Wednesday, September 21, 2016

.: Workplace flexibility :.


Working from home.

Recently read an article on LinkedIn: "How Work-From-Home Can Work For The Best". 

Extracts
Para 2: In an interesting survey on workplace flexibility1 conducted by Randstad, 53% of respondents said they preferred telecommuting or working from home. Of this number, the gender split was almost equal - meaning that an equal number of men and women preferred telecommuting to working from an office.
Para 6, Line 3: For these women, flexibility and telecommuting play a big role in helping them to balance their personal and professional lives. This sort of flexibility empowers women to be the best that they can be, by giving them an enabling environment to contribute and be productive on their own terms.

1 year and 8 months have passed since I started working from home. Although the nature of my work is on a freelance basis, it comes with a fixed income and certain perks. Needless to say, I have no intention of turning back the clock just yet to re-enter the 9 to 5 job market. 

At my age I suppose we tend to value things differently. Top priority now is on establishing a healthy balance, between family, personal and working life. No longer do I have the adrenaline rush to make the next million or climb the corporate ladder. Emphasis is on nurturing relationships, discovering beautiful memories and working on self-development, the few yet crucial things that I lacked of when I was a part of the rat race.

Being productive on our own terms. That is the kind of life I am living now. If you ever wonder whether you should make the leap of faith into the flexible working lifestyle, just ask yourself what are your priorities. Your priorities will determine your commitments, your next course of action. Will it be difficult? Like any path, the difficulty level depends on your ability to manage and adapt to the situation. Only you can make it work. 

Of course it helps a lot if you have a supportive environment. 

One fine example is my current working arrangement does not limit me. I am not bounded by a contract that says I cannot be commissioned by others. As long as I deliver accordingly, I am given the mobility to spread my wings far and wide, enabling me to further develop and acquire new skills, experiences and working relationships. 

While it may be a tad bit early for a new year's resolution, come 2017 I hope I can continue to make some kind of contribution to the society and the industries. Without having to trade-off my priorities.

Fingers crossed.
10.36am, Malaysian Time

Friday, September 16, 2016

.: Steel Mosque :.


Not the man of steel.



The Steel Mosque or "Masjid Besi" is also known as Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin. On my recent trip to Putrajaya, Alhamdulillah I was able to bring my husband and big sis to visit it. Elated, it was a first time for the both of them. 

Like any other tourist, both of them spent a good amount of time snapping pictures. Mr Husband is particularly fond of mosques. I suppose the ones we have here are quite different from the ones in his hometown. On the other hand, big sis had a ball of a time wearing the purple-coloured mosque garment. Sort of made her feel like Harry Potter. 

As for me, I like how spacious and airy the mosque is. Not much has changed since my last visit there and I am glad that the mosque is well taken care of. I adore the courtyard and the fact that the changing rooms are not too far from the prayer hall. For someone who does not use the telekung to pray, I still appreciate the changing rooms as it beats going all the way to the ladies just to check whether my scarf is in place. 

Looking at how things are turning out, there is a high possibility that we will go to the mosque again end of this year. 

All's well that ends well.
9.48am, Malaysian Time

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

.: Daily grind :.


Top of the hour.

Taking a break from the usual routine. Today's impromptu sharing is on a reminder shared by another friend on her Facebook wall.

The SHORTEST but POWERFUL dua?
Do you know it? 
Al-'Abbās, the uncle of the Prophet , came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: “Ya Rasūlullāh, teach me a du'ā'.” 
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “O my uncle, say: Allāhumma inni asaluka al-'āfiyah (O Allāh, I ask you for 'āfiyah).” 
What is 'āfiyah? 
'Āfiyah means “to save me from any afflictions.  
To be healthy, you are in 'āfiyah. To have enough money to live, you are in 'āfiyah. To have your children protected, you are in 'āfiyah. And if you are forgiven and not punished, you are in 'āfiyah". 'Āfiyah means: “O Allāh, protect me from any pain and suffering.” This includes dunya and ākhirah. 
Al-'Abbās thought about this for a while, and then he came back after a few days and said (paraphrased): “Ya Rasūlullāh, this du'ā' seems a little short. I want something big.” 
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “My dear uncle, ask Allāh for 'āfiyah for wallāhi, you cannot be given anything better than 'āfiyah.” It is a simple du'ā'. Sincerely mean what you say. “O Allāh, I ask You to be saved from any distress, grief, hardship, harm. Don't test me.” All of this is included in “Allāhumma inni asaluka al-'āfiyah.”
Riyadh As Saliheen, Sunan At-Tirmidhi

May Allah save all of us from any afflictions, ameen.

Back to the daily grind.
10.48am, Malaysian Time

Friday, September 2, 2016

.: Bee Cheng Hiang :.


Bak kwa.




To commemorate Malaysia's 59th National Day, Wednesday's family breakfast was halal chicken bak kwa slapped between sloppily folded pieces of white bread. Simple yet satisfying to the tummy. 

Munching on those pieces is akin to recalling my childhood. Back in the day, I would often ogle at the thin wafer-like pieces of sweet meat often sold in Chinese shops. The only comfort I had then was taking in unlimited free smells. Made usually out of pork, beef or chicken, rarely does one come across the halal variation.  

All those years, there is but one bak kwa brand that I remember selling this delicate delicacy and still exists until now. That brand is...


BEE CHENG HIANG


Specifically, the outlets in Singapore because those were the ones I grew up with. 

When I moved to Malaysia, I thought that was the end of it. No longer can I enjoy the free smells. There goes my excitement of ever seeing the succulent glistening sweet meat.

I was wrong.

The brand followed me to Malaysia.

And so did the dreary feeling of wanting something so badly, wanting something that is terribly out of reach. 

The meats are still non-halal. 

But that was not the end of it.

About a couple of months ago a Chinese revert friend of mine posted on his Facebook wall that he will be selling halal chicken bak kwa.

The news struck me like how sweet treats can mend a broken heart. 

And this is how the story ends. Friend posted the frozen halal chicken bak kwa to my house, I got my beautiful pack and stashed it in the fridge, waited for an opportune time, took it out of the fridge, slapped it on the grill and savoured every single bite.

Took me more than 2 decades of patience to have this bite.

Good things certainly come to those who wait. 
---

Ikhwan Ng's Frozen Halal Chicken Bak Kwa

500grams: 6-7 slices, 6 x 6 inches
1kg : 14-15 slices, 6 x 6 inches

Phone No: 012-3979998

PS: He sells other halal products.

---

This is not a paid review for my friend or Bee Cheng Hiang and honestly, I am allergic to chicken. Chickens, unless organic or reared without any of those nasty stuff make me itch. I am risking my allergic reactions for my childhood fantasy.

Things just got real.
10.44am, Malaysian Time

Thursday, September 1, 2016

.: Sowing seeds :.


Miles away.



All this while, I feel blessed that we have a small plot of land right here in our Southern home. At this very spot, dad planted a handful of fruits and vegetables trees. Occasionally, the trees sprouted by itself and we found ourselves wondering who had planted the seeds. As no one admitted to doing it, I suppose we have the birds and other critters to thank for that. 

Fast forward, now that I am married, I feel all the more blessed to know that my husband has an actual yard at his home in Northwestern China. A huge plot or rather small plots of land where they are able to grow all sorts of fruits and vegetables. Most of which are the kind that we can never grow in ours.

Intrigued with nature, my husband and I will often have conversations on growing our own fruits and vegetables. Although our current arrangements do not allow us to do that just yet, we have our dreams, our aspirations and the drive to work on materialising it.

Why you may ask?

Because this is the kind of life we want our children to be brought up in. A life where they can play, bond and develop a sense of gratitude and respect for nature and other living creatures. 

Cultivating the seeds of life from its very roots.
12.11noon, Malaysian Time