Merdeka

Happy Merdeka morning! 🙂

Morning is just breaking over here, and it’s Hari Kebangsaan (National Independence Day) today. I’ve been up pretty early though (thanks to lovely pregnancy hormones).

I guess it’s easy to take for granted what freedom and independence means when it seems to come so effortlessly to us today. Especially generations like mine who never had to struggle with the shackles of colonisation and who have a lot of room in which to voice our concerns and criticisms publicly these days.

Granted, things are really far from perfect here in a third world country like ours (as much as we’d like to fancy that we’re a first world one by now, which we certainly aren’t). But for those whom God has placed here, there is surely a purpose for us being here. And I believe we ought to be thankful and make the most of all that we’ve been given.

Every time I think about the topic of patriotism, I cannot help but recall all the many times in the past that friends and loved ones have made the exodus out of this nation, leaving me behind. Of course, I wish them well, but it is an awfully lousy feeling to be the one who stays while another moves on to newer, more exciting adventures.

This began happening even back in our student days, because, well, let’s face it, there are so many better places to be in around the world than in Malaysia. It’s sad but true.

But I am still here. For now. Maybe for the rest of my days? Or at least until God moves us somewhere, whether we like it or not.

So I am grateful for the freedom we have here. And of course, always remembering that our true liberty lies not in a pristine constitution or leaders that are larger than life, but in a life held together by a sovereign God who loves us and knows what’s best of us.

Lord, thank You for Malaysia and all that has happened on our precious soil this past year; all the good and all the bad too. Please help us to never take for granted Your gracious hand upon our nation. May we always endeavour to have Your name glorified in this land. Please take control of all that takes place here. Bless our country, Lord, that we may prosper and shine for You. And thank You that You have placed me and my family here, come what may. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Glimmer

Grey
Monotonous melodies
Permeating tepid atmospheres
Of meaning and mistakes
Big breaks, gargantuan falls
Grace, soft and tender
Lining clouds of thunderous tempest
Unheard, unseen
Angels aplenty
Unsteady, hoping
For better things
Brighter rays to illuminate faded portraits
Of perfection, perplexity
Animosity, confusion
Dissolution
Dilution of truth
If not for a tiny glimmer;
Undying truth
Amidst constant love
Faith to last
Emergent and extraordinary
Just faint reflections
Where, when, how yet unknown
Mysteries whisper
Eternal, unchanging realities
Enough to light skies ominous
Reach into hearts of stone
Just when you thought it’s an end of itself —
Hope reaches in
And breathes life once again.

*Dedicated to all who wait in hope and those who’ve lost the plot, but not the faith.

Almost there

Jamie showing his yet unborn baby brother some love.

This pregnancy is almost over and I almost cannot believe it! (I’m at Week 34, FYI.)

I guess in some ways I feel a bit sad about it all because this is likely going to be my last one. Deric has said before that ideally he’d like to stop at 2 kids, so that’s what we’ll go with (barring any accidents that might happen along the way, of course).

Jamie has been nothing short of positive this entire time, right from the moment he found out he was about to gain a sibling. I guess what helped a lot was that many of his other friends at church had also recently inherited new siblings or have one on the way. So it’s like he feels he is part of this cool growing gang of peers who have brothers and sisters and who can call themselves “Kor Kor” (big brother) or “Che Che” (big sister).

Of all things, that has been the greatest source of relief. To know that he is looking forward to this new phase of our family life, and that he intends to love his “Di Di” (younger brother) to bits.

Although we’ve been making effort do get certain things done in preparation for baby’s arrival (which is just next month aargh), it still feels like it’s not enough. We do need to step up the pace. It’s just that… it’s tiring enough as it is being pregnant, and sometimes I do feel like I’d want to be doing things I enjoy for a change and not just the stuff that needs to get done.

Due to my personal health quirks and upon recommendation of the Ob/Gyn that we are consulting, I will most probably have to go for a planned C section to deliver this baby. The very thought of it somewhat scares me because I had an emergency C section the last round and recovery was not fun at all. But I tell myself, perhaps a C section may be a good thing this time round, as it helps eliminate some of the unpredictabilities of the onset and duration of labour, and other ad hoc decisions that tend to take place in a normal delivery.

With a preschooler on hand and parents that aren’t exactly very involved when it comes to babysitting, I guess being able to say I will be delivering the baby on such and such a date and time will make things easier for everyone. Just perhaps not so convenient for me.

I do not look forward to confinement month (due to the expected painful recovery and the usual fare of responsibilities I might have to shoulder at the same time) but beyond that, it’s going to be loads of fun with 2 boys at home with me. (Not being sarcastic here, I do honestly look forward to happy as well as crazy days with them). I only hope we can continue with this arrangement of me being at home with the kids yet carrying out some form of freelance work. (Finances are undeniably a concern).

Ah, I am sharing too much personal details which may be boring you, my dear reader. But you know, some days, it feels almost as if there is no one else to listen to my thoughts or to take an interest in what’s going on at my end. So it might as well be you that’s reading this and keeping me company.

Thanks for stopping by as usual. I certainly hope to write more frequently in the coming days (I know, I know… I always say that… sigh).

Got tons that need doing around here so that’s it for now!

Phases, changes

I saw her today as I was about to get out of my car and head back to my apartment.

Her back was turned towards me, and there was confidence in her stride. She wore fairly fashionable clothes. Attire that probably contributed to that healthy sense of self-esteem she seemed to embody.

She was walking to her car, obviously with somewhere to go. At this hour, it would undoubtedly be an office of some shape or form. Or, at least, to a venue where a work related appointment awaited.

Before long, she was behind the driver’s wheel and then off she went, into glorious realms unknown.

I was her, once, not so long ago.

I would wake up just in time for breakfast and to groom myself and look presentable for work. I would rush off hoping to reach the office in record time. (Or at least before the boss arrived or noticed).

I would only have myself to worry about for most of the day, while only occasionally relating to my boyfriend/husband. And eagerly awaiting for the next moment when we would meet again.

Now though, I have to rise early every morning and rush to prepare breakfast and to get a little boy up and ready to face the world. My morning commute consists of a school run, followed by a return to the quiet yet familiar surroundings of my home as I spend the next few hours alone till my son is back from school.

Work for me takes place whenever and wherever I can find the space and time to do so. The main objective is to get it done, and to have it completed by the deadline I’ve agreed to with my client.

I rarely have time to myself, and most waking hours are spent attending to the needs and demands of my son. My husband and I chat throughout the day about our son, and other household matters like what to cook for dinner or what has run out in the kitchen inventory and hence, needs to be picked up from the grocery store on the way home.

Life has indeed taken a different turn, with its own new set of challenges, but I tell you truth: I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Terrified

If what most people say is to be believed, you’d think that the worse thing about parenthood is that you lose your freedom, your sense of individuality and your ability to sleep soundly without a care in the world.

But honestly, I think they are utterly wrong.

The most terrible part of parenting is really this: Constant feelings of guilt, inadequacy and worry.

Guilt because you almost always feel like you aren’t doing enough for your children. A regretful sentiment that convinces you that, time and again, you fail them in multiple ways that you cannot even recount yet cannot simply forget.

Inadequacy because you can’t shake off a nagging thought that perhaps you aren’t really suited for this virtually lifelong responsibility. Hence, you are perpetually messing things up.

And worry because you know your children are still vulnerable, and yet you can’t protect them enough from every single danger there is that lurks out there.

To top it all, the terrifying truth about all this is that there is no quick fix to dissolve all these tumultuous emotions for you. You have to live with them, and they inescapably change you.

But perhaps you can attempt to determine what kind of impact you will allow it to have on you. At the very least it’s something you can control.

The end looms far into the future, but you have today. And maybe, if you remained focussed on the right stuff, it just might be enough to get you through.

This ought to be your hope. It is certainly mine.

Unwind

There are things I often imagine myself doing, Sitting in bed journalling at the end of every day is one of them. But I never really get round to actually doing it.

I do wonder why.

I guess other ad-hoc things often get in the way. And the fact that I am almost always trying to accomplish one too many things each day.

When will I actually act upon what I envision in my head?

Hopefully before I run out of days. Or time.

Day by day

Sun has just about set over here, and for a brief moment, the bedroom where I am typing from was covered in a beautiful golden glow.

My son lies next to me snuggled in his bed, asleep. So ends another week.

It has been an eventful season in many ways.

He had his first school trip. His teachers have been giving me positive feedback about his progress. Hubs and I discovered I am pregnant. We told our son about it. He now is overly excited about all things baby related and is proudly telling everyone he is on his way to becoming a Korkor.

Meanwhile, all the usual affairs of life continue: I tread the thin line between harmonious work management and maintenance of an orderly home. Days fly by and becomes weeks. Family members fall sick, then recover. Church duties repeat themselves in a predictable cycle. I grow more white hair.

My hair remains frizzy. My skin is persistently itchy in some spot or another.

But I suppose what matters is I’m alive. I have a family to love. I have enough purpose to keep going.

Often, before I even pick up my tablet to put down words for a blog post, so many thoughts and topics course through my brain. Only for them to completely abandon me the moment I actually start writing.

What shall I tell you, dear reader? I wish to have something profound to say.

But all I have are familiar adages.

Things like…

Life is worth living.
Seize the moment.
Be thankful.

I don’t know. Oh well.

May your life be fascinating and as quirky as my son playing drums while wearing 2 pairs of sunglasses.

(And yes, I do believe he just might be of rock drummer mettle. Or should I say… metal? Heh.)

Hope to be back soon. Hold that thought.