Thursday, January 26, 2012

Circumcision :'(

I finally took an appointment to get it done. He will be 3 months old... I'm scared and I don't feel well about it. I wouldn't get it done at all if it weren't for my husband and his culture but I know it would never work to not get it done... And I guess for my son's well-being, I would rather he get it done as a baby than as a toddler in Egypt or something.

I don't want him to feel any kind of pain and I'm worried about hurting the most precious thing I have in this world (Nora is equally precious of course but not affected by getting circumcised thank Goodness).

I hate to feel so forced about this. I don't believe it's medically necessary and to operate on my baby because of something I feel is nothing more than cultural hurts me. But for him it's not cultural, it's religious. There's just no way out of it for me. One plan was to tell him I had it done and figure he'd never notice, but it would be awkward when he found out. Imagine the teenager thinking all his life he is circumcised and looks it up online or reads about it in school and is like, WTF?! Tells his dad, who is also like, WTF?! Anyway...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I tried to find Him on the Christian cross, but He was not there; I went to the Temple of the Hindus and to the old pagoda, but I could not find a trace of Him anywhere.

I searched the mountains and the valleys but neither in the heights nor in the depths was I able to find Him. I went to the Kaaba in Mecca, but He was not there either.

I questioned the scholars and philosophers, but He was beyond their understanding.

I then looked into my heart and it was there where He dwelled that I saw him; He was nowhere else to be found.

Jalaluddin Rumi

Hey, a religion post!

This comes from a discussion on Facebook. I hate such closed-mindedness.

The person writes:
Volume 7, Book 63, Number 209:
Narrated Nafi':
Whenever Ibn 'Umar was asked about marrying a Christian lady or a Jewess, he would say: "Allah has made it unlawful for the believers to marry ladies who ascribe partners in worship to Allah, and I do not know of a greater thing, as regards to ascribing partners in worship, etc. to Allah, than that a lady should say that Jesus is her Lord although he is just one of Allah's slaves."

And then adds as first comment:
Alhamdulillah for guidnance. Truly when people say men can marry from Christian and Jew they do nothing but innovate our religion

I really hate it when people so easily accuse others of things in religion, setting others apart from themselves and dividing the Ummah. It's one thing to start a discussion on whether or not we can or should marry non-Muslims, or stating that she believes the proof is strong enough to suggest that we should not, but the way she said it...! I don't have anything against the opinion itself... I find it a good idea to marry someone who believes in the same things and comes from the same or a similar culture just to make the marriage go that much more smoothly. I find cross-cultural and even inter-faith marriage beautiful though and I wouldn't give up my experience.

To continue: Am I the only one who sees no proof whatsoever coming from the hadith that she chose to share? It's weak to begin with when you're basing your point of view on hadith over Quran, weaker when it's not even a hadith from Muhammad and then there's just the fact that the hadith itself doesn't say anything about not marrying Jews and Christians... Only not marrying idolators.

She managed to say that non-Muslims don't believe in the same God in her replies to me and I was mostly getting more and more offended and frustrated. Another commenter was obviously a bit offended at what was written and she just ended it by thanking her for making her think and making others seek knowledge in Islam. Can't people just say what they want to say without fear of seeming like bad Muslims?

Gah, this has been an annoying little topic to have to deal with this morning.

Unite people, PLEASE! Talk about what you believe in and discuss topics that you feel need addressing, but a little bit of respect goes a long way!
I will say what I believe: I believe that keeping unity in the Ummah is more important than so many little topics that pull us apart. I believe that if someone has an opinion that is different than most other Muslims (or even some), they should state it but also be careful to state it in a way that still shows respect and acceptance of others, for the sake of the Ummah! I love all of humanity for all sorts of reasons even if I disagree and it's the same feeling I have for other Muslims that I disagree with.

I feel the need to say that this woman is not a hateful person at all... She follows a pretty narrow interpretation of Islam, but she is not mean or harsh, even with non-Muslims as far as I know. She is following what she believes in, I just didn't appreciate what was said or the way it was presented this morning and that might be my own fault for being sensitive to things that bring people apart.

Friday, January 20, 2012

I'm so boring!

I would really like to get back into blogging about topics that I'm thinking about related to Islam and bring this blog back to what it was before... I was right in the middle of a beautiful journey, figuring out what I really believe and who I am spiritually.

What I have now is better though. I actually feel just plain well and satisfied with life overall and where I'm at spiritually. I want to grow and learn, but when times are more difficult, it's somehow more urgent.

Content people are so boring! If I were an artist, I'd be going broke right now.

Old Friends

I've been taking advantage of my maternity leave to get back in touch with old friends and it feels so good. With working full time and taking care of Nora and big lazy husband, I never really found the time to take the time to reconnect with old friends. Now that I'm off, I have :)

When it came to friends, I only saw one friend regularly and one cousin every couple months - that was it outside work and family! Now I see my good friend as much as usual, my cousin a lot more often since she had her baby around the same time as me and I also reconnected with friends from all three highschools I attended. 1st, my group of 3 girlfriends I graduated with which was just awesome. We were meeting at my place after Nora went to bed so we couldn't really do anything but I had videogames (Kinect) as a back-up plan if we got bored. But we just talked from 8pm until 1am, never noticing the time!! When we saw the time, we were all surprised at how late it was! Unfortunately, they don't live in the area so I can't hang out with them often, but I won't wait 2 or 3 years before meeting up again for sure!

I also saw one of my friends from the highschool I went to before that just last week. We were connecting on Facebook and she made me a workout plan to get back in shape since she's a kinesiologist so we met up to catch up for sure, but also so that she could show me the exercises. She was living in a different province for a few years so I hadn't seen her in a long long time. It was nice and not awkward like it could have been (I have seen her maybe 4x since I went to that school in 2004). She works in my city and lives about 20 minutes away so it will be easy to see her again.

Yesterday I saw a friend I went to elementary and the first high school with. I was never close friends with her but she had a baby 1 month after me and through Facebook we decided to meet up since we both live close to each other and everything. Well... That one wasn't a huge success. We didn't have any chemistry and I guess that might've been why we were never close friends before! lol. But still, I tried! She would've been the best one to have a good friendship with since we're in the same city and both have a baby, but nah. We just didn't "click".

Next up is a second friend from the second highschool (that I went to with the kinesiologist) who recently moved back to the area. I have been talking to her through Facebook as well but haven't seen her since she lived in a part of the province I've never even heard of before. I can't wait to see her really - she was a weird anglo outcast like I was back then. :)

I've even been seeing my co-workers regularly. One of them watches some of the same TV shows I do so I get her USB and bring it back with shows on it. One of them goes to the US on vacation and I make the calls and reservations for her every year so I've been seeing her for that. Another I will go to see a music show with next month. And I've been to the company just to have lunch with them.

I'm not much of a stay-at-home type. I feel great when I manage to get things done, but I'd be majorly depressed if I didn't have a car or didn't have any sort of life outside the home. For real.

Shutterfly Calendar

I made a calendar on Shutterfly and ordered it yesterday. I'm so excited! It's my first time using any of these picture websites and I'm really impressed by all the options available. I had some problems putting the pictures to my calendar project... It seemed to work only half the time and would get there in random order which made it harder to find what I wanted, but maybe I was doing it wrong... I still managed to put the ones I wanted and once they were at the calendar project place, they were very easy to slide into place. Backgrounds were easy to chose too.

Does anyone use these websites and which is your favourite? My friend made a photobook with My Publisher and it came out amazing. Looking at my calendar online though, I think it will be amazing too though :D

Does anyone know how long it takes for them to print it and ship it? They seem to be giving themselves 4 business days to print and then the shipping is 4-10 business days... Are they usually faster than that though? Lots of websites ship much faster than what they tell you and you end up pleasantly surprised (which I love) :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Major Bitch

Of course with having a business we will encounter difficult clients... And I work in collections normally so I deal with difficult clients all the time... But it still surprised me to have to deal with such a bitch!

The woman comes to get her PC repaired. Ahmed sees that she needs a new fan or power supply or something but her case doesn't fit the regular fans so she ends up buying another used case for a decent price. She also decides to upgrade something else for a total cost of 200$ or so including installing everything. A really good price!

She comes a couple days later wanting her stuff back because she decided to deal with Dell directly by mailing her PC to them, etc. I'm sure she can't get a better deal that way especially since she had no warranty, but OK... she has to come back when my husband is here because her PC is in pieces and he's working on it. She pushes herself to the back of the store where the computers are and starts touching everything and telling me this, that, this, that is her's. She notices that her Windows XP CD is not in the case and starts freaking out, accusing us of stealing her Windows! We didn't even have the key on that, and what the hell do we want with a burnt copy of Windows XP? We have our own!

I tell her I was not comfortable with her inviting herself to the back and that we can talk some more up front but that she was not leaving with anything and would have to come back. I also say in a polite way that hopefully the work done on the computer already doesn't end up costing more than what she'd save... and Ahmed would let her know. She leaves making a comment that the work done would be paid by us having used/stolen her Windows!

My husband was really offended when I told him this! Anyway, he had actually opened the computer parts she agreed to buy in front of her to put in the new tower, something I didn't know at all. How can someone think that when someone opens up their PC, puts it to pieces, opens new computer parts from their packaging and starts to install it into a new tower that this can be cancelled at anytime for free?!

He ends up convincing her to go on with the original plan because of the work already done so he puts everything in and only had her Windows left to install because she had not given him the key she said she had (there was no sticker on her computer). He kept calling her and she would answer and hang up when she heard his voice... He eventually ends up leaving a message on her answering machine that he would charge 40$ plus tax for the work done and that she could simply come get her computer parts if that was what she wanted.

She calls back saying she contacted Consumer Protection! WTF! Protection from us when we gave her all options and she was the one who decided she was not paying her invoice when work was done?! Anyway... I can't believe some people! They want everything for nothing! She came to the store today while I was there and I played innocent about it because I didn't want to get into it and blow in her face. And she played innocent with me too, she was baby-talking to Adam and being all nice. But she actually came with a witness -- for crying out loud! UGH.

Ahmed is trying so hard to satisfy every single client. We are offering prices well under what any other place offers right now and until the month of June to try to build a loyal clientele and so far it has been a good success with the clients who do come (honestly, it's not that busy) so it's surprising to have this super unsatisfied client throwing threats at us! I won't be surprised if he ends up giving it to her all for free to make sure she can't say a bad thing about us and to make her feel a bit of shame. He's that type.

My husband is working his ass off. He's working full time at his old job and is working at the store whenever he can, which ends up being about 30h a week from my calculations. He has asked me to watch the store on my "day off" a couple times on Fridays so he can attend mosque and I have been saying no. I really don't like being here and I end up planning things on that Friday off because it's the last day of the week I can do something without Nora since she is at daycare weekdays...

Part of me feels bad. I know he finds it important to attend Friday prayer and that he hasn't been able to go for a while. I respect that this is something that is important to him and that could even help him feel better with everything that he has to do and the stress he probably feels... but the other part doesn't want to do any more than work the 12h/week I feel forced to work.

It seems like everything could have been great if he skipped the business idea and kept his job. I would see a lot more of him, we would all be living with less stress, I'd be 100% on maternity leave focusing on the family, we'd have all of his income as "extra" that we could save and be able to put a down payment on a house in 1 year if we wanted, or one of us would be able to go back to studies and have decent savings to help us live on less with the added expense. I would also be going to Egypt soon if he had not started this business and that was something I wanted to do so badly... I haven't been in Egypt since 2006 and once I go back to work full time, I won't have enough time off to go until 2013 which is when I get 3 weeks of vacation for the first time (and it still does not seem long enough)

My husband says we'll make it work for me to go to Egypt but I don't see how. I'm not one to put myself into debt for a vacation. When they went the other two times it was because we were able to budget it in.

Anyway! I need to make this blog more interesting. I do nothing but complain! lol

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Developing some sort of anxiety

This sucks.

For about a week I've been feeling anxious, nervous... the butterfly feeling like there's a big exam coming, but more annoying because I don't know why I feel like this - there is no big exam coming.

I've figured out it's likely because of having to work at the store. I have the baby with me so my time there is spent just trying to make him OK while staying ready to serve the few clients that come in. I get tense when he starts to seem hungry because I will have to breastfeed him and a client might come in... I look outside about 20 times per minute.

Everything here is messy and I don't even know what we have in stock and how much it should sell for. I have to take a message or tell them to come back later which is stupid because if we happened to have what they were looking for, it'd be more professional to not make them wait. He is not even keeping me up to date on computers that are being fixed or are fixed most of the time so if those clients come back I look like a real idiot. He forgets to print off their invoice for me to be able to charge it, or doesn't put a note on unfinished computers for me to know what to tell the clients if they happen to call or show up.

Yeah, the store is definitely it! With the weird hours too, I'm not getting anything done around the house on those days even if I only work 4h and this is making me really upset. Everything was going so great before I started having to come here... Now I spend my whole week dreading the measly 12h I will have to work so much that I'm having a hard time keeping up to date with house stuff and errands, I'm losing my appetite, and for the first time today I was just not at all in the mood to even play with my baby. It felt unnatural and weird to sing and laugh like I normally do (and normally love).

My husband better fix the store at least... but it won't solve everything. I'll see how things go in the next couple weeks but if I feel like this constantly, I will have to find a way to remove myself from this place.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

How can anyone believe this

That an apostate should be killed. I don't care if you would personally never do the killing yourself, if you believe that a system should be set up to kill apostates, you are just a horrible person and you disgust me.

That's all.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Religion at the moment

Religion has not been on my mind much lately. When I think about it, the feeling of wanting or needing religion kind of let up when things between me and my husband started to go really well. I've seen correlation between religiosity and satisfaction/being content in one's life (and often a difficult childhood plays a part) and I do believe there's causality. It seems to be true in my case. I had a great childhood and my marriage was never horrible... And I never became really religious either... But the times I was most into religion, feeling a need to figure it out has been when I was a confused child and teenager not mature enough and without the resources to learn what I wanted to learn (asking questions but never getting an answer, that whole frustration) and when things were not going well with my husband as an adult.

Right now, I'm at a place where I am more than happy to step fully away from organized religion and just do what feels right to me spiritually. I've talked about a "custom religion" a few times on here because it's always where the real me went... No religion seems good enough. No religion represents God the way I feel Him.

I still consider myself Muslim and this is because I find worth in its rituals and truth in this faith more than others but I'm at the point where I feel it's more about Islam being right *for me* right now and knowing what I accept and what I don't about traditional Islam. It feels pretty clear to me and I am at peace with myself being a Muslim who does not practice much and does not publicly announce herself as Muslim. I don't think I could ever feel that way about any interpretation of Christianity and I probably never will because I'm simply not interested in looking into it further, but I accept that it's a good match for a lot of people and that it can be the right way for others, a way that brings them closer to the truth than they would be with Islam. It's about compatibility!

Of course I find some religions to contain more truth and others less truth, but I want to stay far away from judging.

Other religions that I find a lot of truth in and that speak to me are Buddhism, Taoism, Paganism, Theosophy and Universal Unitarianism. I honestly haven't looked into any of them in much depth but I'm getting something from each of them that I feel makes me a better me.

And this satisfies me. :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Breastfeeding in public

I got this link on my Facebook newsfeed. This woman heard about a breastfeeding protest and took a couple pictures to post on a protest group. One is her outside of Targets breastfeeding her baby and the other in inside with her baby in the cart (the baby is maybe 1 or 1.5 years and so sits alone fine in that cart) and she is doing a silly pose with one foot kicked back while her baby is at the boob.

She got a lot of negative comments. Most of them positive and negative were even coming from breastfeeding moms! I can't believe it! If women are not given their rights to breastfeed in public, it seems to me like the envelope needs to be pushed a little. Boobs are made for feeding!!!! People need to accept that and let boobs do what they were meant to do, anywhere that they happen to find a hungry baby!

I think we need more women like this one, pushing what people feel comfortable with so that eventually the general population will not be as uncomfortable with breastfeeding and any woman, even the shyest and most modest will feel fine breastfeeding their baby in public.

To the ones who cared to compare breastfeeding in public to urinating in isle 3 or taking a dump in the electronics department, you are seriously fucked up and I wouldn't even go beyond saying that - you are so far past reason.

To my readers: I'm very interested and curious about how breastfeeding in public is perceived where you live. Where are you from and how do you and others near you feel about breastfeeding in public?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mat Leave

I can't understand how a mother in the US can be against longer, paid maternity leave. I have read comments from some of them about how it's a family's duty to make the sacrifices where needed and not the employers or tax-payers.

I can understand people without kids saying this, but how can families be against getting more time with their children and more financial help? It seems to me that it's a question of pride. They feel they have accomplished a lot by going back to work soon after a birth or feel they have accomplished a lot by living off one salary to have a stay-at-home parent and they don't want anything to take that away...

To be a great parent (to a baby since we're talking about maternity leave) and to work full time is not only hard, it's something not every mother has the ability to do. That's not to mention the arrangements that are made for the care of your baby while you're working, which is a whole other difficulty. To be a great parent when you're living on only one salary is impossible for some, hard for others and only perfectly OK when the working parent makes at minimum twice the amount of minimum salary.

Shouldn't everyone be given the resources to give good care to their baby even if they don't have everything going for them? Shouldn't less fortunate people be able to have children without going through immense hardship that ends up affecting the baby/child too?

I can't understand how mothers in particular can be against longer paid maternity leave. Seriously. Let's give all mothers an equal chance even if they happen to be less fortunate! And to those who are among the less fortunate and are against longer paid maternity leave, put your pride aside!!! You are worse than those more fortunate moms against longer paid maternity leave. If you could get more time with your baby, and be paid a good chunk of your regular salary... Meaning: Your baby has the person who is most important to him in these early and critical times, and you don't have to be financially broke to do it... and you say no, you are not putting your child first.

And I don't want bullshit about them wanting to go back to work 4 weeks after giving birth. No woman would take less than 4 months off work if they were paid and were guaranteed the same position and salary and benefits as they had before the leave started.

Not a great start to 2012

I spent January 1st (starting at about 2am when I was going home from my parents' house) angry as heck! It really ruined my whole day... I wanted to scream at anyone but mostly at my husband... Ended the day doing just that right as I was going to bed which at least allowed me to feel a bit better. Then I woke up January 2nd sick... Had a stomach ache, was nauseous, was so tired and after a nap I had a head ache and my skin hurt allover... No fun. I slept uncomfortably at my parents' house while they took a bit of care of Nora and I did my best to make Adam sleep as much as possible so I could rest.

Today is January 3rd and at least it's looking up. To think that I asked for nothing more than a continuation of a great 2011... it sure didn't start off that way!

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