On Deadlines & Saying No

Earlier in the evening today I just realised I had missed the deadline for a small part of my school assignment by 2 days! Imagine my shock and denial. I had read through the whole assignment but had truly missed the deadline for the first part. Alhamdulillah I set myself on it tonight and I managed to get it done even though it’s super-late. I emailed my tutor too in hopes he will pardon me and give me a pass, at least. I really hope!

But I shan’t dwell on it too much, as it was a genuine mistake and there’s no point being too upset over it. It’s not the worst that can happen and I still have the chance to make it right for the second part of the assignment- the thousand word essay. 

And I hope to always remember this. That I may make mistakes sometimes but what’s important is what I do about it. That I will own up to it, try my best to make it right, learn from it and pray to Allah to ease my affairs. 

May Allah ease. And I can do this. 

Also, it dawned on me that I have two essay assignments due within several days which brought me to say no. No to supposed plans over the weekend and my plan to finish doing up the cards for a small project for some sisters. It kinda sucks because you wish you can do them all but this is it, a lesson for me ultimately from Allah. To prioritise and choose wisely and make sure I can allocate my all to all that I intend to do. 

Don’t Wait to Be Grateful!

Such is the reminder pertinent to myself as of today.

I was reading an article about 3 habits that will change your life and I’m glad I’m already practising one of it now that is, journaling. 
The app that I’m currently using is the Gratitude Journal App and it has been a tremendous tool! The interface is such that when you type in words/sentences of things you’re grateful for, you then need to click a “Yes, I am grateful” button below to save it. I like it as it kinda reinforces the value of gratitude in users. 

I try to do it at least once every day, usually at night before I sleep. In a way, I try to sleep with a grateful heart. It is so much comforting really, than going to sleep with an empty or distressed heart or weeping eyes. Honestly though, some days are harder. Some days I’m just glad I got through work, some days I’m just glad nothing ‘bad’ happened. Some days I just feel so ‘meh’ – like there’s nothing to be grateful for. But know that there is. Even if you can just think of one, or even if you think it’s not significant. If it’s so bad, look at others below you in terms of their living conditions and quality of life. Even if you don’t feel that gratitude in your heart coz we all have our days, helps to just bear in mind and tell yourself that there are some things out there, bigger than myself that are truly good. 

This week I havn’t been updating my gratitude journal app daily as I reached most nights too tired, too late at night to write etc. 

So I found myself entering things into the app past 6pm today and the golden reminder for me is that, don’t wait till night time to set aside time to be grateful for all the day’s happenings. This is because I don’t always have the luxury of time or the energy to it. So when I do get some quiet time to myself, I need to make it a point to pen down the things I want to be grateful to Allah swt for. 
Being grateful doesn’t cause the struggles, worries, negative vibes to disappear into thin air. It is still there. It is up to me, which one I choose to focus on. Focus on your blessings, or your deficiencies? Plus, heard of a super-great bonus from the One who gifts us with all these blessings? Yes. He promised that when we are grateful, He gives us more.  And Allah swt gives in His often subtle ways šŸ™‚ 
May Allah swt make us ever-grateful, and in us doing so, we attain His Love.

#airplanemode

11th floor. 

Everything else below seemed small. 

And so too are these you are carrying.

All your doubts, worries, insecurities, uncertainties, ongoing struggles. 

You are exactly who you are

Just human 

Ever so struggling

Always far from perfect 

And so is your life 

But no matter what

Keep in mind

That there’s always a bigger perspective 

There’s a bigger world out there 

While everything that may concern you is valid 

Not everything that is valid need to be dwelled upon 

Drowning and sinking deeper 

Is not a healthy way to live 

Therefore embrace the fact of the matter of your life in this world

Temporary it is 

Remember 

His Promises 

Of the everlasting abode 

That is 

Waiting.

When your mind is super-clouded and overwhelmed, #airplanemode 

When I Got My First Ever A in UniĀ 

An important reminder to self

It’s never due to my efforts alone

Not of any other past or future success too

Rather it’s many contributing factors He made possible

 

Happy

I finally know what’s my kind of study method

After years of trial and errors

After past education periods where I had little to no motivation to study 

Where I simply studied for the sake of it

To having and renewing multiple good intentions of what I do

Read and understand, make own notes, generate, review 

 

Never been the A student 

Or the bright student who seams through her studies effortlessly

Even though I’ve been told I look studious (haha) 

I require double triple the effort to do well

And Allah is fair 

To each his own strengths and weaknesses 

 

Support, motivation and reminders from my parents and close friends

“Nervous is good”

“Make plenty of duas”

“Believe in yourself”

 

Exams held within those four walls are, at the end of the day, just tests

They don’t always bring out the best in you

But they can be a fair yardstick to measure your effort 

So put in the effort first With plenty of duas to Allah whose Knowledge is above all of His creations, He who allows you to remember when you forget, He who inspires you

 And that is the very essence of tawakkul 

Whatever that you’ve learnt 

Place your full trust in Him 

One can only rely so much on one’s memory and intelligence

 But all that is not possible for retrieval or proper usage if not by His permission 

And make selawat upon the Prophet (peace be upon him) whom through which Allah will open doors for you 

 

May I always remember 

To be grateful for every single thing 

To always put in the effort and give my best no matter the circumstances 

To constantly be in the state of remembrance of Allah swt and His Beloved 

It’s Never About FinishingĀ 

One lesson that I got from the month of Ramadhan that had just passed is that it’s never about “finishing”. It’s good to have goals that you set to achieve in the month but know that it’s okay if you fall back and your goal is ‘delayed’ a day, two days, or several days short. You know yourself better than others so don’t compare your journey to theirs. What is key is striving for consistency. This is a hard lesson for me to learn because I’m someone who has high expectations of myself and one of my challenges is having consistency or istiqamah.

I’ve been striving to journal down my day reflections but lately, I fall short and I don’t do it but I try to keep to my Gratitude Journal app on my phone every day before I sleep. I’ve learnt not to beat myself up over not being studious enough to keep to certain habits that I’d like to have as I know there are other ways that can still work for me.

I’ve been watching the Faith Revival Ramadhan series by Sh. Omar Suleiman on YouTube and I only discovered it like 2 weeks after Ramadhan and I’ve yet to reach the 10th episode. And that’s fine, the idea is never about “finishing” the whole series by the end of Ramadhan as there’s no point if I do so but I don’t truly gain benefit from it. It’s better that I take it at my own pace, make it a point to really learn and practice what I learnt. The rest of the series will continue this Syawal and perhaps even beyond? Just like how we should sustain the spirit of Ramadhan, the essence of worship itself outside of Ramadhan. The spirit of learning and improving. 

Two of my favourite sisters in faith, Aida Azlin & Fadhilah Wahid, who started the Ramadhan Reminders podcast based on a book by Habib Umar al-Hafiz also had their own challenges. Even though they initially mentioned posting a new podcast daily at night, their busy schedules and family commitments had them to change to every alternate day instead and from what I’ve read recently, they are planning to continue on these podcasts for the rest of the year until they finish the whole book! MasyaAllah. May He make it easy for them. 

I think the essence of all these is that while we strive toward improvement and our plans, we need to realize that perfection is not a goal. We will never be perfect. Some days easier, some days harder. Other days you feel like zero. But the point of aim is your end in mind. Who are you doing all this for? To please who? For whose benefit? Don’t give up, keep on trying. Keep on striving. Life is not a race of who’s faster. It’s never about “finishing”. Get on at your own pace and have faith.