How does one achieve balance in life? That is the question every adult strives to answer; particularly a working mother who is trying to have-it-all. For me, the things that motivate and help me keep things in check are 3 Fs: (a) faith; (b) family and (c) friends.
Faith is a sensitive and delicate topic to many, but to practising Muslims it is simply (as it should be) the core of who we are. It almost amazes me how atheists and agnostics (i had to google to look up the difference – hey, I’m honest) can live their daily life truly believing there is no God, or not knowing if there is a God. And I don’t mean that with any intention to make offense – it’s just that I truly believe that the world has been designed to provide us with all kinds of challenges that the weak and flawed human being can only do so much by him or herself. Of course I can only speak for myself on this matter authoritative, so what I’m trying to say is: without my belief in Allah – and I pray that this belief strengthens over the rest of my life rather than lessens, Na’uzubillah – is the main motivation that keeps me balanced in life. And I pray that God doesn’t test me to significant lengths because I am still learning to be a good Muslim day by day; and I need His help and blessings in, oh, only in every single aspect of my life – my health, wealth, family, spirituality, career, safety, desires, work, the Afterlife – are all in His hands. And I am too tiny a person to even digest everything – how can I not need Him and ask Him for help?
Without a doubt my parents were the second most important force in my life and sculpting me into who I am today. My mom is the single most admired and respected woman in my life, and even now when we are apart, I call her regularly to seek her advice or wisdom. My sisters, who have grown into their own with their respective beautiful famillies, have always kept me grounded by whipping me in the *ss anytime I falter or perasan bagus in any way. My husband, the most important cast member in my daily life since getting married, is amazingly able to make me laugh and cry (sometimes in that order) by providing me with endless support and companionship. And let’s not talk about Umar – his presence in my world since 2006 has just made the whole universe 10,000% more beautiful and clear – like a blind person seeing for the first time.
They say friends are the family you choose for yourself, and if that’s true I have another extended, complex yet merry outer family. My best friend Yani is the friend I admire and respect most in the world because of her sensible, grounded self amidst her witty, beautiful (inside and out) personality. I am also fortunate to have a range of close friends who I can trust – starting from high school friends who I’ve known since teens (across 3 schools), to friends from the scholarship program I joined who remain one of my most baik friends (especially religiously speaking), to new friends from being in my new company and city. To quote from Umar’s BFF, Thomas the Tank Engine “Friends – are the most wonderful thing of all”. We may not see each other often, and I may not have a clique like most girls as my friends are scattered across different stages in life – but this is a supreme example of quality trumping quantity.
With all these 3 Fs behind me – Insya Allah, I can continue to venture far into this big, bad world… all the while hopefully with continued balance.