Have you ever wished time did not exist?
Have you ever felt there were just not enough hours in the day?
Me too. I think I'm in the middle of a quarter-century life crisis. My previous "Bad Mother Award" Post was just the tip of the iceberg. There is sooo much more. And it all has to do with time.
I've heard about some people having mental breakdowns. I'm not sure what that entails but I sure do feel I've had one everyday this week. I feel I have 50 million projects on my head and they all need to be done simultaneously and thus they all get half-done. Everything in my life only gets half my attention. I have no more time to give it except for that. Thus my mental breakdowns. I'm sick of everything being halves and not wholes. I just can't handle it anymore.
The problem starts with what I perceive to be an, immodestly put, Brilliant Idea. I MUST do this Brilliant Idea NOW! Thus I push everything else back to the waiting shelf while I tinker on it. But that darn shelf is sooo overloaded already with shelved things and people that things start popping off and bonking me on the head forcing me to deal with them and interrupting my present tinkering. Well today as I threw cooking stuffed tomatoes and bell peppers onto the shelf while taking down the vacuum cleaner, because Hubby popped off the shelf bonking me on the head to remind me to do it, the whole freaking shelf gave a mighty groan and broke to smithereens. And let me tell you, the crap that came rolling off that shelf was not a pretty picture. Now I am chin-high in all the ideas I've ever had for my life and no where to put them.
Are you with me now on the level of my mental breakdown?
I spent the day lolling around not knowing what to do with myself. Every time I looked around at the pile I'd pick up something interesting and turn it around in the gleam of my eye but then with everything piled around it it no longer seemed to hold it's appeal. My kids of course having their own labeled stairs and slide up and down that shelf could tell it was broken and were happy to run amok no longer having to be told to wait a moment while Mommy does this or that. So they ran amok throwing my shelved items hither and thither. My friend here in Al-Ain called in the middle of this shelf collapse. Wanted to know if I wanted to meet her at al-Ain Mall. I looked around at my invisible mess, my physical mess the kids made, and the fact that it would take us a half an hour to get there and told her the truth about the time. She said by that time she would have left the mall so there was no point to bother for now. *sigh* ahh...alhamdulillah said my mind as I hung up. It would have been awkward anyways with me so messed up mentally to make good conversation. I don't think I would have withstood the pressure of acting normal. I would have broke down crying in the middle of BabyShop's Super Sale bemoaning my broken shelf for all and sundry to hear. Yeah soooo glad I was able to keep it in the house.
I messaged my husband a few times about the state of my mind: not good. In the evening he finally called me and offered to take us out for dinner since it was an emergency day.
Mentally for me this was like I just went shopping for new shelf supplies, stronger brackets, bigger screws, a power drill, a slab of steel for the shelf instead of wood. I now had the tools.
So Hubby surprised me with taking us to Pizza Hut. Better yet was when my son fell asleep for the entire meal! Those of you with kids, yes I hear your hisses of envy. Daughter contented herself with discovering the joys of the Parmesan Cheese shaker and trying to copy her father's eating habits. Which left Hubby and I to start building my shelf. Deciding what should go back on the shelf and what should be tossed in the trash, what needed to be organized into boxes and put to sit, and which priorities should be on the actual to-do list. I guess it was almost like a Spring Cleaning of my life.
I have to focus first and foremost on Islam. Because first I am a Muslim, plain and simple.
Next I am myself. I have to take care of myself as in clothes, showers, grooming, weight, etc...
Third and Fourth tie as I am a Wife and Mother. I have to do what wifely things need to be done like the ever difficult for me cleaning and cooking etc... and for the children the Homeschooling and playing and giving love etc...
Now Fifth and so on are where it became hard to make decisions and I felt like that power drill just wasn't gonna be able to fix my shelf after all.
Who am I?
What am I?
A business CEO?
Which ones goes to #5?
I talked about each subject with my Husband and even asked my daughter's input. I got a few leads but will have to continue this on another post....
For now I will just say the shelf is THERE again, waiting......
My Adventures in Tucson had a funny post about Authors and their faces on the backs of books.
For me I do not like their faces on the backs, whether large or small. But especially hate the large photos. I do like them on the inside of the book in the back. Yet sometimes they certainly surprise you how the author looks doesn't match with the image in your head. But with their faces on the back every time you shut the book you are taken a bit out of fantasy zone that half this book is an advertisement venue for the author. As I said in comment to Advn. in Tucson "It's kinda like watching a movie in the theater with the lights on." You can get into the movie plot but you keep getting distracted by the guy three rows down picking his nose then sticking his hand into the popcorn he shares with his friend. I.E. Reality Intervenes.
But it got me wondering, what about Muslim and Muslimah Authors? Do they put their pictures in their books? First point of course is some people believe photos are haram of people, lets not get into that. If that is your opinion ok. For those that view people pictures as ok think about this:
You just read a fabulous Science-Fiction book by made-up-author Lacy White. You reach the back after a satisfying ending and there is a color photo of a middle aged Muslimah white convert with a lovely green hijab that matches her eyes. She is smiling a beautiful yet modest writer's smile. What do you think of?
Firstly are you surprised that this Sci-Fi book which had nothing to do with Islam was authored by a Muslim?
Are you surprised she's a hijabi in the picture?
Do you think she is supporting the role that we Muslimahs can be great writers?
Or do you think her wearing hijab means she should NOT be putting her face all over the world and into the hands of non-mahram men?
Do you think she should not be smiling in case some weird man becomes attracted to her and starts stalking her?
What would Muslims and Non-Muslim's reactions be to a picture of just a black swathed niqabi picture for the Author Picture. Or even dare I say a fully burka swathed photo. Some might say the alter is pointless but is it? You know that this author is a burka wearing muslimah and come to some conclusions about her by her writing and what she is wearing, one thing is for sure though there is that shock by a non-muslim that what they read was written by THIS!
For current Muslim and Muslimah authors out there do you put your picture on your books? What do you write about yourself in the Author Descriptions? What do you feel about your fellow authors who choose to do the opposite from what you feel?
I had thought of this question a long time ago when I was first putting hijab. I thought when I authored a book, should I put my picture of me in hijab? Should I wear colored hijab? Should I smile? Should I let my eyes sparkle? Should I leave off the picture? Should I mention in the author description I'm a Muslim Convert. Especially with a name like mine writing Islamic Fiction it might be seen as odd and surely someone would want to know who the heck is this Brandy person doing talking about Islam. For non-Islamic Fiction would it be a turn off for readers to know you're Muslim? Would they stop buying your books? Some perhaps afraid of becoming brainwashed by your subtle words encouraging Islam (you know secret Islamic conspiracy messages).
What are your views on this issue?
How do they sit like that anyways? They look so comfortable! I'd just sit on the ground cross legged. We finally reached home and we made the kids sandwiches. Back in the darker interior of my house time caught up to me, the surreal beauty of the morning had faded to day and with it my sleepiness returned. Sadly though my children were still fired up and now had nourishment in their bellies. They didn't fall asleep until 9am and that was with some strong orders they they get in bed and STAY THERE! Finally FINALLY they slept! And OH HOW THEY SLEPT! Not even a toss nor a turn. I fell asleep around 10am just to make sure they didn't re-awaken. It was a beautiful morning though and It really made me pray that one day their schedules will normalize and I can get to take them out early in the mornings for some fun. I really felt like I wanted to run for miles straight into the sunrise. I recalled hearing how blessed this time of day was. How the angels were most active during this time of day. Makes sense because how many times do we succumb to Shaytan's Laziness to sleep in and waste a perfectly good morning. Yet when one does wake up early they get like a thousand more things done than normal. Subhan'Allah.
And to add for those curious when my Hubby got home and woke me at 2pm I couldn't bear to wake the kids after they only had 5 hours of sleep (though I only had 4) and let them linger on til 4pm. Then woke them and they were still groggy but I couldn't let them sleep a full 10-12 hours since that would end us back at square one of them waking at 9pm. Both were cranky all day which explains my previous depressed post and I got my son to go back to sleep from 6-9pm. We then went to bed last night at 1am after a movie and popcorn to soften them up to sleep. I woke up today about 9:30am. I think I'll wake them at 10:30am see if they are receptive...
I do wish though we could all wake at sunrise and go to the park to play for the mornings.
....If wishes were fishes.....
It was weird feeling not having Internet for a while. I'm used to checking in twice daily to see if someone posted something new or to blog or to do something online like research something ANYTHING!!! Not having that was a big wake up call about other things i could be doing lol.
By the way I finished writing my Short Story for the contest and edited and all that. It was crazy trying to keep it less than 2000 words. I added in descriptions of costumes and meanings of the beautiful names I had researched then when it came down to editing IT ALL GOT CUT OUT so i was a bit miffed at the process. But say if it was a 5000 limit I'd have a much more descriptive story. Now I just need someone to proofread it to catch any errors. ANY TAKERS?
Wow so I spent an afternoon writing a solid seven pages of short story (max 2000words). It was amazing to start and finish a whole story in an afternoon. it was super weird too. i naturally have a problem with endings but I had to force myself to end it swiftly. Not sure I would have ever tried this had their been no contest. There are so many things I had to chop out of the story to make the plot fit. Like descriptions. I'm a desc. girl I love to desc. my characters personalities and clothes and scenes in depth lol. This short stuff left me no room for that. In my rought draft I didn;'t even mention what my character looks like lol. I'm going to have to do some crafty editing to include more beauty to it. It's more like He did this the He said that and that kinda sucks right now.
But I'm gonna go through it again. I didn't have a name for the main character during those 7 pages. Where I needed his name I drew an underline _________. LOL. Weird for me. This was definitly a very good writing challenge for me. I had to think of a completly unnatural way for me to write.
Basic Plot Summery: Italian Pirate Ship attacks Libian Vessel takes remaining crew prisoner. One Pirate begins talking with the Muslim Libian and finds he prefers that man's way of looking at life.
Needs lots of re-work so I'm doing that today!
Lazeena was talking about her brothers growing up to men and how it feels to be uncomfortable with his friends you used to play with. I want to add onto that with family members and children of your friends.
Sometimes with cousins or cousin in laws you grow close to them as children and then when they and you grow up it's weird because you have to distance yourself from them. One cousin in law of mine was like that. When I first married my husband he was just a young teen. Six years later he is definitely a MAN. I used to play games with him and his sisters when they'd visit the family. For a while I didn't see him cause his family was traveling and when he came back and he was taller and older but I didn't know he was considered man technically and once he was acting up and I'm like pushing him around and cuffing his neck and all then my sis in law goes...umm you know he's a man now riiight? I was like OMG!!!!!!!!! OOPS!!!! Never touched him again lol. But it's weird for the guys too cause he wasn't that much older yet and so he was making a skit comedy of a famous actor in Lebanon and started calling me "Eyes a sweety" (sweet eyes) and the family was laughing and everything though I was sooo blushing... I mean there's your brother in laws laughing that your eyes are being called the sweetest...erm awkward.... but later when we came to UAE and he lives here too I long to joke to him about that but when i saw him again he's nearly as tall as me with all this facial hair and I was like OMG he's a senior in high school. If I was still that age I woulda been digging him lol. So I just keep my mouth firmly shut and say my salam, how are you, how is school, and that's it...
Another situation that is awkward is when you visit with your sister in laws or your friends who have young boys. You are playing with them, might even catch a glimpse of them in their little underwear, and you hug them constantly and kiss them fondly. Then a few years later comes the day you have to stop all that. Suddenly they aren't shaking your hand and you have to bit your lip and sit on your hands not to cuddle them.
But to be honest it's probably the best thing you can do for young teen boys is to really treat them like a man and act like that because it raises their self esteem and shows them more respect then if you were to pinch their cheeks and fluff their hair making them feel like boys again. SubhanAllah Allah Knows All.
My sister in law's son is just like that recently. I was looking forward to webcaming with him when his mom said I have to put on hijab. He's not yet of age but When I asked does he notice if a girl is beautiful or not and makes comments about these things she said yes so we agrees it's better to wear hijab now for him to be safe. I'm sad cause I long to hug him one more time before he grew up but looks like it's already too late :). LOL my sis-in-law keeps hinting that there is always the chance to hug him as my son-in-law HEHEHE. LOL we'll see what Allah holds in store for our children.
Yesterday I finally got a few minutes to myself in the early morning and was staring at my big book of poems and then started to read it to get the meter in my head again. (Do you writers do that too have to read a book to remember how to write? LOL) So after reading I got my little memo pad and fav pen and began writing...and scratching off a lot... and finally got myself a new poem. I'm not gonna post the entire thing right now but just a small stanza:
...So my fellow Poets,
Hold your pens still.
And be vary wary,
Of the ink they spill.
To Allah, Reverance, is due,
So dot your prose with dew.
Let it not be said,
At Him, you threw your shoe.
But the last two lines I had a small debate Islamically about the wording with my husband. I had written "Created perfectly by Him, The Criterion." My husband said that No it's not created and there was a big debate on this issue with scholars. I said well isn't everything created by Allah, he said YES BUT... the Qur'an is also called the Speech of Allah and a part of Allah is not Created as Allah is not Created. So therefore you cannot say that it was created technically. Very deep issues here people! So I changed it to: "Perfectly said by Him, The Criterion."
I will type it up today and insha'Allah work on the Short Story today too as I don't have much time left for writing it and editing it before Submission deadline!
Also in other news I'm trying to wean my son as of yesterday. His naptime went ok with a few tears but bedtime was crazy, he wouldn not sleep for hours and kept rolling around and crying no matter how much I rocked him. This little boy loves his milk. So I gave in and will wean him from day feedings and only if he really needs it at night. Please make du'a this will be easy for him and me.
So half way to Sharja, Hubby goes "By the way we aren't going to Abu Dhabi today, the work truck is messed up (or the driver is sick, can't remember in my shock) and can't pick up the item in AbuDhabi and it wont fit in our car..." AWW MAN!! I was looking forward to Harassing Aalia into seeing me today. Hehehe. So I'm disappointed yet resigned. I spend my trip appeasing my kid's needs until son falls asleep and daughter is coloring quietly.
Then I whip out my sewing box and starting repairing that button that popped off Hubby's pants and I never found time to fix it. I felt like my mother really. She's a sewer and always has something on her to work on. So as the car is veering this way and that and swerving to and fro I'm trying to get a grey thread into the eye of a tiny needle. It takes me 10 minutes of trying before I remember Mom also taught me to use a needle threader... i also scoffed it before as beginnerish but now I see the need. So I took it out spent a minute trying to remember how to use it then successfully got it through! Then worked diligently to sew it on. After I accomplished that and felt very proud of myself I looked at my hijab with two long holes up the middle seam. Hmm might as well repair that while I got the stuff out! I tried to flip the end over but the top hole was so far up that it would expose my neck to raise it higher. Hmmm.... so I scoot down in my 3rd back seat so Hubby's cousin can't see me if he chose to turn around and tried to start the first knot...i got it knotted in a triple knot then flipped it the right way and realized I had pulled too tight and it made a snagged look on the right side...grrrr... So I carefully pulled the knots out and tossed the sewing back into the box. This is why although Mom taught me to sew, I don't. No patience....
After that I pull out my notebook and do what I do best, write. Actually I brainstorm about my new short story for the IWA contest. I get good running plot going when we finally get near Dubai and Hubby needs me to be his personal GPS. So I put down my notebook and tell them which exit to take off the Dubai-AlAin Road onto the Emirates Ring Road which runs across the bottom of Dubai all the way to Sharja and in the opposite direction to Dubailand, and AbuDhabi.
Memorize this with me people: 3 steps so you know to exit: 1. Go up on hill 2. See Dubai skyline of buildings 3. See sign with Airplane symbol for next exit. EASY. So after I get them on track and we make jokes back and forth about directions I settle back into my writing. I half pay attention to the streets when we get to Sharja though because I'm the GPS remember and I gotta figure out how to get back out later. So after we drop him off Hubby turns to me and goes, "So are you going to call up your friend or what?" My mind goes...huh? Aalia? "What city?" I ask. "Dubai of course." He replies. Ohhhhh.... Well there is Habayeb!
So I call her up and she was expecting it! WHOA ESP girl!?!?! So I get a little lost on my way to her side of the city cause I don't know Sharja very well. Then finally: I have fulfilled my entire Blogger's Yearly Goals list. I met a Blogger. We had so much fun getting to know each other while we hung out at Dubai Mall.
WHICH WAS BOILING HOT! HELLO PEOPLE WHO OWN IT, WHEN YOU HAVE HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE IN ONE LOCATION YOU do HAVE TO TURN UP THE AC!!!! I about got sick from the heat and crowded feeling of the food court ugh! Bad bad planning.
Ah but the fun of showing a new person how really weird and quirky you are in real life had to end sooner or later and eventually I had to take her home then we drove back to Al-Ain.
On the way home I finished writing the plot and started characterization. Hubby says the story doesn't sound very exciting but as PerplxinTexan says "I beg to differ!"
I mean this IS an Islamic story so it's not like you can use the normal gore/drama to make a splash. I'll save that stuff for other novels.
We got home and I spent the past hour getting the kids to fall back asleep then I was churning in my mind about my day so i HAD to come on here and work. On both blogger and my story. I wanna type up my Brainstorm into Word. So alhamdulillah for the unexpected trip.
Woo Hoo I'm off to Sharja and Abu Dhabi today!
Hubby has to drop off his cousin in Sharja and we have to go to Abu Dhabi to pick something up from a friend. Soooooo while I'm out and about if I swing past your way feel free to give me a call (if I don't call you first). Planning to reach Sharja mid afternoon and Abu Dhabi by evening maybe Maghrib time. Insha'Allah!
Yesterday was fabulous spending the day making a new landscape design...whew lots of work. By evening a prospective investor for my husband came and check it out cause maybe I can be part fo the company too with my designs...that might be cool....if i still have a way to watch my kids and teach them.
Anyways we will see make du'a for us.
Well salam for now cause I gotta get breakfast (brunch) ready for the kids til Hubby gets back from Jummah...
Have a great Jummah!
My husband calls me up and I'm sleeping... I'm expecting him to say "Please before I get home can you have this or that done in the house" when he surprises me!
"Is it possible for you to do some landscape designing today? I want you to make a new house design by Maghrib to submit to a possible client."
I'm a good wifey and I'm gonna obey my beloved Hubby. Yessir! I will devote my entire time from now til Maghrib on fulfilling this difficult obligation.
Erm... does that mean I still have to feed the kids?
I have been staring at these pics for quite a long time on people's blogs for over a year now and some of them make me wonder...why did they choose that picture? I know most of us choose it for beauty or symbolism but some stump me truly... like this first one...
Some make statements like MyHijab, and Hell Fire Furious Muslimah with their pictures. But why did you choose these pictures?
others like Muslimah2Muslimah and Ms.Unique feature their blog name right on their picture. Do you think this helps people to find them better? Why did you choose this way sisters?
This was my first one. I wanted to focus on my Alias name of AMW. Especially Writer. The Quill and ink I use to symbolize writing. But I write under the influence of Islam so I placed it IN the hijab. I am a Muslim and what i write about reflects that. American Is not portrayed thus I made a new one:
This one I like better. I clearly shows first that I am American with the symbolism of the flag. I am Muslim with the placement of the flag as hijab and niqab. But on the Actual Picture there is not a symbolism of writing but I feel that with seeing MY eyes it shows ME better than a representation of a writer. I AM a writer and by clicking on this picture under followers you will come across my blogs where I write. that is why I chose it.
I'm playing around with new stuff forgive the mess!
So surprise surprise (yeah I'm not surprised that you're not surprised) I made a blog to show the beautiful designs and creations of Allah and Mankind.
Masha'Allah I had a very relaxing day. I spent the morning blogging a bit, then took my kids to Al-Ain Mall for brunch and let them play in the Castle there for an hour til Hubby came. We had Lunch then on the way home Hubby and I had a little Car Race Muahahaha I WON!
Then we hung out at home for a bit til Hubby went back to work. Then I did more Blogging and Noshed (snacked) on some snacks and let the kids play just whatever their little hearts felt like. It was an open day for all. Then Hubby came home with my surprise: BABY DUCKS! TWO! One is Black and Yellow and the other is All Yellow. SOoo cute!!! We put them in the Hamster cage until Hubby can get a bigger cage, luckily they are still small. The kids were excited.
They are making baby chirps all the time though UGH I hope they don't do THAT ALL NIGHT! I better Google how to keep them quiet... Then I did the one and only cleaning today of vacumming the floors cause after the kids ate chips the crumbs were everywhere and SOMEBODY couldn't stand it. ;) Other than that I had a carefree day of no cooking or cleaning.
OK please don't groan or let your eyes pop out of your skulls ok but I have another Update: coming soon in an hour or so after I call my parents. Cause it wouldn't be my day if not for them know what i mean... :D So love to everyone. Hope you all had a great day too! Remeber April Showers bring May Flowers, and this week it's been pouring!
Allah has created Beauty for us to reflect about the Creator.
I would like to post a few things now and then that I find beautiful because Allah allowed it to be created.
Pick your Captain, Any Captain! Make him or her yourself for a day, week, month (you know as long as it keeps working...) and then look around you. Your home has now been transformed into a sprawling pirate ship. With full rigging.
Imagine with me the billowing sails in the color of your dear living room curtains. Come on open the window! Let in that fresh salty sea breeze! Turn sprinklers on the front lawn for added effect of waves crashing. Your living room is now the main top deck, kitchen has been turned into a galley. Enjoy counting your plunder in the Captain's Quarters aka Master Bedroom. Computer Room or Hobby Room can become the Helm. Bathroom naturally is the Brig. Children's rooms are for the crew. Please choose your crew wisely.
Never can tell where loyalties lie and watch out for stowaways on slumber party nights. Once you have your mixed crew of imaginary and real people assembled. Assign them tasks.
Older crew members can swab the decks. Younger crew can tie down the rigging. If you're all alone in your home then order yourself around and don't be lazy with the whip. A good crack here and there will set them straight.
Don't forget in your Home Management Notebook you can set it up as a Captain's Logbook. With sections on Crew, Plunder, Treasure, Ship Maintenance, Treasure Map Locations, a listing of qualified doctors to see upon getting stabbed or shot, you know, the basics.
The best part of Pirating is searching for hidden treasure. Now I don't want you to go digging holes in your yards. I want you to clear out your junk and throw away the fool's gold and search for the crown jewels. Be MERCILESS! You're a Pirate!
For the higher imaginative Captains you can add your own scenarios while you go along, either of swashbuckling treasure hunting, make like you are a hidden spy on an enemy ship and are rooting for clues, or romantic escapades on the high seas... the choices are as large as your imagination...
Of course make any dawdlers walk the plank at sword point. Or better yet arm them with a swisher and mop and lock them in the Brig. HAR HAR HAR!!!!