Tuesday, October 31, 2006

51 Weeks

I received this in my email this morning:

"Hi azlina! One more week and your little baby will be one year old! Next week we'll be sending you your last issue of BabyWeekly's smart e-newsletter. Best of luck to you, rizwan and your not-so-little angel!"

I actually let out a small gasp when I read the bit about next week's last issue. There was a kind of sadness and anxiousness then. I had signed up for these BabyWeekly newsletters, since before my precious was born. And there was always anticipating fun to check the newsletters, to read about baby's progress from week to week and tips on bringing up baby, etc. The development progress were most of the time, quite accurate. I would be reading the newsletters and thinking, 'how did they know??'. It has been a part of my weekly ritual for the past year.

Might sound like I am making a big deal out of this but..that last issue next week..will be more than a last issue. It will mark baby's first birthday, our first year as parents, a significant milestone for our family and the hopes of many more joyous and precious moments to come.

"azlina, think back to this time, one year ago: You were in your last weeks of your pregnancy, uncomfortable, and wondering what your baby would look like."

Yes! Around about this time last year, I was lugging my huge belly around, waiting to pop at any moment. And yes, I was wondering a lot. Wondering what baby will look like, wondering how I will be as a mommy, wondering how life is gonna take a 360 turn. Life has taken more than a 360 turn, it's sooo much better than I could have imagined.

"At Yasmin Anne's birthday party, guests may enjoy making predictions about her future personality and life path. You may have more of your own predictions based on your observations over the year. Is Yasmin Anne showing some of your traits or rizwan's?"

Ooh yes, she's definitely ours!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Life is Good

We should enlarge and frame this picture and put it on our wall at home. As a reminder, that despite the problems we think we are facing, despite the bad days...life is actually..GOOD!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Eid Mubarak

It's Hari Raya morning. And here I am, writing in my blog, of all things that one would do on Raya morning.

The original plan was to wake up mega early to cook Nasi Minyak and Ayam Masak Madu. Instead, lying and sleeping lightly in the cool, quiet of our room, looking at baby and hubby sleeping, got the better of me. I got up at 530am, ironed and prepared our baju raya..and then put clothes in the laundry and then cooked up some porridge for baby. Once I was done with all that, it was nearly 630am and the brothers in law were already preparing for sembahyang raya, so I had to go wake hubby and take a bath myself...by which time hubby had to leave for the mosque and I have to look after baby...there she is, still in her sweet slumber. So, nasi minyak has to wait, i guess...

It's our first raya with baby..we have many firsts this year...

To everyone reading, Eid Mubarak, Maaf Zahir Batin and enjoy your holidays...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Write It Yourself

I love writing. But I don't like writing for other people. You see, last week a colleague asked me to help write and edit speeches for the VIPS for an upcoming conference. I bluntly told her that I did not like writing speeches for other people, that they should really write their own stuff. And so, she explained to me about how these VIPs are busy, they usually do have someone who will write their speeches for them but they need our help and input so that they have an idea about what to talk about. So, I reluctantly agreed to help her.

Yesterday, my fellow Toastmasters club member informed me that there was a request for us to help prepare speeches for another upcoming event. The deadline was 'the sooner the better'. So again, I am stuck with this task to write a keynote address and message for some minister. I should probably charge them for my writing!

I once wrote a speech for my boss, the Dean of our school. I thought I had done a pretty good job on the speech. I put in a lot of effort to make it interesting, relevant and inciteful. But then, when he read it out at the event.... he read it like a robot. With no intonation what so ever. His punctuations were all at the wrong places. The speech, my speech did not come out having the impact it was supposed to have!

In Toastmasters, we not only learn about techniques to deliver a speech but we also learn to write our own speeches. One of the key elements we learn is that to deliver a good speech you need to speak with sincerity. It means that you must know what you are talking about, you must have a feel for it and believe it. Then only can the audience also believe in you. I fully believe this is so. How can one deliver a speech with sincerity if it was actually written by someone else? You will be merely reading out loud.

There are many good speakers out there. Some, even though they probably did not write their own speeches, they still do some homework to make sure they deliver the speeches well. I remember Bernard Dompok, whilst delivering his opening speech in a conference on Artificial Intelligence, started his speech by saying that before that he thought AI stood for Artificial Insemination! Then there's the Chancellor of UMS, in one of the convocation ceremonies, he mentioned this beautiful line that I still remember...he was giving advice to the new graduates..he something of this sort

"For those of you who are having difficulties finding a job, or in your life in general...Don't think that God does not care about you. God has other plans for you.."

I nearly cried hearing that. At that moment, his delivery was with such sincerity that I fully believed that he prepared that speech himself.

There are many other great speakers out there...but my point is that, I still think speakers need to prepare their own stuff. No matter who they are or how busy they might be. I'm busy too...I have other stuff to wallow and write about than having to write some speech for someone I don't even know, who I probably will not even meet..and who might possibly ruin the speech I have so meticulously, patiently and sincerely crafted!