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Monthly Archives: September 2011

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In a nutshell

KhalidHeadKhalid fell down and busted his head on the corner of the wall.  Stood him up and said Khalid, did you hit your head?  With blood pouring down his face he answers: No.   No tears, no crying.  Rocking in pain, but outright denial because he refuses to acknowledge things he finds uncomfortable.  He’s an amazing little man, SubhanAllah.

Mashed a kitchen towel against the side of his head and took him to the ER where everybody already knew his name. A two-inch long gash, Alhamdulillah, not too deep.  He played iPhone while getting stitches.  I asked him how his head felt, he said “sick.”

The kids started school last week, and Khalid is finishing this week- his current school does not have a high enough percentage of English speaking children in it for him to be able to use the words we’ve spent the last two and a half years teaching him.  Bad behaviors are being reinforced, and I am running amok this week trying to find another school that will take him.

Incidentally, I am also training the KG department of the current school, because that was an agreement made with the school in exchange for accepting him in the first place.  Wonder how many KG departments I’ll have to train before we can find one that sticks. :s

Alhamdulillah, very very busy.  Hiring a personal assistant this week, InshaAllah. As well as TEN more therapists.  Alhamdulillah.  Alhamdulillah.  AllahuAkbar.

I *heart* Islam

One of the most difficult things for me, in running AutismUAE, is trying to escape from being thanked or praised by the parents of children we help via our therapists.  I don’t mind being cried on, but once people start telling me how great/awesome/cosmic I am, I really start to squirm.  I feel guilty, because on one hand, everyone loves hearing how much they’re appreciated, but when you’re making your intention for the sake of Allah, and seeking your reward with Him and Him alone, then how do you reconcile when peoples’ praise makes you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside?

Islam has the answer!  Hence, the title of this post, and the link to this video, which I’ve actually linked before.  This link goes to the exact moment when Yasiq Qadhi talks about the same challenge that I face on a near daily basis- praise.  A man went to the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and shared his concern that sometimes, when he did something for the sake of Allah, people would later praise him.  The Prophet’s response must have felt as liberating to him as it does to me- the Prophet- salAahu alaihi wasallim- said that these praises are the heralds, the forerunners, the preliminary blessings for believers.  They are an advance of the good that is coming in the next life.

When I first heard this, I had to sigh with relief.  Alhamdulillah.  Up until hearing that hadith, I was beating myself up for being thanked, and while that doesn’t mean I can start my own We *heart* Abez club, that means that the happiness felt in my heart when a father tells me that his whole family makes dua for me every day is not a guilty pleasure anymore.  It’s good tidings of good things to come, InshaAllah.  Provided, of course, that I keep my intentions sincere and my actions halal.

InshaAllah.  🙂

Alhamdulillah 🙂

AllahuAkbar 🙂

Hooray for Ambiguity

Is it possible to be both over and underwhelmed simultaneously? Because I think I am.  Work is overwhelming.  Life is underwhelming.  The daily grind is… grinding.  The kids are beautiful.  Life is busy.  Feed the baby.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

I’m having the thirty-one year itch.  I perform meaningful roles out of duty and habit.  I’m not jealous of anyone else’s life, I’m just not sure what to make of mine at the moment.  I live from the fulfillment of one person’s needs to next, never succeeding in the impossible quest to fulfill them all, constantly being reminded of the 20% I fail and never being credited for the 80% where I don’t.

I want to simplify, downsize, and prune it all back to the essentials.  I want to throw away everything in my storage room.  I want to throw out the clothes in my closet that are twenty pounds too small and stop feeling guilty for not being the same size I was before three kids.  I want to launch the pretty shoes I bought that hurt my feet over the boundary wall of the house, because it’s not like keeping them around will remove some of the guilt I feel for not being a better kept wife for my husband.

I’m not sure if I live in my pajamas or sleep in my clothes anymore.

I only have two hairstyles, up or asleep.

I’m too tired to socialize and too busy to want to.

I heard once that the best way to tell if someone is depressed is to spend an hour talking to them, and if, after that hour, you feel depressed, then they’re depressed.

I doubt if this post is making anyone happy.  Least of all myself, and now I’m annoyed at myself for being annoyed with things that perhaps should not be found annoying.  I need to scream into a cave, but my cave is full of people and the baby is sleeping and I don’t want to disturb anyone.

I’m not a good mother, a good wife, or a good director.  My house is disorganized, my children are bored, and my business is sloppy.  I’m a barely passable Muslim, and that is probably what’s bugging me the most.  When my Iman is high (my faith, not my three year old) I feel alive, I feel free, I feel empowered, I feel humbled, I feel real.  When it’s low, I feel worthless, useless, and failed.  My heart withers and verges on death until I pour the life-giving water of zhikr on it- and it comes back to life briefly but then I get busy and forget to water it again, and the cycle of chronic spiritual deprivation versus occasional resuscitation continues, but it continues unevenly.  I had an African Violet once.  A friend left it for me when she moved away from the UAE.  I was only supposed to water it with one teaspoon every two weeks.  I would forget for six weeks and then inundate it out of guilt.  Naturally, it died.  Naturally, I feel guilty.

Am I complaining? No, there are two reasons why I’m not complaining.  1.) I have no reason to complain. Allah has blessed me with more mercies and gifts than I could ever count, let alone thank Him for, even in an eternity.

2.) If I say I’m tired then they say I don’t have enough energy.  If I say I’m overwhelmed they say I’m in over my head.  If I say I’m stressed they say it’s my own fault.  If I say I feel anxious then they say I’m always panicking.  The problem with sharing your feelings is that sometimes they’re held against you.  Complaining is shooting myself in the foot, because then people think I am an incompetent idiot versus an overwhelmed idiot.  So I’m not complaining.

So there.

Blah.

 

Fuzzy Fiqh

HF: Getting married is half your deen, right?

Me: Yeah.

HF: So getting two wives must complete it entirely then, hunh?

*rimshot*

Anonymity, shmanonimity?

Ok, I don’t really want to drive people away.  I guess I just want to lose the mental barriers that have gone up since my blog has become a public place, and is therefore not always the best way of sharing private thoughts.

Hmm, I could be deluding myself here, assuming that anywhere on the internet is a private place.  But humor me for the sake of argument.

Also, the L key on my computer might have banana milkshake in it.  Thank you Khalid.  It took me five attempts to spell your name because of the sticky L.

What am I trying to say here…I used to freely complain on my blog with the desired outcome of catharsis.  Now I’m afraid of offending people if I do.  I used to talk through my own weaknesses on my blog, now I’m afraid of mixing my human frailties with my public responsibilities.  I’m a dag-nabbit director, dag-nabbit.  I’m supposed to be on the ball, in the know, up the eyeballs in managerial competence or something.  I shouldn’t be complaining about the banana milkshake in the L key and how lately Musfira has been so nocturnal that my daily waking time is noon and I seldom, if ever, leave the house during daylight hours.  I shouldn’t complain about how my Ramadan felt like an utter waste because I got a kidney infection on day five and missed fasting for the next 25 days.  I shouldn’t talk about the overwhelming sadness I felt when Eid was announced because another Ramadan had ended and I was no better off than I was before and not at all looking forward to reintroducing waswassa to the darkness of my own thoughts.  When the sun set for the last Iftar I actually cried.

I’ve been reluctant to post for a while now, not fearing public disapproval, but rather of opening myself up to too many people who actually know me as a person.  I’m not sure what it’s called when you have an easier time sharing your deepest, darkest thoughts with a stranger on an airplane than your own family or long-time friends, but I have that.  I’ll open my inner recesses of my mind to strangers (and sell tickets to the event on a decorated marquis!) but keep it tightly locked to the people around me.   But now a certain element of mixing has occurred, and I don’t know whether I should tell the strangers on my blog that I feel useless, overwhelmed and frustrated, or whether I should tell the friends and family on my blog that I’m a little busy but perfectly fine, thank you.

And thanks to the magic of RSS feeds (thanks for the reminders, guys) my ingenious plan of not updating for a long ole time is not likely to work.  Which is such a pity, because I spent all of five minutes devising it, and now I want those five minutes back.

Meh.

I have no choice but to be myself, because I don’t know how to be anyone else.  I just don’t know how much of myself I can be here anymore.  Let’s see.

Wondering

If I leave this blog un-updated long enough, will people stop coming, and if people stop coming, will I get my anonymity back?  Just wondering.