All Things Are Difficult Before They Are Easy

After 6 months of swimming classes, my son is finally able to swim from one end of the pool to another without using a float. His journey, and us as parents was not easy. His struggle was to keep practising. Our role was to make sure that he is consistent in going to his classes and persistent in moments when he does not want to swim.

I still believe in some of the traditional ways of raising your children. Which includes not giving in too much into his choices. Cause his choices can be bad for his future. I don’t spank or hit my kid but I raise and harden my voice, a lot. I don’t yell. I just give out verbal threats. Things like,

“if you don’t change into your swimming gear now, I will STILL bring you to your swimming class in those Pokemon pajamas ..”

and I would just stand there, stare him down whilst he cry his eyeballs out. It was hard not to give in but I had to make my stand. He caved in and packed his suit and like most kids, you just need to give them the early motivation, within minutes they already enjoy the class and wants to attend the next one.

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But to be honest, the same cycle of ‘I don’t want to go‘ will start all over again.

I did try to explore the reasons of why he refuses to go to class. Some of his reasons include;

  • he doesn’t have any friends that he know during those sessions. I told him to make new friends. I also understand that he would feel a bit different there as there are very few Malays but I wanted him to know, mix and talk to other non-Malay Malaysians for exposure.
  • he was worried that he couldn’t catch up. I told him he does not need to get everything right and perfect in one go – all I wanted for him is to try and give his best.
  • it’s cold in the water. I told him that he needs to eat more then, so he would bulk up and stand the temperature of the water better. I make him drink at least 2 glasses of milk everyday, 3 glasses on a weekend. He is gaining weight and getting taller. Not so much of body fat. haha

I enrolled him in the unlimited class options for RM700 over 6 months. Prior to that  huge monetary commitment, I signed him up to the trial class to see if it would suit him. That was 4 classes at RM120. I have not been able to send him there on a daily basis but we make do with the flexibility in terms of timing the sessions on weekends.

I told him that he can stop the classes once he masters the strokes and has advanced to the deeper end of the pool. But his learning journey will not stop there. Once this skill station is done, we are sending him to a language class. It will be up to him then which language he would like to learn.

 

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I found my Patience Guru , it came in the form of a teenage boy

It was already 2 minutes to 5PM. We close at 5PM. Despite how altruistic the doctors are, to see a non emergency patient after hours in a clinic which opens only from 8 to 5 – we cannot even run a simple blood tests because the lab is closed. Hence, any emergency cases that comes after 5PM will be attended, stabilized using the drugs and equipment we have in the emergency area and then transferred swiftly to the nearest tertiary centre.

So when the boy who came for his medical checkup looked lost outside my door because he has not apparently been seen since he arrived, I felt sorry for him. He had asked a staff earlier of what to do but his questions were probably not understood correctly hence he was told to wait for his number to come up. The young teenage boy failed to realize that he first needs to put his card with the number outside the respective doctor rooms before he was called. Thus, he was never called into the doctors room because they never got his card.

And he waited patiently throughout the afternoon session. Even nearing 5PM, not a single staff at the waiting area asked him which room he was waiting on. Us in the room.. we were already swamped with whatever cards that were coming through the door, frantically writing down our prescriptions so our fellow pharmacists need not have to work late every single day and writing treatment plans promptly so our colleagues could follow up on it during the next appointment –  and now is it also our job to ask everyone in the waiting room  –

“Hi, may I ask, have you seen the doctor, are you waiting for anything or anyone in particular?”

I was disappointed that this kid had to wait that long. So I told him to give me a few seconds while I finish up on my last patient and I will see him. Thankfully, another colleague swung by my room and helped out. What broke my heart was to realize that he was there even before the afternoon session started, had his relevant tests done and yet he waited. And waited. Asked a question to a wrong person and kept on waiting. What then crushed me to pieces was that once he has been clerked and examined, he was still able to smile and utter a very sincere and grateful THANK YOU to my colleague and I.  I rasa macam nak nangis pun ada bila jumpa manusia penyabar macam ni. Bless his  beautiful soul. Bless his elderly father too for the father was also very patient, who also smiled and said a thank you.

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I take this experience as a sign from Allah that I should be more patient in my daily undertakings. The boys affairs were easily done and gotten over with in less than 5 minutes but he remained patient for hours waiting outside our doors! And was still able to be on the sunny side of his character. I felt so embarrassed of my own short fused temperaments nowadays as a Muslim. That boy, he was not even muslim. 

I pray he gets the college admission he’s applying for. I pray that Allah will ease his sufferings (if any). I pray that my Patience Guru will have success in life. InsyaAllah. 

HoboMinci. Completed the 1st half, going into my second A5 Cousin Avec

“Hobonichi means Almost Everyday”

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I call mine my #HoboMinci. And so far the journaling game is still going on strong. I have a lot of reflections and activities to reminisce on, I guess. My choice of medium are similar to previous years – washi, stichers, colourful inks, instax photos… I tried to take up stamping but it’s too much effort for me. Although I do love to see people do it in Instagram.

My monthly page are usually very simple. My weekly pages are more detailed. I try to divide my weeks into a few categories.

Work.

Social Media.

Non-work daily To- Dos.

Weekends.

 

My daily pages are the most interesting. On certain days I have a lot to shout about. Or social meets to keep memories of.

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Sometimes it is just quiet. No words. Just washi or die cuts to fill the page.

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I ramble.

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I reflect on religion or important stuff.

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I write down memorable quotes.

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Sometimes I give movie reviews.

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Or extending a thought from a book I read.

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Sometimes it a Pinky and The Brain moment as I elaborate on my plan. Like the iftar get together a few months ago.

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In short, there is never just a single way on how you choose to fill up your Hobonichi. In Malaysia, there is only a handful of us using Hobonichi. Price is a major factor. Furthermore, journaling or diary keeping is just not everybody’s cup of tea. Despite that, we still find joy in our little group called Planner Addicts Malaysia on Facebook. We get to mingle with fellow planners using other brands of journals. And if I need a more international take to my #hoboMinci – I have the Rainbowholic FB group for inspiration.

I heard there’s a Jibun Techo out there. I am keen to explore that as well. We will see.

 

Hotel Tenera, Bangi

I drove straight to Hotel TENERA after my morning CSR activity at Rumah Seri Mesra Ampang. It took me about an hour with all the horrendous traffic using Google Map. I was surviving on a 39% Samsung battery life because I forgot to charge at the centre. I forgot I did an FB Live which consumed much of my battery. I need a power bank.

Traffic was bad. Honestly, I don’t know how y’ll Kay-Ell peeps live this life everyday.

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“Shariah compliant, prestigious and elegant 4 star hotel with an average rating of 8.5/10”

Meaning no alcohol or pubs on site. Hence, most guests were muslims. But don’t get them wrong, non muslims are still very welcome to stay. And do relax, it’s not that they play the Quran recitation in the lobby 24 hours a day! You can even wear shorts and sleeveless T-shirts if that is comfortable attire to you. They don’t force a hijab on you. Perhaps not strutting in a bikini though. I booked the hotel through my favourite app – AGODA.Com. Gosh, Agoda should make me their affiliate or collaborator or something. Hahaha.

Hotel TENERA has 2 separate buildings to accommodate the hotel rooms and their apartments. I chose to stay in the apartments cause the price is a bargain.

 

Mine is a Studio King Apartment which comes with Free Wifi and Breakfast for 2 that I shared with my mom. I paid RM228 per night including tax and service fee. What was not included was the RM10 tourism fee which international tourists pay at the site.

The hotel was easily located with Google Map. Check in was at the hotel main lobby and I was brought to the apartment with a buggy. It was an 8 second ride. LOL.

My room was on the 14th floor. It was just after 3 PM when I arrived, so I took the time to run the water for my soak in the bath tub. I made myself coffee, put on my doTERRA diffuser and relaxed at the living space watching the remaining Shah Rukhs Khans hindi movie  – Paheli.  The story is about hantu raya. LOL.

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There’s a prayer mat, hairdryer, iron with board and mini fridge as well in my room. After my rest, I went to my parents place to have dinner and also picked my mum up to come stay with me at the hotel. I think she needs time away from home. Hahaha. Plus, she loves breakfast at the hotel.

Public Amenities

There are plenty of parking spaces at both parts of the hotel. In the apartment area, there is a swimming pool and mini gymnasiums for patrons to work out.

At the hotel building, there is a separate pool for ladies! But my mom and I did not have time to explore much cause we both slept in the morning after Subuh prayers. Yeh, two very exhausted moms of different ages. Hahaha.

There is a designated Smoking Area too outside.

Breakfast & Restaurant

I am not quite sure what to advice. If you come too early, you’ve got to beat the huge crowd. Especially on a weekend. So we had ours a bit late. We both went up for breakfast at 900am but risked having some of the local favourites on the finishing end with no signs of being replenished. Such as the half boiled eggs. There was a wait for roti canai and pastries. Even the normal sliced breads are not topped up. The main dishes were alright but I was dying for the good ol Nasi Lemak which was substituted with fried rice instead. Hampa. 

Perhaps the good part of it is that we get to eat bowls and bowls of cereal. If only they would consider having overseas cereal options.. the ones not available in your regular supermarkets like those premium ones sold at Jaya grocers for a change. Barulah cornflake hotel. giteww. 

There is however a stand alone restaurant within the same compound of the hotel if you are still hungry. A small cafe is also available at the lobby just beside the little Siti Khadijah store . To those in the dark, Siti Khadijah is famous for its prayer garments. It is usually given as gifts especially for umrah/hajj. 

Even then, there is a huge mall beside the hotel. I am not sure of its name but you do need to drive a bit unless you need to fulfill your 10,000 steps exercise for the day. There, you could find most fast food joints and regular shops for window shopping. Mum and I decided to just stay in the hotel room until it was time to check out.

I checked out by 11AM because I did not want to be caught up in traffic back to Melaka. Overall, it was a satisfying pleasant and relaxing stay. I would definitely bring my kids here next time.

A Srikandi (STF) Batch 2000 CSR project Pertubuhan Kebajikan Pusat Sri Mesra Ampang

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This old folks home was established first in 2013 at Taman Seri Gombak and later on moved to Ampang in 2015. There are 15 ladies here – all of them have never been married and have no close relatives to bring them home and take care of them. Most have no serious chronic illness. The centre focuses on being as independent as they can and providing public education towards caring for the elderly. The home also takes in 5 Warga Perlindungan (asnaf, single parents) who they train to care for the residents in the house. In return, they have a roof on their head and means to continue their daily lives especially if they have dependents under them.

The owner, Puan Faezah was previously a Palliative Care nurse who once worked with Hospice Malaysia. Armed with her experience, she not only wants to care for the elderly but also wishes to impart her knowledge to the public regarding the geriatric population. She looks forward to visits from individuals and groups to come see her home. She conducts talks on Communication Skills with The Elderly, End of life care, conducts family conference and many more. She herself, is hungry, to learn more, not only to update her already vast skills but also things like social media so she could get the word out more for her organization.

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For this short programme, we invited 3 masseuse to come by and give the residents a shoulder & foot rub, we had a short session to just get to know more about the home, and later a mini lunch to end our day. It was a short 3 hour affair.

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Take away points;

  1. With age, our 5 senses that we usually take for granted will slowly decline in function. Our eyes, ears, our speech , our cognitive function.. and this will certainly affect how we live and interact in our daily lives. So we try to be prepared for old age. 20190629_113216-014612573928237638829.jpeg
  2. We are all agents of change. Being an SK (Srikandi), the label should be a catalyst for us to not only make our lives and our families at their best but also serve the community in whatever capacity that you can.
  3. LOVE can be the magic potion in rehabilitation. Just like Wan. She came to the old folks home bed bound requiring a feeding tube. With time, she gained energy and Will, so much so that her Ryles tube managed to be removed and now she can sit up  and ambulate with her Zimmer frame independently.
  4. To care for someone, we need to get to know that person well for the most optimum care. Everyone has different needs. And we need to match these requirements with the correct knowledge and skills in handling them.
  5. Getting into a fight (even among the elderly) is inevitable. This friction can cause conflict in the home thus has to be addressed accordingly. Puan Faezah interestingly mentioned that these elderly ladies needs to be reminded from time to time, just like a kid, to be on their best behaviour when visitors come. Quarrels also occur simply because they have lost their hearing hence a communication breakdown.
  6. CHARITY – To help those in need, we need to start with ourselves. It is best to make sure that we are first ‘full’, happy and enough. And then, our close family is too enough. Meaning they have our attention, our love.. in other words, their basic needs to function as a family member is met. Only then, we are in a way Ready and Equipped to help those who are less fortunate.
  7. CHARITY work is evolving. It’s not just about receiving funds and giving basic care. Now, we are heading towards educating the public, empowering the less fortunate to be confident in themselves so they could communicate with everybody else.
  8. Not all elderly folks are SENILE. Some, has mental faculties which are still sharp. However, once their cognitive function deteriorates, they behave just like a baby.
  9. It’s not cheap to care for an elderly person. 
  10. Social Media is vital nowadays to spread the news. So more people could help them. The home wants us to share the message that [1] if your niyat is right, it doesn’t matter if the home has only 1 resident – you would still want to help. [2] Not all Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat (JKM) approved homes are financially stable, they still need a lot of support, especially funding when operating the place.

 

For this programme, I was in charge of the goodie bags. I have to admit, there were certain things in the bag which were inappropriate. At such an age, in Malaysia, it is less of wanting to sit down and read a book or magazine. For to them, in this home, it is more to fulfill the basic needs in life. Being able to just stay awake for a few hours before sleeping almost all the time. They just want to hold someones hand, or being cuddled, talk to someone, sing, bath independently, put on their clothes on their own, eat and rest comfortably.

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In the bag there is a pair of kaftan for sleeping, foot patch, hand cream, a roll-on perfume, a digital tasbih, some reading materials and a carton of drink. In retrospective, perhaps the ones that they could benefit most were the kaftan, foot patch and hand cream. The drinks, Puan Faezah said they will collect and share them during mealtimes as poor coordination could result in spills in the room which later attracts ants.

Now I know better.

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Over the years, ever since the home was established, 15 elderly ladies has passed away due to old age. Each death leaves a void in their heart. InsyaAllah, for all of them, a good ending and will earn a place in Jannah.

So, if you are in Ampang and you want to extend help, Pusat Jagaan Sri Mesra is there to welcome you with open arms.