Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How things have changed.....

Last Saturday, 11 August 2012, after buying the baking things at Bake with Yen in Puchong in preparation to bake cakes for the coming Raya, I dropped by Epal, the shop cum sewing class where I bought my 2 sewing machines and learned to make so many bags, quilts, and clothes, just to see what’s new.

A lot have changed since the last time I dropped by there. For one, all the teachers who taught me sewing have all left and gone to greener pastures, or, gotten married, gotten pregnant, and left to concentrate in raising a family. Only the Branch Manager is still around, but when I dropped by there that day, she was on leave. She had gone back to Sabah to see her grandmother who was ill. So everyone at the center that day was unfamiliar to me. *sad*

As I walked into the shop, I was greeted by this huge stand right in front of the shop which hung many new bag designs. I inquired if I could buy some of the patterns for the bags, but was told that they don’t sell the patterns, but instead, I would have to buy the fabrics from them, and they would give me the patterns when I come in for classes to learn how to make the bags. I can’t just buy the fabric and the patterns.

Now when can I find the time to come in for classes?

4 years ago when I bought my first sewing machine from them, I was given a year of free classes to come and learn any or all of the 24 projects offered for that year. I managed to learn 11 projects for that first year by coming in on Saturday afternoons after Aiman finishes his Art classes at Bangsar Village I and on Sunday afternoons, after the weekly maid leaves, and lunch is done with. I would come on Sundays with Aiman in tow. He would bring a toy, his PSP and his workbooks, and he would sit beside me as I take my lessons. My hubby would go to the gym.

On certain Sundays, my hubby would take Aiman with him shopping so that I may stay in class longer, as sometimes, Aiman can get restless and would want to go home early.

There were days too that I would take a few days off in a month from work just so that I can come in for classes. During those days, I would come in at 10.00am and leave by 2.30 pm, in time for me to pick up Aiman from school, bring him home, or take him shopping. We would spend the rest of the evening reading, watching TV or Aiman would be doing his homework and I would work on my crafts. On most of those evenings, I would also cook dinner.

But now, I can’t do that anymore. I have become so busy, extremely busy!  

How did I become so busy?

Our weekends now are filled up to the rim with Aiman’s activities – sending him for his football practice and to his tuition, making sure he does his home work, making sure he does his cat chores and washes his shoes, etc.; doing the household chores, supervising the weekly maid and many other commitments which we don’t know how we got ourselves into, or, we now have more family commitments, not just with Aiman, but also our other family members, our parents especially.

As I left the shop that day, driving back home, my tears flowed. I suddenly realised how we have changed, how our lifestyles have changed, and most importantly, how much time I have missed and lost seeing Aiman growing up.

Aiman is 12 this year, and had just gotten his IC, another major milestone in his life. I realised how much I have missed a major portion of his growing up years as I focus on work and my career

I can’t take leave from work as easily as I use to be able to. Even when I do get a chance to take leave, I end up having to cancel some of the leave at the very last minute. This year alone, I have had to cancel my leave 7 times already, not to mention the number of times too that when I am on MC, but would still have to come in for work to settle urgent matters.

On most days that I am on leave too, I would be on the phone for most part of the morning with someone from the office to settle urgent matters.

Why can’t I delegate my work? I do delegate my work where possible, but there are certain tasks or assignments that cannot be delegated. It’s hard for anyone to understand. Most people would say that I am bad at managing because I want to do everything myself. I am a perfectionist, and when a task cannot be done properly, and I end up having to correct the task delegated to someone else, I might as well do it myself.

I have 3 reliable senior officers, and they have already taken a big load off my shoulders, but, like I said, there are still some tasks that simply cannot be delegated. I take all of my work seriously and with passion, and though I may sometimes sound like I am complaining, I am actually enjoying my work, but it’s the stress of trying to meet datelines, trying to pacify angry clients, and crisis at the work place that sometimes take a toll on me.

During these times, I pray to God to help me and give me guidance on what to do and to give me strength to face the hardest and most difficult hurdle. Praying calms me down as I know that Allah is listening and will help me do the right thing.

I could no longer get back the time I have lost seeing Aiman grow up. I will just have to console myself in the hope that I will still be able to at least still be here for him, God willing, when he is all grown up, gone to college, get married and have kids and have a great career.

I am glad that at least his grandmother and grandfather were able to be there with him when we could not. I am glad that my MIL insisted that we send Aiman to her house everyday instead of to a nursery even when we had a maid so that she could supervise him and the maid. At least a family member is always there for him during those early crucial years. I have a lot to thank both my in-laws for.

Thanks, Mak and Ayah!

I hope to be there for him as he steps into another major milestone in his life when he starts secondary school next year, insyaAllah.

I may have changed in a lot of ways, but hopefully for the better, and hopefully wiser and more matured. I am thankful for all that God has given me. I am blessed, and I hope that my family and I will always be safe under God’s guidance. Amin.

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