Thank you for your service

Finally, Melaka is not under water rationing anymore. The state have not been getting much rain last year and consequently the water levels in the dam was low. It has been a challenging 2 months but manageable because the Bekalan Air Berkala schedule seems to be well thought out by Syarikat Air Melaka Berhad (SAMB). Nevertheless people still complain but as the mantra goes, you cannot please everybody.

The rationing affected highly populated residential areas except those near industrial/commercial areas. My housing area was rationed but my MIL’s place was not affected. I was thankful for that because my kids transit at their grandparents house after school. But now with the Movement Control Order (MCO) – all grandchildren are at my MIL’s house driving her crazy as school and nursery are out. I can only pray that Allah will grant my parents in law Jannah for their sacrifice in helping to mind the grandkids while we children go to work.

Previously, we get water running from the tap on alternate days starting from 10am till 10am the next day only. On days that we don’t, we depend on our household water tank and the public tank in our area. Thankfully, our house is near one of the big ones located near the surau.

My motivation to cook was dampened tremendously. Rasa macam tak best to masak and wash the dishes and pots meticulously using rationed water. It feels less great either to leave the dishes till the next day. So, meals consisted of takeouts, intermittent fasting or kids eat at grandparents house whilst us parents grab a bun or something.

Laundry is done at night as water pressure is stronger in the quiet hours near midnight. Mopping are done on those rare weekends where we get water supply. I haven’t wiped down my window grill for ages. I can see lizards pooping everywhere. As for my windows, I am in dire need of rain to help clean it up a bit.

Alas, all the above has come to an end. Alhamdulilah.. now I can start planning my spring cleaning schedule again. I would also like to thank all my re-purposed mini containers and barrels that has helped this family to contain water throughout this rough period of time. It would have not been possible without them.

My personal container I use in the master bedroom. The tangki does not supply this part of the bathroom.
The duo that usually holds my kuah laksa or ice during gatherings and parties… Useful to flush down the toilet and its contents..
Babe in the corner. Used to store rice during kenduri. Switching role as an assistant in the kitchen whilst cooking. In case I need extra water or anything.
One of the most useful ones. To help wash the dishes, hands and milk bottles.

My sister asked if I had to switch off my Coway machine during the water rationing. I find that there’s still some small amount of water being ‘sucked’ into the machine and that we could still get some water out of it. Of course there were days when we are out of hot water and this usually happens on the weekends when we are all at home drinking hot beverages and such. So far, the machine is functioning well and had not broke down yet. I am not quite sure what the representatives of Coway would advice though.

Now that the dry season is coming to an end, it will mean a different challenge for the coming months. While we appreciate rain, we hope there wouldn’t be any floods cause then it’ll be challenging to manage that and Covid-19.

Midlife Crisis – is this half of the years that I have in this life?

I had a moment of enlightenment a few months ago. And I took action on it. I decided to study part time. I made some enquiries to friends who are already on that path and those who have completed their studies. Some were encouraging, some tried to talk me out of it.

This could be a mid life crisis. Gosh, maybe. I am after all only 37 years old this year. If this is halfway through my lifeline – my impending death would be at 74? Hanya Allah Yang Maha Mengetahui.

I am taking a huge leap of faith here to juggle the many things on my plate right now. I will be missing more sleep hours and personal time. I am convincing myself that this is called Sacrifice. Most of my hours studying is online via modules and pre-recorded lectures on top of completing assignments with grueling deadlines.

There are a few certain things for now;

  • I have no intention to become a specialist in any field of medicine. Anesthesia will always be my first love. I tried to put in similar determination and passion into primary care just as I did into emergency medicine but after 2 years, I just feel that it is not working out for me. I do not enjoy the nature of primary care. As a responsible medical practitioner, I will of course still develop my knowledge and upgrade my skills to ensure I become a safe doctor but the drive to do so is not because I want to be a specialist. Its more of that I can be a safe doctor to serve my patients needs.
  • I have my husbands support. Knowing that he is OK with me doing this would mean him being able to support me and my schedule accordingly.
  • Accepting that the world is my oyster and that I am free to roam in it as however I wish and who ever I want to become.

I am pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Psychology with Honours. I am aware that having this scroll will not make me a psychiatrist. I am keeping my options open for other career options that this field may offer if I chose to upgrade on it stage by stage. I do not have to be a doctor forever you know. What if I want to work in a company as an organizational therapist. Or sit in my own office providing counselling or psychotherapy services as a private, registered practitioner. Perhaps delve into a popular or contemporary form of psychology. Or be the best ever social worker with a medical degree, an invaluable aide to Syed Azmi’s cause. I dunno.

I am envisioning a world where people need more help with their mental health from all walks of life. We are seeing a rise in people who could not manage their emotions and channel them appropriately to the extent of harming themselves and others. I also people who have a very distorted perception of how to treat another human being and their surroundings. I see communities falling apart as they place more value as an individual than coming together as one. We see more and more empty vessels making loud noises flooding social media, which is a huge influence in our lives nowadays – dishing out nonsensical advice to those who actually needs guidance. The world has gotten bitter and sick. Maybe I have a role here somewhere.

I will be blogging about my journey as a mature student in NotaMinci and a separate IG account, HOBOMINCI. I had wanted to document there my path towards becoming an anesthetist. However, survival of the fittest showed me that I am just not fit enough for that road. I failed to get into the programme twice and at the same time my social and biological clock is ticking. So I need a diversion. A form of affirmation to myself that I am meant to blossom but maybe not within the perimeter of an operating theatre or the ICU. Maybe it is best I blossom in the wild outside medicine where I don’t have to tiptoe and watch my back. Instead be loose and free like the dandelion in the wind. Only to sprout again in other terrains and bring happiness to humanity.

Memory keeping with Photobook Malaysia

It’s an aging thing – memory keeping. Little girls grow up to become young ladies to later turn into women and soon.. aunties that loves the monstera deliciosa species and looking at old photos.

Despite the many photos I have uploaded and kept in my phone and stored in my cloud – I feel I need to have physical photos to look at once I get very old and feeble. InsyaAllah kalau umur panjang.

Recently Photobook had a Payday promotion. I can print 100 pieces of 4R Matte photos for only RM28 (including delivery). I used the offer to print out photos of my kids. Then, I brought another voucher in a different promotion which allows me to print 200 photos for only RM32. I used it to compile photos of my parents in law and hope to present it in an album and give it to my MIL on her birthday.

Photobook lets you save your work on the My Project section. You could use photos from your own desktop, digital files or even Google photos. My recent project were mostly from Google photos. It can be quite a pain to find the photo that you want from there if you’re not organized especially when you want to print 100 pieces. I suggest you start organizing the photos on your Google account a.s.a.p. Prior to starting a project on photobook, I put the images that I want in an album on Google photos. I labeled it as Photobook project 100 photos. This is so – that when I start my project, I can just upload the photos from that existing album instead of having to scroll in the little space for the photo that you want.

I also find that some vouchers do not work on the Mobile App. Hence, to be sane.. use your laptop/desktop. Delivery was super efficient. In Malaysia, you can expect your photos to be delivered as fast as 2 working days via GDex.

My next photo printing projects will be mostly on our travels. Perhaps I’d do a coffee table book to get conversations started. Or turn photos into interesting momentos. We will see.

Filtering Instagram

For the past few months – I have been decluttering my Instagram Following list. I have less than 500 genuine followers but I myself am following more than 1000 other accounts. I had thought to myself do I need to follow all of these accounts? Park Seo Joon has over 4 million followers and yet he only follows 79 people. Like, whoa. That was mind blowing.

I started by unfollowing accounts that has been inactive for more than 6 months, fake profiles and selected sellers account. The trend back then was if someone follows you, you are (made to feel) obliged to follow back. When in fact, there could be sinister reasons as to why they would want to follow you. For instance, they are selling on Instagram and they see you as a potential buyer, so they’d leave a like on your photo, give a random comment and click Follow. When you follow them back, you realize that they intend to flood your feed by advertising the things they sell.

So, I unfollowed those accounts that sells tudung I would not wear, dresses that I won’t fit into or way above my budget, accounts that sell seasonal viral food like asam or fish skin or those with stores which are not located in Melaka or KL. Like why would I follow a shop based in Terengganu and does not do postal services.

Then I unfollowed celebrity profiles which I feel would not add value to my life or whose lifestyle are not one compatible to mine. I still keep ctdk and chef wan for instance alongside IU (korean singer). But I did remove personalities like David Beckham etc.. coz they just seem so far away. I think I followed Beckham because of Harper initially. I could always read up on her via Google or some sort of tabloid site.

Which comes to the next accounts on the list. The tabloid accounts. I feel I don’t need to follow all the ohbulan, lobakmerah, yada yada cause they highlight almost the same things. Plus, I am seeing a lot of them already on Facebook as my friends love to share the links on the news feed.

I also filter the influencers. I slashed ambiguous product sellers, profiles that make tutorials I have no use for at the moment

These itself got me down to a few hundred already and I was already at about 700ish at the time. Next was a bit difficult as I go through my planner and stationary related list. Some had gone inactive, said goodbye to a few sellers and made a mental note to follow the good ones on my other IG account called Hobominci. That is specific to it.

Once I have passed that, I went through the recipe/food list. This was easy to do and now I only have a handful of accounts to follow.

Now I am at a stage where I need to choose which friends that I know personally to remain as a follower. So far I have removed myself from accounts that are inactive, hacked or for some reason has become a hardcore sellers account. I am OK with the occasional feed that promotes their business but not every single one of them. I also deleted accounts that are equally active on Facebook because I don’t need to see the same updates on both social media.

Since I still have FOMO – I decided to follow hashtags. It gives me a variety of accounts to stalk and explore. It still feeds my curiosity of the wonderful things that are happening around me. I am proud to say that from the more than 1000 accounts I have followed, now it is down to about 235 accounts. I will declutter from time to time.

In a way I can use my extra time to create more content and focus my time more on other activities such as reading or cleaning the house. Ha ha ha. Gosh, cleaning is like forever. It will never be done.

I gave away books for free the other day and boy, it was a lesson learnt

Whenever I get disheartened of a humane act or good deed I do as part of Tabung Minci or for just being an NGI, I’d scroll through my previous blog posts to gather insight on why I do this in the first place.

Like this post.

I am still learning how to ‘Give Properly’. To give in abundance, in ikhlas, precious and hopefully of need and meaningful to the recipient.

Recently, I decided to do book gifting to my colleagues. It was Xmas season. I mean, who wouldn’t like a book to read right?Surely professionals would love a book. And is willing to try and take on a new genre. Right? Apparently not. I got them wrong. haih.. paiseh.

The books are handpicked from my own shelf. These are books that I love to read, only knowing myself – I wouldn’t read them the second time because of time constraint. I still have a lot on my TBR (to be read) list.

Anyway, all of these books are too shiny, glossy and pricey to be rounded up in a recycling bin. And to do a jumble sale is taking too long to organize. I could actually donate them to a public library but the titles felt so personal ( I honestly don’t know how to explain) that I thought why not share the joy of reading them with my friends.

For each person, I chose a book that I feel would suit their personality and once I gave it to them personally- that was when things got interesting and awkward to a certain extent.

Common questions I got was

  • Why are you giving this?
  • Is this a gift or are you lending it?

Heartwarming response

  • reading the synopsis and willing to try a new genre
  • saying a simple thank you and keeping the book in their personal bag
  • caught already reading the book and loving it so far
  • talking about the book and recommending titles that I may like (bonus)

Heartbreaking response (trying to be chill about it though)

  • without a single flip through the book asking is he/she could sell the book on shopee (I said the book was a gift – it is up to you to do as you please. There was a small thug in my heart as the book was a really good one. If I had known, I would have given it to someone else)
  • without reading the synopsis , kept it in the office drawer. We all know whatever goes inside the drawer, never makes its way out unless it is time for spring cleaning
  • an immediate skeptic response to an unknown form of literature. I have taken into good faith that a thriller could be enjoyed in any language you understand. I failed to understand then, that a non-English thriller may not emit the same excitement of an English thriller

Despite the shortcomings, I felt it was still fulfilling all the same. I am not looking for a book in exchange, or a thanks on Watsapp group (oh god.. please no). It was a small act of sharing joy and giving that’s all. I kept reminding myself that I should give unconditionally. Yes, hiccoughs happen but they are there for a reason. Keep giving. Never stop.

Only in the future, make it Focused, Meaningful & Beneficial.