Saturday, August 6, 2011

Bliss, bless, blasé....

It's the 6th day of Ramadhan. So far so good. Lots of improvements to make, but lots of improvement made too. It has always perplexed me how it's sooo much easier to kick my butt to do some stuffs in Ramadhan...stuffs that I have been postponing to do, or the stuffs that sit on my resolution list and remain a thing to do for years, or stuffs that I can never get myself consistently do and make it a habit.

I guess that's the blessing of Ramadhan. Everybody has their own demon to fight. Which is why we should never judge anybody. Sometimes, by doing certain stuffs, we tend to feel holier, holier than people who don't. Ramadhan is about us getting to know ourselves, and getting connected to the creator. And in the process, becomes a better person and achieve taqwa. It is a personal journey for everybody. With all due respects, keep your personal comments and judgments to yourself.

I love the Ramadhan lifestyle. Sleep early, rise early. Get home early, have dinner with family, eat sparingly, and sparing some time feeding the soul suddenly becomes a bigger priority amidst the hecticness of our life. But why only in Ramadhan? Why we don't go to the mosque, do as much sunat prayers as we can, read more Quran, try to be good, be more productive etc etc etc in other months? Doesn't it look a bit hypocrite?? People says it took 21 days to make or break a habit. Then why is it so difficult to continue the Ramadhan lifestyle for the rest of the year? I honestly don't know. I am guilty too.

I found that the concept of Ramadhan is not an easy thing to teach the kids. To differentiate the culture and the religious practise. To get them to understand the core of the practise. To spiritually find their way to get closer to God. And eventually for them to be blessed and feel blissful. The best way for them to learn is to experience it. Which makes it more important for me and Mr O to walk the talk.

We are lucky to live in a condo with a surau in our compound. So terawih becomes easier and less of a hassle especially to the kids. They can have longer break after iftar, and walk to the surau in less than 5 minutes. And they have the options to do 8 rakaat, or continue with 20. I don't have to worry about travelling, parking, getting ready, getting everybody home at the same time and bringing Medina along. Luqman has been doing 20 rakaat for few days. Hajar had her first 20 last night and was so ecstatic and proud of herself.  She has been quite diligent with her Quran too. Reciting Quran in the car, on the way back from school etc etc. The fact that stuffs like this make her ecstatic is a bliss to me.

I get blasé about food in Ramadhan. There's nothing wrong with having good food. Especially after fasting the whole day. But for food to be the focus of Ramadhan just doesn't sound right. I have been using my monthly meal planner for a few years already. Not quite sure why I only use it during Ramadhan. But it does make my life easier. Coz I am not someone who is a die hard cook. Especially when I have very little energy left. And more so when I should not be spending so much time in the kitchen. Having a planner spare me from cracking my brain everyday thinking of what to cook. And help me with my groceries shopping too. Over the years I have tweaked it here and there. I don't follow it strictly but it's a great guide.
This year, I have cut down to 1 main meal and 1 dessert. Coz none of us is a big eater. Am trying my best not to waste.

The girls are excited to start the raya cookies project. It's not so much of saving money. It's more of me creating memories for them. And probably boosting my ego along the way.....hahahahaa. But seriously, it does make me feel super awesome when the kids think ummi's cookies are the best in the world...ahaksss. Last year we did quite a bit. Some of the keepers that I will bake again this year ;)
Choc chip cookies. Nothing extraordinary and fancy. But kids cannot have enough of them. That makes me happy ;)
Pineapple jam for the tart. Because I am kiasu...ahakssss...and as I aged, I get very particular of the hygiene factor, what goes inside the food, bla bla bla....I try to do stuffs myself. So I make my own pineapple jam.
 The pineapple tart. MUST do ;)
The raya cookies project is manageable. Coz I have a lot of helpers. Reluctant and willing helpers ;) I will do a few more this year. Some tried and tested recipes. Some new recipes. We'll see.

It has been a busy month too. For the family. But that's good. Productivity in Ramadhan has always been an issue to me. Partly bcoz of the caffeine deprivation. Partly psychologically I am just plain lazy. This year, hopefully, will be better. So far, so good.

Hajar is 40 days away from her big exam, UPSR. She is anxious. I am suprisingly nonchalant. She is worried about people's expectations. The teachers, the grandparents, people in general. I will let her learn to deal with the expectations herself. I personally think she has put in the necessary efforts. That's all that matters to me. Of course she can do much much better. We will work on that together. But the outcome really doesn't matter to me. I don't need her to get 5As to boost my parental ego. And since boarding school is not an option for private school students, I have one less worry ;)

Emily is practising for her performance. Apparently not hard enough. So I need to step up (back in tiger mommy mode) and make sure she practise harder...the group is participating in the 5th Malaysian Youth Music Festival. It is a collaboration with Kota Kinabalu Music Society. Usually it is done annually in KK. Not sure why this year it's in Subang. But that means woooohhhooooooooo to me ;)
I am probably the only one in the house who is excited about this....hahahaha. Mr O is irked that it is on the 27th August. Which means, it's sooooo close to Hari Raya. Which means we can only travel to Kota Bharu either Sunday or Monday. One day before Raya. So u can visualize Mr O rolling his eyes and smirking at me...hahahaha...

Hajar is green with envy. Coz the sister is performing and getting all the attention. Luqman is of course indifferent. Ummi Ms Emily is still way behind...and have lots of practise to do....but at the same time really2 excited and happy for my girl. Pray for us that she will ace it okayyy :)

So that will keep us busy for the month. Enjoy your weekend ;)

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