Hello 1 July, Hello 2H 2019

In every point in your life, you must always be ready to hit the refresh or restart button because you will never know where life takes you, beyond what you have planned for. For example, when your kid is sick and hospitalised, you just have to drop everything. Nothing else matters.

Hello 1 July.

Hello 2H 2019.

Checking all my goals early in the year and assess which areas need to be pumped up or let go.

Hit refresh button.

How’s your 2019 coming along?

Less than 1 minute survey on post layout

Hi guys!

I’ve received a feedback from a reader that she prefers to see every post in full, rather than only an excerpt, so that she doesn’t need to keep clicking the Continue Reading link at every post. So I’ve changed my blog layout recently to show all the post in full, which means, you just need to scroll down to read all the posts.

I personally prefer to show only excerpt as I think from a reader’s perspective, they have an option to select which post they are interested in to read in full, so less scrolling for them too. If you view on phone which I believe most people do, it can be quite an exercise to keep scrolling down. So I’ve changed my layout back to show only excerpt, as it is right now. And I received the same feedback again haha.

So I’ve decided to do a survey on this (see below).

Appreciate if you could spare less than a minute of your time to let me know your preference (it takes 5 seconds only to be honest).

Thank you!

Why I Couldn’t Blog When Travelling with Family and a Toddler

Hello all!

I’m back from a long holiday with my family in laws. I thought I could give a short update everyday when I was travelling, but I underestimated the dedicated family time required throughout. Let’s just say, when you are travelling with a toddler, you just can’t take your eyes off them, not even a minute, except when they are asleep at night, and by then you are just dead tired. I also personally feel it’s selfish of me to be using my phone when I’m with everyone else. I believe that when you are with family especially during holiday, your mind and heart must be present there with them. So I consciously decided to ignore my daily blogging rule when I am on holiday. I hardly checked my phone too. And it felt good!

Now I’m fully recharged, ready to embark the journey of 2nd half of 2019! I have a lot of readings to catch up for sure.

Let’s do this!

The week ahead and What I’m excited about

If you are one of my loyal readers you would know that I have not been diligent in updating my blog everyday for the past week or so. I had to back date some of the entries and I’m going to do it for the past 2 days that I have missed. There’s just so many things to be done and I could only do it in the early morning, late night or whenever my son is asleep. Too many things to prioritize that I have to put this blog aside. But I’ve missed blogging. I can’t believe I just said. Well, after 5 months of doing it everyday, it’s just part of my routine so the feeling does come naturally. Hence I’m forcing myself now to ignore the things that I have to do and just spend some time for my blog.

So basically the Eid celebration (Raya in Malay) is coming in 2 days time. What unique about this Raya is that my little unit will be going to Brisbane and Gold Coast for 8 days with my in laws! So I have loads to pack. My living room is currently filled with all the things that I need to bring. That’s one of the things that I need to do. So hopefully I get to sort that out later when my son is at school. I’m actually on half day today just to settle all these things.

And most importantly, to visit my late dad’s grave. In Islam, it’s a sunnah to visit grave in the morning of Raya but it’s impossible to do it when you have a toddler, so just a few days before Raya would do. When my dad was around, we would go back to his hometown every year for Raya and every morning of Raya, without fail, he would bring us along to visit all the important graves – his late parents, i.e. my grandparents and some of his close aunties and uncles. When I was much younger, I didn’t really understand the meaning of this tradition, I would sometimes ramble because I had to wear the normal costume first to cemetery before I could wear my new Raya costume which is something that almost everyone look forward to (well mostly the kids and teenagers). But now, given that it’s my own dad that I’m visiting, the feeling is very different. I look forward to go. I’m sure he would want all his daughters to visit him as it is something that he has taught us to do since young. Love you Daddy.

Also, just a heads up that my posts in the next couple of days for a week so will be delayed since I’ll be travelling. In fact it’s going to be the first time I’m travelling this year, i.e. since I started blogging. Not sure how other daily bloggers do it so let’s just see how this pans out. I’ll find my own rhythm.

I’m actually quite excited to go to Australia because it’s been more than a decade since I last went there. The last time I went was in 2005 with 2 of my best friends who studied there. We were in our 1st year of uni and I decided to spend my summer doing a road trip around the land down under (instead of the UK, the country where I did my degree and masters, can’t really remember why I did that but I think the idea just popped out and I just did it). It was one of the best road trips I had to be honest. I can still remember how I awed at all the states I went to – Perth, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne and of course the driving along Great Ocean Road. So yes, I’m excited to see go back!

Another thing that I’m excited about is that this time, my side of family (i.e. my siblings and mom) will be gathering at our house where we all grew up. My eldest sister, who got married recently is currently staying there with her husband and they plan to cook my mom’s traditional raya dish since my mom’s not that strong to cook for all of us. I’m excited because it will definitely bring back all the good memories we had when we were living in that house, when my dad was still around with all the Raya pictures we took with him in that house, and the fact that it’s my eldest sister hosting, it feels right, given that she’s the eldest. Ahh, this brings tears to my eyes.

I guess that’s enough update for now.

Why I enjoy going to work

Until today, my husband never gets why I enjoy working. He thinks I want to work forever. He asked me this question before, albeit multiple times:

Given the choice, if you don’t need to work, would you just stay at home and do nothing?

My answer has always been no. Even though I am a mom now. If I’m not working, I will find something to start, a business be it goods or services in the field that I am passionate of – any intersection of data, technology, finance and education.

So here’s the thing. Sure, I enjoy the place where I am working at now – the vision and mission have always attracted me and I have a set of challenges to deal with. But more importantly, the act of waking up, dressing up, putting on my make up and then walk confidently to work gives me a whole lot of positive energy, hope and inspiration to do my very best, to contribute, to engage and feel good about myself. The feeling is indescribable. And that is why you have to choose the type of work over salary.

When intent is right, everything else will prevail.

A note to my dear son


Love you my dear son.

When work is crazy

Work is at the peak right now I just want to shut down for awhile. And that’s what I’m going to do now. Taking the LRT to work now. Turning off my inbox, kindle, work app and just turning on Spotify, and close my eyes, dreaming of a holiday destination.


Setting Expectations

You know how we stress ourselves on daily basis just by our own many little personal expectations? For example, (1) I want to get up by 7am to do some readings ahead of my meeting later, (2) I want to respond to that particular email before anybody else does, (3) I want to get the work done by 5pm so that I can leave on time, (4) I want to post about something I read yesterday, (5) I want to cook my husband’s favourite food today. I could go on, but you get the picture right? Then as you go through the day, the unexpected happens and ruins all your plans. And you get stressed about not meeting all your little personal expectations.

Then we ask ourselves, is it worth it? Is it worth the stress and anger when your own family, spouse and/or child (or children) are the ones that caused you not to meet your expectations? You are after all doing a favour for your loved ones which above anything else, matter most.

We are all wired to be ambitious, to achieve our goals and dreams because it makes us feel good about ourselves, we receive great pleasure from being successful where the successes are all defined by our own self. We are responsible for setting all those expectations. But the psychologist in the “Danish way of Parenting” book highlighted that human beings receive greater pleasure from making other people happy. True, but as human beings we tend to forget, we get so engrossed in our world and our little expectations that we forget what really matters most in our lives. And before you know it, the time is gone.

So let it go. Readjust your expectations according to what is realistic. If you couldn’t meet one or all of your many little expectations today because your loved ones need your attention and help, be happy about it. 10 years down the road when you look back, that’s all that matters. The only regret you will have is not because you couldn’t respond to that email first, but it’s the time lost helping the people that matter that we didn’t treasure today.

Tough ISTP

I’m answering a few interview questions and one of the questions is “How would you describe yourself in a few sentences?”

This is a tough question even though no one should be able to answer this question better than myself. So I decided to google my personality type based on MBTI which is ISTP which stands for Introversion, Sensing, Thinking and Perception. Apparently female ISTP is extremely rare – pragmatic and logical but also calm and nonjudgemental, strong and independent and thrives to work in a male-denominated firm/industry. So far it does sound like me.

Checked my MBTI report done by HR and found this to be bizarre.

ISTP The chart above indicates that within the Thinking category, when it comes to making decisions or draw conclusions, I prefer to be firm and tough-minded.

I suppose there’s truth in that, when it comes to work, I have to be make decisions that benefits the organization not individuals. A good reminder to myself as I try to balance between being tough vs. being compassionate as highlighted in this post.

1st week of Ramadhan

After 2 years of not fasting, I have to say that sometimes I feel like I’m acting like a kid who just started fasting. The first day was manageable but that’s because I was on half day leave in the afternoon to run some errands. Second day was the worst – at 4pm I had gastric, my stomach felt cramped but I was determined to fast so I managed to hold on.

I guess my body had a shock.

So third day onwards I decided to make sure that I eat energy-rich food such as banana, oats, during sahur, and I felt better. It did give me the extra energy I needed. But still, after buka puasa, I was dead tired I could literally sleep anywhere I want. I didn’t sleep back after sahur in the morning so by 9pm I was super sleepy already.

Weekend is usually tougher because you don’t have work to do to distract yourself from feeling hungry. So right now I’m just going to chill. Probably take an afternoon nap.

Selamat berbuka to those of you who are fasting! We can do this for the next 3 weeks!!

Ramadhan Al Mubarak

I admire those who actually look forward to the fasting month, even more admire those who have specific goals to achieve in this holy month. Unfortunately for me, I feel neutral to be honest. I think partly because I have not been fasting for 2 years in a row – 2017 I was pregnant while 2018 I was breastfeeding. I still am breastfeeding but my milk supply has depleted anyway since my son is already 18 months old. So I believe that fasting will not have any impact to my current milk supply.

Nevertheless, I’m determined to fast this time. What I look forward to is to wake up much earlier than usual for sahur because I usually don’t sleep back after sahur. Hopefully I get to write in the morning back again after not being able to do so for the past few weeks.

As I reflect upon what I just wrote, I realised that I should aim to recite at least 1 page of Quran everyday. If I can blog everyday, why can’t I read the Quran everyday?

Few days ago, someone asked me why I decided to write everyday. I said it is just to create a routine/healthy habit that I actually commit and follow through everyday. The rest is bonus. Secretly, it is also to force myself to wake up in the morning to perform my Subuh prayer.

I guess I could say that by diligently writing everyday, I then ask myself, why can’t I do other important things that I should also be doing everyday? It’s a good check and balance.

Ramadhan Al Mubarak everyone! Let’s be more positive this month and do more good deeds than we usually do! As for me, I really hope I can maintain the positive energy throughout the day. If I could fast for almost 20 hours when I was in MIT in 2016 when the schedule was extremely hectic, why can’t I do it now?

Need to be More Proactive in Taking Care of Ourselves

I’ve been having a lot of phlegm lately, I keep having to throw it out from my throat. It’s getting really annoying. Even my nose is blocked during the day, not just in the morning. I thought maybe my sinus has worsen that I need to undergo an operation. But I didn’t do anything about it, I just endured it, until today.

Today I decided to take action. I went to the clinic to seek help. I really wanted the doctor to check me and recommend me to an ENT specialist if need be. I’ve been postponing to see the doctor because the queue is always long and I don’t have much time to spare. But I thought this is my health and I should be more proactive in taking care of myself before it negatively affects my personal and professional lives.

This is what the doctor said.

You don’t have fever and your breathing is normal. You don’t need to see ENT specialist. You just have to allow your immune system fight the airborne bacteria. The air that you breathe is just very dirty.

I was stunned.

So she gave me nasal spray, fluimucil to break down the phlegm, sore throat spray and flu pill. She also asked me to take 1000mg vitamin C everyday and after this episode, she advised me to take flu shots to strengthen my immune system.

The medications helped me a lot and I’m feeling much better.

But I’m still stunned by her hypothesis.

Is the air that we breathe really dirty? Is it because of that? I admire those who have passion to fight climate change because I don’t. I’m aware of it and I will try my very best to act in accordance to fight climate change, but it won’t be part of my main agenda/topics of interest. But if the increase in airborne bacteria is due to climate change, then I should be interested about climate change because the threat is real.

Let’s be more proactive in taking care of ourselves and our environment.