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Saturday, April 23, 2011

What's Left? at Fifty?


what's left? at Fifty?

You think you've done the right thing all these years for you, for him, for your children.  Taking care to make him look in the eyes of his children.  Ensuring he does the right thing by his kids.  You want your child to have the love of a father, you want him to be close to his off spring.  So build on their relationship, because you love them both.  And you don't know what the future holds, if something happens to me, at least my child will have her/his dad.  Afteral, the future is uncertain.
So you work it.  Keep them together, knitting them close, nurturing all the time.

Then one day, you wake up to find you're old.  You have reached that first marker of old age, the big 50.  And suddenly, everything seems just that little bit different, you actually saw it coming a few years earlier, but you refused to attention it, you thought of it as minor and that it will not be an issue, afteral you spent years of your life on this marriage.  No one is going to throw your efforts out so carelessly.

Are they?  The doubts gently niggle at you, eating away at your self-esteem, at your abilities, at your faith in the one you love.
These doubts make you look in the mirror more often, making you examine your body more, making you question your whole life and the way you chose to live it.
Have you made a mistake?  have you misjudged? Have you been too trusting?  Have you been too reliant on that one certain person more than you should have?  

You begin to fear for yourself.  It is a genuine fear.  It scares you right to the pit of your stomach.  Questioning your decisions, your moves, questioning, thinking, constantly confusing yourself more and more.  You find it harder to breathe with all this self-doubt, your head hurts so much and it gets worst everyday.
All this happening that is in your mind, all  the time, all by yourself.  You become more observant of what is going on around you, particularly observing him, how he's treating you, how he is with you as against his behaviour with other people.  And you start to worry even more because what you see is ugly.  

As the days go by, one at a time, you begin to feel less and less attractive. And you don't even want to feel attractive anymore.  Do I want to look good for me or for him? Questions, questions, questions.

You try to spend time, building up your own ego, to make yourself feel better, afterall, you have read everything there is on positive thinking, the power of thoughts and the magic of the mind. of course you can make yourself feel good about yourself, and you certainly don't need anyone else to make you feel good about yourself.  Fight fight fight.  Fight with yourself.  

The illusion of growing old together happily, has now melted, like dirty, day old snow, cowering, black and grungy on the lower crease of the lane, hiding by the curb.   That's growing old together.  it's not what you had in mind, but that's what it has become.  Luke warm, full of dirty contempt, soiled from the dirt collected over the years as you moved to one side of the lane, to allow fresh snow to fall.  

You always thought yours was a more solid relationship based on love, respect and good healthy egos.   Reality is that the sun is hiding behind the clouds, but you always pretended it was sunny just because it wasn't raining.   And you had to wait to lose some years to realise this. 
It's not sad, it's laughable. its hysterical.  How do I prepare my child for this awakening that comes to us at some point in our lives.   Then I think, that maybe her reality will not be the same as mine, after all, she is a different person.  
She does not suffer self-delusion that her parents suffer from.

Could I have done things differently?  Could I have been a better person?  Could I have managed my life better?  Could I?  or Was it you?  Maybe it isn't always me!  But maybe its my fault, after all, I said yes to you.  

Is this my lot in life?  Is this my faith?  Am I, was I so desperate, so afraid of being alone?  

Now, I look at my unmarried and divorced friends, and think of them as being lucky.  No more do I feel sorry for them.  They respect themselves and love themselves better than I do. They chose to do something about their lives.  Well done ladies.

Here I stand;  I'm 50, I am angry, not content, not at peace, just angry.  Plain and simple anger, it doesn't rage like a storm inside me, no more, it's not passionate.  The anger I feel is tediously muddy and sluggish, like me, swirling in slow motion, getting murkier, getting more dense with time.  I can't release it out anymore.  It can no longer be dispelled as in the past, it is no longer that a hot fiery dusty tornado churning in me.  The raging tornado can't be expelled in  a wild outblast from my lips anymore.  Time has caused it to transform.  And that actually frightens me.  When did this happen?  Shouting off my mouth has become such an effort.  Instead, my new weapon of  choice is Silence.  Silently, accounting it all in my heart.  I have become a fastidious accountant, careful and recording every minute detail, so as in the event of auditing, little is left to chance and everything can be explained.  To what end, I don't know.  All I know is that It is easier than releasing the tornado within, less destruction, less effort.  
No passion.  

Turning 50, makes you physically and emotionally tired.  Fifty is the time, to release the unworkable elements in your life, time to spring clean, to get rid of that which you have no use for any more.  To give away those elements that don't work, never have worked, but which you hung on to, for sentimental reasons, or didn't have the heart to throw out in the past.  Getting to fifty, makes you wonder, why you did certain things the way you did.   Optimism, is not as energised at fifty as when you were thirty or forty.  Its not that you are no longer optimistic, its just that your optimism is more grounded and leveled.  Your optimism is no longer marked with confetti and pyrotechnics.  There is no festive blast at the end of it.  

I have done a review of my first year of being in my fifties and now I have decided to spring clean and live in peace, to live for me.  He can take his dirty laundry, his bottle of cheap scotch,  and his bags out and find his own peace.  My life is going to be for me now.  Henceforth, I plan to value me above all others.  
My old age ideal is :  To sit under the shade of  a lush tree, eating a juicy plum, and not worry that it has dribbled down my hands, my chin and stained my top.  To smile at the hot gleaming sun as it burns my dry wrinkled skin.  To read my poetry in the quiet of evening.  To play my loud rock music till my head hurts.  To dance like a silly old hag and laugh at myself in the mirror.  To have a drink with friends and not care that I don't get up in the morning.  To work for 24 hours a day if I so wish, because I feel inspired.  To turn down the television volume so as I can think.  To sleep the sleep of the dead and not worry about you waking in the night.  To lay in my bed all day and not feel a pang of guilt.  To eat what I want.  To watch my ridiculous tv programmes and relish every moment.  To go shopping and not be rushed.  To go for a walk, alone.  To play on the computer for hours on end, and not feel that I have neglected you.  To do things in my own time, not be rushed around like a headless chicken.   To appreciate what I want to appreciate at anytime and love it.  To sit at a coffee shop drinking coffee for hours on end if I want to.  To go window shopping, just because I want to, for no reason what so ever.  To Not worry if you would like doing what I want to do.  To pay someone else for doing those jobs that you pooh pahhed and postponed.  To not worry that you are bored and to have to think of something for you to do.  To worry that you are feeling 'useless' and have to come up with ways to make you feel better about yourself.   To not listen to your self pitying claims when you're drunk, that make me feel guilty.  To stop you from making me so guilty about you and your life.  I don,t want the burden of you anymore.  I need to stop feeling bad about you not having a job; afterall, it was your choice not to work, to go into semi retirement.  I don't want to be the bread winner in this family; a breadwinner who is not respected or appreciated at all. 
I want to sing off key, so loudly to my favourite songs and not have you tell me to stop, or to look at me funny. 

Ahhhh, I should have never married.  

Friday, April 22, 2011


Who reads poetry nowadays? Who cares about it?
It's only people like me who write the stuff and on occassion read it ... my own I mean. I rather read other people's writings than my own. Once I've spewed all the verbatim on the screen, that's it, I'm done. A little like when you've gone to the toilet ... flush, wash your hands and get out. Relief.  Yup, poetry for me is like that. There is always this strong urge to regurgitate. It's the only release I have to be rid of my feelings.
Then only can I move on to something else.

I tried to sing when I was younger, realised, I was blessed with a low pitch voice that could not stretch to anywhere... and how upset I was that I could not sound like David Cassidy or as melodically moody as Carol king.  I tried to sing but people inevitably asked me to just hum... hum... hum... even when I was 9 and sat in the makeshift tree house, with my friends; my then "boyfriend" told me I was no nightingale.
And then there was a lovely handsome guy heart throb who told me, "you're cute but you haven't got a voice", my mouth shut and my heart fell on hearing him utter such harsh criticism.
Not long after, my mother, in a moment of inspiration perhaps, decided to buy us musical instruments.  Ukuleles, all three of us, myself and two siblings, got a ukulele each.  What possessed anyone to buy such an instrument for children less than 10 years of age. We were not given lessons, just ukuleles.  You can well imagine, a 10 year old, an eight year old and a seven year old, playing completely out of tune on the miniature "guitars".
Yes, we thought we could use them like  Carlos Santana or even Jimi Hendrix.
No, the ukuleles did not last long, before the strings broke, in fact, the whole instrument got smashed in wild moments mimicking Jimi Hendrix.
Oh, We did have our mellow moments, when we tried to "play" melodic "Japanese" tunes.   And then only to have both the gardener and driver bang away at our bedroom window, asking us not too politely, to stop the racket.
It got worse, when I decided to "sing" like a "Japanese" opera singer, my grandmother scolded my mother for encouraging the children to be disruptive (the word she used was : nuisance).
"Children should not be heard, not like that!!" grandmother scolded, "Send your children to bed for goodness sake," and this was at 4 pm in the afternoon.  Yes, grandma, we got the hint.

It was then that I had a revelation, if I can't sing, not in English or even Japanese opera, then perhaps I ought to try writing song lyrics.   Aha!! What a eureka moment that was for me.... yee haaaa
But sadly, I couldn't put any tunes to the words I came up with, or rather I couldn't get any more than one bar.  So, I gave up soon after.  And what do you think was left?  Can't sing, can't write lyrics, now what??
I love words but too lazy to write stories.  Starting was always easy but the carrying on was a hazard to the story, I would bore myself silly after a while and just didn't bother.

I sighed alot then. Loved words but how do I create with words, what can I create with words.
Till one Saturday afternoon, I was invited to "poetry club" at primary school.... what fun that was.   I could write, short lines (I like short!) and all I needed to do was to make them rhyme and add some rhythm... hey, I can do that.  And I didn't need to put a tune to it.  At last, a release for my words.   There begins my adventure into the literary world of poetry.

In conclusion, I'm a frustrated singer/song writer, who had to resort to poetry to give relief to her emotional diarrhea.


You never know...

You go through life, at times, not sure if you had any impact on anyone. Or what you were doing meant anything.  You wonder if it was pointless or meaningful.  And you do not always know as no one actually acknowledges you properly.  There are usually meagre efforts and you believe people say "nice" things just to be polite and don't really take notice.
Then out of the blue, one day, someone you did not expect, sends you a message, that makes you want to cry with joy. You feel a deep sense of satisfaction and grateful for life, and start to value your own efforts again.
To this person, who kindly said those wonderful words to me, I say thank you very much.  
Thank you for making me have faith in human nature again and for letting me know that what I had always aimed for has had an impact on you and others.  

Here is a part of the message, she sent to me that gave me so much joy:

Miss FMS a lot. The only thing me and Bhell talk about is FMS. I think, in my own view, you've given birth (in a creative way of speaking) to two most inspiring and successful Sabahan ladies; Bhell and Calista. I know they've work so hard for their success but you've polished them well, just like all the other FMS girls. On their behalf, i would like to thank you for that. For everything, Mrs Amal. I do hope life would always take good care of you and your family. :)

We all need that little booster once in a while from people whose lives we have touched.  Remember to say thank you or just whisper a few words of acknowledgment, no matter how small their contribution.  This makes you and the other person extremely happy.  It costs nothing to acknowledge a person ... mere words... how hard is it for us to say nice things.  Nothing.  But worth a fortune.

Sarcasm and criticism is not necessary; especially if its in the past. Learn to forgive and forget.  Unless, you were emotionally and physically tortured, learn to let go of things, a little a time.  I try to tell myself this as much as possible, albeit, its not an easy thing to do.  
Dwelling on a teacher who was harsh when you were a student, seems to be a minor thing, once you've matured doesnt it.  Telling an old school mate, that you thought she was too stern when she was at school, seems petty, when you are older and have lived separate lives.
Being sarcastic to someone who's just cooked you a meal, makes you a selfish and ungrateful person.  
What does it cost to say thank you??
Make yourself happy, by being grateful.  It does not make you any less of a person to show gratitude and appreciate.
Of course, you have to be honest, but if you can't be honest and nice, then refrain and hold your tongue.  Don't go out of your way to hurt another.  You are then, the petty one! Shame on you.

Just as you would like others to appreciate your talents, nature and character, so would others.  Be the first to show appreciation, then watch how much others respond in kind.  It's priceless.  Its a happiness generator. It makes for a lovelier life. ;-)

Have a super day!! Remember, you are a nice person too.  My sunshine to you.
And a warm hug to my students who remember me so nicely.  I will always want to do more for you, all you need to do is ask.  And thank you for making my day.  ;-)

Facing up to security issues on Facebook

Facing up to security issues on Facebook

Monday, April 4, 2011

ACC Flippant Blog: Moe Alkaff_doing sat nite fever

ACC Flippant Blog: Moe Alkaff_doing sat nite fever

ACC Flippant Blog: ESCAPE

ACC Flippant Blog: ESCAPE