Tuesday, November 30, 2010

On the treadmill of Life

After psychoanalyzing myself, I know now why I signed up for the MBA program. I needed a challenge in my life.  My present employment is cyclical. There's the daily cycle, there's the weekly cycle and monthly cycle and of course the yearly cycle.

The longest I ever stayed under a single employer was 8 years. That was when I was with Projass Engineering. But, even then, I was transferred from one project to another, so, I never got into a cycle.

I need a change now to break this monotony. So, the MBA would serve a dual purpose. Something to keep my mind working, and at the end of it, I will have the paper qualification to move out of my current employment and get a higher pay.

At the same time, I bought myself a treadmill, because.... well because the nephrologist said I should exercise to lower down my cholesterol levels which will help lower my blood pressure which will prolong the life of my kidneys.

It has been fun. I challenge myself on the various calorie burning program, where the speed and inclination is varied. I finished the 150 calories burning course, but failed the 250 calories burning course (because the treadmill was going too fast) and the 300 calories program (because it was too long and the incline was high).

I wonder how long these can last. I still have 3 semesters to go for my MBA and it looks as though the 300 calorie challenge is the highest I can go... considering I am approaching my half century in a few years.

To quote Paul Simon in his song Slip Sliding Away:-

"We're working our jobs, collect our pay, believe we're cruising down the highway, when we're really slip sliding away...."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Rite of Passage

Today I sent my eldest child to school for her first SPM paper.

This is her final days of being a "pupil". Thereafter, all those who have sat for their SPM will be known as, either, a student, an undergraduate, an employee... or an unemployed.

It is another step closer to adulthood and another step further from being a child.

The other day, while having lunch at Sushi King, one of the waiters was promoting a membership card that gives discounts. I looked at Kak Long and she shook her head.... Already she's making decisions for me, just like her mother.

Obviously, becoming an adult is not something you can stop. But, I do miss those times when they were small and cute and huggable and kissable. Well, maybe they still are, but it's not the same. It's another ironies of life I suppose. When they were small, you wished they'd grow up, and now that they're grown up, you missed the times when they were babies.

Kak Long, has been studying hard, and I planned that when she gets her results and the people ask me what is the secret of her doing so well.... I will say, I don't know. Because, I had nothing to do with it. It is all her doing, her initiatives, her efforts. She dictates the time she wanted to study and the time she wants to watch MTV or those American sitcoms which I cringe at (I'll elaborate on that in the next blog).

It is all her, and it has always been that way... UPSR, PMR and now SPM.

I can take no credit for it.

After this, when she's all grown up, and be all that she can be.... I hope she'll find in her heart to forgive me....

To all my children... I love you. To Kak Long, THE BEST OF LUCK!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Want What I Have... Have What I Want...

The most heartbreaking thing to me is when I see a child disappointed but still maintained a happy demeanor. Sometimes I would like to go inside the child's mind and see the world through his eyes. What a wonderful world it must be to him, because the disappointment of not getting what he wanted is a just a tiny black spot that does not deserve to be dwelled upon. There are other things, wonderful things, in this world, so many of them that he does not have time to think of this little blemish in his day.

I am inspired, of course, by my own son, Aiman, who, despite getting the answers wrong on three attempts to answer the quiz during our family day last weekend, he goes on with his life like it didn't happen. But as a parent, I feel sad when Aiman walked back to his seat empty handed.

But, he held no grudge, he was happy to be able to participate.

Perhaps, the lesson to be learned here is that we should live up to our own expectations. Disappointment sets in when we measure ourselves against others and see all the things they have that we don't.

Look at others who have less, be thankful, and nothing in this world can disappoint you....

There's so much I need to learn from my children....

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Repeating Myself... Again.

For a person who hates to talk too much, I feel that I have been doing too much of that lately.

Ever since I read the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie* at the tender and impressionable age of 18, I have adopted a mind set that listening is better than talking. And, actually, it has worked. I do believe that I can get people to do my bidding by listening than by telling them what to do. It suits my weak personality anyway.

But, the most annoying thing about listening is learning that other people don't listen. This can work to my advantage of course, because I can re-write history and say, "well, I told you so, but you weren't listening," when I never said anything in the first place...

It's those time when I did say something, and later the so called listeners said, "Why didn't you say something then!!", is when I really cannot stand.

Maybe, this is Allah's punishment on me.... because if it's a test, I should have aced it a long time ago.

Because it's the same wherever I go... Nobody listens.

(*first publication 1937.. If you haven't read it, go out and get it).