Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Kak Long Hanna...

I had lectures yesterday 11:00am until 2:00pm, after which I accompanied Hanna to survey a few hotels around PJ for the Sri Aman Environmental Youth Leadership Summmit (SAEYLS) which her school is hosting next month.

Hanna is in-charge of logistics for the event, and her task is to find a venue for the Summit and accommodation for the participants - all 120 of them, from Sri Aman itself, a few SBT's, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, Egypt, India and a few more other countries.

Being her Mom, I did nag and told her that the committee should have finalized all the logistics at least 2 months ago, and that it might be too late to do a bulk-booking now. I nagged, nagged, nagged, but, I still accompanied her (and tak putus do'a that she'll be able to get the venue for the Summit).

We went to Cr***al Crown, Ar**da, Si***ahsa*a, and Sh*h's Vi**age Hotels, and syukur alhamdulillah, apart from Si***ahsa*a, all the other hotels still have available function and hotel rooms to accommodate the participants.

What made me post this entry is how I saw Hanna interacted and dealt with the personnels of the hotels yesterday and how impressed I was with what I saw. I made sure I only intervened in the discussions when I felt that she had not covered some of the areas or the necessary inquiries, and the rest of the job was done by her.

Hanna is 16 and will only be 17 in November. For a girl of 16, I feel that how she conducted herself yesterday did not reflect her age at all. She was confident of what she needed to do to execute her tasks. She knew what were the information that she needed to convey to the hotels, and she could handle the queries and questions posed by the hotel personnels to her. And very well at that, too. But, I think, more importantly, was she was very pleasant throughout all the meetings. And I think her pleasantness also helped her to exude her confidence more.

I don't remember myself as having such confidence at that age. And I don't remember being tasked with such responsibilities at that age, either - organizing an international summit with a bunch of friends from school (with the help of their teachers, of course). But, what I could see was most of the planning and organizing are done by the students.

It was just not the way she handled herself during the meeting that impressed me. I was also impressed with the way she liaised with her other committee members and updated them on what she had managed to do and not do at the end of the day. And I think they are much more organized than some adult committees I've worked with/been in before.

Besides being in-charge of logistics for this Summit, Hanna is also very much involved in a lot of other stuffs at school. She's the President of Interact Club of Sri Aman (ICSA) (and has been pretty busy organizing Seminars, and Events for ICSA and also events jointly organized by the PJ School Interact Clubs as a group project. She's also in the Pembimbing Rakan Sebaya (PRS) Committee. Hanna is also her Class Monitor - a post she has been holding since she was in Form 1 (I think? Or was from Form 2?).

She's also quite active in sports, which requires her to attend practices (handball and taekwondo, etc), and of course - with this year being her SPM year, she's also attending all sorts of tuitions day in day out.

She has been attending meetings after meetings for the past couple of months, and she's fast becoming like her Ayah - only spending time at home to sleep!

She seems to be coping well with everything, and from what I see, she manages her time well, too (albeit sometimes she would fall asleep while doing her homework at night, and would suddenly wake up in the wee hours of the morning to finish off her homework (I hope so!).

Sometimes, I feel divided.

On one hand, I was hoping that she was not too busy with her co-curriculae activities and would concentrate more on her studies, as SPM is less than 9 months away!

But, on the other hand, I know that chances of her getting a scholarship after her SPM is higher if she excels BOTH academically and in her co-currriculae activities. It is so competitive to get scholarships now. There are so many brilliant students out there, and what would make Hanna stand out from the rest would be her CVs on her involvement in all these activities.

As her Mom, I can only pray for the best for her - both for her studies, and in carrying out her responsibilities to the clubs and to her school. This is even more so as she is the Kak Long to her adik-adik, and both Hasya and Hilman really look up to her.

I hope she realizes how special she is. And how lucky her school, her committees and her friends are to have her.

And I hope she realizes too, that both Ayah and I, and her adik-adik are very proud of her, and we know that WE are lucky to have her as our Kak Long :)

We realized that come next year, insya Allah, she'll be pursuing her studies after SPM, and will most probably leave the nest.

I know that at this point in time she is still undecided as to what she wants to be later in life. But, one thing I know, from what I have seen all these years - watching her grow and watching her bloom, watching her build her character, whatever it is that she decides to be and do, she will excel in it, insya Alllah. Amin...

We love you Hanna Suhaila binti Haizal. Always remember that...


Monday, February 27, 2012

The shorter it is...

* Note : What's written below tidak ada kena mengena samada dengan yang masih hidup atau yang sudah mati, hokey? Harap maklum! Sekian :)

I was moved to write this after a few observations of late, which I think are quite normal (apparently), which I personally think should not be (normal, that is).

I would like to throw an innocent question -

What do you think, or how would you feel if your spouse gets SMSes or e-mails from his/her friends/colleagues/staff/bosses (of the opposite sex, mind you) for no apparent reasons?

The messages may seem to be harmless, and could be as short as just saying, "Hi", "Hey", etc, or even bizarre if they're just one single Emoticon, e.g. :), or ;), or :p and the likes. You got my drift?

How would you feel if you were to come across these short "messages" on your spouse's phone or e-mail?

Would you think that there's nothing to it? Or would you be suspicious?

I, personally, will not be comfortable with the whole thing. AND I'll be suspicious.

To me, the shorter the messages, the more personal and the more intimate they are, and NO Tom, Dick or Harry should send them to me, and NO Mary, Jane or Jill should send them to my husband, ESPECIALLY without his or my knowledge, respectively.

I wouldn't send single word stand-on-its-own messages to my married male friends/staff/bosses out of the blue. Would you? The likes of "Hi...", "Salam", "Hey..."

I guess, if I or my husband were to be open about it and we show and share the messages we get, it's a different matter somewhat, because it will mean that the messages or e-mails are casual e-mails and mean nothing to us.

I find it disturbing that there are people out there who do send such messages to other people's husbands or wives. Even more disturbing if the senders themselves are already married.

I really don't know what their motives are for doing this. But, I guess it goes back to my previous posting here.

Do they send such messages to all their friends/colleagues/staff/bosses? Or just the selected ones? If it is the latter, well, the more bizarre it is, then. Don't you think?

I don't know, maybe the messages ARE harmless, but, I still think that they are VERY inappropriate.

If this means that I'm old-fashioned, then, be it - I AM old-fashioned then.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chimin, so far...

It has been more than one and a half months since Hasya left for KYS.

And within that period, she had come home twice - once over the CNY break (because it was made compulsory for every student to go home that weekend), and another time during the Maulidurrasul long weekend.

Well, the Maulidurrasul weekend was supposed to be a long weekend as the students were allowed to leave on Friday afternoon and come back on Monday before 6:00pm. However, for Hasya it became a short weekend, as she was required to be back in college by Sunday evening as she had to train for her house cross-country event. But, it's okay. At least she could come home, however short her stay was.

Apart from those two weekends, we have been visiting her every Sunday, safe for one weekend after the CNY break. Ayah said we should not visit her straight after the break to make sure that she would miss us. Haha... Fat chance of that happening!

The first week she was there, I would call her every night, and gradually it became once or twice a week. And as far as Hasya calling us is concerned, I think all in all she had only called us maybe 6-7 times in the last one and a half months.

Syukur alhamdulillah, she's enjoying life there. Everything about the college is "awesome" to her :) But, a part of me feels like I would have wanted her to miss home more. To miss ME more! It may be a tad selfish of me to think or feel that way, I guess, but, isn't it normal for mothers to feel that way?

I should bersyukur that she's coping well and is not feeling homesick and all, and I am bersyukur for that. I guess it was expected of Hasya - she has always been the most independent amongst our children, and the hardest nut to crack. The hardest one to cry for whatever reasons. Mind you, she didn't even cry (not even once!), when she had all her vaccinations when she was a baby/toddler! That was how tough Hasya was (and is!)

But, one thing that compensates for this feeling of being "unmissed" or "unwanted" by Hasya is that every time we visited her thus far, she had consistently requested for her favorite home-cooked food, and so far, I've cooked her Ayam Masak Halia, Szechuan Chicken and Chicken Casserole. So, at least I know that she does miss my cooking :)

And amongst her usual weekend "orders" for us to bring from KL include Milo, Lipton Green Tea 9, and Kinder Buenos :) She doesn't want any other chocolates, tidbits or snacks. That is expected of a choleric child who has a very set mind on what she wants and what she doesn't want!

Earlier in the term, the college had their cross-country/long distance season. Now, the college is having the "sprinting" season, and comes March, they'll start their "swimming" season.

Hasya had managed to secure two points for her Hussein House in the cross-country event, and she has been selected to represent Hussein for the upcoming sprinting events, and is training hard for that now. I make do'a for her to do well, insya Alllah. I also hope she'll do well for the swimming season. It has been quite some time since she last had a proper swimming session (since before Ramadhan 2011 to be exact!) She did say she was feeling rusty when she went for a swimming session at the college about a month ago. Whatever it is, I just want her to do her level best and just enjoy all the activities there :) No pressure.

Study-wise, we can't really tell how she's faring as she has not gone through any assessment exercises yet. But, she seems to be coping with all the subjects, insya Allah.

She's also continuing with her piano lessons there under her Music tutor. She's also in the History, Debate and Taekwondo Clubs.

She doesn't seem to have much free time for herself as all the students are always kept busy with all kinds of activities, and I guess that is one of the reasons why she doesn't have time to miss home, to miss me (Hey, bear with me, please - I'm trying to console myself here and to justify why she rarely calls me! Hehehe...)

Anyway, we're visiting her again this Sunday, insya Allah, and this time we plan to bring her out for an outing. Apparently, she is allowed to go for an overnight stay, but, she chooses to just go for an outing with us. Again, I'm not going to dwell on that. If it is an outing that she wants, then it is an outing that she gets. (But, I have to say Mak sentap jugak masa memula tu when she said she didn't want to come back for the weekend! Hehehe...)

All in all, I'm very happy with Hasya's progress there. And I'm very happy that she's happy there.

I hope she'll do well and excel in whatever areas she chooses to pursue and focus on in college, insya Allah.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It's just a celebration of "US"

I saw a status on one of my FB friends’ Wall today – “Saya tidak sambut Hari Kekasih, sebab saya dah kawin. Saya sambut Hari Suami Isteri” . Translated – “I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day (or Lovers Day), because I am already married. I celebrate Husband & Wife Day”.

I can’t really say or I can’t figure out exactly as to how my take is on this very statement.

I have been celebrating Husband & Wife Day every single day since 09-09-94.

And I have to say that both Ayah and I have been celebrating Valentine’s Day ever since we knew each other. And mind you, we knew each other since 1984. And I received my first Valentine’s Day Card from him in February 1985. And I started getting bouquets of roses year in year out every single year on 14th February without fail since 1986. I guess the first couple of celebrations were mainly because we were just going with the flow, as it was never a big deal or fuss surrounding the celebration. We just wanted to appreciate our relationship.

And I can bet that there are many, many, many people out there who used to celebrate Valentine’s Day just because everybody else was celebrating it. And they are now condemning it because there are people condemning it.

But for us,there was never any ulterior niat then. And there's no ulterior niat now. It is just a plain simple celebration of our appreciation of each other. And from the first time we celebrated it, the niat had always been the same.

(And I know I will be getting a lot of serious bashings from some quarters because of this statement of mine…)

We could have chosen another date to celebrate “US”, I guess. Say, on our anniversary – which we do. In fact, Ayah and I celebrate TWO anniversaries – one for the first day of us knowing each other, and the second one being our wedding anniversary. But, it’s still nice to have more than two celebrations of “US” in a year, I guess? And 14th February seemed to be apt. We were not celebrating what was behind the “root” of Valentine’s Day – whatever versions of its roots there may be out there. Because OUR celebration had/has nothing to do with whatever roots of Valentine’s Day there are out there. It just so happened that we chose 14th February to celebrate “US” every year. Maybe purely out of convenience?

We say “I love you” to each other everyday (well, ALMOST everyday – as we age, we sometimes forget! Hahaha!). And if we don’t utter those 3 magical words, we would sometimes SMS each other.

But, no matter how I would love him to, Ayah can’t be buying me roses everyday, can he? Hehehe… So, it IS wonderful to come back from work to find a bouquet of lovely red roses waiting for me on the day we chose to celebrate “US”.

He still uttered “I love you” to me this morning, like he would normally do.

But, as of 7:00pm today, I have yet to receive my roses.

And, I’m still waiting ;)

Nope. We’re not celebrating Valentine’s Day in the sense others may celebrate it.

We are celebrating “US” on the day we chose to celebrate “US”.

And even if no roses are delivered to me this year, we will still celebrate “US” today.

Dinner or supper out – just the two of us, or with the kids, will still be a celebration, which will be made more special today – our “US” Day ☺

Is it really a bad thing to celebrate love? To celebrate "US"?

Just my two cents ☺