes open!

The point is, my fellow humans, although some of us have mastered the skill of multi tasking, to get anything done well, we need to focus. What you choose to focus on will determine the success or failure of your relationship.