(I decided to write again after months of hibernation. I do miss writing from the heart. Feels good to be back)
My son is in the 4th grade now or we call it Primary 4 here in Malaysia. He's still 9 years old as his birthday is in December. As of any 9 year old, he can be quite a handful. Last Monday, for one, he refused to go to school. It was one of those days when the Dad wasn't around to nudge him to get ready for school. Normally when Dad did it, he was prompt to response. So I had to try my best to cajole him: I spoke to him gently, and failed. I bribed him, and still failed. I pleaded with him, yet it did nothing. And finally, when the frustration level grew higher, I pulled him off the bed. It was then 6am, which meant if I didn't make a move sooner, the kids would never make it to school on time. The two big sisters were already complaining unhappily about how late it was, dreading the teachers' penalty if they were late to the assembly. So in the end...I had to leave my son at home grudgingly.
When I sent the sisters home from school at noon, I didn't think of checking if my pulling had bruised him at all. Instead, still feeling annoyed, I gave him a lecture on responsibility. At night when I was sitting next to him, I suddenly saw this thumb-sized bruise on his left arm. "I did this to you this morning, didn't I?" I asked him with horror. "No, Mom", he quickly answered, not looking straight into my eyes. "Don't lie, I did, didn't I?". I was starting to panic. "No, Mom, really, I fell on some rocks the other day", he answered, still averting his eyes. "When? Did anyone see you?", when I asked him that, he flustered and quickly said, "When I was walking from school to the tuition place...no one saw me". I knew right away that he lied. He is never allowed to walk to the tuition place, close as it is from his school. If he had fallen, the teacher or his friends would have told me.
I touched the bruise gently, and rubbed some ointment on it. My boy simply said, "don't worry Mom. It doesn't hurt". I knew then that a boy will lie to spare his parents pain. Deep down I realize that no matter how cheeky and difficult my boy seems to be, he is blessed with a good heart. As for me, I learned my lesson, a seemingly harmless touch, done in anger can bruise...
My eldest girl turned 14 yesterday. I can't believe I've been a mom for 14 years now. This year, I give her a little keepsake. Something that she can keep and remember me by forever. I don't know whether it's age that does that to me, or experience, but suddenly I have this urge to start this tradition. As a friend said once, "there is no guarantee that we'd still be alive next week", so while I live, I'll do something the kids will appreciate later.
An aquamarine pendant, and a white-gold-coated silver necklace seems like a suitable gift for my girl. It is supposed to be good for health and self-confidence. I can only wish that the future will be good for her, and that she will have strength to walk through her life come what may, for I know that I can't never wish for an easy life for her. Happy birthday my girl.
These past few weeks, I've had to deal with the apartment issues (from terminating the tenants who hadn't paid the rents for a few months to preparing it so that it is clean and homely enough to welcome the new tenants). At first it felt quite wonderful to be able to play 'the boss' and decided on many things on my own. But the joy wore out after a while. The thing is, the job, as it unfolds, is quite taxing, not because of the big things, but the little things like deciding on the colours of the wall and the curtains. Serious. Even deciding between shades of blue to paint the wall can be quite tough. My indecisive nature doesn't help either. Anyway, I realized from this experience that I rather be doing thing as a team than on my own. All this while I have the hubby as a team mate, so I decide that he's just the best team mate I could ever ask for.
Religious people are judgemental. No? Yes? Maybe? But lately I seem to come across so-called religious people who are very judgemental I'm starting to wonder seriously if religions make them so, or is it just them. Christians, Muslims, whatever religions- this seems to be a universal thing. The church goers who talk about God's salvation every chance they have, the people who never miss solat 5 times a day- I really couldn't connect them to the personality of judging other people, quite harshly at that! But that's what they do, sadly. Maybe when one thinks one is doing everything the religion demands of oneself, one is already perfect. Perfect enough to be given the licence to judge...
Too bad. No one is perfect. Thus, no one has the right to judge especially when that judgement is meant to destruct. I never claim to be religious but I do believe in "let him who is without sin cast the first stone".
My monday blues are always delayed to Thursdays, I notice. It's just that I never really did think of it until today. Waking up feeling like there's a big lump on my chest, I blamed it on the stressful two weeks of preparing to get ISO certification at the office, chapter writings and domestic duties (that proved to be quite heavy when the hubby is not around). I sat on my computer, uttering a silent thanks because today hubby is around to take the kids to school. It means a lot to me because it gives me the much-needed extra 2 hours to look for journal articles for my chapters, or to just play with some ideas...I felt hungry but found that I couldn't stomach any food. Ended up drinking a mug of 3-in-1 tea.
At 9am I was at the office preparing to get some materials photocopied for my students. The first class was to be at 11am and from past experience I know that they always come without the textbook. I went to my favourite photocopier at Kingfisher Park, which turned out to be not as favourable today. The new worker told me she needed an hour to get the 30 sets times 10 pages done despite the obvious non-existence of other customers. Usually they could do it in half an hour.
Unsure what to do to kill the time, I walked around the place. The pain in my chest grew worst, and I felt the start of a headache. "Could I be having a heart attack?", I wondered. Suddenly I had a flash of imagination of myself fainting in class, in front of new students, on the first day of class. "This cannot be", I whispered to myself. The embarrassment would be too great to bear.
By some coincidence, I ended up in front of a clinic- just opened and patientless at that. I let myself in and before I knew it, I was being attended to by a doctor. I told him about the pain on my chest. He did some exam, asked about my medical history, and decided that it wasn't a heart attack but a bad case of wind. He prescribed me some medicine for wind and asked me to go have my breakfast. Phew, false alarm.
Later when I thought about it, I decided that it's the blues that always come on Thursdays. On Mondays I am normally most rejuvenated, thanks to the weekends, and because by some weird coincidence, my Monday classes always consist of cheerful, good students (could they be rejuvenated like me too?!). By Thursday the energy has depleted and the blues come...and it's no wonder I felt like I was having a heart attack!
Remember what John Gray (Mars & Venus) says about women, well, and wave? Sometimes I forgot, but when the wave comes over me and I felt like I am hitting the bottom of the well, I remember, and I am glad I understand what is going on now. If I hadn't read his book, I would still be struggling to understand my ups and downs.
Wave is like a woman's natural cycle of ability to give and receive love. When she feels loved and full of energy, the wave is stable and she can give her love fully. But when she doesn't receive the same amount of love, support and understanding as she gives, that's when the wave begins to grow until it eventually crashes. She needs to hit the bottom of the well before she is rejuvenated and able to give unconditionally again. This is when the man's role is very important. He needs to support her in such times, not by giving solutions, but simply by listening, and assuring her of his love.
Gray says that men find this hard to understand and are often feel threatened when women 'fall into their wells'. Men do not understand women's need to be assured of love but surprisingly giving those simple gestures may save the relationship. If a woman doesn't get to experience the cycle in a natural way, and tries to act like everything is normal all the time, she would eventually feel numb, has no more to give and that can eventually break a relationship.
So, feeling like doomsday is coming is normal. If your man understood this, that would be a bonus. If not, bear with it and say 'tis too shall pass'.
Because I wanted so much to learn something fresh and different from my routine, I enrolled for a free course at AMC Business School last week. Excitedly I responded 'yes' to the sms when it was sent to have the enrolment confirmed. Wednesday 6-9.45pm and Thursday 6-9.45pm. "Just nice", I thought. On the first course day, I verbalized a long list of instructions to the kids, making sure that they'd behave while I was gone. Then off I went to the course at 5pm, on the dot.
The lady at the counter was very helpful, but seemed puzzled when I gave her my name. "Yes, I did register for MS Excel", I insisted. She politely asked me to recheck my inbox, just to make sure. "Oh no, it is MS Access!" I heard myself exclaimed. The lady smiled and cheerfully suggested that I gave it a go. Thinking that I have come all the way to the place, fighting a heavy jam when it was actually only about 5km from my office, I decided to heed her advice.
At 5.45pm, I was comfortably seated at lab 4, waiting for the instructor to come. 6.50pm and I was still on my own. Finally, realizing that I was being unusually early, I went downstairs for a drink. When I came back at 6.05pm, the instructor was waiting for the software to download on each PC, and there were about 4 students waiting.
At 7pm, the software was still downloading. By then there were 12 students waiting. We were given meal coupons and half an hour to have our dinner. Thankfully when we came back the PCs were ready to go! 2 hours on the first day was spent on waiting...but at least the remaining session was spent wisely on the nuts and bolts of MS Access.
It might have been too basic. Something I could have done with a little bit of exploring on my own laptop, but on the second day I realized it wasn't wasted at all. It was good to have an expert explained things effortlessly, to discover functions that on my own, I'd have found confusing. Mission accomplished...I did something simple yet refreshing, and at the end of the day, I was rewarded with a certificate to show off!