Monday, September 28, 2009

Enriching my Soul

My internet at home was down for several days over the last weekend..and even when there was signs of life, it was seriously lagging. Anyway, it took me awhile to figure out that most people were on long weekend hols! Duh! Yup, I can be slow at times.

So when the internet got better later about two days later, I was busy catching on soap opera drama mamas coz apparently there were new stuffs to watch and my favourite soap drama had some critical moments which I was glad they showed on my freaking birthday! whoohoo!

Anyway, speaking of which, I had my birthday last week :) I wouldnt say it was some hardcore fantastic day to celebrate but in an age, where things can turn out unexpected, health can go on a decline and other sad stuffs thats happening around us on a personal or world level, I see it as a year of new opportunities and feeding of soul. Sometimes, we forget that we are not living for ourselves only but for others.

Im guilty of this all the time. I thought I was capable of handling my family matters but truth be told, I am not. I feel like I am incapable of being a sister, a daughter and even as a colleague. Half the time Im living in my own virtual space.

I think those who keep themselves occupied with many worthwhile activities and who have many friends who care for them and to share the love and joy with are so lucky. I know that the only person who can motivate myself to..well...move my butt...and do something about my life is basically just myself. There are people who have gone down really bad have risen to the occasion and make better of their lives. I want to be in their shoes but whats the point of talking only but no action done.

But everything begins with small baby steps. Like come on, if I could give up those sinful plates of oh so good but oh so clogging-my-arteries food, I dont see why I cant try to make other kinds of improvements to my life that will enrich my soul. Sometimes, the journey can be incredibly boring especially when you are on the journey alone but at the end of the day, it will be a worthwhile journey.

I was watching this movie made in 1997 and even though there were flaws in the movie, I still enjoyed it coz maybe Im a sucker for happy endings. It's a sad fact that some people live a life of lies just to be accepted by the majority but over time, the lies are slowly eating them up and it takes a good wake up call for them to realise that they have to stop lying even if the risks are bigger and you may lose friends in between. But during such realisation, you will eventually learn who are your true friends and they have nothing but care and concern for you during difficult times.

Even though I cant really relate to the lead character, I just like to see how there are things to ponder about at the end of the movie like in this case, he had to do something that was difficult for him at first but eventually brought him closer to happiness. It's this sense of satisfaction that is derived after a long and difficult journey that was made easier with the support of his friends.

So in other words, there are times when we are faced with adversities and I know how it is like because I've been through them many times. But it's really up to us to decide how we are going to go about carrying out this journey.

Therefore, birthdays are not just about cutting the cake and having presents or a big party. It's about self realisation on what we can do for ourselves and for others.

Anyway I still appreciate all the birthday wishes and the presents I received from my colleagues and a friend of mine. Thank u all..

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Palliative Care

I was reading this newspaper insert from a local English paper and the cover touched a deep emotional side of my heart when it reminded me so much of my dad when he was ill and conscious in between. His hand covering his face as if he was in deep thought or simply resting, his worn out face and his shaven head. Everything was down to a pat except the attire. The article touched on a topic which I had never heard before until the final days of my dad when the doctor uttered the word 'palliative care'. I did not give up on my father even though many times the doctors kept telling me his health was deteriorating. Even when all means of helping him came to a dead end, the doctor suggested giving him palliative care which I thought was an extension of the medical treatment they had been giving to him. Rather, as I did my research combined with bits and pieces of facts the doctors told me, I realised it was about giving comfort to the patient by giving him morphines to lessen his suffering and making sure he was being taken good care of by the nurses.

They did just that although it lasted for a mere night and day until he gave out his last breath. Even when he was not conscious anymore and down to his last few breaths, they still treated him like a normal patient until even when he had already passed, they were not aware of it.

As I continued reading the articles, I actually know how the families of the patients being given palliative care felt and how every single day of survival meant a lot to them. It was also disheartening to see the once healthy person they were used to seeing and who could perform day to day activities and even more despite being stricken with a fatal disease, slowly being reduced to being bedridden and dependent on others.

People think that palliative care is akin to telling them that the patient is as good as dying and there is no hope for recovery. But those who administer palliative care to these patients want to educate to people that we should make these patients be as comfortable as they can by minimizing their pain and suffering. Another aspect of caring for these patients is also through emotional support by making them accept the fact that dying is a natural process we all go through and during these time, family members should spend as much time as they can with the patients because nobody wants to die lonely and unloved.

It's a really really hard position to be in especially when you see your loved one slowly losing their battle to their illness. But we have to accept that death is inevitable and there is no other way to go about it except to let them go in peace. Religious views aside, I've always wondered what happen to you when you die. Do you still linger around the people who are still alive but not being able to communicate with them or you go to a place so beautiful and so different from life on earth where you no longer feel the pain and suffering back then when you were a mortal.

I have no answers to these. When my time is up, maybe I would know. I've always thought it would be better for me to die in my sleep instead of getting a major disease and my family has to look after me. There is no way in predicting how I will die because life itself is unpredictable. A man can be very successful in life climbing the corporate ladders and back home, he is a good father and husband. But one day, life dealt him with a heavy blow and he becomes cancer stricken putting and end to his career move and changes him from a highly independent and successful person to one who is dependent on his family to even move around.

We shouldnt contemplate too further on this but I just want to share with you the meaning of palliative care and how this show of care and concern for the terminally ill patients is for the better of it and not to welcome death prematurely. Until then, I yearn to live my life to the fullest each day while at the same time, be thankful that I get to live to see the next day and the subsequent days. There are people out there who are fighting for their lives so let's all learn to be thankful to be alive and to be hopeful if things dont go as planned or we are going through difficult times. We dont need to live a luxurious lifestyle because eventually happiness cant be bought and we are responsible for our own happiness.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Raya Preparations

Hari Raya Puasa is coming and we have 6 days left of fasting. It's also a crucial week for many of us to do last minute shopping, cleaning up, baking and cooking. This Hari Raya, I would be making my first grave visit to my dad. It still hits me right in my tender heart that he is no longer around with us after battling with his illness which got worse ever since the start of this year. To be honest with you, I have never visited anyone's grave before even that of my late grandparents. I dunno why but I have a morbid thought in me concerning graves like they're pretty scary to be at. But when I watched the whole burial process, I didnt see it as any burial process and I didnt feel scared or anything but I saw it as seeing my father being placed at his final resting place where he would no longer suffer the cruelty of life. When he first got into a state of unconsciousness and then getting out of it, he became a different person..somewhat withdrawn into his own world despite being out of danger. Only in recent times did I know that he was contemplating on death as he knew his time was up and he didnt want to cause my family any upset.

My aunt said that it is sinful to mourn for the dead or crying over a lost loved one after the first three days of death. Try not to cry when your husband or even your children, *touch wood*, were to ever leave this world and you tell me if it is easy to control the tears like turning off a tap. I have lived with my father for 27 years and there is no way I can afford not to cry over him because of the long impact he has on my life and how I felt responsible for his death because my family's state of finance did not allow me to get him his medicine regularly.

Nevertheless, my father who had never been someone to trouble other people and would rather keep the problems to himself, continued his own private tradition of not causing us any trouble by refusing to go through the dialysis treatment. However, because he was unconscious and my only concern for him was that I wanted him to get better, I let the doctors give him the dialysis of which he resented it when he woke up. However, no medicinal treatment could help him and he finally succumbed to his illness one fateful night.

So this Hari Raya, though Im celebrating it without my dad, it will still be a family affair for me for that one moment when I visit his grave and offer my prayers to him. I hope you know I think of you every day.

On a happier note, my mother has been planning on what to cook for us. Normally, on the eve of Hari Raya and in the morning, my mum's friend and my father's younger sister would give us food to eat. Mostly, my father would eat but this year, my mum specifically told her friend not to give us food because I would feel sad as he was the one who would eat the food. Actually, the actual reason was because I dont eat them and my mother has problems eating it too because she could not get used to the taste of kampung chicken and the dishes were rather spicy for her. My dad could not eat too much spicy food too but his logic was that people was kind enough to give us food to eat and it was a gift from God that we have food on the table on this joyous occasion so he would lap up the food.

Anyway, she has a bit of a headache as to what to cook for us. My brother does not contribute because he does not eat the traditional Raya food unless it's non spicy. Yup, apparently he not only inherits my mother's asthmatic condition but also her sensitive stomach. For me, I've given up totally on coconut milk based dishes and savouries this year after cutting down slowly on their consumption over the last couple of years. Even if I do eat them, it's just basically a bite or two like Im at some food tasting convention and also because my mum forced me to eat them at least a bit if it's quite a lot for her like the beef rendang.

The thing is, she may say that okay fine, I will eat whatever you guys eat even if they're not remotely traditional hari raya food but she has been talking non stop about dishes like rendang, lemak cili padi, briyani rice, sayur lodeh and etc implying that she is craving for this food. I know my mother so well that it will be the death of our ears until she gets her wishes to eat these dishes so I say, you dont have to cater to us. You want to eat them, you can eat them and I will help you get the ingredients and go to the market. So she said okay and concluded that if she cooks them thoroughly enough, she can store them in the fridge and reheat them for consumption on other days so it's fine with her if I dont eat them. Anyway she has kinda got used to the routine already in regards to my eating habits like how I've been turning it up a notch recently like not only have I given up coconut based dishes but oily and fried food except for some occasional times because I have a teenage brother who, although is more health conscious now, does have occasional cravings for fast food being a typical growing up boy.

Thus, I have been buying them like earlier on, when I went to the NTUC fair price hypermarket to stock up before they run out later. I suppose because my mum is not a typical housewife who gets herself busy in the kitchen or at home, it will be a 'miss' for me if I at least dont try out her cooking. Oh well, the world is not going to end if I put up the courage to eat her festive dishes. In respect to my eating habit, she is not using the original coconut milk readily available at the wet market but rather the boxed ones sold in supermarkets which have been processed with no cholesterol. Even though logically speaking, coconut milk IS coconut milk, at least she tried to cater to my needs as well because being a mum, I dont think it is in her to see her children not eating while she is enjoying her food.

Let's see how it goes because I really dont know if she will still be upbeat about wanting to cook for hari raya as she is known, among me and my brother, that she will have last minute change of plans when she decided she is just plain lazy.

Anyway, if you are celebrating hari raya, what are you or your family cooking this year? :)

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pimp my blog

Well due to other heavy commitments...and a desire to do it early (and apparently in the wee hours of the morning too..hehe)...I hence present to you my new blog skin!

Now I shall think abt wat to write next..hrm.

With Windows Live, you can organize, edit, and share your photos.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Rasool's Bdae in August 09

Rasool has turned a year older..and has now moved on to a different first digit, if you know what I mean..hehe. But gal, you will always look youthful. I got her a bag which I am really really glad she liked because judging from my history, I am NEVER the best gift buyer in town, serious!

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Life in Zen and Hypocrites

Howdy peeps,

Im quite on a roll with my new laptop that Im practically running out of steam when it comes to rambling..I mean..blogging. But Im slowly gaining speed and with the addition of a new mouse (which will make things a LOT easier for me) this coming weekend when I go to the Comex I.T. exhibition, I will make a new blog layout which usual signal a fresh new beginning and my return to doing graphic designing and online scrapbooking. Like this one...

I would have settled with an actual physical scrapbooking like many others who take up this wonderful creative hobby. But ah..being someone who doesnt lean towards being a 'neat freak' and instead is someone who counts her money by her scrapbooking..or what they call it as 'scrapblogging' is fun as well. And since we're mostly online such as being on various social networking websites, might as well do something creative and share it with your friends..or erm..the whole world..heh.

Anyway, currently Im living my life in zen. My ex colleague advised me to take each day at a time and live simply. It keeps me grounded and I actually like it.

Oh by the way, if you want to keep up with me, or in tweet speak, 'follow me', you can do so by looking at the left pane and clicking on the follow button. Im active on twitter as well as facebook but on the latter, Im actually more active playing the games like Pet Society..haha. But I love checking out about other people's lives and seeing what they are up to.

Speaking of which, I find it really strange when they like to reminiscense about the times we used to spend together as colleagues cum friends till we go our separate ways and then when it comes to actual 'meet up' they had excuses! The nerves...then whats up with the 'mish you'...'meet up with you soon' me, it is totally pointless when you just talk but no action.

I understand that people have other commitments but surely you can make time for meet ups like this when it's totally once in a blue moon thing. Boyfriends you can see some other time but these are friends that you dont usually see often so please make some effort. Cancel that date with your boyfriend or whatever...there will always be a next time for that..or if you're pretty obssessed with that boyfriend of yours, the next day.

Sorry if I sound pissed but the comments are plastered all over my facebook in these past few days as they looked at the old pics and began to recall the good and bad times. I felt like leaving a comment asking them why they didnt go to the last gathering prior to the recent 'missing you' comments and why they didnt even reply to messages via the phone or facebook itself when we asked if they were able to make it.

To me, it's just a pitiful excuse and stop being a hypocrite. You're just glad you have moved on and hav no intention of going back to the past even though we used to be a close knit family despite all the ups and downs that we have gone through.

Anyway, let's hope that if there is ever a next gathering, these 'great pretenders' will eventually turn up.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Turn Around


I think if I complain to you one more time that my laptop has been giving me problems like a sudden shut down which denies me the right to blog..I dunno if that will drive you crazy. Anyway good news prayers are answered for and I dont have to worry abt not having enough money for the next two weeks before payday because I had received my inheritance money as of last Friday. Even though I dont expect such an amount to last very long because there are a lot of things that have yet to be settled, I will still be contented with how much will be the balance. Of course naturally, the bigger the balance amount, the happier I am. But at the end of the day, knowing that I have some savings for emergency use, to put food on the table and have water and electricity up and running for quite a long period of time,that is more important.

I dont really need to shop but because my clothes are coming this close to being salvation army rejects as they are getting too old and worn out, including my worn to death sandals, maybe shopping around will be a solution. But I dont really feel like using the money left by my dad for my shopping needs although ok, I did get a laptop and a handphone because when he was alive, and he got a large sum of money, he gave us money to buy a computer and then followed by a laptop come the second time around. It would be the only time we could afford it judging from the price. Other than that, I just live each day as per normal like how I used to live my life before I got my share. This is based on the advice of two people dear to me as they know my life story and how tough it can be for me sometimes especially when I am the only income earner in my family and things can get difficult for me.

My mum, as usual, forever the type who is not contented with her life and currently the amount that she receives which she thinks is too little for her. It's in the thousands and to me it's better than nothing but being typically her, it has to be what she has expected. If not, she gets sorely disappointed. Anyway to 'cure' her disappointment, at least just a little bit, she asked for 2k from me to get the things that she had already planned to get. Of course I was upset at first because at first she asked for 1k and then now increased to 2k and sensing my unhappiness, typically also, she starts to throw words at me like calling me greedy and etc I just agreed lah to appease her if only to stop her from taunting me and for me to just get it over and done with. At least she didnt ask for half of my share because if that happens, that houston, we have a war III too. Like come on, it's not that I want to be greedy, but I am also taking care of the family needs. It's never about just me because Im not living in this household myself.

Anyway, I dont want to be easily upset now since my life is a bit easier now and to have my mind in peace before pay day comes around is a big deal to me now. Before this I was scratching my head as to how was I going to support my family.

Thank u God one more time for answering my prayers.

Long Weekend, A Little Rambling & My Lack of Gratitude

The day I discover IG filters It's almost mid week to August..argh. I am in the midst of a long weekend, which sadly will come to ...