Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Subjectiveness of Compatibility

I am the kind of person who, before disagreeing with something, tries her best to understand the logic behind each argument.

But until this moment, I cannot bring myself to understand the logic behind parents objecting marriages based on social difference. That their daughter or son should not be married to someone who is not as educated, not as stable financially, not 'equal' in social status - which in itself are all subjective.

I do however understand why social acknowledgments mean nothing to me. My concept of a marriage is based on the compatible views of two people in living their lives. They should read their beliefs and values in compatible ways - upon which all the debate on moral and ethical issues are based on. Life is full of these debates of right and wrong. From raising a child to taking or leaving a job. Life is full of gray areas and you need to find someone whose values in life reflect and remind you of who you strive to be.

Since for me, education, wealth, achievements are not the goal - they are the 'false milestones' which easily sway us from our end goals which, I think, is simply trying to be a better human being. Who empathises, recognises social disparities and, through what I know and do, try to contribute to society. In order to do that I need to be educated, through education my knowledge becomes valuable economically, through that I contribute to the household. These are merely processes and to me they are interchangeable with reading reflective books, praying, smiling, giving charity, holding my son.

I am at a point where I always say to myself that these are my choices, my values upon which I attract and am attracted to certain types of people in my life (attract = surrounding ourselves with). They do not reflect superiority or inferiority. They reflect differences in valuing things in life.

I understand that social background then for them is important. They are the goals. That life is about living comfortably, financially sound, being regarded by people who are also regarded in similar ways socially. I can understand that, but it doesn't mean I agree.

I would much rather Malik be wise than 'acknowledged'. Acknowledgment is a broad concept, don't you think. You could be the least socially acknowledged person on earth but with wisdom, you will always find ways to be of use to other people. And I would want Malik to be with someone who reminds him of that purpose, which requires a good heart and sound judgement.

I know I sound naive, that life is complicated and we live in a capitalistic society. But I think life is supposed to be simple. We are the ones who put too much pressure on everything. With making money and being praised we tend to forget the things that actually matter.

That as human beings, we can never be absolutely right. And to each person their journey.

This includes our children.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Empowering Role of Motherhood

For the past month or so, I began working full-time again (albeit in the safe quarters of my own home office and only leave the house for meetings/lecturing, but I follow an 8 hour plan just like anybody), Malik's daily activities are assisted by a nanny. I do continue where she leaves off around 6 and put him to sleep and bathe him at least once a day, but I am no longer the dominant 'sitter' for his daily routine.

I accepted this fact with full-realisation of the pros and cons, so did Arya.

And so naturally, my tolerance level went down. I physically wear off faster than when I assisted him daily, I get the jitters when he throws his food around and I am a walking zombie by the time I put him to bed at night.

But you know what, it was my decision and as tired as I was, no one made me work, no one made a mother. It was my decision and I have to stick to it.

So both days this weekend, I decided Malik is my priority. No matter how tired I was or cranky or over the top, I will stick with him. And by God, did I.

And my tolerance level went up again. I fed him, bathed him, ran around with him, read him a book, talked to him, laughed with him. The weekend was for him.

And there is something oddly empowering from taking care of your own son, knowing you are doing your best in juggling your roles of working and motherhood - not complaining during turbulence and being consistent with the responsibilities and entitlements both roles provide.

You kind of lose the point of demanding 'me' time. When you're a parent, particularly if it was a sound decision, you let go of 'you' and you prioritise this young man you call your son. He is not yet equipped with the ability to sort priorities and rationalise consequences, we are. And it is then our responsibility, even when we are dead tired, to make sure of his wellbeing.

I really don't have anything to complain about. I enjoy being a hands on mother and I enjoy being lecturer and student. I also enjoy sharing my day with Arya and reflecting how we are as individuals and as part of a unit.

I think the moment we complain about the cons of our choices, work or family, we are ignoring the many splendors these choices provide us with. At the end, we all need a 'spike' in our tolerance level, the opportunity to push out limits, which gives way to perseverance, strength, patience and consistency. And I think we need to be tired to know our limits.

And afterwards set it higher.

All in a day's work to try and be a better person :)

With love, Nak...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Close the Lid

What to do if you have people gossiping about you:
'I'll add that to my box of 'things that are not my problem''

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The Larger Scheme of Things

Today in class I was reminded why I chose to become a lecturer. The course was 'Seminar' - so the students are in their last year and they were formed in groups to present issues in the communication field in Indonesia. From network television to child exploitation in the media.

I cannot exactly point which part of the discussion 'touched' me, but I was really amazed at their enthusiasm, intellectual capacity, social concern and their ability to formulate their opinion (and regard others'!).

I am understating when I say - I am really blessed to be part of the larger scheme of education. I realise that I am merely a small particle in the whole process, but I do feel extremely 'lucky' that I have a profession through which I am reminded that at the end, knowledge is to be transferred. Not possessed.

Never possessed.

And afterwards nothing in this world that is material seems worthy.

Monday, February 08, 2010


After 4 nights straight of insufficient sleep that came with Malik's cough and runny nose and vomiting at 3AM and crying all day asking to be held - I came into realisation, once again, that being a parent is not without its challenges. Having to wake up early to work the next day and sort out deadlines and lecture and write is another. To wonder if you're giving your partner enough attention is also another.

All in a day's 'work' of juggling social roles and the entitled responsibilities.

I love my life nonetheless and I wouldn't change a thing.