Monday, January 21, 2013

Adapting and coping with, and filling the Empty Nest Emptiness...

I never thought I would be going through the empty nest emptiness so early in life...( if I'm that young! Hehehe...)

I'll be 45 in May, in sya Allah, and the house is already feeling void and empty since early this year.

Hanna is waiting for her SPM result which is expected to come out some time in March, and she has been keeping herself busy with driving lessons (and she passed her tests last week! :)) organizing the UN Model Conference with her Interact Club friends from all over PJ (the conference will be held in April), and she has also been going to the gym quite religiously (after sweet-talking her Ayah to sign her up with a fitness centre a few weeks ago). And, oh yes, she has also started working at one of Ayah's companies since a week ago. She also goes out for futsal and handball games with her friends every now and then. So, she's rarely at home.

And with both Hasya and Hilman in KYS, and with Ayah consistently working until quite late nearly every night, I'm pretty much left alone at home for most of the time. I'm still on unpaid leave until mid-February, so, until then, I'm struggling to keep myself occupied. Too much time in my hands would mean I would start missing the kids!

Fortunately, I have found ways to occupy my time.

Firstly, with the decision to move back to SD after nearly 20 months of leaving the house empty, Bibik Dar and I have been going back to spring-clean the whole house everyday from 10:00am until about 8:00pm everyday. The house was in such a bad condition - with dusts so thick, and a lot of stuffs needed repairing/changed, that we are still spring-cleaning it even after 2 weeks, and we are not even halfway done!

We have sent all upholsteries to the laundry together with all the beddings, carpets, and most of the clothing which were hanging in the closets for the past twenty months. What we can wash ourselves, we would wash them at home. We have also sorted the clothing which we want to store in boxes, those which we want to give away, and those which have to be discarded.

We have also emptied all the closets, and wiped everything - inside and out. Some spots had even become moldy and extra scrubbings were required. And I just have to do a bit of advertising here -Kiwi All Purpose Cleaner is the best surface cleaner ever! It has made my life so much easier... All surfaces have been wiped clean of dusts, together with all the little-little deco mak nenek, and books around the house. All beds and mattresses have also been wiped and cleaned. Suffice to say, every night when I go back to my MIL's house, my hands would smell of Dettol... Hmmm?

But, even after all that, I have to say that for the moment, the only rooms which are completely cleaned and habitable are Hilman's, the Master Bedroom, Bibik Dar's room, the kitchen, the dining area and the downstairs living room. Oh ya, all the bathrooms are done, too :) Still pending are the girls' room, the upstairs TV hall and the study room (and I dread to open and check the storeroom under the staircase! And there's also the twilight zone area under the staircase going up to the girls' room, too! Aaarrgghhh!!!) Safe to say that Alam Flora people will be kept very busy for the next few weeks getting rid of all the junks I'm throwing out from those rooms.

But, one thing I like about all these is that Bibik Dar and I can also start packing our stuffs into boxes in preparation of us moving to BJ middle of this year, in sya Allah. So, in a way, it is quite an exciting task, just as how it is such a cumbersome thing to do.

And that brings me to the second thing which I do to occupy my time. This, I do until quite late at night - working on the renovation ideas for our BJ house. And THAT has also been a somewhat abandoned house, too!

We bought the house way back in 2005 (or was it 2006?) and we got the keys in 2008 (I think?) and as there was no urgency to move we didn't do much to the house. We furnished two of the rooms - Hasya's and Hilman's, and that was about it. We used to go there every Sunday to sweep and mop the whole place, but, when Bibik Dar went back to Indonesia at the end of 2009 (and failed to come back until end of 2010), we stopped going to the house. We had a couple of gardeners to cut and maintain the lawn for the last 3 years, and we would only check on the house every 4-5 months.

And with so many other commitments to fulfill in the last 3 years - financial, work, business, family, etc., which we felt took priorities, we could not commit on working on the renovation of the house. And the house is in a somewhat sad condition, too.

So, Ayah and I have decided to work on the renovation plans and hopefully we can start work on it soon. And with Allah's will, we hope to move in to our BJ house before Ramadhan this year, in sya Allah.

I used to have different sets/options on the renovation plans, but, somehow I have misplaced the file which had about 20 different renovation ideas in it. So, what I have done in the last couple of weeks was to come up with the FINAL plan, and Ayah has given his approval, syukur alhamdulillah. So, the next thing is to get an architect friend to work on the proper drawings and specification and submit the plan to MBSA for their approval, and hopefully the reno work can start very soon.

And the third thing that I do to occupy my time, at least on my Saturday mornings, is that I've started going for Kelas Mengaji again together with my Ahli Majlis Tertinggi BFFs. We've only had two classes so far. Syukur alhamdulillah, terbukak jugak my hati to start belajar mengaji again. The last time I went for a proper kelas mengaji was probably 30 years ago! I did join Hasya and Hilman's class in 2007, but, somehow I did not continue until the end. And every now and then, I do follow classes on TV, but, that was about it. So, this time around bersemangat to learn mengaji again. My AMT friend Reha offered to have the weekly class at her place in Kemensah, so, in a way it's a good "excuse" to get together to mengaji and makan-makan  after that :)

The fourth thing that I'm doing now to occupy my time (more of my mind actually!) is psyching myself up in to start working again next month after more than a year and a half of medical and unpaid leave... Hmmm... for this, no semangat and malas to cerita... Hehehe... :)

And of course, the fifth thing is - I've started blogging again! Yeaaaayyyy!! :)))

Thursday, January 10, 2013

May 2012 until now - in a nutshell

Gosh... The last time I posted an entry here was.... (let me see)... in MAY 2012!

So many things had happened between then and now, and I have to apologize. I don't think I'll be able to give an update on each and every event here.

In a nutshell -

My injuries which I wrote about last year, had not healed as well as I had hoped for, and because of that, Ayah and I decided that I should take unpaid leave throughout the first Semester of 2012/13 Academic Year as I had used up all the Medical Leave I was entitled to for the year. So, in sya Allah I'll resume my duties some time in mid-February this year (Oh dear...I just realized that that's a mere 1 month away jer lagi!!)

Ayah has been pretty busy and has been working extremely hard juggling a few things at a time in addition to his cardiology practice, and syukur alhamdulillah we are starting to see positive results of his endeavors now.

Hanna turned 17 on 17th November 2012 and sat for her SPM at the end of last year, and I pray for her to get the results she hopes for. She has worked hard throughout last year, juggling between her studies and co-curricular commitments within and outside her school, and in sya Allah we do'a to get great news when the results come out in March.

She'll be taking her "practical/on-the-road" driving test tomorrow. (Good Luck, Hanna!) and the plan is for her to start work at one of Ayah's companies next week until June or July this year. She's planning to pursue a 2-year "A" Level Programme at KYUEM Lembah Beringin, after which she hopes to take up Medicine in the UK, in sya Allah. We make do'a for her forecast results to become a reality. sya Allah.

Hasya turned 13 on 8th April 2012 and has been doing well in KYSM. Academically, she obtained a CGPA of 3.55 in her Final Exam last year (still room for improvement, dear :)) and has been actively involved in co-curricular activities in Kolej. She represented Hussein House in athletics and swimming events and won a string of medals along the way, and represented the district in Chess in MSSMelaka. Apparently she got 17th place in the state for her age category. Not bad for somebody who has never entered any chess competitions before that. She swims under the Kelab Renang Todak of Melaka and is now training hard for MSSMelaka 2013 meet.

Hasya also won the Overall Best Speaker Award in the KYS Junior Debating meet last year (much to our surprise because most of the times at home we could only hear her mumbling... Hehehe...). She has also been selected as one of ten students to represent KYS in a Robotics Championship to be held in the USA in April this year, in sya Allah.

Hilman turned 12 on 10th September 2012, and syukur alhamdulillah, he managed to get 5As for his UPSR. He applied to go to SAS and also to KYS  as Ayah and I decided that Ayah's alma mater in Kuala Kangsar is just too far and will be a bit of an inconvenience to us to regularly visit the kids considering Hasya is down south in Ayer Keroh.

Syukur alhamdulillah, he got offers from both schools. However, in the end we decided to decline the offer from SAS. We feel that it is only fair that he gets the same opportunity his Kak Ngah gets to study in KYS. We also know that this would be the only way for both Hasya and Hilman to grow up together, and be close to each other - in sya Allah forming a special bond between them as they go through Kolej life together. Being products of boarding schools ourselves, both Ayah and I know the risks of boarding school kids being closer to friends than their own siblings, and we hope to avoid that from happening between Hasya and Hilman.

Basically, that was a summary of what has been happening with the family.

Some of you who had been following this blog would probably know that we have been staying with my MIL since April 2011 as she has been having problems getting maids after her maids went MIA in April 2011. The plan was only to move in with her (together with our Bibik Dar who would help around her house) until the new maids arrived. But, alas, a few maids came and went, and none stayed longer than a month each time, and that explains why we are still staying with my MIL until now.

She has one Cambodian maid by the name of Ismah who has been with her for 6 months now, and she's waiting to get a second maid as Ismah will not be able to cope alone taking care of the household if we were to move back to Sri Damansara with Bibik Dar.

However, we feel that we have left our house for far too long now.

Given the fact that Hasya and Hilman are now in Melaka (and only come home once a month), and given the fact that Ayah's youngest nephew, Qadri, has also started primary school this year and is not at home for most part of the day, there is less work to be done around the house, and we feel that, in sya Allah Ismah will be able to cope without Bibik Dar.

And given the fact that our Sri Damansara house is collecting dusts so thick that it needs 8 rounds of mopping when Bibik Dar and I went to clean it up yesterday (and continued today!), and given the fact that all the taps in the house are rusty and faulty and need replacing, and given the fact that almost all of the light bulbs in the house dah terbakar and also need replacing, and given the fact that our sekangkang kera front garden now looks like hutan hujan Tropika, and given the fact that we don't really know what's happening with our Astro as we don't seem to be getting the normal channels we used to get in early 2011, and given the fact that our phone line is also playing tricks on us, hence our wi-fi pun buat hal, we think that it's about time we move back to our own place and take care of things  properly.

So, in sya Allah, next week when all repairs are done and the house is all cleaned up, it'll be "Home Sweet Home" again for us, in sya Allah...

However, there is only one small problem. Ayah has not informed his Mom about this...

* And all I can say is - All the Best, Ayah! Fighting!! :))