About Life, Poems by me

She Lost Her Patience

She lost her patience the other day and decided to run away.

She slammed the door shut and out she went from her warm hut.

She walked in despair inhaling the fresh scent of amber.

Cool air brushed her worried face,

As she walked in a rapid pace…

Then her knees suddenly buckled underneath,

She could not even breathe.

So she came to a full stop,

And on the soft wet grounds, she fell down in a drop.

She twisted her thin fingers around her crimson curls,

And pulled on her head in spirals and twirls.

Warm tears streamed down the freckles of her face,

As she looked at herself in disgrace.

‘What kind of mother are thee?

To leave your little one with no mercy…’

She knew she loved him with all her heart

And with him she could never even part!

His presence was a bliss,

A feeling she would not want to miss…

But she was tired and consumed,

She felt lost and totally confused.

She was overwhelmed and afraid,

Of the new forced responsibility that came unpaid!

She felt clueless and terrified,

As she sobbed, cried and cried…

In desperation she tightly hugged her knees,

Holding her head up to catch a cool breeze.

She wanted to fill in her lungs

With flowers, butterflies, and shrubs…

She craved for sunlight and shine

And soft petals covering her spine!

She has been trapped for weeks,

With a fragile baby of rosy cheeks,

Curly red hair on fire,

And dark brown eyes filled with desire.

On her own night and day,

She had to carry him, feed him, love him and pray!

Bathe him, cuddle him, move and sway…

On her own, was she and could not even rest!

Her patience was out for the test…

Her belly still wobbly and soft,

That long delivery she wished she forgot…

The gnawing pain that tore around her back

Making every bone within her crack!

Her enlarged breasts filled with warm milk,

Suddenly dripped softly and ached in a blink.

She gasped for breath as her heart sank in her chest!

Like needles, goosebumps on her skin were thrown,

Making her shiver to the bone.

She turned to nature to observe

How perfect and ready it is to serve

A human, a life, and a lost soul!

So she knew she had no choice but to control,

That inner distress and pain,

And be strong for her baby’s gain!

For him she would live and die

Cross the oceans, weep and cry.

No matter how demanding or tough

She had to be brave, courageous and rough…

So she finally had the power, and up she stood,

She realized how challenging is Motherhood!

It will continue to throw her from side to side

And make her fall down an extremely steep slide,

Then wildly pull her up and let her fly,

With unconditional love and compassion to glorify.

But that is only the start…

Of an everlasting loving and aching heart!

Painting by Michael Garmash

Note for the reader:

I wrote this poem a few months back, but didn’t find the occasion to post it. With all the Love February brings along, I realized that would be the best timing for my poem to appear to the public.

It is due to that unconditional love that this tired and worn out mother could actually overcome her breakdown as she stepped into the supreme ocean of motherhood!

Love heals our souls. It mends our pain. It gives us hope. And it brings light to our life!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

About Life, Parenting

Parents of the 21st Century

Parents of the 21st century, I admire us! I admire how we survive the irony we live day by day. I admire our perseverance in attaining our goals. I admire that despite our fatigue and feebleness we continue to smile and enjoy life. I admire our creativity and the pressure we have put upon ourselves and our children in order to achieve big dreams.

And what a hefty responsibility we have forbear on our shoulders! Haven’t you realized that we are the pioneers of a humongous change which is slowly conquering the world?

We are the first generation to have such open accessibility to knowledge. A knowledge which could be overwhelmingly daunting sometimes. Whenever we are worried about any parenting or health issue, we could simply tap a button, and we get to read about anything and learn new notions while seated at the comfort of our sofa at home. It would be helpful, though, to keep in mind that not everything we read about is one hundred percent true! There is a big chance we could be easily tricked into superstitious ideas which could make us worry about unnecessary concerns.

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We are the first generation to have such awareness and encourage our children to openly discuss topics which our parents did not even dare speak of. We assist them in having the courage to criticize dogmatic rules and taboo. In fact, we help them voice their opinions and demand for a better world. At the same time, I strongly believe that we need to guide our children and raise their awareness because that is one way to protect them from such a vast openness. It is important that we are actually involved in their inquiries and arguments.

We are the first generation to be living in such an alarming dilemma. We want to catch up with all the new advanced applied science to the extent that we are even considering future steps in conquering other planets!! At the same time, we want to preserve our heritage and maintain what has been forbade to us from previous generations. We painfully wonder what are we actually offering our children! Here again, having open conversations with our children and telling them more about our antecedents would help them appreciate the past and look to the future with richness.

We are the first generation which is working unyieldingly hard in trying to save the environment as we implement recycling programs in different countries. Although we sometimes feel hopeless and angry to realize the damage which we humans have inflicted on planet Earth – throughout the past years – we try to compensate by directing our children into choosing better alternatives and reduce waste. One good way to have this concept come out naturally, is to set an example ourselves and apply what we preach about at home and in schools.

We are the first generation to be raising children who are hooked up to their iPads and smart phones – mind you so are we! We even struggle, every single day, in setting strict rules and limited timing for the usage of these devices. We try to justify its advantages and bombard our conscience with their disadvantages. We share articles with each other trying to help ourselves and others, through a constructive analysis, about how the online world is affecting all of us. Many are the times when we reach a dead end and we feel that we do not actually know if we are doing the right thing! However, setting those rules together along with our children might be a helpful way of limiting this excessive and addictive usage! As parents, for example, we should also set a good model and not use these devices while we are seated at the dinner table all together.

We are the first generation to be living away from our support systems and extended family members. We had to learn to adapt on living on our own without having the constant presence of close relatives by our side. Many of our children are capable of physically spending fun times with their grandparents only once a year! How strenuous is that! Therefore, it is essential to ask for help from dear friends and neighbors as this would lessen the hefty uncertainty we might be experiencing. Yes, it is OK to ask for help when needed!

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We are the first generation to be consuming toxic ready made food in such enormous quantities and purchasing refined and manufactured processed foods because we are not given much choice on the matter. Then, we feel anxious about how we are actually poisoning ourselves and our children’s health!! We do not actually know what the best choices are because every year a new research highlights the dangers of consuming a certain type of food. Here comes the importance of preparing homemade meals and desserts where we could at least control the amounts of sugar and fat used in our food intake.

We are the first generation to be aiming on achieving multiple goals in a short period of time. Hence, we find ourselves participating in any given plans and activities. We find ourselves drowning because we are loading ourselves with a lot of weight.  As much as setting goals is essential in achieving success, trying to accomplish one after the other makes us more focused and more efficient.

We are the first generation to be witnessing a major technical revolution where we exist in two worlds; the real one and the virtual one. Along the way, humanity has become scarce and functioning mechanically like robots has become a ‘mode de vie’. In doing so, we realize that we are losing human traits which are essential for our survival. It is here that we come to appreciate Nature and the serenity it brings to one’s soul. After all, it it is in the arms of Mother Nature, where we genuinely get the chance to explore ourselves and minds.

We are the first generation to have our children register in structured play and professional training skills. We pay fortunes of money to have them efficiently learn specific competencies. Very soon, we come to realize that bombarding our children with more than two activities per week is definitely strenuous for them and us alike.

We are the first generation to be spending most of our time driving back forth, commuting on a daily basis and exposing ourselves to high risks because we need to tend to our endless parenting chores. So let us please be safe on the roads and try not to text and drive as thousands and thousands of us do!

Finally, we are the first generation to undergo surgeries and plastic restoration for cosmetic purposes as we try to defy age. We are actually accepting all sorts of ideas that would make us feel good about ourselves, even if we had to inject a few toxins into our veins. I think that we should consider our sometimes hasty decisions and simply accept the beauty of how our bodies change by time.

Parents of the 21 st century, I admire us because we are the first generation to be experiencing this contradiction, yet we are making our best to handle it well.  We have such a solid will that helps us move forward. Despite all that uncertainty and the overwhelming obligations we have the will to survive such a challenge and move on.

At the same time, I cannot stress enough the importance of  spreading the righteous awareness to our kids and teach them how to be responsible for the actions they take. We are in charge of directing them into knowing about all those contradictory life issues. We are here to guide them, and have them learn from what life brings their way. Unlike us, their every action taken and every word noted is now recorded forever.

Parents of the 21st century, I encourage you to give yourself a tap on the back because none of the previous generations has been subjected to such an impressive demanding parenting experience! And that is why I admire us!

About Life, events

LOVE

No matter what sort of year you have had, this is the time when you feel the need to sit with oneself and ponder about the past events, assess the current situation, and hope for a better future. Some of us work on changing certain habits, while others create a list of a new year’s resolution. Personally, I have decided to work more on my inner status as a first step in making the best out of my life in this period of time. And this is what I will share with you:

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you!”

Last year, I thanked 2017 for all the boundless experiences it has entrusted me with, and the life lessons it taught me from the painful losses which have abducted my inner happiness. Despite that, I held no grudge against it, and for 2018 I prayed for Love!  I realized, back then, that the more Love I give to the outside world, the more peaceful I felt in my inner terrene! I learned to reflect intense Love and only Love towards my soul and others, regardless of a few bitter and negative consequences I have faced a couple of times during the year. So for that mighty LOVE I have asked!

Throughout 2018, Love bounced back at me with abundance. I was baffled by the loving support and ardent loyalty I have received this past year! I did not only feel it, but I have also sensed it on many occasions. Whether it was at home, or at school, or by the society, it was expressed in one way or the other. People sometimes surprised me by sending messages or emails expressing the Love they feel for my work, and all the inspiration I have provided them with.  The Love I have asked for was manifested in many ways, and I am so grateful for those ardent emotions I have shared with so many of you.

That radiant Love was specifically tangible when family and friends knew about our departure and the fact that we will be leaving Abu Dhabi for good. I received phone calls almost on a daily basis, words of encouragement, and support from so many caring people. I felt I owe each and every one of them and promised myself to always make the effort to be there for them too and provide them with my endless Love and warmth.

That same unique Love accompanied me all the way to Oman where we were fervently welcomed by very kind people and with whom we instantly felt connected. Their love and courtesy fell upon me and my family like confetti. I could literary feel their enthusiasm and consideration in wanting to help us and make us feel at home. It was a bit surprising for me at first to realize that so much goodness still prevails itself in this unbalanced world. At the same time, I thought to myself, ‘How awesome is that!!?’

Despite all the difficult changes I have experienced and the unstable mind status I passed through, I could sense the loving vibes of my entourage. That same Love has helped me overcome the complications of settling in a new place and quickly adapting to the current environment.

It is true that there are only a few days left before I bid goodbye to another number set in a sequence. Only a few days to benefit from what is still hidden for me in 2018, yet the impact this year had on me is endless and immortal. The new me who graduated from the ‘School of Life’ as per my precious Grandmother, may God bless her soul, is remarkable. Yes, I will continue to offer more and more of my Love to everyone and everything that surrounds me. Yes, I will be projecting my positive sentiments for the dear people who have been part of this growth! That Love will be my eternal guide!

So what would I ask for in 2019? I only want to be immersed in gratefulness!

N:B In the picture above, Mother Earth has offered me this  heart shaped rock which I coincidentally found on our second week in Muscat, and I knew that Love will continue to guide me in the years to come.

About Life, Parenting

Expats; This is for You!

This is not the first time I experience the life of an expat. In fact, my life started as one. First, I was born in Saudi Arabia, in a remote area which was foreign to my parents. In it, I experienced a unique childhood where I grew up appreciating the beauty of the desert with all its charming crimson and pale colors emerged in one painting.

Years later, my parents, like every Lebanese at that time, decided to go back to their hometown, and try to compensate for the lost years of living abroad. Seeking a better opportunity to provide us with an excellent level of education, they conceded to settle in Beirut during the weekdays, and headed to the mountains every weekend.

As children, we quickly learned to adapt and fit into two different cultures; the urban and rural life each with its own disperse traditions and contradictory lifestyles .

The first real cultural shock, though, hit me when I got married and moved to live in France. It was not only about learning to adapt and fit into a completely new culture, but I also needed to improve my French speaking, reading, and writing skills which I have acquired as a third language.

I left my family, my teaching career, my social life, and my home to create a new home for me and my dear husband. And what a shock it was to realize that I was all of a sudden fully responsible for the tiniest decisions I made.

Not too long after that, my husband and I embarked on a new journey to Abu Dhabi! Again settling in and creating our own circle took some time, but we soon managed to establish our solid grounds and deal with the daily challenges of parenting, work, and whatever life brought us. Of course, we had our ups and downs. Our moments of complete surrender and defeat. Instants of loneliness and uncertainty. At the same time, we encountered amazing moments and built particular memories with amazing people whom we will cherish forever.

All those years, have actually taught me how to adapt to change. They provided me with the courage of embracing modification and diversity. They have paved the road for me to make me accept the consequences of living the expat life!

So this is how I am now acknowledging our new move in Muscat:
Learn about the culture before hand:

Before moving to any country, I learned to read about the culture and the country traditions we are moving to. It is essential to know what is expected and accepted in the society. What is normal in one place could be against the law in another. That is how having an idea of what to expect makes things smoother for us.
Listen to the local radio:

Listening to the local radio gives me an insight about major events and programs taking place in town. It not only entertains me, as I drive back and forth a many times a day, but it also helps me select specific plans to carry out along with my family. These highlights open new opportunities for us to fit better into the new society.
Socialize:

To socialize is an innate human need. By nature, we are social beings and having like minded people who share similar experiences is vital. Relationships create a psychological space and a safe niche which help us explore and learn about others and about ourselves. That is why, being around people makes us happier. Although it might be difficult at first, but it will soon open new doors and slowly one’s social circle builds up. Moreover, I personally love having people over, and hosting play dates, dinners, and gatherings for children and parents alike is something I find great pleasure in. That is how I quickly get in touch with people coming from all walks of life in the community.
Get involved in local activities:

Participating in local events and activities help me in accommodating into the new country with ease and awareness. It is not always comfortable to go and about introducing myself to a new society. At the same time, I do find great pleasure in doing so which gives me a good reason to get out of my comfort zone and explore those popular and cultural occurrences that are happening in the city. So far, I have attended a few events which have helped me in building a clearer idea on how life functions here.

Explore the surroundings:

Acting like tourists, even in our own country, serves us well. It not only makes us appreciate the country’s culture and heritage, but it also opens great opportunities of learning and knowledge. In every country I have been to, I always make it a point to visit museums, historical sites, galleries, and exhibitions. I love to explore new areas and cities. I have never felt intimidated by the unknown and maybe that is what motivates me unfold any uncertainties I face.
Keep in touch with family and friends:

Keeping the bond with family members and dear friends whom I have met along those past years, is essential. That connection is healthy for both parties. After all, they are the ones who understand my feelings and help me overcome any obstacle at hand. No one knows me better than they do, and because I am aware of the fact that it is not shameful to discuss any weaknesses I encounter, I actually get the support I seek. That is how I succeed in pulling myself up whenever I feel broken on the inside.
Keeping busy:

It is essential for me to keep myself occupied with educational and recreational activities other than just maintaining my family and home. It is true that I have five children to look after, and it is true I need to support my husband. It is also true that I have certain obligations which I need to tend to, no matter how boring they might sometimes be. However, it is essential that I do not forget myself and my needs as well. Here is why, I always seek endeavors which keep my mind alert and my knowledge escalating. Currently, the great pleasure I am experiencing as a result of my piano and photography lessons is simply fascinating.

Acceptance:

As expats, we know for a fact that we will experience living in certain places for only a couple of years. It will not last forever! Some expat experiences could be more challenging than the others, especially if we were localized in countries which do not provide the accustomed facilities and services we used to have. However, once we gratefully accept what we have signed up for, we could actually enjoy those years no matter where we live.

In conclusion, no one said that the expat life is easy, and behind all the amazing facilities we are blessed with, there are many issues that come along. While it is normal to experience some challenges and frustrations when living abroad, applying the above tips have helped us ensure that our stay here could be yet another adventure which we will include in our diary.

That is why, with a positive attitude, we could actually build a new strong network no matter what the circumstances are. After all, it depends on how we decide to perceive the life we have chosen for ourselves and for our children.

So if you relate to a similar situation, let me know how you have adapted to the changes you witnessed as an expat!

About Life

Change

Change is part of life. Change cannot be escaped. Change is everlasting. And change is good no matter how challenging it might be! With change comes the positive side where a fresh embarkation is founded, clutter from previous years is removed, and growth is achieved. At the same time, different responsibilities arise, that unfamiliar beginning needs to be well established, and fitting in a new society calls for patience and observation.

Embracing any kind of change, especially those which we have taken upon ourselves, could be daunting as, by human nature, we feel helpless when we try to decipher how that change will affect our future. Questions like, ‘Have we done the right decision? Do our children feel secure and satisfied? Are we heading in the right direction?’ tumble on our heads making us feel the heaviness of our actions.

With our move to Muscat and the humongous change we have implemented on ourselves, came waves of unhappiness, stress, delight, relief, responsibilities, and solitude. Such tides have been inducing in us a variety of emotions and reactions. Some were high and comforting, and others were low and crashing. Psychologically speaking, that unhappiness results due to the fact that we are aware that we need to adjust to everything about this new life, yet the inability to manage our old habitual social activities, and fit in the new daily pattern leave a gap where only time knows how to seal.

As much as I knew that it is very important for me to sacrifice my career life and be present with my family to help them settle down easily, I also realized that I need to live for myself as well. I won’t deny that I terribly miss my profession and the time I have given in socially connecting with people in Abu Dhabi and Dubai through my blogging journey. But life goes on! That is why, recently, I have been listing all the benefits we have gained in our move, and in a way I am overlooking what I have left behind. Not that I want to forget, but I want to hold on to that period of time as beautiful memories which will soon become stories we lived and appreciated once upon a time.

By nature, and if you have been following me for some time now you might know very well, how positive I am – to the extent that sometimes I doubt my perception of things. However, this positivism has helped me before, and will continue to serve me when I feel alone – without the presence of my dearest persons around me. I am also aware that it takes a simple decision to lead a happy life, and that was my compromise!

For the sake of my husband and children, I wanted to reflect happiness as much as I could. Despite all the fatigue, the new responsibilities, and the house chores which I am still doing mostly on my own, I am trying hard to maintain my anticipation and cheerfulness. To do that, I knew I had to indulge in activities that would interest me and add up to my learning development. That is when I decided to take piano lessons. Oh how I love it! In fact, every week, I would eagerly wait for my classes, as I continue to practice playing the notes on a daily basis.

We arrived to Muscat, almost two months ago, and I cannot ignore the fact that there were some shocking realizations which we have experienced. At the same time, the warm and welcoming attitude we have encountered so far is unique. People, who do not even know you, would offer help in any possible way, making you feel supported and appreciated.

Yes, change is tough, and for some it might take more time to adapt to the new distortion. However, in my case, I knew that the sooner I make a constructive decision, the easier and more delightful our adaptation will prevail.

So dear Muscat; dear Oman, I am so ready to explore your beauty and explore whatever you have planned for us in this new settlement.

How many of you believe that change is beneficial despite its challenges?

About Life, special occasions

40, 5, And More!

By human nature, people all over the world tend to mark certain milestones according to age. For example, parents celebrate their child’s first birthday where they spend a lot of time and effort to signify this special occasion. We, then, move to the two digit number ten. From there, we look at the age of thirteen, with anticipation, and the cycle continues as we move along the years.

Turning forty is one of those notable occurrences in a person’s life. It is that four decade phase where a lot of contemplation and reflection hit a person who still feels very young, yet realises major modifications in both her mental and physical growth.

Personally, the minute I realised I was approaching the forties, I admit I was a bit anxious about the transformation those coming years will bring. At first, it weighed heavily on me, thinking that I cannot do anything about it and that annoyed me.

Physically, my body has changed. Even if it is minor, one can easily notice some white hair strands showing from my thinned hair, a scarred belly from my last delivery with the twins, and a few wrinkles that have engraved their marks around my eyes and neck.

But guess what? It is just another birthday, and apprehension is not something I easily submit to. That is why, it did not take me long to realise that it is just a mindset which I can control. Whatever I make myself believe in will definitely have its effect on me. So why don’t I attract the beauty of this age into my being?

To all those who really know me, I have never resrtriced myself to a number, and age is after all a number. Besides, I have never had much interest in Math.

That is why, I perceive age as an achievement. Age is wisdom acquired throughout the years. Age is maturity. Age is continuous learning. Age is a gaining process.

Despite that, I cannot totally strip myself of those numbers which, in a way, have a control on our daily lives, so I use them as a significant reference in my existence.

Coming to this point, I wonder what I have established in the past forty years! One of my greatest achievements is having my own family of seven which is composed of a beloved and caring father and five boistrous and healthy children. To that I am infinitely grateful. It also happens that at the age of forty, I am celebrating fifteen years of marriage where we took the vows to love, protect and support each other through thick and thin. On top of that, at forty, I feel younger than when I was a teenager. Being the woman who eats well and exercises whenever I can, are what help me maintain a healthy lifestyle. It is no secret that I have avoided consuming specific foods and drinks, years ago, to which the results I have reaped now. Finally, my profession as a teacher has helped me in applying a fixed and well maintained routine which facilities my life being a working mom of five.

If forty is considered to be the middle age of a life cycle, then hopefully there is still a lot to be acquired and learned. With this perspective in mind, one would worry less, appreciate the past moments, and grasp new opportunities to come. Although I would not be able to predict what the second part of my life will bring, I want to embrace the coming years in open arms, knowing that it will definitely serve in my growth. Being the positive person that I am, I would want to continue finding beauty in life and live the given experiences to the fullest. I hope that with whatever maturity I have gained so far, I will be able to face any unexpected obstacles which might arise, especially that now we are in the process of starting a new chapter in our lives.

So dear forty, I welcome you into my life where I hope you will find contentment and be wise. I hope you will be proud of the decisions I will have to take. I hope you will add patience and gratefulness into my soul. I hope you will serve in fostering more kindness and acceptance in my thoughts. I hope for a calmer me. Finally, I hope you give me abundant strength in my journey as a mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend and educator where I could actually be present for all those who need me!

About Life, Parenting, Poems by me

A Poem To Dad

Today, I dedicate a special poem to you my Dad! Because it is too emotional and it reflects a painful truth, I was a bit hesitant about posting it. At the same time, I cannot but honor the man who went out of his way just to make his family live a life where they had everything they asked for. Father’s Day presented me with this occasion where I grabbed my chance to voice his attritubes to the world and simply glorify his presence amongst us!

No matter what life brings along,

To me you are still a hero and strong.

You defy your sickness and disease,

As you’ll always be the one with expertise!

I have always looked up to you with admiration,

You as the leader, back in Badanah station.

Filled with life and goodness,

Served and healed patients with sureness.

Your generosity was devoured by everyone,

From the nearest people and as far as the sun.

Everyone looked up to you –

Some with envy and some with abjure!

Some even took advantage of that,

Though you knew, and forgave with all your heart.

I have always felt proud and fiery,

To have you and call you my daddy…

The distances between us have formed a gap –

Me with my busy life and you stuck in a trap.

It breaks my heart to be far away,

Alas! I wish there was a better way…

Like you, one day we will age too

There is nothing that we could do.

So I feel lost and at dismay

As the months drift away.

This morning I clasped my hands,

And dreamt of far away lands:

Lands of pure Love, Health, and Peace,

A place where we could all just be…

On father’s day I write to you,

Not only to say that I love you,

But to give you strength and conviction,

To brighten your day with glorification.