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I am married to my loving husband for more than 38 years now. I am a mother to 3 beautiful children, until 11 years ago when I lost my youngest son. Since then my life is forever altered but yet unbroken....

Friday, 30 July 2010

There’s no plan B…

"Seize the day, embrace the present, enjoy life while you"ve got the chance..."

(2009 - The Great Ocean Road)

Whatever generations you are in, be it Traditionalist, Baby Boomers, Generation X or Generation Y, life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt…

This morning I read an article sent to my e-mail from Doc Yus. According to the article, Baby Boomers are those born between 1946 and 1964 and we are one of them. We are considered as the largest generation of all time spanning almost 20 years and part of the reason why many in this generation delayed retirement as we live to work and wanted money, title and recognition. We are workaholics and have made a lot of sacrifices to get where we are right now.

Baby Boomers or not, we are tired of working. We are looking forward to resting at home and do things that we cannot do now. We have not planned for anything yet. There's no plan B. We don't even have plan A.

We don't want to worry now. Worrying does not take away tomorrows' troubles, but it can take away today's peace…

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Dancing with fear…

"A miracle is something that seems impossible but it happens anyway..."

Each medical check-up is frightening. I have been through fear and panic several times…

I never miss my yearly medical check-up except for last year. Don’t ask me why. I have reasons for that. This year I summoned the courage and freed my time to visit Pantai Medical Centre, after several reminders. I'd rather err on the side of caution, than pretend I am a superwoman and nothing can go wrong. Besides, the entire complex, expensive and complicated tests were free, so why not take advantage while I am still employed.

Today, accompanied by dear hubby and my grand-daughter Hana, I went to visit my gynae and stopped at the Executive Screening Program 7th Floor to collect the results of my medical tests and got my doctor to interpret them. I was diagnosed with dyslipidaemia, fatty liver and a small uterine fibroid. My doctor recommended a lifestyle modification with increase exercise and dietary change to improve my lipid profile. According to my doctor I am generally healthy.

Peace of mind always energizes me and makes me happy…

(Be still, my beating heart...)

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Set a precedent...

"If a problem can be solved, there is no use worrying about it..."

Was the sky extra cloudy this morning?

I could not deny that I had had an eventful life packed full of incident, and that by the road I had met many weird people.

My interaction with one of the big bosses today leaves me cold. Bosses come in every variety and no workplace is without them. How difficult it is for me to deal with them depends on my self-esteem and professional courage. The trouble with them is they get all excited over nothing. It is always hateful to disappoint people, and on this occasion I was compelled to set precedence where I most wished to keep it. I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas.

I'm frightened of the old ones…

(Some bosses are nice too...)

Monday, 26 July 2010

Mee goreng P. Ramlee...

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless…” - Mother Teresa

For some reason, hubby's suggestion to have dinner at Warung Tanjung Puteri made me overly hungry. And I am not sure why.

The bistro-style warung has a nice strategic location overlooking the T-junction. They have quite a spread of different varieties of food. The place needs only a little bit of upgrading to improve the ambience, and would definitely invite a lot more customers. This is one great place for a teh tarik session with the gang.

Tonight he had his nasi lemak and I had my favorite mee goreng P. Ramlee for dinner. The malay oldies were playing softly in the back ground. I could easily recognized the voices of some popular singers back in the 60's, whose voices were typically a few octaves higher than normal.

(Next time we'll try nasi goreng Saloma...)

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Trace of sadness..

"When you look into a mirror you do not see your reflection—your reflection sees you..."

I am a complex individual - somewhere between a dull dutiful wife and an adventuresome free spirit. You can either blame or sympathize with me.

I used to be an organized woman, I deal only with facts and reality because dreams and wishes, hope and love, frivolity and spontaneity have only brought me confusion. Lately, busy with work, I haven’t been able to rearrange my mundane life by filling it with colour, laughter or adventure. I never tried because adding these qualities to my life could make me lose focus of what I am doing right now.

(Innalillah -hiwainna-ilaihirojioon...)

When I learned from a blogger friend that they are gathering in Shah Alam today for a majlis tahlil for Arwah Dalilah, I asked if I can join in although I don’t know most of them. But then, it is a good deed they are arranging and an occasion in remembrance of a common blogger friend, why not? And it is an opportunity to meet other bloggers in person too.

Is there a reason for everything? I certainly don't believe so.

Hide every trace of sadness,
Tho’ a tear may be ever so near
Smile, what's the use of crying
Life is still worth the while…

Monday, 19 July 2010

A final goodbye...

"More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones..."

Today I lost a blogger friend... Isn't life temporary?

I didn't really know her. I didn't even know about her blog, what more about her painful ordeal in fighting breast cancer. That was before the bloggers' meet at the Marche in April 2009.

When we first met, I saw one jovial friendly lady. We talked and joked as if we were long time friends. Then, there was no indication that she was suffering. On that day we were priviledged to have a signed copy of her book 'Kanser Payudara Ku'.

This morning, through several fb notifications, I learned that this friend of mine has passed away.


(Dalilah Tamrim aka Radin Galoh - dalam kenangan...)

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Today I am in haven...

So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from Hell,
blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field
from a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

We went to a kenduri tahlil in Ampang and had early lunch there. We decided to drive to the look out point situated along the winding stretches of the Hulu Langat Highway. The Selangor forest reserve look out vantage point is only 263m above sea level but the view is terrific.

At one of the 4 restaurants there we had some drinks and stayed a while to enjoy KL panoramic view.

Friday, 16 July 2010

TTS with the Grandpas

"Success is not fun unless you share it with someone..."

The morning session with the AG was short and brief, but with more take-aways to ponder and act on. The afternoon TPEC meeting was brief too.

I received a short text message from Nasir inviting the grandmas to join the grandpas tonight for a teh tarik session at Al-Awwal Maju @ Sri Gombak.

None of the grandmas responded so I decided to go with hubby instead. I know he will blend well with my friends as he has met most before. We met with two Nasir, Hasni, and Doc Iskandar. They were already having a good start while waiting, eating Nan, tandoori chicken and pasembur. We ordered tosai, sup kambing and rice. Col Abdul and Doc Helmi came a little later.

It is good to meet again. Whenever we met we see the younger us 40 years ago and watch how we have matured and became wiser. No matter what, we still maintain our old candor and witty jokes.

(Crispy tose)
(Spicy chicken tandoori)
(Delicious rojak)

Monday, 12 July 2010

Good girl gone bad...

"He who is learned is not wise; he who is wise is not learned..." - Lao Tzu

My grand-daughter Hana is almost 10 months old now.

Lately she is quite moody and will not want to be with others other than her parents. When she was younger she was lovable and friendly to all and easy to take care. Lately she will only feel comfortable when her parents are around. And of course to my disappointment, she is very much attached to her grandpa who is taking care of her daily and will scream her heart out when I try to carry or hold her.

Because of her attachment, Hana is anti-social and has become one insecure baby girl. She will show her tantrums when she's not attended to and very often will cry if left alone. We are not letting her into becoming a difficult child. We are trying to groom her to gain her self confidence again.

Seriously, we are in search for an Outward Bound School for toddlers...

Friday, 9 July 2010

Muddy water blues...

"Life is like a film. It always has a happy ending. If there's no happy ending it means the film is not done yet..."

Hubby was driving warp speed hoping to reach JB before midnight. I was confortably reclined in my bucket seat, half listening to him, and half listening to the music. The CD was playing the all time blues.

We are both ardent fans of blues music. We recited lyrics faster than we recite the facts in our text books. When we were young and still in college, we used to hole up in his parent's house in brickfields to listen to old records of Blues Brothers, Jimmy Hendrix, Janice Joplin, Bob Dylan and the like. He used to play his guitar and sang me songs.. With his long hair almost reaching the waist and longer than mine at that time, he was more suited to be either a guitarist in a rock band or a hard core hippy crooning the blues.

The traffic was extraordinarily heavy tonight but our journey was smooth. When we reached Air Keroh R&R for a pit stop, Paul Rogers was singing our favorite, the Muddy Water Blues.

What a coincidence...

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Nice guys finish last...

"There is nothing more horrifying than stupidity in action. — A. E. Stevenson

Today is another day that tested my patience...

I chaired one interview panel to select a candidate for a Managerial post in my department. It is another 6 months before the incumbent leaves for retirement but it is never too early to identify his successor. The 10 shortlisted candidates were subjected to a rigorous selection process before the final interview.

The interview was one long exhaustive session. There were a few potential candidates suitable for the post. Some were really articulate and full of confidence. Some, the know-all candidates were full of crap. The rest were just time wasters.

I am known for being very strict and stickler for details. If anyone can understand the notoriety surrounding me then they will understand the reasons for my unprecedented ratings.

It's a pity. Some of them I know quite well. They are hard working and they are nice guys. If nice guys always finish last, then these guys are doomed from the start.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

The way it is...

"My life isn't Hollywood-perfect, but it's pretty wonderful..."

Lately, I was a master of mood, highly emotional and a bit of melancholy. Friends cringe when I describe my self-destructive inner turmoil. They commented on my changed of tone too.

While being fully aware of life's tragedies, I really don't want to lose any sleep. In spite of being obliged to deal with human viciousness and misery day in and day out, I prefer to dream instead. I've always felt physically unassuming, so my detachment from the real world works really well for me. My overall message is one of hope: It's never too late for me to become a better person.

That’s why I like being invisible…

(My reflection in the mirror)

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

That junction in the road…

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor and catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover...” – Mark Twain

I actually did not have a lot of friends until later in adolescence…

There were five of us who were best friends in that town. My best friends were a cadre of colorful characters. As best friends will do, the five of us enjoyed each other's presence and spent every waking hour together. We had so much in fucking common. And as best friends will do, we grew older, and moved to different towns, and saw each other less and less as the years went by.

We are 55 now, no longer kids. We had families and responsibilities and far-flung lives. But, as if by instinct, after many decades of separation, we came together again. Every time we meet, there’ll always be a twinge of sadness and loss as we turn the pages of our life and reminisced. We allowed our varied perspectives to illuminate each other, our strengths bolstered by the restorative powers of our friendship. We often look back at our childhood experiences through college and careers, all accompanied by a host of happiness and contentment but intertwined with domestic troubles, betrayals and agonizing fears and worries. We were intrigued in storytelling about the unlived life, the road not taken, the secret not told. We talked about what-ifs, that junction in the road where what seems a small decision at the time, yet it was something that changed our life for better or worse.

We don’t meet or speak to each other that often nowadays. But we know that we can still have conversations sometimes without even speaking…

(Big 5 less Kid)
Standing L-R: Anie, Bee, Nong & Ubai
Seated L-R: Nong, Ubai, Bee & Anie

Monday, 5 July 2010

A virtual prison…

"Love is a furnace, but it will not cook the stew..." - Spanish proverb

Being a grown-up is daunting on the best of days. If I detach myself, I get to witness some really amazing things happening surrounding my life…

I had lunch at the Lanai with a lady friend. A friend I met when I used to frequent my BKE club. We used to chat and exchange news in the sauna and the steam rooms. We used to soak in the Japanese bath for hours, just the two of us. From the little time we had at the club, I thought I knew her well and envied her life-style. I was surprised when today she told me “Nong, stop calling me Datin, I don’t have that title anymore. I am divorced…”. For now the ex allowed her to stay in the condo and use the BMW. She is keeping the two beautiful Persian cats too. And she has been warned, once she’s married to another, all will be taken. But he may be kind enough to spare her the cats.

Watching her telling her sad stories, I quickly find myself not envying her anymore. Her lifelong desire to heal at odds with the lifestyles of the newly rich and not-necessarily famous with weekends spent at the spas and invitations to art exhibitions, hi-tea parties make my life pale in comparison. She was seduced into a new lifestyle, complete with a plush apartment and a hot new car and short of an heir-to-a-fortune hubby. From the start I initially revel in her quick jaunt up the social ladder, but now I realize that things on the fast lane are rarely as great as they seem.

I told her that it’s never too late to be who she might have been. She still has time to make changes that enable her to get out of her own way. She's still young, pretty and smart. If she plays her card right, she can have the world in her hand…

Friday, 2 July 2010

Desire to scream…

"I feel like I am standing outside in the rain hoping to be struck by a lightning…"

I can’t imagine how life would be. My life changed from a sudden flying leap from boredom, irritation and suffocation into morbid fantasies of dreams. Dreams that changed me and taught me a dire lesson in life. Dreams that put aside other life issues that, like the sun, were stared at only glancingly. I dwelled on heart pains amplified by other sinister aspects of my upbringing and my past.

With all its complexity, I hate this life. My anger is barely sublimated. It often emerges in unexpected and jagged ways, ways that feel authentic but somewhat beyond my control. I desire to scream after feeling muffled for most of my life. My lament will terrify even the stars.

That’s me. There go I…

(Screaming my heart out)

Thursday, 1 July 2010

A dreamer can cry too...

"I am a dreamer. I can no more choose not to be one than a fish can choose not to swim..."

I was dreaming away when I received a call from a friend in KB. After pouring her woes, she asked: ‘You heard my story, what about yours?’ I told her that I am writing a story. A tale to upend a legend, revealing a passionate and powerful lady who is fervent in her career and friendships, too fervent in fact, for many of her friends. She’s having a midlife crisis and carefully controlled the secrets of her life from others. Her life is hushed and contemplative, yet strong and enduring.

I told this friend of mine that she and the main character in my story have some things in common - lonely teen years, insatiable curiosity and the kind of mind and mouth that tend to get them into trouble. The friends she mingled with were a disturbed lot when young, but being wiser than the rest, she would not be the first one to kick the hornet’s nest. She knows that some of her gang would, and had the wind kicked out of them instead, early in life and suffered.

I told her to read my story. I told her that a dreamer can cry too…

(Taman Negara)

I once dream of new beginnings
I once dream of change
Yet if I dream another dream
They all shall fade away...