Assalamu’alaikum, hello peeps.
I realised that the contents of this entry is directly related to point no. 3 in this entry.
Some odd years ago, one of the first times we celebrated Raya at home (our regular home, as opposed to going back to the village), my Mama asked us to do something interesting for each of our siblings.
She printed out notes that said, “What I like most about my sister/brother… ” and we were supposed to fill in the lines that followed. When we finished writing, Mama took the notes that corresponded to each of us, put them in an angpau (green packet, traditionally filled with money), and that was our duit raya.
Although we may have also received real duit raya as well that year…
I still have those notes till today. I brought them with me to the UK.
Note how the bros did not bother to fill in even 20% of the lines provided. Boys. More amusing things: how one bro answered in full (repeating the topic of the question), like it was a school test. How one bro could barely spell at that time. How very schoolboyish their handwritings were (are?)…
Anyway, my point is, no matter how silly the reasons they came up with, there’s just something about such handwritten expressions that touches the heart. Especially with (my) brothers, who (in that sort of age) never ever show their gratitude or affection unless there’s udang di sebalik batu.
Today I managed to join a tiny portion of an Islamic programme for sisters here organised by friends from Surrey. I sincerely wish I could’ve participated more, but schoolwork dominates my priorities at the moment. Anyhow, at the end, there was this exchanging of notes (“write something new you discovered about this person”, or just a note — possibly anonymous — for each of us) and they were sweet enough to include me.
I’ve blanked out the names of the writers, for those who did sign. I’d also like to say that in displaying these, I have absolutely no intention of bragging / showing off /embarrassing anybody or anything like that. I am sharing in the hope that it may somehow bring any kind of good to others, and also to me, as reminders for myself. So, points:
I wish I was as positive as I appear to others. The truth is, I become a positive person when people need me to. A friend calling me to vent her frustrations about work, how else should I be? Someone’s feeling down after an incident … of course I would give good advice to try to help lift spirits up a bit. The fact that I was feeling depressed and disappointed at those times… does that make me a hypocrite? I sure hope not. Maybe because I’m the listener+writer type, I am not used to heaping things on (most) other people. There are very, very few shoulders whom I’ve been able to lean on. And I don’t know if that is a good thing or not.
One of the notes means “must be someone who is good at managing time”. I cannot stress how further from the truth this is. Recently I’ve had major issues with slacking, procrastination, laziness, giving into distractions and shaytaan‘s whispers. I am sure we all have these moments, but I feel that I’m especially terrible when I do. I understand perfectly how my final semester and final project are so important. How we should all be working hard, trying our best, minimising playtime and utilising time to the fullest. But why oh why do I still stray?
It is true that our imaan can go up and down. Oh how easy it is to drift further from Him. I think it is time I re-think my intentions. Remind myself of all the hopes of these people around me, and my family. Of whom I am representing. Even if I don’t feel like putting in the effort for me, I really have to do it for God (and my religion) and my parents and teachers and friends. How can I ever let them down?
Also… if only I were brilliant / rich / slim / creative / widely-travelled… I mean, Alhamdulillah, we each have so many blessings bestowed upon us, and we should never be ungrateful for them, but subhanAllah there is a lot more to improve on. I have plenty of weaknesses too, so many.
Thank you ever so much to the note-writers, and to Mama for that activity years ago.
Heading to Rome in a few hours inshaAllah. Pray for our safety and well-being and for us to manage to sneak in work-time. Projects still continue, deadlines loom evermore closer. Peace and love.
P.S. Humble apologies to the readers who don’t read Malay language, please do ask if there is anything specific you need translated.