Monday, December 29, 2008

Today and yesterday, and tomorrow?

The children have been off from school for a week already and we've had such a great time fooling around with jibberish foolishness - dancing statues, talent shows (we've actually been having this every week for the past 2 months), pictionary, charades and memory games, to name a few! I actually look forward to sessions like this with the little ones as it is the time I release myself from all worries and stress, seriousness and order. That's when I break into endless laughter, just like those days with the KK girls and my beloved. Now, my angels amuse me and Alhamdulillah, I am kept happy.

Some days, we go out for a walk or to visit friends. My children are always full of energy that I'm always prompted to work my mind and organise something physical that does not involve money. The list may not be long but still, never impossible!

Browsing into my past, I'd say that I come from a family who is basically not materialistic. Dad is a very thrifty man who was brought up during the Japanese and British colonisation by a father whom I believe was a strict man too (my grandad was one with many wives). Dad had his equal share of hard and trying times; of dampened dreams, suppressed opportunities and lucid sacrifices.

He thus brought us up with the values he believed were essential in life. One that more people found less appealing nowadays: appreciating the value of money. Even as a child, I saw the twitch of concern in Dad's eyes; bringing up four children as a single parent for two years was no easy task. One by one, my older cousins and aunt were called in to mind us - especially me, who was only in kindergarten. I remember one of my eldest cousins, Abang J, who introduced me to Robert Louise Stevenson when he bought me my first but favourite Book of Verses. I also recall Kak Z, who used to carry me by her side (this big girl of 5) when I wailed in the mornings I found myself too late to say goodbye to Dad before he nipped off to work, and then, too late to be ready for school before the school van came. Of course, there was also Aunt N, my late mom's sister who used to help soothe the itchiness of mosquito bites on my arms and legs by pressing her nails onto them.

I remember growing up being satisfied with all that I had - which wasn't too much, but far from little. Our table wasn't laid with items of luxury but neither was it ever empty, Alhamdulillah. Dad was strict and thrifty; yet I understood his rationale. We were brought up in extreme moderateness and I appreciate that a lot for that has made me the person I am today - definitely not perfect but not too bad.

When I went to secondary school (a fully residential school), I had the opportunity to learn more about the value of money. It was there that I became aware of how others faired, if compared to me. Some were brought up by parents who never hesitated to spend any amount of money on food or items the child wanted, while to some others fastfood like KFC and McDonalds were not only foreign and unaffordable, but they were even oblivious to the temptations to buy food when free food is served in the stinky dining hall.

Every time Dad came to visit me (which was every single week), he reminded me to be careful with my money. However, I found my teenage hormones tingling with excitement whenever I got that red note every week (RM10). I seldom saved much at all. Often, by the end of the week, I'd be left with perhaps less than a ringgit. There was always the temptations of the evening co-op and attacks of after-prep hunger! Or I'd save up for my weekend outing to splurge on whatever nonsense a teenager could possibly splurge on!

Today, my twins cunningly and creatively try to earn some money by selling items which I buy to their younger siblings! It's actually more than hilarious! First, I buy the things from the shops (eg: a packet of microwaveable popcorn at 63p per pack). Then, somehow, Abang Z puts it in the oven, and then when it's ready, puts them in plastic cups - voila: they're on sale at 5p per cup and he pockets the money! Here's what makes it more outrageous: the little ones come and ask me for some money to buy the popcorn I had already bought earlier. Ridiculous, I say! But then again, since they don't really get any pocket money from me other than the occasional tips, I let them get away with it.

Not very long ago, the way I perceived life in general was somehow altered when I shared my life with another man. Love made room for concessions and compromises, as well as the belief that as long as we had each other our journey would be bearable, God permitting.
Today, I take my past experiences to again adjust the way I'd be maneuvering the journey my children and I will be taking. I will use all the training the two most wonderful men in my life have given me. What's in it for us tomorrow, I sure have no idea. I am only living one day at a time, trusting in Him because I can trust no one, and I don't have any one to turn to. All I know is that I'm going to work hard and pray hard, InsyaAllah... This will be my Hijrah, my journey into the unknown (definitely not as significant as Rasulullah's).
So, here's wishing all of you a promising and fruitful year ahead: 1430H and 2009!


ummuazas said...

Saya baru mengenali blog puan. Anak saya yang memberi alamatnya. Saya rasa sangat teruja dan banyak pengajaran yang saya dapat darinya. Tahniah puan atas usaha puan ini dan semuga ianya menjadi ibadah untuk puan.
Syukur puan telah mendapat didikan yang sgt baik dan
Allah menyayangi hambanya yang meredhainya.
Anak-anak puan adalah anak-anak yang baik.

anggerik merah said...

D dear,

I am touched how your two beloved men in your life had trained to shape you up and face the challenge.

InsyaAllah, lets pray our journey in life will be full of joy, prosperity and many good things a head of us..

maszuzu said...

sister D,

May the new year brings joy, happiness and good health to you and family...insya Allah...

Zek Zek said...

Kak D,

Your Dad characternyer sama jer mcm arwah my dad jugak. very careful with his money.Tapi anak dia yang sorang ni takder ciri ciri langsung...

azam tahun baru la aper lagiiiii

Kak Teh said...

D, Salam maal hijrah to you and family.

I remember my son collecting pencils and tape measure from IKEA , with the intention of selling them! Hish! Business acumen is not something that we have in the family.

Ms B said...


salam maal hijrah. just got back. tired. it was freezing there! will talk more.

t care!

Madam Markonah said...

Why do I always get teary eyed when I read your blog??

Just to share... My friend's daughter (7-8 yrs old, can't remember) is so biz minded! One day her school teacher told the students to bring lidi satay for art class. She brought the whole packet of lidi her mom bought and sold them (who forgot to bring) to her friends at 20sen each!

ruby ahmad said...

Salam Maal Hijrah dear,

All of us are going through journeys of the unknown. We deal with the situations as they present themselves best we can.

I have learned not to insist on perfection, & immediately life gets better.

Here's wishing you:

Happy New Year to you & loved ones.

nurazzah8 said...

Akak ucapkan SELAMAT TAHUN BARU 1430H DAN 2009.
Semoga hari2 yang mendatang akan sentiasa memberikan kita suatu pengalaman baru dan pengajaran dalam mengharungi hari2 yang seterusnya, dengan Rahmat Allah SWT.

silversarina said...

Salam Maal Hijrah 1430 dan Tahun Baru 2009.

Reading this entry buat akak sedar akan apa yang akak lalui kadang-kadang akak ambil mudah .

Semoga hijrah D diberkati Yang Maha Kuasa. Amin.

maklang said...

selamat maal hijrah...moga2 D & anak2 sentiasa dipelihara Allah...amin..

Lyana Mauseth said...

kak D,

your dad is just like my dad.very careful with money and told us to do the same but tulah kkdg kita ni taknak terima nasihat...

i like the popcorn story :D...

n.i. said...

sis D,
i think i know who u are *wink* anyways, thanx for dropping by my 'humble house'... it's just a 'setinggan' if compared to this penthouse/bungalow of urs...

i enjoy reading ur posts... must spend more time digging up the archives...

I love the way you express ur feelings/thoughts... yelah, school debater kan? (betul kan?) hehehe...

I'll make sure, from now on your blog will be on my bloglist :-)

take care, sis!