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.

 

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.

 

Superpower of Du’a

We can only do so much when it comes to dealing with human behaviour. It ain’t easy changing Obstinance to being Obedient or Compliant. It can be crippling to ones self-esteem or motivation when good intentions to help someone is misconstrued or simply ignored.

Which is precisely whats happening between me and one of my brothers. It is very hard to find a balance between being supportive but also careful not to ruffle any feathers. Men can be so sensitive. hahaha.

Because of this minor conflict, I begin to think about other people whose problems could be worse than mine. What if they’ve exhausted every single effort, grit and sweat to initiate a change greatly needed for the benefit of all? What else can they do?

many nights we pray, with no proof anyone could hear, in our hearts a hopeful song, we barely understood, now we are not afraid.. although we know there’s much to fear, we were moving mountains long, before we know we could..

There can be miracles when you believe

 

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hope for a miracle

…through prayers. through du’a.

I once went to a Quran TAgging workshop by AyeshaShahira and in our goodie file, we were each given this small , cute book that has Allah’s 99 names. I had thought to myself, ‘i know asmaul husna, why would they need to make a notebook out it’. 

Ayesha somehow made us understand more about the names of Allah. About curating our du’a. To be in Allah’s good books.

We should strive to learn all 99 names of ALLAH. InsyaAllah, it will please Him and make our wishes underneath the great big sky sound so so beautiful. Indeed, ask from Allah for help, to help you help others. In my case, it would be me asking from Allah to give guidance to my brother in the best way possible so he could become a better person. Maybe give him a life changing dream or something to get him a head start in life. Allah knows best, for He shapes our Qadak dan Qadar. .

Finally, I’m not sure if you realize it or not, but for a muslim to make du’a for someone else’s well being is one of the most rewarding thing you could do for yourself too.

“…the dua of a muslim for his brother (in Islam) in his absence is readily accepted, and an angel is appointed to his side, whenever he makes a beneficial dua for his brother the appointed angel says “Ameen and may you also be blessed with the same”

[Muslim]

Catch up journaling with HoboMinci

My A5 Cousin Avec is coming into its final month before I change into the 2nd book. I like how this 1st book is becoming thick and bulky with all the momentoes I have kept inside. I am glad to have chosen this size for my planning & journaling this year. Previously, I used an A6 but I soon discover that alongside my heavy usage, it will get too thick too fast thus causing a bit of difficulty while writing into a new page.

I have been quite consistent with my journaling/planning. If for some reason, I don’t get to jot down stuff in my Hobonichi, I will set up a few hours of a particular day or weekend to do some catching up. I use washi tapes, stickers and colourful papers. I tried to incorporate water color but I guess I am not that talented. 🙊

Apart from anecdotes of daily lives, I would pen down meaningful quotes, film reviews and general thoughts on current conditions. Part of my hobby is inspired by the planner addicts in Malaysia. And then there is Rainbowholic, whose method of Kawaii Journaling is questioned from time to time by curious minds who could not arrange nice words upon asking a question to her. I am amazed though at how calm she was in answering those doubts of ‘wasting time’, ‘ pasting stickers and washi tape all over is a waste and not art’ or ‘whats the point of using Hobonichi is you are going to cover it all up’ bla bla bla.  Rainbowholic a. k.a Kaila was so patient in addressing these issues!. No wonder despite all the critics, she managed to grow her Youtube channel and many years later manage to set up a Patreon to fund her passion. Now, that’s a dream job. 

After a few cookie bakings in between my hours of catch up journaling, I am happy to see that most of the pages in my Avec are filled to the fullest. ALhamdulilah.. 

HoboMinci. Busy weekends in a row.

First there was that sudden, last minute holiday to Macao. Anything that pops up my schedule unknowingly within 2 weeks is last minute. I prefer a form of preparation for at least a month to get my stuff sorted out. I hate surprises that disrupts my schedule.

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Then there was the clinics family day. I was awarded the most popular doctor but that could be because I haven’t actually scolded or reprimanded everyone yet. I bet they will change their mind once I’ve stayed put at this place for at least another year. Ha ha ha.

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Finally there was also that holiday trip to Universal Studio Singapore. I will write later on the hotel that we stayed in and about the trip itself.

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And today I had a work-related course which took up my whole day. I am so exhausted with all the listening especially it being a very heavy topic. It is about management of HIV patients. I like the new insight and is excited about the new knowledge cause I never handled personally HIV patients in my clinic as the more senior ones are in charge.

But the day got to a point where I am just.damn.tired. 

I think I am going to continue watching my K-Drama now, Terius Behind Me. Yup, I am on a So Ji Sub obsession right now.