Why I Write ...

Purely as a form of expression to the emotions that run riot in my life at different junctures. This blog has seen several title revisions that also reflect the state of being and evolution I am constantly in. If one were to remain stagnant in hope of never changing their temporal present, one will awaken someday to much regret. Life is about living, evolving and adapting to the constant changes all around us.

My spot on the web is essentially a journey along with my monologue ramblings of my coherent mind accompanied by the incoherent thing called life. Read me if you like ... if you don't it is not the end of the world. I am at the very least a believer in humility lifts us further than pride.

Happy trails

4 December 2011

Learning Life's Lessons ... Dec 04, 2011

The one thing I have come to realise about life is that there are countless lessons.  A never ending journey on a learning curve.  Just when you think you've aced all the curve balls life can throw you it digs deep into its reservoir of experience and hurls you another one.  One that comes at you so fast it knows the air out of you and you find yourself face forward on the ground gasping.

The good thing however is that forget the innumerable times you've found yourself in this predicament, the FACT that you find yourself again in such state tells you that you survived the last onslaught, you picked yourself up, dusted off and went looking for the next curve ball life could muster or conjure for its amusement.

My family has had quite the year.  In May dad lost a leg the lower right leg to diabetes, this post losing some toes a year earlier to the same.  The recent death in the family meant more than just the end of a life.  It also meant the survivors of that life had to now come to terms with the past we've kept so well hidden. 

Then the latest in the series of curve balls was mom's sudden health issue and how in a span of 3 weeks everything went from "Oh ok. Go see a doctor ma" to "OH HELL! keep calm and let's see what the doctor says ma" to "Ma just go into this surgery knowing it's all going to be well" to "It went well and now next step forward".

Then I have to take a look around and notice the lives around me.  All seem to be experiencing one thing or another.  Talking and sharing sometimes helps put perspective into the challenges. Helps define and determine the approach to resolving these endless cycles.

More importantly is what lessons do we derive from these trials and challenges and what changes do we make to our lives in order to rise above all of these with courage and sanity intact.

Every time life starts to knock the wind out of me, I think of Mitch Albom's books that I have read.  Some take heed from the lessons of the book, some dislike the style in which he writes and toss the book into the read but not impressed pile.

I remember some distinct points from each book which reading in my late 30s helped me cope with some of the past I was struggling coming to terms with. 

Tuesdays With Morrie - I cannot remember who suggested that I pick this book up but I don't regret doing so.  I made me reassess how I wanted to live my life.  Did I want to be trapped in my own sorrows and miss the simple pleasures life has to offer or did I want to make an indelible difference in the world by just making the best of each day I was given.  I guess you might say I picked the idea of the latter.  However having been always the proverbial worry wart who imagines problems for situations even before arriving at the said,  this is a huge turnaround from character.  I am pleased to inform you the change is gradual but happening.

Five People You Meet In Heaven - I picked this up soon after TWM cause I liked it so much.  This book somewhat emphasised the "do unto others as you would others unto you" and that in living life, we constantly come in contact with strangers and our actions knowingly or unknowingly may cause them to react in situations beyond their common sense. Be good to all we meet, we never know their real stories behind the facades they display to the world at large.

Have A Little Faith - A Rabbi and an ex-con turned Pastor.  What complete opposites.  And yet what a journey of faith they take you on.  How God works in mysterious ways.  I have always held on to the belief that we are all heading to the same God, just by different paths.  Does not make anyone more or less important in the eyes of God.  It is we mortals that seem to qualify each others importance before God's eyes.  Stop, prove to be the beacon in your actions and be a reflection of what faith is about. 

One More Day - is a hard book to accept, because it involves the central character's one day with his dead mother, going about day to day things like she was alive - a fantasy to most catching and making amends with a deceased loved one.  Revisiting the hurts, the betrayals, the unspoken.  But in a nutshell the lesson is we need to forgive ourselves, our transgressions and transgressors and also our past in order to heal and be whole for our present and futures.

I would suggest to everyone to spend a little time going through the 4 books and sharing with me their thoughts of the ideas and concepts of life they may have gleaned from those pages.

I've told myself love to myself for who I am.  Imperfection is me but I am still uniquely me.  My children may be the result of a now defunct marriage but they are my children my precious ones to mold with the right attitudes towards life.  As their mother it is my duty to rise above my own past failures and follies and from those lessons teach them to live more fulfilling lives both beneficial to themselves and to society.  Positive confident girls who spread love cheer goodwill and hope to all who may come in contact with them - this is my fervent hope.  And more importantly, that they learn failures are not the end of the road but the possibility of other beginnings supplemented by the knowledge of what failure brings and the lessons to be learnt from such.

I keep reminding myself when things get tough, life's a learning curve, always a lesson to be found from each misadventure or success and with some eloquence I hope to share these lessons and insights in overcoming the many hurdles and curve balls I've gone through.  40 is quite the library of experience and in sharing perhaps we might make the experience less daunting for others.

Happy Trails my netizens ...

16 October 2011

Maturity - Where Are You? ... Oct 16th, 2011

I came across this image on the hierachy of maturity and felt it necessary to share it with all the web-crawlers out there that might not have chanced upon it yet.

Fundamentally I think these really are quite to the point.  The various negatives and positives that one goes through in the journey .. just thought to share it for a laugh or for some thought provoking moments.

Happy Sunday everyone :)

14 October 2011

Procrastinate Not ... Oct 14th, 2011

Procrastination is simply putting off or delaying action on matters that require immediate action/response.

Ask me, I have many instances in my life that I've procrastinated on only to in the weeks that pass wonder why why why didn't I do what I should have at that time and then fall into my life hates me mode and ask the eternal unanswerable question why me.

So having spent 3 decades or rather my 30s in a constant state of flux and then I delay actioning the long list of to dos and then find every imaginable excuse to justify that act, I sometimes look at myself in utter contempt and disgust.

It now comes to me had I been more risk taking and more action than contemplation, I might have charted a much different path for myself from aeons ago.  Instead I have had to swallow the bitter pill of admitting that I was the cause of the life I ended up with.  To some degree external parties and forces played their part.  But the crux of it all is that had I been more in control I'd have chosen to captain my ship better now find myself aground in shallow waters waiting waiting waiting for a tide to come in and raise me afloat again.

And with time, I seem to find this side of me extremely despicable.  I still suffer bouts of procrastination from simple things.  Even updating my resume and circulating it now that I'm here in the Middle East is an excruciating exercise.  I find myself reactive to perhaps an inquiry rather than purposefully constantly updating it with my changing scope of work. 

Thus it somewhat amuses me that when I see someone else procrastinating on something that if they actioned immediately would be so much more rewarding to their state of being, they choose to keep pushing it to tomorrow. When tomorrow becomes today it get pushed to the next tomorrow.  Like damn it ... all the yesterdays are now the tomorrows you spoke about today.

40 has made me less patient even with myself so what more when I see someone with potential to be some place better finding every excuse ever tried out on why they are not actioning it.  One day it's health, the next day it's exhaustion, the next it's change of plans etc. etc. etc.

The list goes on. 

And that is why I as walked through the closets of time and revisited memories I had long tried to repress and forget I felt the only apt tribute to the my late uncle was the line "A life waiting to happen that ran out of tomorrows."  Anyone knowing this uncle of mine would immediately understand this.  In some ways perhaps his sudden death is a blessing of sorts to many.  He chose to exist within his own tormented mind seeing everyone as an enemy to the "works/sacrifices" he did - these remain 95% of the time figments of his imagination. 

This is not to say that he didn't sometimes come up shining - he did.  But the overall person was a far cry from the image he saw himself in.  He was a toxic being.  He managed to invoke so much bile and anger and pain in so many people through the years. 

He always blamed the world for his lack of success - the fact that he had talents grossly under utilised or misused seems to have missed him completely.  He was quick to find fault if suggestions were made to him, quick to take offence and quick to retaliate in inane ways.  Hence much of his life was spent waiting for what he felt was rightfully his but never making any attempts for himself to go out there and take the proverbial bull by the horns.

The 10th of October 2011 his tomorrows ran out 2months and 4 days shy of his 58th birthday.  He died from a massive cardiac arrest.  His funeral arrangements were swiftly carried out back home.  For someone who by choice chose to ruin family ties, it was his immediate family that came together to lay him to rest.  We can only hope that in death, he finds his waiting life and the peace of mind.

This turn of events set me thinking about life.  The fragility of life is unquestionable.  And yet we find ourselves sometimes unable to accept our chosen lives.  Face up to the consequences of choices we make.  Procrastinate or jump to action.  The quiet voice of reason and subconscience speaks to us even when we try to block them out. 

It made me also realise that from those past lack of action on my part, my life took a shape and a course.  Mostly to my dismay it led me to throught treacherous waters. The turbulence has yet to settle.  However the fact that I am aware and conscious that I want my life start now and happen now and not wait for things and others to initiate it is a big step forward.

My evolution is that I am very aware I want to live my life now on my terms, not keep waiting for something to happen.  Everything that is to happen is within my own hands to guide.  Like a good captain, I have to take control of my ship.  Leaving it in the hands of others merely sets me up for more troubled waters. 

So while I relearn my ship sailing skills, I wish you happy trails ....

8 October 2011

Big 4-0 ... Oct 08, 2011

August 16th came yet once again and this time it closed the chapter on the Turbulent Thirties and opened before me the next decade of my life - another milestone to chalk up experiences and adventures and hopefully with as minimal servings of turbulence and heartache and frustrations. 

At least that was the plan as is always with each birthday, I tell myself ".ani it's going to get better from here on."

Sometimes it does, most times it takes itself on its own journey not quite subscribing to my GPS input and navigational skills.  Most times it leaves me frothing at the mouth like some rabid creature when things fail to go according to plan and frustrations amount. Sometimes I just step back and let life just ravage my sanity the way it always does without resistance - I've learnt sometimes it's best to not fight back just let it take what it wants and move on.

Rare but yes it happens too, miracles, surprises, pockets and slivers of hope and joy gush and fill me and elevate me back into the land of living, refreshed, rehashed, revitalised until life comes along again and takes its best shot at knocking me down.  I keep getting up and dusting off - it must frustrate life a lot that I just don't give up and shrivel and die.

As the days approached to my big 40 birthday, I spent countless days and night drowning in self mortification - I was such a failure all the goals that I'd set for myself at this age - all was but handfuls of dust.  I hated being alone here in Dubai.  Not finding an excuse to over-indulge in some Secret Recipe cheesecake creation was even more disturbing.  I wanted to just be home, with Ash and Kash and feel better about myself that things will get better from now on.

There'd been talk about having a Leo birthday do, a spin off from the impromptu no reason gathering we had on July 15th - the first time I'd entertained colleagues in my humble home.  The date picked was Aug 18th and the plan was to buy food and just provide my home as the spot.

The party was good fun, the aftermath took days of cleaning but still I missed spending this milestone in my life with my girls.  I mean I don't have a complete family unit but everything is about the girls.

In all of this mania of aging, I decided to challenge myself with the dreaded Dubai Driver's License ordeal.  Getting your license in this country is like getting multiple PhDs or root canals - whichever you torture threshold can stand.

First is the ridiculous number of of fees
Second is the ridiculous number of tests and assessments
Third is the ridiculous number of Re-tests and classes for each failed attempt.

Most of the men in my office have at least 4 minimum resits to pass.  This even when it was for an Auto License.  Ladies sometimes passed 2nd or 3rd attempt on Auto - no need to go into the double digit attempts for Manual License.

I opted for an Auto License which encompassed 20 lesson coz my Msian license was over 5yrs, some AED3500 thanks to a discount voucher from GoNabIt that gave me 10 free classes for 10 signed and paid up ones ... and I passed all tests and assessments on the first round.

27th September on the Final Road Test with 2 other candidates both sitting for their 5th attempt off we went with me being the first up.  Incessant yelling and scolding from the RTA Lady Officer and 2 more harrowing test driver experiences later we were parked in the bay and Test Score Sheets were given out with a lecture - mine was clean and said PASS in big bold.

Nearly died from joy - I did it! At 40 I took on something no one really thought I would pass on first attempt but I did.  Why? Because as much as I am a battled scarred soldier, I am pretty damn good at some things.  And especially when I do put my mind to it, I create small miracles.

So at 40 I earned my Dubai Driver's License at one sitting - the only problem now is I ain't got no set of wheels.  In time perhaps I will find myself one.  I mean I was 31 when I got my Malaysian Manual Driver's License.  I start late but I finish it ace ;-)

Perhaps in some essence, life does begin at 40.  Perhaps it is because in many ways we have come of age.  We have grown up, we have changed as the trials buffed us about and threw us in the deep ends.  I look at a lot of people and realise their journeys are no less inspiring. I find lessons from each of their experiences.  I find that I no longer wish to participate in the "this is as good as it gets" living.  There's my life and it's waiting to take off.  Waiting to make history of some small personal measure.

As much as I do at times want to tell the morons that cloud my happy days with their bile and their self mortifying venom which they so freely spew and spit into my way just because they feel it is their justified right to try and put me in my rightful societal perceptions of what a woman like me should be placed, where to put their sorry asses - experience tells me to bide my time.  Their glass ceilings and walls keep me from spreading my wings and reaching new heights but one thing keeps me sane - karma is bad ass, it kicks you when you are not expecting it and it kicks you hard. 

For a battle veteran like me, I've been paying karma dues a long time, my end perhaps is just around the next bend or two or more but its there for sure and good things are waiting to happen.

Hitting 40 and looking at what's ahead, it's nothing I've not been prepared for.  But with a little bit of luck and blessings, it's going to keep getting better from now on.  I have come to a point where if I don't like it, I say so.  If for reasons of survival I have to hold my piece, I keep my distance.  If I can change something I will, if I can't - sod it, look elsewhere.

The next 20 years is my life waiting to happen and to make it happen the way I want it to is in my own sculpting hands.  No free rides, no free passes, no handouts I know ... but with a good stash of soul fuel and some basic navigational skills, I am so going to find this waiting life and then make it reality and wallow like a water buffalo in a pool of mud till my number is called up and it's time for me to call it quits on this karma outing of mine.  Hope this is the last of my rebirths and all past dues paid up.

In the mean time here's to the 40s to blooming and flourishing and feeling top of the world.  There's nothing this old auntie can't do ... come sock it to me life, you and me we're not just about done feuding are we ???

Happy Trails everyone and much love always ....

17 August 2011

Life @ 40 ... Aug 17, 2011

OKAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY .... I am officially 40 + a day old.  Never imagined reaching this point in the way I have and the journey is taken me to this point.

If you ask me honestly, when I was young and naive I thought by 40 I'd be raking in the moolah with a cosy little home (landed, spacious, garden and all), beautiful kids, a spouse I called my best friend and confidante, and living a life that at that point in my life I considered the perfect life.

A cross of Growing Pains + The Wonder Years + Little House on the Prairie ... you get the idea of perfect, near perfect. 

It's pretty obvious to all and sundry that THAT is completely not how I arrived at 40.  I got here bumped and scrapped and bruised and battered and heartbroken a few times, red bank balances and a wealth of experience and analogies to carry me through those times.

I had my anxieties about turning 40.  I still am NO where near my now obviously revamped for the n-th time plans.  And I was a little down too that it was going to be away from the girls and here in the sandpit.

However, the fantastic thing about friendships is that people care about you and they make that extra effort to share in your joys.  And I was a little spoilt on my 40th birthday.

I got a cake in the office, and a cake later in the evening
I got an outfit from a girlfriend and it actually fit perfectly
I got a bottle of Chilean red wine from a colleague which I savoured over dinner
I got a pair of gold earrings that cost the gifter too much with current prices
I got so many wishes from so many people near and far it just warmed my heart
I got a new challenge at work, which bodes well if I find viable solutions
I was spoilt and toasted and cheered that I felt extra super special

I turned 40 or as my mom would say touched the tape and started running on 41 pretty happy at how things worked itself out on my birthday.

The one thing I also firmly believe in is people come into your life for a reason and the clip I attached sorta explains it in way I guess helps us come to terms with the up and downs of the relationships one goes through in ones lifetime.

I have my own way of expressing the different people who come into your life, think I have written about it once before.. As a recap I kind of tend to look at the different people passing through my life as (a) commuters (b) tourists (c) migratories and (d) settlers. 

My favourites are the settlers but perhaps the clip below explains it better.

In the mean time, I got a party tomorrow evening - sharing it with 3 other Leos using my home as the party venue.  Some of my office colleagues will be over and we plan to have a rocking good time. 

Happy Trails everyone ....

17 July 2011

A Georges Type Party ....July 15, 2011

After living in Dubai for a year, I finally got around to doing up my home in view of some transiting aunties.  I had to ensure tak drop waterface la ... I mean Malaysian hospitality at it's best.

So off I went, bought a bed for the 2nd room, moved the existing sparse furniture around, threw in a shelf fro IKEA that doubles up as a TV stand and collectibles, and bought rugs for the hall floors ... a bit of creative arrangments and I had a cozy hall going, and guestroom for the 3 aunties. 

They were not just fairly impressed but VERY impressed with my humble home away from home and my version of George hospitality here in the sandpit.  I had a lovely weekend with them before sending them off on their next leg of the trip to Italy and onwards to Edinburgh.  Even my little garden on the balcony got it's fair share of compliments.  

I was proud as hell ... in fact I feel I've just the right mix and match that makes me feel like going home to my place and vegetating in my silence :)  and am sure the girls when they come here for their initial visit which I plan year end will like this home too :))

So having passed with flying colours on the 3 aunties outing, I decided to try and be a little more bold and with a fellow suspect Siny, agreed to co-host a little do in my place of a few select colleagues whom I feel some affection towards.  Naturally this being DXB there was just Siny and myself and the rest were all chaps.

We had a small group of 16, I cooked 6 dishes, the guys had been warned this was a BYOB&B party - booze is a little too costly for my pockets.  Which I have to say, everyone came with a little something and the little do that was meant to kick off from 7pm started warming up by 8:30pm - by Dubai standards - I guess I arm twisted everyone on being timely with threats to give away all the food to the guards if people didn't show up on time.

We ended the evening somewhat closer to 2:30am the next morning with some really spirited souls and all round good laughter, jokes and friendship.

There was no special reason for the dinner gathering other than we'd been talking about something like this for so long that it seemed timely to finally get down to actually doing it and with the right mix of folks. 

At the end of the night it felt like one of the typical Georges Christmas parties, food abound, spirits, someone or other giving the laughs and some unforgetable gems like unicorns have 2 horns after looking at a really suspect tripod someone was using that evening - it alludes to some more kinky looking toy than a tripod - if you follow the meaning here.

I have to say even though my feet were killing me from standing from 8:30am cutting dicing chopping marinating cleaning and cooking - the whole afterglow of a successful evening of throwing people together was such a satisfaction.  The 2 office boys that came were so touched to have been part of the group, we had managers,we had execs and we had the admin support as well ... in typical Georges parties, it is not what you are that matters but who you are as a person that does.  And I think I had a really great group over. 

And I think everyone else as we sit here laughing over and over again about all the nonsense from that evening, I gather they all also had a really good time.  I might do some more sporadically over the coming months. 

In Dubai going out is such an expensive affair and this small gathering was a welcome respite from the monotony of working life.  A chance to kick-back and relax with friends.

It almost made me feel like home ... let's see if there's another round of this gathering.

11 July 2011

Sandpit Musings ... 11 Jul, 2011

Well Well Well ... (almost sounds like the start of a Duffy song don't it?) ... been a while since I put fingers to a keyboard and tried to capture the myriad of thoughts that continuously plague my mind.

Sometimes I have felt the gush of words but no motivation to actually type it all out to the universe at large. At times I've felt all words have dried up and am wordless thought devoid numb from the endless bombardment of negatives and trials that keep coming up my alley even as I try to side step and stay out of trouble.

I have longed for a new beginning, but I keep getting rehashes from the past, like unwelcome relatives past experience clings on making anything new easily tarnished by their lack of optimism for the future.

The metamorphosis from cocoon to butterfly that I had hoped would have taken place seems to have become a shrivelled shell with nothing colourful bursting forth. I find despite the increasing sense of needing like-minded company to save me from sure insanity if I continue in this hermit like existence, it is the hermit solitude in which I feel least stressed, least demanded upon.

It seems like my life has ebbed away and all opportunities with it. I feel that the trials and battles of the last decade now legally over refuses to let me get back into the saddle and ride with the wind in my hair and sun on my face. Instead it seems to hover invisible but ever present in limiting myself because precedence is how people view you - your past it seems inevitably catches up and a 1+1=2 mathematic deduction is made as to your capabilities.

In my case single mom+divorcee = incapable of being asset to work environment - something I've tried to battle since the start of this misadventure. But it keeps persistently rearing its ugly unwanted head. And I've come to a point, I am tired of trying to convince anyone that I am much better than their "spotlight seeking stars" just because I prefer to make it happen with as minimal fanfare. I keep telling myself .ani you have to be mercenary, grab any chance at propelling yourself into the spotlight, your youth is gone, all you have are handful of chances before you stand holding but a handful of dust.

But I lack that "kill agenda" in my nature. I work my ass off and watch the accolades go elsewhere, the promotions and recognition to someone else and remain the unknown in the shadows.

And I am constantly panic attacked looking that I hit 40 in just under 5 weeks. I still have nothing I can be deemed successful by. I had that time, but I made choices which shifted the whole balance and put me at the losing end when I had thought I had made decisions for the betterment of my future. No amazing bank balance, no gold, no property, nothing! ... material measures nonetheless - but these are what the society at large uses as yardsticks to measure a persons success.

Still struggling, still trying to figure out if I take anymore blind leaps of faith where will it land me and how will I pull through. People tell me my success is in that I have 2 beautiful and special daughters, that my rewards for the sacrifices I make now is in watching them become good human-beings and they will understand in time that what I cannot give them now as easily as their friends and peers get is because I am working for a better tomorrow for them.

It would be fact to say I want my kids to be proud of me and the decisions I've had to make to give them a future. It would be a lie to say that I am not often wracked with guilt for not being their ideal deep pockets parent. But this is the life and the truth of our existence.

Blaming anyone else is no longer a viable excuse. They've moved on with their lives, we are but non-existent. I wish for more strength from within as I take on the challenges of present day and those I am much aware await me in the future. Is wanting the past to stay exactly where it is should such a bad thing? I mean yes there are lessons learnt - which is not a bad reference point, but why does the fear of all things past continue to grip my heart as I try to make better todays and tomorrows.

Am I so lacking in self determination and confidence that I cannot shake off the foreboding the past places upon my present as it clouds the future?

Why am I still questioning and not finding answers when by now at 40 life should make some sense even as the world around remains in chaos.

I guess the education of .ani is far from over. I continue on my learning curve and I am still learning me and how far I can go for love, acceptance and peace of mind. I'm in battle with myself - probably the hardest battle one has to face up in ones life. All other battles have clear definition of win or lose or draw but when you battle your self, how do you claim victory?

Let me scurry away into the recesses of my mind and heart and perhaps I will eventually find my answers by observing the world as it revolves around me completely oblivious of my presence.

Till then peace out and happy trails everyone, .... .ani is going through another round of self dissection - hopefully there are answers as I too evolve with the ticking of time and shifting of the sands.

24 April 2011

Blessed Easter .... April 24, 2011

Firstly Blessed Easter greetings from me and my girls to all of you and yours. I am hoping if you had participated in the Great Lent, you have come away with some lessons, some new self realizations and a better understanding of the universality of God.

For me away from home and loved ones and so far away from the daily lenten season offerings at dinner time that mom or the maid lays out for me when I used to drag my sorry tired ass home after a day of maneuvering traffic and all types of people, I found that I either was going to subsist on milk and oats or bread or really expensive tiny portions of Indian takeaway for meals.

So being me, I sent some urgent sms-es to mom back home and got a crash course in cooking stuff like dhal and south Indian sambar. I even found tinned tofu (soya bean curd) and managed a dish I'd pulled from memory and maybe this spice and that condiment.

All in all I survived lent by being innovative with the stuff I found and rigged up. From mushrooms stir fried, in a creamy spicy gravy, to curry with button mushrooms - go figure. But I was pretty excited at the fact that I was not afraid to try something and I kept improvising.

Cooking in Dubai to me is quite like the way I've been taking to life - mad adventures, since finding plans go awry no matter how much planning you put into it. The problem with plans is all parties have to subscribe to it otherwise it's going to go belly-up kaboom.

So I lived lent and creative cooking to keep me fed ... although I learnt that even though am a partial vegetarian by choice, I do still need the occasional meat dish. After 50 days, I found myself so terribly exhausted at the end of each day and so drained. I guess this is part of growing old. From times when I used to fast till sundown, to fasting till noon prayers, to going completely vegetarian for the duration, I am wondering how with the onset of years will I keep up. I guess one just have to make up one's mind and keep to the trail.

But I also came past the 1st quarter of 2011 finally feeling things were looking up career wise. Small steps but I will get where I want to be ... move it a decade or so back from original plan but it's working slowly but surely.

I found that also I although I have in the past taken a long sabbatical from community worship due to my little delusion with God, and with people I had grown up with, when I started going again thanks to some cajoling from some really old friends, I found my spirit strengthened and recharged.

To be frank, since I returned to Dubai in January, I have not attended any Qurbanas here. The impersonal indifference of the parish and parishioners unlike the familiar people and mango trees in the small little place I've always called my place of worship in Brickfields, makes me stay away.

The priests and it's no fault of theirs I am supposing, just that people do everything in fast forward here, run through the Sunday evening services (Sunday being the start of the working week) leave me breathless and completely disconnected from the entire service that I love so much back home. Orthodox services are never short, but I love the services and the beauty of the whole process and the whole attending community in sometimes out of tune singing but there was a common link to hold us together.

Here I am anonymous. No one knows or cares to know me. If they did, I'd be excellent fodder for gossip and disapproving looks because I dress different, I talk different, I am not fluent in the lingua franca of the Indian Orthodox church i.e. Malayalam. Although I can fluently follow the services in transliterated Malayalam, I don't read the text in original, I cannot carry an Spanish Inquisition type conversation.

Anonymity works wonderfully if you want to hide from the world. But at church? Why would you hide? Lacking that sense of camaraderie I have back home with childhood friends, church elders, youths and young children, I feel like an alien in my own place of worship. And almost certainly Sting's Legal Alien comes to mind.

So I stayed miles away (literally too) from the compound of the St. Thomas Cathedral in Dubai. Having my own prayers in the evenings, conversations and contemplations.

But I learnt something. There was a purpose in the idea of community coming together in worship. If I've reached a spiritual thirst, I'd have to say it is now. I want to feel my soul resonate with the presence of God. I see my mother and my sister - to 2 really prayerful members of my family. My father and brother do pray too but the conviction in their prayers I see in my mom and sister. I on the other hand have this strange relationship with God.

I find peace sometimes in sitting through the ritual like Orthodox prescribed daily 7x prayers. Sometimes I find calm and serenity in speaking out aloud to God like he was sitting next to me. In these sessions, I find myself angry, remorseful, contrite, forgiving, soul searching. And in most instances it ends with me sobbing my heart out to God to help me make the right choices for my life as I try to make them for my girls and family's future.

The strangest of sensations often follows such an emotional outburst, I find that I feel like my head gently caressed and soothe as I lay it on the lap of the Lord. He knows my heart best, better than myself. He knows my wrongs and rights. He carries me through all life has thrown me.

During the final weeks of lent, the one we call Passion Week, I chose to read Mitch Albom's book Have a Little Faith. And what a resonating voice of God I heard. It may not be everyone's piece of cheesecake and coffee, but I found the ideas of both the rabbi and the pastor - both central figures of this book give structure to my own personal view of religion and faith and God.

I know I am a child of God in my imperfections. But I do not use my imperfections as an excuse to hurt anyone, if anything I try very hard to think of myself in the other person's shoes. I am a long way from my stairway to heaven, but I have to pull myself together and go pray in a community environment once in a while too. I should start going to church in Dubai even though it makes me pine for home more and more.

God is ever patient, and ever loving. He waits for me to find his plans for me, of that I know. Always He is there in my life, in all the people that I meet and interact with, in family and friends, in the simple gestures of strangers.

Blessed Easter everyone. You me everyone God Blesses us regardless of what religious faith you subscribe to. If only we could openly embrace each other without bias, suspicion or fear - this world would truly be a nation of believers that one should do unto others as one wishes others to be unto them.

My love to all ..... God Bless!

5 April 2011

Learning Ani .... 04 Apr 2011

I am constantly on a learning curve. And the one thing that facinates me more than information is ironically me. I am a completely uncomprehensible person even to myself. But I have come to learn some things about myself living in this sandpit the last 11 months.

  1. I REALLY suffer fools poorly

  2. It upsets me when I have nothing tangible to reflect upon at the close of each day

  3. I am VERY afraid of love or anything to do with it

  4. I might make a little more money than I did but it doesn't solve much of problems in fact it creates more and more and more

  5. I cannot attend church here without coming away feeling repulsed and agitated that I'd rather not go to church but wait to be home and visit my own childhood parish where I feel most at home

  6. Am not a bra burner but men (and women) who think a woman's place is 3 steps behind brainless mutton heads should be hung by their toenails and flogged

  7. Has grown tired of being Super Woman, and would like to just be me a messed up vulnerable scared female looking for a little understanding and a break from trying to solve the problems of the world, and have someone take care of me instead

  8. Finds it extremely nerve-wrecking that the one male specimen who seems to completely understand and stand by me in all of my worst and lowest points since coming to this sandpit and in complete blind fate accepts and loves me as is would unsuspectingly elevate me to the category of Cougar of the not-hootchie-mama kind

  9. That even as the clock ticks closer to 40 I still feel on somedays no older than 17 in soul even whilst looking at the completely out of shape reflection in the mirror and the countless strands of grey and on other days closer to the grave with every step and breath

  10. I have an amazing threshold for pain and disappointment - that even as it keeps piling skywards, I still manage to carry on with a toothy grin a kind word a joke to make someone else laugh

  11. That even though I accept separation from people I love fairly easily, I CANNOT come to terms with being away from my girls and at times I find myself all choked and teary just thinking of them - being mommy long distance sucks!

In usual technology fashion the rest that I typed out here was eaten in the internet world of Etisalat ... and so here's my incomplete list of learning ani - an ever on-going subject of study by the Terrible Threesome of Me Myself and I :)

Be well my friends ...

20 March 2011

Tragic Comedy of Being Ani ... 20 March 2011

There are many times in my life, I wish I could sit back and watch myself going through the motions of living. As a habit, I usually speak of myself in the 3rd person either much to the amusement or irritation of the language purists.

But then again there's always a deafening din when me myself and I jostle to be heard - hence refering to either one of these horribly opinionated avatars in the 3rd person is probably the best justice I can do for myself.

Having said that though, it seems that no matter what I do or how I try to approach something, someone, inevitable someone out there will find a reason to dislike me. I have long given up on the perception of being liked by anyone. And everytime someone verbalises that I am such a popular character, I take it with a pinch of salt, my popularity is almost always then accompanied by disaster.

My efferversence is read as apple polishing, brown nosing and brownie pointer. My enthusiams to introduce changes in existing processes is always met with "what the **** does she know about what I do" and apparently in Punjabi there's a saying "trying to teach me how to **** when I've a 1000 children" ... I guess you can follow the bawdy colour these take on. It is interesting to note, I've always stayed far away from being any of those 3 because I cannot live with myself if I was such. There is no pride or self satisfaction in being such a low pond scum. But recently I had the honour of being called one of the 3 ... it took great resolve and good friends to stop me from knocking a few teeth out. But I am not amused, and the specimen has crossed the line. And when I am not amused, I have no sympathy either.

Why are people so afraid to admit that sometimes the person looking in from the outside see more than the person right smack in the middle - coz mostly you don't come with Fly Eyes to see 360 round you. Why are people so afraid of suggestion, feedback, criticism? Why is it I have to take all these in the positive light even when it's downright insulting but should I flip side the coin then I am this mega wannabe with no substance apparently.

To me, I've come to loathe my inner self so much. Why do I care if someone else is fucking up big time, so long as it ain't going to fall on my lap. Why do I think no no the other unsuspecting clown has no clue where all this is going, and having gone through so many baptisms of fire, it should interject - save them from the same painful lessons.

Am beginning to think, I am a tragedy to myself. I should learn to ignore. Ignorance is bliss they say. If only it were that easy to ignore someone ramming a cannon up my arse and telling me it's not going to hurt - all I can say is effing asshole! You kinda displayed your extreme insecurity and level of pond scum mentality. You have an issue, have the testicles to take it up where you want it to go, not hammer the female just coz I am not cullable like most women you might know. Submission is not an option for me. I am a battle hardened combat survivor, you don't mean feck to me anyhows, but you underestimate like most people, having me fight your battle gets you farther in the field. Also I never leave or abandon a soldier.
This is the game of life and we are all players on a stage. Let us see where it leads to ... till then happy trails ....

8 March 2011

Times They Are A Changing ... 08 Mar 2011

If 2011 had kicked off somewhat downcast and devoid of hope, it seems that the old adage it is darkest before dawn is true.
When everything looked it's worst possible and I was near the end of my sanity thread, things suddenly seemed to have a light at the end of this tunnel.
And it is all quite accidently evolved. I was as they would say 'membawa diri' from the department I used to sit in and decided to take up a non-threatening position in IT and assist with the administration of new machines and asset tagging in the new office.
What was a quiet unassuming task seemed to manifest itself into something else on its own accord the moment I started sending out routine updates on the progress of the move.
One unplanned trip out to a new site has given me new opportunities within this organisation and I am excited. For the first since I got to Dubai do I feel alive. That my day end is tangible. I can go to sleep feeling accomplished.
Naturally all things come with a price. From complete mind blowing boredom, I never have a moment these days. But this is great. This is what I came out here for. To work honestly and earn my moolah honestly. I am hurting no one, using no one, just chugging along in my life with as few complications as possible. My end goal - give my girls a good shot a life with a good education.
I am constantly reminded that it is darkest before daylight, but there is always daylight as surely as there will be sunset each day. We are learning to fly, learning to live.
Living da vida loca I am not, but to the month of March, let it be the start of new and good things. Perhaps it takes a little longer but good things happen to good people I am told :))
Take Care ...

26 February 2011

Contemplations ... Feb 26, 2010

The tragedy of being me is I think too much.

All the time my mind is thinking thinking thinking till I want to explode from all the thoughts like driving down some of these 5 laned highways here in Dubai I have concurrent lines of different thoughts. All evaluating, all contemplating all trying to understand the greater meaning of my existence on this earth.

The other tragedy of being me is I am too bloody straight for my own good.

I cannot lie to save my ass nor can I lie if asked something directly. Instinctively I speak only the truth of my thoughts. On hindsight later, I'd end up kicking myself black and blue thinking why did I say that and go screw up a possibility of endearing myself to someone in a position to help me. Instead I call a spade a spade and an asshole an asshole .... there's just no two ways about that.

Someone one told me I am too good a person too pure. The tragedy in that is I am often viewed as gullible and taken for a fool. And the irony in this is, I actually let the other person take advantage of me knowingly in some circumstances.

The worst of all these tragedies is to see what the end of something is before it actually happens. Some people call it foresight, some people call it vision, some people might even call me a witch but the tragedy in this is the choice. I can either listen to that little voice inside my head and turn around and walk right away or I can hear it and still take a leap of faith. In extremely rare circumstances has my little voice been wrong. And usually my leap of faith ends up with me splat on on asphalt completely pissed off with myself.

And in all of this I think and I think and I think. Sometimes I almost hear the cogwheels inside my head roll in all the different lanes of thoughts that are crossing each other turning left right maybe a U-turn or two ... some collisions take place and momentarily I am silenced, in a daze trying to reconcile what just went on inside my head.

And over the years, I seem to have two characteristic which almost makes me as bad as an old lady talking to her cat ... senile in some instances. I am either bubbly and effervescent or completely silent and irreproachable. And people who do not understand my circumstance in life cannot fathom why I am like this. I have stopped trying to tell people that I am only human I have my low periods too and I need my space.

These days when I find people trying so hard to suck the very life of me, Happy's words comes to mind "you give too much of yourself, till you have no value" ... nothing less succinct and arrow to the heart than this.

I used to yearn for some solitude in my life to get my own self in order instead of being pulled in so many directions at the same time. And the only time I might find solitude was the few hours of sleep at night.

Now I find myself trying to find as much work to keep myself occupied because the solitude is deafening heavy and un-amusing. I even shock myself at how long I can sit at my dining table starring out of at the sky above and sometimes feel completely blank inside my head and my heart - and I have to check to see if I am still breathing or have I died in this position.

Why I am still searching for what fulfills me? I have 2 beautiful children - that should be sufficient right? Only I am striken with guilt that I am earning barely enough to give them all I had hoped too during my pregnancies ... all those dreams of a little cozy home, occasional trips abroad, fun family time, education, activities ... the list is endless. When I fight this guilt saying I am doing my best and my girls are troopers, this world is a hard place and we've got to be stronger than average to rise above it, I am challenged by the money others have and the lifestyles they accord their children, and I know sometimes I fall awfully short even in my children's eyes. Nothing worse I think then for a mother to feel she is failing her children.

Which is why I have made some decisions of late. Things have to change. All the shit ass luck has to stop here right now with me. All that is written in my stars and the sins of forefathers and curses of generations must end now. Even if I have to give my life so this is where it all stops and the girls are given fresh lease of life, clean slates no past histories that cloud their futures, I will give my life willingly.

As a mother, the successes of my children is more important to me than my own needs. Speak to most mothers they will concur. To what lengths and ends of the earth we will go to save our children only a mother knows. No doubts there are women who will go to great lengths to make another suffer through life for their own gains, but life is a wheel and what goes around comes around.

Whilst I watch the sun begin its journey into the night, I am reminded of the phoenix yet again. Burnt in its own fires it emerges magnificent on the morrow's dawn. That dawn is still arriving for me I believe, but when it arrives I shall be magnificent, brilliant hues of the sun streaking across the skies because then my time has come and all my tribulations shall bear fruit of justice served on a silver platter.

I end this rambling with this line which explains my whole approach to life then now and forever: "I have gained this by philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law. -Aristotle "

16 February 2011

Spring Time Hopes .... Feb 16, 2011

February brought in the little Bunny Wabbit and shoo-ed out the Tiger. Being in Dubai at this time of the year is a bummer. None of that yee-sang that I am so fond of. No Mandarin oranges to over indulge in and then suffer for a few weeks from an irritating cough. None of that angpow little red packets or loong yoke (sp) that slices of roast pork.

**SIGH** being a Malaysian foodie in Dubai is quite the misery! Especially festive times like this when food and friendship are inseparable partners.

I also learnt that Ash and Kash now have yet another step-sibling. Congratulations Jacob .... still fully loaded I see. May your paternal instincts and inclinations be better than how you are to your 2 daughters. There is nothing left to say on that subject ... except you FAIL exceptionally with honours when it comes to Ash and Kash.

After months of trying to define my role and presence, I finally found something I could do without I hoped stepping on the imaginary diva toes. We were moving physically from one building to another.

So I volunteered to help with the paperwork of the new machines, and the moving of people and that kept me back in the office for days way past midnight working within the limitations of being in Dubai.

It is funny how the vendor when we asked for 68 units of 22" LCD monitors baulked at us - we thought he was making fun at us for such a small number and insisting urgency. What he was REALLY doing was trying not to have a cardiac arrest - no one apparently stocks large numbers (????) of items after the economic crash.

So here we are week 2 into the move and getting equipment in trickles from our vendors. It works so differently back home, we Malaysians working on this move kept falling over laughing in incredulity.

And people can be amazingly entertaining. The Divas naturally made every minute of this move as pain in the arse. It was like if they wanted to fart, we had to find the exhaust fan, attach it and diffuse the irksome stink with the scent of jasmines. GAWD!

But one thing - working with Malaysians and the lone Goan, you know no matter how bad things can get, we will pull through somehow. We stuck together, covered the work, I undertook to send out updates in my usual cheeky manner - some got what I was saying, others you know it kinda just went whoosh .... heheehhe.

Midway through February, post Valentine, am feeling the age creep up on me and I feel like a panic is beginning to envelope me. I wish at times we didn't need money for anything. Since my ex-spouse believes with just fresh air and sunshine his daughters are going to grow up.

But the reality is everything costs money and being stuck in the middle income rut means you have too much to qualify for financial aid and too little to get anywhere you want to be. And with Ash and Kash growing up, the panic is increasing knowing that this continued salary in salary out gone not a sen in savings is not going to bode well. I wonder if I might win one of these exorbitant AED1Million DSF or Summer Sales draws ahahah - yeah right!

Oh well it's just February and the Bunny Wabbit has just hopped on in. Am hoping it will find it in itself to give this aging Oinkster a small leave from fighting the overwhelming waves and give me some calm waters to paddle about. But the fact remains, aging Oinkster still has much to do, and time is so not on my side. What I'd do to have some youth and energy like before.

Hope to catch up on some rest and feel less aged and in pain by the end of this weekend. May you have happy trails ... :)

20 January 2011

Is It ONLY January?? ... Jan 20, 2011

I keep thinking I'm like deep into the muggy year and am starkly reminded hell it's just January. Some 4 days back I was thinking OMG in exactly 7months I turn the BIG 40!! ... had me literally break into a panic thinking WTF I ain't even halfway where I remember imagining myself being some innocent 25yrs ago.

By the time I hit 30, I'd felt like I'd run hundreds of marathon's nonstop and was hitting the wall. But the race was far from over. If anything it seemed now I also had signed up for the Iron Lady challenge. There was never a point in time that I got to take a deep breath and kick my shoes off and wiggle my toes.

I remember being very buoyant about the coming of 2011 but it seems that despite the astrological promise of a pretty decent year ahead for little piggy me, things are just revving up into complete disappointments so I gotta haul ass again and find the illusive ingredient that sets all chains unbound and lets me fly free like my soul longs to.

The more and more I think about it, I am really sick of working for people. This salary slavery has taken its toll on me long before this job. Where being the idiot I am, I try so hard to introduce things to help others, as they will all bitch about their current horrors but no one has the balls to improve anything. And throwing myself into trying to help, I suddenly realise I am wagging a war no one believes in - sorta like how the damn Yanks do it you know?? Am sure you get what I mean.

And once little piggy me realises it's a worthless effort, I do tend to get a little disillusioned. Because I have not a political bone in me. I dunno how to be sly and sneaky. I dunno how to use people for my own glory. I just want to do my job and do it well and if at the very least knowing my efforts bore fruit. I hate being singled out for any form of spotlight - I find it always creates unnecessary enemies who have imaginary reasons for hating you.

I cannot help it if I command a presence even in my downplayed soccer mom look. I do have intelligence which stands out even when you try to hide it. I have empathy towards people which makes me want to help even when the saner side of me side says fuck it ... it's going to be a case of some daggers in your back for trying.

Perhaps all these negative vibes and energy has been manifesting itself into tampered sleep wrought with vivid and visually disturbing dreams. Been a few where I actually see myself die. By formula if I dream of someone more than 3x, it usually means the next news I hear of them is they are on their final journey. I've now dreamt of myself dying 2x and in both instances it has been extremely horrifying deaths.

In both instances my soul sits amongst the 'mourners' and try to tell them I didn't mean to die and to please please take care of my girls. Yet I see a dramatised grief but caustic gossips and whispers from people I'd never expect it from as they remain oblivious of my presence.

I am wondering why I am having such dreams. Am wondering also is it because I am hitting the next decade of my life. Does it mean even more dramatic changes before my life comes to a new plateau where things finally fall into place and I might finally get to taste a peaceful stroll along easy street?

Perhaps before the Rabbit kicks in the Tiger is taking it's last few chomps on my juicy rear end. Reminding me that my life is not one strewn with rose petals but one of all things thorns and trying.

Perhaps the Tiger is egging the Piggy into pulling on every ounce of strength and faith to once again overcome and find a quiet spot in the sun to revel with my Bunny buddy.

All I know is that as I get older, it takes me longer to bounce back from setbacks especially when it's work and financial related because time is running out for me. I have so many responsibilities to ensure I have well arranged and taken care of.

But with a little faith and prayers am sure I'll get there eventually.

Just going to hang in here for a bit .... it is afterall just ONLY January ...

2 January 2011

2010 In A Nutshell ... Dec 31, 2010

I know when I started off with 2010, I had just submitted my resignation to XYBASE after what had turned out to be a fairytale gone bad because the bad guys won or rather I got too tired fighting battles on all sides of my life, the never ending divorce visits to court had left me with an allergy to altercations of any sort and I tended to implode more than take on the fight. I'd reached that point where all you want in life is a little peace and quiet to think about my future.

The 3 months notice period I had to serve saw me doing everything status quo - none of that kick off my shoes and file my nails from 8am to 5pm work week - not that the management appreciated this but now when I think about it ... it really doesn't matter they didn't because my clients did. And that's where the lasting impression mattered most.

Come the 31st of March my official last day, I was staring at being jobless for the very first time since I was 19 fresh after my STPM exams. Back in the good old days, my jobless state would have been welcome 'me time' in between new jobs. But alas times are different now. I had 2 kids to raise, bills to pay and no chicken feed pay cheque coming in to help stay barely afloat.

So when an offer that was not exactly to my expectations came about to move my ass to Dubai in search of the proverbial greener grass on the other side - which in itself is an oxymoron seeing as Dubai is a desert - what green grass was I expecting to find but perhaps those thorny shoots that camels make a meal off in the sandpits.

The first months were hell. I missed the kids, I missed home, I missed all things familiar, I had the sinking feeling of tighter belts because of unfavourable exchange rates and a package that didn't quite make the mark of a Gulf package. I sobbed for days in my hotel room, as I battled wanting to give up and go home instead of being in an even worse situation - in a foreign land alone without the kind of moolah you needed to make ends meet. Dubai is an expensive place to live in.

But I am always blessed. I made new friends through other friends who turned out to be like angels in my darkest loneliest hours. I renewed ties with old friends here and the familiarity of their smiles and warmth and friendship made it a little less daunting despite the challenges.

It also gave me time to sit away from all the mania I've lived with the last 8 years. The distance allowed me to pray, reflect, talk aloud to God, cry to my hearts content, do things differently and not worry who might disapprove. It gave me the very much needed space to find myself, a journey that's only beginning as 40 rolls up to me.

My 2 trips home showed me what troopers I have for daughters. They too are coming to terms with this forced separation. This last trip home for Christmas, I realised that my kids understand things a lot better than I give them credit for.

We talked about the fact that as far as I know they have a step brother. I explained that the fact remained that Jacob is their father and that his son will always be their half brother and that if their paths were to ever cross to remain civil and adult about it ... because it is not their half brother's fault. The faults lies in us the adults who did not think about consequences. They seemed to be able to accept this fact and even joked around taking scenes from the Parent Trap and asking me if I threw a hair-dryer at Jacob when he said he wanted to leave. We had a jolly good laugh driving back imagining me hurling a hair dryer at him.

And although they might in their little hearts yearn for a father to pamper and spoil them like all their girlfriends, they've decided that just the 3 of us is good ... and why spoil a good thing is how I see it.

Being a long distance mom is not an easy thing. The guilt trips that plague me for not being there for them 24x7, knowing I am missing so much cause they are growing up so fast. In another 8 years I will be having to watch and let go of my firstborn as she spreads her wings off to college life and a future she makes for herself. And as much as my younger insists she wants to be the baby forever, in another decade I cannot fathom her wanting to curl up to mommy and go oogly eyes at me at a drop of a hat.

These things you cannot recapture when the moment is passed. There is a reason God created parents and children. And because some adults decide to change their plans, others have to pick up the slack and move forward. I wait for their emails and to hear their voices on the other end of the phone even if calls are short and all news is shared in one breath. I cherish these moments probably more now that ever before.

My vacation home this year end I noted I hardly ever raised my voice and yelled at them when they became brats. I didn't that that unlimited tank of disappointments and stress to fuel an outburst. Instead I talked to them calmly and found that this worked better - lesser tantrums and tears but a more open channel to speak their minds.

I know I am grateful for what 2010 has given me ... it's not yet the bed of roses that I'd hoped to be at hitting 40, but it's definitely no longer the bottom of the cesspool of negativity I used to be in.

The challenges that have come my way this year, have naturally made me more resilient and more focused as to where I want to be heading to. 2010 gave me new friends, renewed and strengthened my sibling bonds, brought me peace of mind and calm from the past turbulent waters. Reflective I have grown emotionally and mentally and perhaps spiritually too.

I am thankful for a year that was deemed as it begun it's journey from bud to blossom as the start of all new beginnings, when slates were wiped clean and new colours where handed out to paint and clay to mold, and words to create song and prose.

It was a year that I relearned the meaning of blood is thicker than water, the truth that in loving with no conditions and expectations one had less chance of being disappointed, I discovered that when you stop loving yourself and give yourself no value - the world values you even lesser and it stops loving or appreciating your presence in their lives.

It was a year to let go of past disappointments, take the lesson but dispel of the bitterness and hurt. To stop and look deep into my conscience before doing anything of gravity. Could I live with the repercussions. It was also a year I learnt that some tenets we might hold steadfastly to, under circumstances we are forced to do exactly the opposite of what we believe and we can live with those decisions because this is the one life we have, the one life to make a lasting difference to the world we live in and to the people who are our world.

2011 will certainly have its own challenges of that I am certain. But what I am more certain of is that there is nothing I am incapable of facing and overcoming - because there is a God who carries me through when I need Him most, there are my family and friends my forever cheerleaders shouting Go Ani Go Ani Go!! and wishing me the best life can serve me.

When I look back at where I was in 2000, a new mother and a wife with a sinking feeling that the captain was not quite steady in his course, 2010 though fraught with some less than welcome experiences, I am smiling wider and broader and that sparkle in my eye is slowly coming back.

What an amazing decade past, and what an EVEN more amazing life ahead. Nothing to stop me from getting to where I want to be, only myself if I ever stop believing in myself and faith, family and friends.

Happy and Blessed 2011 served with a huge portion of good health, wealth and love is what I wish for all of you my colours words and clay as I step into 2011 ready to rock it good and steady.

See ya in the new year :)