Saturday, February 25, 2012

Names!

I love names and always have. I'd spend a long time finding names for dolls and I was always interested in pronouncing French names in English or English names in French of people I knew (most only spoke one of the languages). When my cousin got pregnant with her baby in 2001, I really dove in. I had names chosen for that baby! She would have been either Rachelle or Mathis if I named her myself when she was born in 2001 but really she ended up with a much prettier name (with an uglier spelling): Lyliane.


I spent the next 4 years as a regular on a popular naming message board and I kept lists of names. When I met my husband everything went into the dumpster because of all the restrictions of being with an Arab Muslim man and it was too depressing to keep lists of names I could never use. The list of names I could use was small and stayed similar.

Anyway, in this post I just wanted to post the names that I love that sound like my own name. It'd be nice for you guys to do the same!

Here are the names that sound quite a lot like Candice: Cadence, Katniss (from Hunger Games of course), Carys (care-iss)
And ones that have the same ending: Alice and Beatrice
And one with a similar beginning: Kendra


Friday, February 24, 2012

This is bad *embarassed*

Why not admit it in a place where I am relatively anonymous?


I'll start from the beginning though. For some reason, I have trouble understanding people sometimes. I need to see their lips to really understand what they are saying a lot of times, even when I can hear them pretty well. I'm not even a visual person overall, but to understand someone when there is background noise or they are not speaking very loudly (even though it's plenty loud or clear for most people to understand) is difficult for me. It's like an extra-mild hearing impairment except for the fact that I can hear just fine.

At work my coworkers need to move their face from behind their screen or I don't understand. At a show or a crowded place it's useless to talk directly in my ear - I won't get it!

Yesterday at the store, a teenager came to inquire about something. He had a pretty soft voice and a bit of an accent. I could tell he was speaking clearly enough and not having too much trouble expressing himself, but he was very dark skinned and his lips were the same colour and didn't stand out I guess... I was looking at his lip but I couldn't understand well what he was saying. It was like his lips were blended with the rest of his face! I really felt bad about it because it was my problem causing this trouble, not his accent or anything.

Anyway, it's embarrassing and makes me feel so ignorant (like when people can't tell Chinese people apart). WTF is my problem?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

So cliche!

I'm annoyed lately about how the things that are most meaningful to me are such cliches! Like

PEACE AND LOVE! But truly, there is nothing more important in life than love I believe. Loving yourself and people around you of course, but also loving all of humanity, loving diversity, loving all that is good in this life. And with unconditional love we could achieve peace. World peace and also peace with ourselves.

I can't think of anything more important than the overly used "peace and love". I used to believe in peace and love, but not in the true sense of the words. I loved my family and wanted to find a life partner to love. I wanted to have children and to love them unconditionally... But there is so much more to love than that.

I'm not there yet and I'm not sure it's even possible, but filling our hearts with love completely will solve all our problems. Love will connect us directly to the ultimate truth. For some, it will be God. For others, it will be the forces of life. For others, it can be just goodness. It's all the same to me.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Taking care of ourselves...

This has been brought up because of Whitney Houston's death (may she be at peace with God)... It has been making me think about death a lot. My parents are starting a whole healthy lifestyle thing lately too, not influenced by her death or anything, just happened around the same time and both of these things are making me think of my uncle/godfather and husband a lot.


Whitney Houston's death really punched me in the face with "life is fragile, life is short" and my parents taking care of themselves made me realize that my uncle and husband are not.

HUSBAND SITUATION:

My husband doesn't take any medication and does not drink or smoke or any of that bad stuff, but he is obese and I have been trying to make him lose weight for the 6 years I have known him with a big fat nothing of a result. He is as fat as ever and has no desire to really try. He only told me so before to make me feel better and make me stay in Egypt and get married I guess. It could have been a deal-breaker for me, honestly but it's no use thinking about that now no matter how constantly it's on my mind. Last week I understood it much more clearly than ever before. He is 29 years old and has accepted that his obesity and lifestyle (food-wise) will likely cause him to die 10-15 years earlier than if he made some changes and he has no desire to make changes. At this point he doesn't even really imagine himself living past 60 and he is OK with that.

It's one thing to want to make changes and to keep putting them off and off and off. But to accept that this is it and not even want to change?! I don't understand and it's affecting me. :( This is my husband and the father of my children. Don't we deserve more? If he has no desire to live long for himself, can't he at least have some for us?

UNCLE SITUATION:

My uncle has a lung disease and a bad back and has been off work for 15 years on disability and takes a bunch of medication. He has no kids and has developed a drinking problem over time. Like beer all day long type of thing. He recently started having really bad leg problems with sores all over the place and intense swelling and pain. It brought on a depression because no medication worked so he's on anti-depressants and something for the leg too which he can't take long term because it's strong. He also takes something for glaucoma...

It feels dangerous. His doctor doesn't know he drinks like that either so it's making me scared that some sort of OD could happen at any time.

I wrote him an email today just saying I love him and care about him too much and that I'd be devastated to have something happen to him. And I just told him to take care of himself if it applied to him. Don't know what he will answer...

Does anyone have any advice for me on how to deal with these situations?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ego

I'm linking towards a short post by Safiyah about Islam and Ego.


Let's all put this great advice into practice. She links to a lecture too which could be beneficial (I have yet to actually watch it).

My understanding of dua

This is my understanding of dua. I don't find that it contradicts the traditional Islamic understanding but it kind of adds to it and it kind of simplifies it at the same time... Although it will probably sound crazy and confusing written out.


I see dua as being about the influence we have on others. If we have positive influence on others, they will have positive thoughts about us and we will benefit. Whether they actually pray "Oh Allah..." for us or just have positive thoughts and feelings about us, I think it counts as dua in our favour. I always try to make actual dua (the "Oh God, please..." type) when I'm not necessarily having positive thoughts about someone but I want the best for them. Like people who are in difficult situations where part of me feels bad for them and part of me is frustrated by how they keep making bad decisions but mostly I just want them to find the strength to change their situation.

I also believe in the concept of "negative dua"... Not sure what else to call it, but it's basically when people bring out the worse in others or make people dislike them, make people uncomfortable, make people feel hurt, etc. If they are not careful enough about the way they say things for example. I believe their actual intentions count for more than the unintentional outcome, but I do believe a person is responsible for how they present themselves and the effect they have on others. If someone had the good intentions to help a friend by being honest with them about things they need to change but does it all wrong and makes the person feel bad about themselves, there will be less reward than doing it carefully. So the hurt person didn't actually pray against this individual, but the bad feelings they had about how that person handled the situation will count as negative dua. A person could also pray to God against that person which would count against that person if everything is true but that it's best to stay far away from that because you're probably doing more wrong against yourself than others when you practice this type of hate.

I used to not know where I stood on prayers and before Islam, I thought it was just plain stupid to pray for someone. But I believe in the power of dua now in the way I described and feel it benefits everyone involved.

The other type of dua is for someone who is deceased and I see great benefit in that as well. If Iunderstand the Islamic view on this well, it's that people are not in hell or heaven until the final day, which happens at the same time as everyone. (We will all be judged at the same time as each other, our grand-parents, all ancestors, etc.) So when someone dies, they are in a timeless state until judgement day and during this time, dua done for them will count for judgement day. People's influence lives on past their lives and the benefits of their influence counts until the very end, not just until the end of their lives.

This makes me feel good and makes me feel balance in life, but is also feels sad that I cannot at all believe the whole "He is looking down at you from above" thing. Because they are not at all. They are not looking out for us, they are not aware of us. They will not hear our prayers. But our prayers can still help them.

What do you think of this understanding, if you were able to understand my jumbled up thoughts?



Thursday, February 9, 2012

Taxed in Quebec, Canada

We pay SO MUCH tax... My net income is 70% of what it would be (30% tax) and I'm very close to the average salary here I think. After that, our sales tax is 15% (provincial and federal together) on anything we buy. Driver's licenses and vehicle registration is CRAZY expensive too, especially for motorcycles which are used for just a couple months out of the year. Cigarettes are taxed like crazy too and I'm pretty sure alcohol is more expensive here because of being taxed.


We have a lot of programs though. Ones I know most about are for children. I get a pretty decent amount of money for having kids... This amount is based on the family revenue and what I'm getting now is based on 2010 the year my husband only worked 3.5 months so it was lower than with two full salaries and it gives me about 8500$ for that year in amounts received monthly or every 3 months (some federal, some provincial). It's not a bad supplement.

As well, we get credits that reimburse part or all of the sales tax paid depending on how much we make. These days I seem to be getting back about the equivalent of 10% of the sales tax that I pay, but someone with a very low income would get it all back (the 15% sale tax) in quarterly deposits. So it's not too bad for them on that. They also don't pay income tax if they make under a certain amount but I think it's like that everywhere.

My cousin has 3 kids and their revenue is low enough that she gets the maximum in all credits. She gets about 1500$/month so 18 000$ a year for the kids.

As frustrating as it is to pay like we do, most people accept that it's for the best. Because of this money families get, every child has the possibility of being well-dressed, owning a computer, taking courses outside of school, going to college and university and having a better situation than their parents did. No one is stuck in the poor cycle except by the way they were raised and values their parents taught them.

There's a lot of controversy about how the government spends our money and there's so much waste. SO MUCH. I don't know anyone who is against universal healthcare though despite this and the crazy high taxes. And I've never heard of negative comments from people without children about how they pay for another person's maternity leave or pay for their child benefits. It's the way it is simply.

Another program that is interesting is for young moms, especially high school drop outs. My cousin seriously sucked in school and had not even completed grade 7 when she had her daughter (she had been failing for 3 years...). She entered a program that paid for her to finish the amount of high school needed to go to hairdressing school. It paid her an amount that she was able to live on. Rent, food, transportation, daycare. It was not a hardship for her to get herself out of a life of working the crappiest of the crap jobs even if she had a baby so young. She was able to get it done and work a decent job as a hairdresser with the help of this program.

When I see the situations they show on TV of teens giving up their baby for adoption or teens keeping the baby but having to depend on their parents to take care of both them and the baby... It's just not something that happens here so it's kind of shocking for me. Babies don't go up for adoption. If they don't want the baby, they get an abortion, but a lot keep the baby and can still go on to a good independent life after the initial period of needing help.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Key to happiness?

If there's one single thing that is the most important factor in a person's happiness, I believe it's having high self-esteem.


It's a concept that is tied to so many other things that are factors to ones happiness levels. People with high self-esteem are confident in themselves but not in a superficial or fake way, they truly feel good about who they are and have some pride in themselves. They feel worthy. They attract good people because of that. I also believe they deal with less stress and anxiety and depression as someone dealing with low self-esteem. Of course, they can have to deal with a problem that is creating stress in their lives and they can have an imbalance causing depression like anyone, but I feel that they are probably better equipped to get over hardship than someone with low self esteem.

I was hoping to start a Facebook trend a while ago when I posted something like:
"I'm awesome because ____________! Re-post and fill in the blank to show others why you rock and promote high SELF-ESTEEM. I'm awesome because..." (and I put one in for myself).

Not a single person on my Facebook re-posted it. I think I need a catchier think to make people re-post it... But I also think people are uncomfortable being happy with themselves and loving themselves and admitting that they are cool, funny, beautiful, good moms, awesome daughters, etc. I don't believe in bragging about things, but I also think we need to stop bringing ourselves down all the time. We need to be true to ourselves and find ways to improve, but just because I have a lot of things to improve on that I know and work on daily doesn't mean I don't have lots of things to be proud of and happy with. Some of the things I work on improving are also things I can be proud of and it's not conflicting. I try to be a better mom all the time, but I'm a good mom still!

I'd love to hear how you feel about yourself. You are unique and full of qualities, I'm sure. Tell me about those.

And if someone has a better idea on something pro self-esteem that could go viral (or be just a little tiny bit contagious), I'd love to have it!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Hijab friendly celeb pics

A very modest outfit worn by Jessica Alba. I found this picture in a magazine at the movies and loved the style so here I am sharing it. Sorry for having to turn your head sideways:

And here is Madonna at the Superbowl halftime show in her priestess outfit, which could pass as a fancy abaya. I kind of love it, in particular the awesome gloves!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Another day at the store

I'm here for 6 hours today which is just going to be horribly long and boring, on top of that possibly being stressful and frustrating.


My husband still hasn't managed to give me the information on what we sell and for how much. I have NO CLUE what most of the stuff we have here sells for. In my regular 4 hour shifts I deal with maybe 2-3 clients on average so at least it's not like not knowing what to say to dozens of them, but STILL! I'm already limited by what I can do here because I'm not a computer technician... If someone has a technical question, I can only take their info and get my husband to call back. But if I could at least sell stuff when the client already knows what they want, that would be great! If I could give the information on our computers and laptops, that would be useful! We sold out of the other model we had for laptops and have a new one... I have no idea what the price is! I can show it to them, but most people don't want to see it without knowing if it's in their price range!

He's SO DISORGANIZED it's just so frustrating! With a young baby in my arms at all times, I can't help with this. It's already a lot for me to stay here with a baby and keep him entertained and fed discreetly (in full stress that a client will walk in on my boob). UGH. I want this crap over with!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Honour Killings

Here are 2 links to articles about honour killings and how common they actually are (and not just by Muslims).


http://mezba.blogspot.com/2012/01/few-facts-about-honour-killing.html

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/second-reading/gerald-caplan/honour-killings-in-canada-even-worse-than-we-believe/article1650228/

I admit that I've had problems with Muslim culture and how abusive these men tend to be. I got influenced by the media reporting every single Muslim honour killing and the few domestic murders that they cover committed by Canadian men. I also got influenced by the multiple abusive marriages I know of in real life of women with Muslim men and the very few (can't even think of one) that I know of in my real life of a woman with a Canadian man. I think that it's partly because I have a great family and friends and attract good people and also because I was more open about my marriage problems with Muslim women which might've encouraged them to open up more... Also, cultural differences between these converts and their husbands makes the marriage harder to begin with than two of the same culture. Who knows though, really? I'm still under the impression that there's a higher percentage of abusive husbands from these Eastern countries than Canada, but I'm starting to understand that it's not a religion problem or even a cultural problem so much as it is a MAN PROBLEM.

I'm interested in anything anyone has to add about domestic abuse or murder. Any personal experiences or observations or additional statistics...

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