Monday, 9 April 2018

Just Sing It

I dropped Ilyas off to kindergarten this morning with the song Panama playing during his morning exercise. We looked at one another and I started "Zile zile, aa aa". While walking him to the gate, we moved our hands along with the rhythm and Ilyas can't stop smiling; I know he loves this song, so do I. As usual, he will ask me later to sing and dance like how the teachers did. Therefore, I have to at least remember a few lines and repeating them as if I know this song well; it makes him thrilled! So, the eager me googled the net with the hope of singing it out loud to him but wait! This song is in Romanian language! Romanian my goodness, how on earth should I sing it?? 

Another catchy song which reminds me of last year's Despacito. While listening to Panama song, I am writing the thoughts that I had back then when I first listened to Despacito.

Despacito; the song by Luis Fonsi is one of my 2017 favourite songs. When the song first hit the billboard, my Facebook page was spammed with news feed about this song. Since I am from Malaysia, most of the feeds came from our local sources; especially videos of Malay girls singing this song. To be honest, I am impressed! It is so cool that you can sing in Spanish without having to learn about the language at the first place. It takes an appreciable effort to actually articulate the words since Spanish is not our mother tongue; not even our second language. As for me, nothing seems wrong about singing Despacito. I myself have been listening to this song every Wednesdays during Zumba session with my colleagues since months ago. Zumba steps with Despacito is such an enjoyment, you should give it a try. 

I have read from the news that Despacito is actually a bit sensual; based on the lyrics *have to translate it since it is not in English*. In my culture, sex or anything related to it is considered as a taboo subject and it is classified as highly sensitive and not to be discussed openly. No wonder the comments received from the videos of our Malay girls singing the song were a bit controversial (mostly from our locals). A Malay girl singing Spanish's sensual song is unacceptable, they claimed. But, what is so wrong about a Malay girl singing a Spanish song? Have we at the first place ever thought of the meaning behind the song when we first listened to it? Even Justin Bieber was criticized for not pronouncing the words right while singing it. So, ladies and gentlemen, let's look at this issue holistically, shall we?

#1 - Language Acquisition

Do you know that there is a term called a "critical period" for language acquisition? Generally, language can be easily acquired before the "critical period" ends i.e. before the age of seven or at about the age of puberty. That is why it is important to expose your kids with different languages at the early age to promote better acquisition of languages. This situation applies not only for the first language but also to second or even third language. In Malaysia, English is our second language and learning the language itself has been a great challenge. In this Despacito issue, the Malay girls who managed to sing in Spanish with good articulation of the words deserve a token of praises. It is not easy though! The effort of memorizing and articulating language with different phonemes; it should be counted.

#2 - Self-Confidence

Confidence is one of the important pulling factors in oneself to do something. Being confident helps us to be one step ahead of everyone. To be able to sing a Spanish song; someone has to believe that he or she can pronounce the words correctly. Remember when we first started to learn ABC? The process is similar whereby we have to look at the alphabets and memorize the sounds before we can pronounce them fluently. Certain languages have different pronunciation of the letters. I am taking one word from the lyrics; Si, sabes que ya llevo un rato mirandote. The word "que" is pronounced as "k". If I don't listen to the song and simply read it (mind that I don't have any basic knowledge in Spanish language), I will pronounce it is "q". So, if you ask me now about singing this song, I would honestly say that I don't have that confident to sing Despacito. It takes courage and I don't have enough of it for the time being. Who knows later I will learn Spanish? I will upload my video singing Despacito then haha! Let's be more confident with ourselves in everything that we do, ocay? And hats off to those who successfully delivered this song with their beautiful voice. I like it!

#3 - Generalization

Gender bias? When we think of gender as the highlight; we are actually treating this issue unfairly. Yes, the occurrence is so obvious when people tend to criticize only a specific gender singing Despacito. Cultural sensitivity? Like I have mentioned, my culture restricts any taboo subject to be brought up publicly. I was not bothered to look into the translation when I first listened to this song; not until this issue came up. I felt quite offended with the negative comments especially made by our locals as if a Malay girl singing the song is sinful and immoral. I believe it will not be an issue at all if we change the subject to a Malay boy, haha! To simply put a negative remark on a person because of gender and culture; it shows that we are generalizing our thinking based on perception and not on the value that the person possesses. Hence, let's stop generalizing people and appreciate their values. At the end of the day, it is only a song that we are arguing about *sigh*

No issues so far for this Panama song; only the dance challenge which triggers the fun out of it! Oh, well nothing to be highlighted by the locals because the lyrics are not controversial enough I guess?? Haha.. Let's sing it! Panama aa aa, Mile mile..

The end. Thank you! =)

Sunday, 28 January 2018

My Unexpected January

It is raining now! I thought of having cendol with Ilyas but I have to cancel our plan due to the unexpected weather. It is unexpected as it was sunny just now and I got my laundry dried up in less than an hour (this is exaggerating because I used the dryer instead, haha); I mean only Ilyas’s school uniform not all. I have just read a few lines in the book I borrowed from my friend and I felt sleepy already. I think it is the weather which makes me feel this way or maybe because I eat a lot or maybe because the house is so quiet or maybe I just don’t know what to do. What an unexpected Sunday. But I don’t want to sleep now. I want to use as much of my time in the day so I will be getting tired and I can sleep at 9 tonight. That is my expectation and I don’t want any unexpected incidents before 9pm, I wish I wish..

I have started 2018 with so many unexpected things. To name a few; I thought Ikmal will be enjoying kindergarten but it turned out the other way round. He went to kindergarten for 7 days only. He was down with fever, cough and flu so I thought of separating him from school for a while. He was okay now but still he refused to go to kindergarten. Whenever I asked him to get ready in the morning, he would cry and insisted to sleep at my parents in law’s house. So over the weekdays last week; Ikmal spent his nights with his grandparents, not going to kindergarten. The most unexpected thing was; he will avoid any physical contact with me every time I wanted to approach him. I couldn’t even hug or kiss him as he thought that I will take him home and tomorrow morning he will be forced to go to kindergarten. Thus the best way to avoid kindergarten is not going back home with Mama and sleep at Atok’s house. Unexpected Scene #1 from a Toddler.

Mom and dad were supposed to fly to Penang on Thursday last week to attend to our relative’s engagement. Tickets were purchased and everything was prepared. On Wednesday morning, dad told me that he had to postpone the flight as he had to meet someone urgently on Friday morning so he couldn’t be flying back and forth. Unfortunately we couldn’t change his ticket so we had to purchase another ticket for my brother since mom couldn’t walk on her own so someone has to accompany her. My baby brother is the best companion at the moment. I thought the unexpected scene was over. Then on Friday morning after the meeting, dad asked me to purchase a flight ticket to Penang for him on Saturday. It might seem normal to others but to a person who doesn’t really like a short-notice kind of thing; this is not cool. Unexpected Scene #2 from a Father.

I thought the work pressure is going to be lesser once the KPI is reviewed but I was wrong, totally wrong! I had a really hard time and I was in a deep trauma for almost three weeks only because of my KPI. I reluctantly agreed with the rating given due to few reasons which I had clearly justified but things went haywire afterwards. It was the most unexpected scene I have ever encountered throughout my working years. But the good thing about this unexpected scene; I came across another unexpected offer for my career development. I will be going to embark to a new journey in my career really soon. Unexpected Scene #3 from Bosses.

Last but not least, as I am writing this entry, I received an unexpected cendol from someone (delivered to my house). Thank you for the cendol, yummmmeeehhh! Unexpected Scene #4 from a Good Friend.

In a nut shell, expectation is like a master mind where it controls how we think, act and feel. It controls both our conscious and sub-conscious mind and of course driven my external factors such as weather, environment and pressure as well. I believe that every single aspects of life have its own expectation and most of the time, I always believe in the smooth deliveries of each expectation. For instance, I expect Ikmal will love school; I expect dad will be flying with mom on Thursday; I expect my boss will accept my justifications; and I expect there will be no cendol today due to the fact that I couldn’t go out since it is still raining. But expectation doesn’t really have to be as per my expectation. It doesn’t work the way I expect it to be all the time. Realities always win over expectations. Therefore, I have to add another link in my mind storage which can control how I think, act and feel for any expected and unexpected scenes in my life.

Since I have been facing quite a number of unexpected scenes this month, I hope I will be more prepared for February and many months ahead. Expect the unexpected!

The end. Thank you! =)

Monday, 1 January 2018

Now Or Never

She looked at herself in the mirror. The cheerful face once remembered was not on the reflection anymore. Instead, a pale gloomy face was the only image to be seen in that cosy master bedroom. Looking around, her eyes were searching for those little figures that used to be running all over the places and throwing their tantrums as if the world has never been on their side. Her fingers gracefully untied her pony tail just to let her hair flow as much as she wanted to let her tears flowing down her cheeks. “I miss themso much!” she sighed. Her ears were longing for those irritable yet fancy noises which at times made her day turn upside down. Her heart was now filled with countless of regrets and deep within she hoped that the day was only a dream. She laid down on her comfy bed while reminiscing the moments of her past with them.


Ikmal hugged me followed by Ilyas as I entered the house. All of the problems bothering my mind just slipped away the moment I looked into those angels of mine smiling beautifully waiting to be cuddled in my arms.

Ilyas is my eldest son. He has been clingy ever since he was born and I couldn’t believe he will turn 6 years old this year. He is a smart boy who loves lego and arts. Recalling each moments with him; I found that he is a highly sensitive person. He is much attached to me physically and emotionally as compared to his brother. Between Ilyas and his brother, Ilyas is more prone to be hugged and kissed and he also shows more affection towards everyone around him. Being the first child, the first nephew and the first grandchild, he is blessed with so much love and attention since he came into our life. He is very mature emotionally I would say and this reminds me to always be his biggest and closest supporter every time he needs me. But sometimes I forgot. I would have lost my patience and tolerance when suddenly he became rebellious on little things which don’t seem relevant to me. I ended up scolding him because of his behaviour but once again, I forgot. He was only expressing his feelings and at his age, managing emotions is not easy. Now that he has grown up, I feel very upset because I failed to show him how to take control of the emotions the right way earlier. Books can give me valuable knowledge but experience teaches me how to put the knowledge into practice. But it is easier said than done when it comes to parenting. I failed most of the time! *double sigh*

Creativity has no limit; Ilyas with his lego creation

Having Ikmal is another wonderful gift to me. He is the second baby of mine. This cheeky boy is so obsessed with lorries and he turns 4 this year! This happy tiny tod is now ready to meet the outside world. He will be going to kindergarten today, I am super nervous! The last time I sent him out, he was hospitalized after a week being there. Now 3 years has passed, I believe he is able to cope with the changes around him. When dealing with Ikmal, the feeling of relief is always there and to me, he is such an adorable and easy kid. He is not expressive like Ilyas however he is more observant not only to the surroundings but also to the emotions within. Ikmal has a tendency to give way to other people and I can see the cue of empathy is developing well from him. Being the second child in the family with a dominant elder brother; Ikmal becomes naturally independent. He is clingy too but he knows when to give space to me literally. Last October 2017, I spent almost a week in the hospital taking care of my mother where I had to leave both of my kids at home. I told Ikmal about the situation and he said, “Tak apa, Mama. Ikmal tidur rumah Atok. Ikmal ocay, Mama”. I didn’t get the chance to meet him during the period and I was really depressed. But Ikmal seemed like he truly understood my limitations and I feel it even until now that he has a magical emotional bonding with me. The feeling which I felt the moment I saw his face when he was born. I couldn’t find the right word for that feeling because it is so special and unique which can be felt only between me and him.

Indecisive; Ikmal got himself confused whether he liked it or not

I have 2 hours left before the school ends. It is the first day of the year! I am so nervous because school is coming and this year, I will be sending not only Ilyas but also Ikmal to the new school. I have to put both boys at the same school due to logistic issue and I have to believe that this is the best decision so far. I always have my-one-kind-of perception when it comes to school. I still remember how difficult it was for me to enjoy my schooling years. I didn’t like kindergarten. I would cry all day long. In fact, I would be carried out by the school bus driver every day, Pakcik Majid because I just hated being in school environment. Things became worst when I was in my first primary school. I was enrolled until evening session. I couldn’t remember any happy moments but all I know; I would call my father every afternoon making random excuses that I was unable to continue the evening session i.e. feeling sick. Or if my father rejected my silly excuses; I would sleep throughout the evening session in the classroom! That was me and my childhood experience. How about my boys? I wish them the greatest experience ever! Therefore, I have to be all prepared to ensure the boys have the best experience they deserve this year.

Check out my 2018 checklist below:-

  • To sleep at 10pm the latest every day because I need to encounter my sleep deprivation issue and of course I want the boys to have adequate sleep at night so they will be energetic throughout the day!
  • To prepare my working attire for 5 days in advance so that I don’t have to waste my time thinking of what to wear to the office. Because now I have 3 persons (including myself) to be dealt with and I don’t want to ruin everyone’s mood early in the morning.
  • To have outdoor activities with my boys every Saturdays. I know where I should bring them now; a place where I can manage them safely on my own.
  • To read more books with different genre. I am finalizing the list and will purchase them sooner.
  • To review my 2017 KPI at work and continue to do well for my 2018 KPI despite the challenging market growth.
  • To write, write and write!

Overall my 2018 will be more or less the same in terms of my daily routines. I don’t feel like changing it however my priority now is of course on my kids’ well being. I don’t want to have more regrets by not nourishing the moments with my kids now. Ilyas is 6 and Ikmal is 4 only once and I don't want to live every single day complaining on how tough parenting is. I have to change my attitude towards them now or I will spend my life pathetically later. The imagination earlier shouldn't be haunting me and I wish it will never be true. I have to make the changes now. I know the time will pass by and one day I have to let them go. I have learnt from the past year that work has no end unless I put an end to it. To be able to live the days satisfactorily, I have to be happy at the first place. I found my happiness by seeing my loved ones happy. Make them happy now; that is my daily target and I have to hit it no matter what. I guess my 2018 will be filled with much more happiness and I am so excited to make it happen now!

Happy 2018, everyone! It all starts now!

The end. Thank you! =)

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

It is December, the month of the year! The month which I usually spend to prep myself for the next 12 months of 2018. I have a week apparently to complete my 2017 checklist and hope to get most of the things done by December 31st or earlier. Time is the biggest enemy now and I feel the pressure to accomplish my 2017 resolutions due to unforeseen circumstances. My utmost concern is on my KPI at work. I was so stressed out these past few months with the overwhelming tasks given and I am now in a constant worry about the result. Being a result-driven person; this KPI thingy really catches my nerves. Am I not doing enough? What should I do in a week to catch up? A lengthy post this will be as I am digging as much information as I can while assessing myself. This is evaluation time, baby! 

The truth is...

I love what I am doing now in fact I have done pretty well in most of the tasks given. However, I still feel that I am lacking of something to drive me further to a different level of me. I need more challenging tasks and I require a fast pace working environment. But I would not be able to get it here. Now. It demotivates me and this situation affects my KPI indirectly. I want to perform in each of the criteria but there is a restriction in the environment and I am not happy with that. 

But I am not giving up...

I have the checklist prepared since January 2017 and I am monitoring the progress closely thus I am confident that I will achieve the result that I want by end of the year. Everything went well as planned and I was quite satisfied with my achievement thus far. Unfortunately things turned out differently somewhere in August 2017. A different KPI must be met and I was so not ready. I have this difficulty to adapt to shortcomings and that is my problem. I want everything to go as planned, MY PLAN. I will eliminate those obstacles as much as I can within my limit. I will find a way to execute MY PLAN because I am responsible for MY PLAN. But I forgot that the environment is one of the contributors to the success or failure of MY PLAN. There goes my motivation...

What do I need now? 

Motivation is the driving force which causes us to achieve goals and it is said to be either extrinsic or intrinsicCohen & Swerdlik (2010) described motivation in the workplace as stemming from incentives that are either primarily internal or primarily external in origin. Employees who seem to be driven by a passionate interest in their work, having a deep level of enjoyment and involvement in what they do are described as intrinsically motivated. On the other hand, tangible rewards i.e. salary, bonuses, vacations and holiday with pay, pensions and sick benefits are the driving force for extrinsically motivated employees, claimed Amabile et al (1994).

To me, there is a certain extent whereby I need to be extrinsically motivated. Salary and recognition are important to achieve a certain level of satisfaction but at the end of the day, those are just material and temporary to me. Being in a higher position with a better pay shall put you in a condition whereby tangible rewards is considered secondary. The real force must come from within. I chose to be in this industry with a zero knowledge and experience. I have learned a lot throughout my journey and I found myself changing from the way I look at things. 

I am not financially intelligent. I don't like numbers but I have to learn how numbers work here. Numbers is really important and a good result is proven by the figures. Knowing it is one of the KPI, I have to make sure I hit the targeted figures every month by any means. Along the way I came across frustration, irritation and dissatisfaction but it didn't stop me from getting it accomplished of course in my own way. The power of psychology! It is workable though! Not to mention that I have to understand how to operate and maintain a building which is so alien to me. All mechanical and technical jargons to be learned too and believe me, I felt like a loser every time we had any operations meetings because of the little knowledge that I have but I enjoyed learning those things. I have no regrets because I have tried at least to learn and accept new knowledge and this has actually build up my passion in what I am doing now.

So, what is my action plan?

  1. The KPI is just a guideline. Don't stress myself out of this KPI especially those criteria which I can't control. 
  2. Separate the KPI from January 2017 to August 2017 and September 2017 to December 2017. This is tricky but I need to evaluate myself in two different period. Just to satisfy myself that I have done my best regardless of the change of KPI.
  3. Manage any unfinished business for 2017 before year end (if possible).
  4. Stay contented with my work and keep the daily routine running.
  5. Last but not least, have a Plan B, C or D! Haha..
Basically, we need both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation to keep us moving and living the life we want to be. At the end of the day, it always comes back to us; the answer lies within ourselves. A lot of factors can contribute to one's motivation and there is no right or wrong if you are someone who is intrinsically or extrinsically motivated. You can be both at the same time, no one will question because each of us travels in a different path. The experience, feeling and challenges are not the same. But how you react to those will determine the type of motivation that you need.

The end. Thank you! =)

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

What Colours Are Beautiful?

I had a chat with my eldest boy few nights back; asking him on what he did during the day, questioning him on his behavior and of course babbling about my works as well. While looking at him sketching and colouring, I decided to ask him a random question;

Me : What colours are beautiful?
Him : All colours.
Me : Anything else?
Him : Rainbow!
Me : Ada lagi?
Him : Hmmm ahaaa trueee colourssss are beautifulllll...
Me : Awesome, baby! Tahu tak true colours tu apa?
Me : ....... (continue singing)

Accepted. A relevant answer at his age, thank you TROLLS for this informal education.

What Colours Are Beautiful?

Pink was my favourite colour back then and I always chose pink for my clothing, accessories, gadgets and I even had asked my dad for a pink car but my request was rejected. I would have written "I hope you are in the pink of health" in most of my essays because I thought it was kind of cool and sweet that way. I have loved pink because of its colour. Pink caught my attention more than any other colours as my eyes perceived pink as attractive and I continued believing that pink is the most beautiful colour.

I started to realize that other colours are beautiful when I grew older or should I say wiser, haha! I have changed my colour preference gradually. I became more cautious on the selection of colours and began to avoid pinkish stuff when I came to work. I rarely wore pink during my practicum because I was uncomfortable with the softness of the colour while teaching. Pink is a soft colour and I needed more dominant colours to build my confidence in front of the students. Somehow colours play a significant role in building up my personality over time. Now I even love all colours whether it does not look stunning on the surface due to the fact that I believe in each colour's influence on me. 

I am a straightforward person and I always believe that all people are real people. I expect people to be who they are and not to be pretentious just for the sake to be accepted. Because you will not be less human if you show your true colours. In fact, on top of these battle of colours, I found that true colours are the most beautiful. You know how hard it is when you have to try to be nice to someone but you know deep inside you just can't be nice at all? I had a tough time during my college life dealing with this situation. Did I show my true colors to the one who hurt me the most? Yes, I did. Because I couldn't hide my inner feeling, I just can't. I couldn't imagine how can a person be so kind in front of you at the same time stabbing you from behind. How was the feeling? Was it that good? I had no idea and I didn't bother at all in fact I told this person to stay away from my life for real. Losing a fake friend is way better than keeping a real enemy

What I am trying to say here is; we should not hide our true self. Show our true colors. Be kind, be mad, be cautious, be bold, just be who you want to be. We are humans anyway. Feelings make us real. If you can't make someone happy, don't hurt them. If you can't help someone, don't burden them. If you can't accept someone, don't stay in their life. You have the right to choose how you want to live your life. As for me, I choose to be happy and whatever or whoever comes in my life just to refrain me from getting my happiness; he or she is most welcome to walk away from my life. Ohhh, why so serious? Haha!

Let's watch TROLLS and sing along! True colours are beautiful...

The end. Thank you! =)

Friday, 13 October 2017

Stress No More

I couldn't sleep well these past few nights and I thought it was nothing to worry about. I woke up in the morning and went for my routine as normal as it should be. Little that I knew that something was wrong with me until I felt like vomiting yesterday at work without any reason. Oh my! Am I pregnant?


Are you sure?


I am just STRESS.

According to Richard S. Lazarus, stress is a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that "demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize". In short, it's what we feel when we think we have lost control of events.

I am down with fever now. Itchy throat worsened it. I got two kids to take care of while Darling Hubby is away. My mom and my sister are unwell too. Work is killing me slowly but surely I guess. I can handle all of these until this evening I started to feel my body couldn't take it anymore. I have lost control =(

What should I do?

I rarely consult the doctor if I am unwell. I will try to avoid medication and consume more plain water daily. It took me about 3 weeks to fully recover on my own when I was sick months ago. But the impact? My sons will be affected as they are the ones closer to me and I am not going to let this happen. Again.

Solution : I will go to the clinic tomorrow and get the necessary medication. I wish for an MC but I know it is impossible; I am not dying anyway so stop acting like a baby. Haha..

Work pressure? Who doesn't feel it? In fact, I need pressure to keep me moving. Positive pressure grows me but negative pressure holds me back. I am a result-driven person and when things don't seem to go my way; I feel pressured.

Solution : Since I love what I am doing now (work), I let it pass and strengthen my self-belief system that everything happens for a reason and don't let those negativity surrounds my thoughts for too long. How? I talk to myself. Everyday. As often as I can. I want it to be stored directly into my conscious mind.

Stress is normal and our reactions will determine the level of its normality. If you feel so stressful; do something that you enjoy doing. As for me, I write.

Last but not least, I need a VACATION!

The end. Thank you! =)

Monday, 29 May 2017

A Birthday Shout-Out From Me To You

Happy birthday to the man of my life, I love you! 

Just so you know, Ilyas chose this card among others for you. When I asked him to write a note, he said he wanted to write Happy Birthday to Mama as well. He said birthday is meant for Mama even though August is a long way to go. So, let's celebrate your birthday together with me, shall we? =)

Thank you for being a wonderful Papa to Ilyas and Ikmal. I am so blessed to have you as my other half and looking forward for you to come back home! I want a gossip partner, haha!

p/s : You know how much we love you. Take care and see you soon, Darling Hubby!

The end. Thank you! =)