Travelling with Elderly

Hi there,

If you could still recall a post I made about an engagement, yep, this is the subsequent post I promised.

As I’ve mentioned, I traveled with two dependent elderly. It wasn’t easy and very tiring but just like a mother who feels only joy at the birth of her child, I did too when my granny was all smiling.

It was not easy to get my granny out of her house. She worried too much of her hens.  roosters and of course her house. Somehow, she agreed to join us. My mom, uncles and aunties were of course very happy. They can now have a proper family outing after so many years.

Well, of course they had to think a step ahead just to ensure that my granny had fun. So here are some few tricks when travelling with elderly:

  1. Sweaters, thick clothes, socks
    • Especially if you’re riding an airplane, the airport could be a wee bit too chilly for them. You wouldn’t want them to catch a cold. At first they mightn’t feel cold but they’ll thank you later.
  2. Sweets, snacks, water
    • Just like babies, they might experience ear discomfort during the take off. Prepare something for them to suck such as sweets or whatever it is that match their likings.
  3. Diapers, tissue
    • More often than not, they were too embarrassed or find it too difficult to answer the nature’s call. So they held it in and in a matter of time, they’ll find it a little too late. So, before travelling, it is highly encouraged if you could familiarise and train nana and poppa to wear the diapers.
  4. Wheelchair
    • Some elderly still have their ego in them. They might reject the idea of bringing it to everywhere they go. Take my word, JUST BRING IT. We had the experience of wanting to bring it and told not to. What happened next was as we predicted. Luckily we brought one wheelchair because my nanny obviously understood that it would be more than just a brisk walk. In the end, they had to share the wheelchair – we had to make 2 trips to get back to our car.
  5. Elderly-friendly Accomodation
    • Undeniably, we can get all rough and don’t mind staying in an uphill resort but that’s not the case for them. What we did was, since they were 20 of us, we rented two double-story homestays. The elderly by default stayed at the ground floor bedrooms. We made sure to have the bathroom nearby their rooms when we made the reservation. I can proudly say the both of them were happy with their rooms. Oh, also make sure to have another able person to sleep with them because they might wake up at night for a drink or even to go to the loo.
  6. Medications
    • Of course! THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. Assign someone who can be their PA throughout the trip. Remind them when to take their medications.
  7. ‘Personal Assistant’
    • Can’t deny it. We can get too overjoyed and forget about them. This is when having a PA could be so much of a help. It needn’t to be the same person all along. Be sure to have someone specific to guard them. For example, my cousins and I wanted to go for a food-hunting whilst the rest wanted to stay home, so we politely asked one of our aunty to look after the elderly. The next day, when our parents went shopping, we stayed at home and watch over our nanny. Similarly, when we were all out and the young ones went to ride something challenging, we had our parents to wait with grandmom (because they obvs were not keen on the idea of extreme sports).

I guess that’s pretty much it. As you can see, they are not much different from handling toddlers. So, be extremely patient and helpful. It will be worth it.

Until then, peace be upon you.

We’re L.E.

When I was in college, I wrote an essay on intuition. The essay partially determined our final marks (the other half of the mark was evaluated from a group presentation). Essentially, students preferred topics that were heavily discussed and intuition wasn’t. I liked the subject for one reason; freedom of expression.

So, I did BOTH, presentation and essay on intuition. As far as I know, I was the only person who did that. Two facts – my class wasn’t taught anything on intuition and I was alone in the battlefield –  were enough to intimidate me, and everyone else. I had no one to discuss the topic and soon, internet became my best-friend – the only place where I could find answers to my question, or at least a clue.

When I submitted my first draft of the essay, the lecturer wasn’t happy. She told me to write a new one and it’d be better if I choose another topic. I didn’t know what was wrong because she said the whole essay wasn’t convincing. She gave me a very low grade; it was a D or an E, perhaps an F. I couldn’t remember.

I went back to my room only to feel more determined. I reminded myself that this subject was about the students, our views. I didn’t budge. I stuck with the topic and was ready to face any consequence of me going against my teacher’s advice. It wasn’t an act of rebellion, but I had something to tell and I wanted it to be heard. I knew the final marker would be a foreign marker so I wanted my thoughts to get international. I refused to be confined with the mindset of the people whom I’ve lived with. To make long story short, in the end, I received an A for the subject.

It could be to two things; either my final draft (essay) was waaayyy better than the first one OR I fit the international marker’s criteria of marking. For the sake of this post, let’s consider the later one, shall we?

Have you ever been in a situation where you think you’re right but people are disagreeing with you? For example, you designed a shirt and find it very attractive, but nobody bought it. Or you wrote a song and no one enjoyed it. Or you cooked a dish but it received no praises. Or have you known a person who was nobody in your area but turned out to be majestic at some other place?

I, in some way feel that everything has its own place. So do we. We might not be accepted in this society, but we might be someone in the other; Our style of managing might no work out very well with this group of people, but it may suit the other.

The question is, do we make adjustment to ourselves or do we find a place where we’re welcomed?

I do not have the answer.

It is our choice. When you’re fearless, that is when great things happen. Well, not all the time but at least, you have nothing holding you back from trying and you’ll end up somewhere close to where you want to be.

It’s not easy to challenge the tradition but if you have strong faith in what you do, and you know it’s going to benefit a lot of people, for good purpose, then I say, go for it.

One of the homegrown online business, FashionValet, has proved the society that we can be as big as we dream. The founders were nobody but today, their business worth millions. People could be saying things like they have the “network” or they’re from this-and-this families so it’s easier for them. That’s not the point here. Try looking from another perspective. They were innovative and saw the opportunity when no one had the guts to do it. Online shopping was not a thing back in early 2000 but they were brave enough to start the journey.

I might be challenged with something similar in the future. I hope that whoever deals with such situation will have faith in themselves and make the most out of it. Life isn’t really about proving ourselves to others, but it’s about us. To be able to put meaning in our journey and cherishes it when we’re old. We, are LIMITED EDITION.

Till then, may peace be upon you.

 

Opening up

By far, it’s the second hardest thing after saying goodbye. My novice philosophical mind tells me it’s because we’re actually giving a piece of ourselves to someone else. Naturally, we feel comfortable talking with someone whom we trust.

Today, I mustered up my courage to tell some of my closest friends something that I’d been hiding for quite sometime. Well, it wasn’t so bad. Unsurprisingly, I still owe them a Skype conversation and a meet-up.

Sometimes, when people are having hard times, all they need is time. I know that for a fact. The glorious “time heals” is in fact true. It’s not because time has magic or antidote to it, but it’s because we grow over time. With every second that we reflect upon ourselves and becoming more accepting of what has happened, we become stronger – mentally and thus, physically.

Baby steps.

It’s okay to do it slowly.

Till then, may peace be upon you.

T.W.M

Tuesdays With Morrie

It took me almost half a decade before succumbing to the idea of reading this book. It started when I noticed that my friend listed this book as her all-time favourite – and if I’m not imagining things, she also said that this book is life changing.

 I wasn’t sure if I’d like the book as much as she did. We had different personalities and we didn’t really share the same interest. I liked Ed Sheeran, she prefered Linkin Park. I like Harry Potter, she watched documentaries. In most things, she was always ahead of me. The only thing that I was probably better was sports – I played more sports than she did. Ironically, we were best friends. Perhaps this is the law of opposites as discussed in the book.

The book didn’t really get me in the beginning because, let’s be honest, I hated the fact that Albom didn’t visit Morrie though he promised that. Sooner than I expected, I realised that I am doing it too. I promised my pre-U teachers that I’d visit them but I haven’t done it till today. I had my reasons, so did Albom. The only difference is that my teacher mentioned me on her Facebook (yes, we’re friends on Facebook), asking me to visit. Twice.

Love others or, perish. That’s tough love. I realised that I am full of hatred. In this book, Morrie told Albom to forgive himself before forgiving others. It’s hard, really. First, people very rarely admit their mistakes. We blame others – I blame others for failing. Mothers blaming doctors for wrongful pregnancy. Parents blaming teachers for their children misconducts. When we refuse to embrace, we’ll never detach. Morrie encouraged us to deal with it and move on. We’ll never proceed if we’re overwhelmed with regrets, thinking of how things could’ve been if we didn’t take the step. I know I did – Would my life be the same had I listened to my heart? I have to let it go so that I can embrace a new journey, to see the open doors instead of the one that’s closed for me.

I can’t blame others when they’re just physically present during meet-ups. The art of communication is dying with every passing day. People talk via social medias. That’s just how things work now, don’t they? This book tells us to indulge in every conversation we’re having. To be present. During discussions or conversations made over a cup of coffee, we shouldn’t be messing our head with things that we have next or things that has happened before. The only way to connect is to give one’s full attention. Gotta say, I’m quite good at putting in the “oh”, “urm, what do  you think”, “really” and producing seemingly genuine laughter when in fact, I drifted away most of the time. It’s just me. I got lost easily.

I’ve reflected so much whilst reading this book. I have to say, my friend was right when she said it’s her fav book. I think I’m fond of it too. Things I wrote are just a few of the gems. Like Morrie said, it’s never too late.

Till then, may peace be upon you.

Eid 2017… and NS E-day!

*swoosh, swoosh, sreetttt, bukk*

Uh, the jingles of Raya eve. As usual, we get busy the day before raya. Real busy – cooking rendang (traditional dish), making kuah kacang (peanut sauce?) to eat with ketupat (compacted rice) and never the least, cleaning the house. Some did last-minute shopping too. *hands-up* Guilty as charge!

But this year raya felt a bit different. My family wasn’t really thrilled by raya but it’s the (then) upcoming engagement. Everyone was pretty much busy with their assigned tasks. I was in charge of the flight tickets, seats arrangement, planning the schedule, etc. – I know there’s a name for this job but my vocab fails me today. I was also the runner at some point. Driving here and there to buy and pick up the last-minute touch up.

The man of discussion wasn’t home until a day before the whole trip started. We had to do things on our own with his relatively laissez-faire (wow, IB thought me well!) approach. I got to thank him for that because otherwise we could go nuts to meet his detailed expectations. *wipesweats*

Btw, the engagement took place in Sarawak. So, we had to fly – because travelling by boats/ferries took longer and driving there didn’t make any sense.

The voyage consisted of 19 people. FYI, that’s a big group for an engagement. So, dwelling with a majority elderly group sure was a test. I was very lucky to be sandwiched (in reality, nominated volunteered) by two amazing yet highly-dependent women in the first row. Seating on the left row was a handsome actor (with his wife and two children. Of course!). My grandmom was seating nearest to him and actually made small conversations with him whilst I was trying hard not to fangirling. Guess who failed miserably? I couldn’t stop starring at him albeit his adorable sons and pretty wife presence. So, I stared at the stewardess instead and gave her plenty of awkward smiles.

So, we arrived in Sarawak after two hours. We were greeted by the soon-to-be fiance and her parents.

That’s it for Part 1.

p/s: Pardon me for the abrupt ending. Hopefully there’ll be Part 2.

Till then, may peace be upon you.

Hectic night

At the age of 24,

What can I do? What have I done?


Everyone else is already in their dreamland. Me; I couldn’t sleep.

I was lying on my bed, trying to sleep but there was an unfamiliar feeling. I was questioning my purpose of life.

I know for a fact that there are two life purposes –  to serve God and the humanity. Question is; HOW?

If you read Mitch Albom’s infamous Tuesdays with Morrie, there was a paragraph where he (actually, it’s Morrie) claimed that youth is when people feel most suffocated. They don’t understand life.

If it’s too estranged for you, then you might’ve come across the 3-phases of life: when you’re young, you have time and energy but no money; when you’re an adult, you have money and energy but no time; when you’re old, you have money and time but no energy.

So there simply isn’t a time when we have everything. How are we supposed to achieve anything if that’s the case?

Perhaps, Morrie is right. We have to live the moment – don’t think of yesterdays or tomorrows.

Social media sure did some damage to us. I am guilty as charge. I wanted to have what others have. I wanted more. Wasn’t I satisfied? I don’t know.

I know I have a family who is always rooting for me and I thought to myself; what is it that I can do for them?

Then, I feel trapped.

; because I know I have an obligation to fulfill, an expectation to meet.

They didn’t ask for it but I just feel it.

Then again, what’s living? That’d be the hardest question yet to answer.

Does the “waking up at 6, do the 9 to 5 work and perhaps some social life before hitting the sack” routine considered as living? Isn’t repeating things a robot’s job? Are we then, robots?


I think I’m through for today.

My heart feels lighter now.

Thanks for reading. And oh, I’d love to hear read your thoughts!

Until then, may peace be upon you.

White lies

People lie to conceal.

I know I did.

Sometimes, lying is the only way to protect ourselves and/or the people around us. A mom has to lie saying that the new doll is ugly when in fact she can’t afford it. A sister has to pretend she’s OK because she has to put a smile on her younger siblings. Doctors have to act brilliant because the patients are relying on them.

Yesterday, I had a pep talk with my colleague. She said,

Life is fair.

I didn’t buy her. I know that life isn’t.  It’s just how nature works – or is it how we manipulate the world. In short, how we see things.

I have a feeling that I’m going to ramble in this post. I really do.

Okay, breathe in, breathe out.

White lies. I have been lied too many times than I could remember. AND. I have told numerous lies too. With every stage of life, the reason for me lying changes.

When I was a kid, I lied because I didn’t want to feel left out. When I was a teenager, I lied because I wanted to be free. When I was a young adult, I lied because I wasn’t ready to spill the bean. None of these reasons justify my action. I did it anyway for myself and hopefully for the people that I loved. – I lied. Again. I did it because I don’t want to be judged.

I knew all along that lying isn’t good. No one should live in lies. And I had been telling myself everytime I intend to fabricate things, lie doesn’t stop at one, it starts at one.

Things aren’t make easier if people were to be honest all the time. Truth hurts more at times. People go crazy over some newly-found facts, they regretted their curiosity. Would you be ready to be told that your long-time lover is attracted to your sexual attractiveness rather than your soul? Would you be fine to find out that the parents you knew are actually serial killers? Would you not get flustered to discover that your crush is actually your family?

Life is complicated. We’re entangled. We’re so diverse that it’s almost impossible to find a common ground.

Alas, that doesn’t serve as a reason for us to be ruthless and ignorant. No matter how hard life hits us, we have to get back on our foot. Regardless of how unjust things are, we have to move on. Make our lives better for our own, not for others.

Till then, may peace be upon you.

Sisters

I used to think that I’m closest to my brother and I dedicated a post for him in my previous blog.

Although I’m still close to my brother, I found a new sibling-friend; my sister. I’m 5 years older. So, we didn’t really have much things to talk about when we’re younger. I was always too old and she was always too young. So, there was nothing to talk about.

Time flies by. She started to copy my style and secretly adored me. Then she found her own style and defined herself without having my influence. After that, she started to pretend not to listen but silently agreed to my advises. Now, we’re sharing more things than we could ever imagine.

Out of the blue, she’d text me and recommend songs to listen to and I’d return the deed on some other day. I can now actually ask for her opinions on things that I want to buy. Recently, my mom called and told me to get rtw baju raya (basically new cloth for Eid celebration) with my sister cause she doubted that we’ve enough time for tailored ones. I asked her to go ahead and find theirs first. Then, my mom said that my sister wanted to go with me.

On another occasion, my sister was exhilarated when I told her that I’m coming home and asked her for a sisters-hangout. She obvs reached the mall earlier than I do. When I reached the mall, she was standing at the higher end of the escalator. She was wearing a really big smile and waved at me in the middle of the crowds. I doubt she was happy to see me but it was more like, “Yeay, I’m gonna have some fun time and eat everything I want and my sister is gonna pay for it all.” I personally think it was also because she got to experience what a young adult life is – to go shop without parents nor using their money. I – am honoured to be part of her grown up experience. I still remember wishing that I’d have a sister whom I can have girl talks. Now, I have one.

Till then, may peace be upon you.

p/s: Sure, we have disagreements but that makes us sisters. Sisters of our own identity – we have enough people mistaking us for one another.

Ripped

It was in my hand. I was happy to have it.

Until…

We sat for our last paper today. We were joyful, to a certain extent, because the questions were manageable. Then, we received an email saying that our essays (which was returned to us a month ago) had been remarked. I reached to the line when the lecturer actually apologise for releasing the marks earlier. At that moment I knew something wasn’t right.

The second marker came into picture and he decided to pull down my marks by more than 50%.

I felt robbed.

I thought I had it all in place. Things were going fine and I had the motivation to proceed. I was wrong. Feeling unjustly marked, I went to speak with the head of department/module leader. Well, most of the time I was quiet and the rest did the talking. I wanted to know so badly what had gone wrong and everyone was absolutely outrageous by the horrific incidence.

Truth is, I still can’t get over it and I don’t really know why do I feel so unsettled. I knew that partly it’s my fault but really, how ridiculous to have such different opinions from two markers from the same institute?

“That’s just how things work. We don’t take the average of those two marks. We take the one that we agreed on.” Yeah, only that the one you agreed on is the lower one, much lower.

It really takes its toll on me. I am extremely demotivated and today is supposedly a happy day because it’s the beginning of summer break.

Nonetheless, I try to see the silver lining. One thing for sure, God is teaching me for the third time, neither success nor failure is permanent. One second you’re on the top, the next time you’re at the bottom. Really, it takes consistent effort and everlasting faith to keep things up.

p/s: I could really use a venti Java chips of Starbucks with a caramel whipped cream now.

Maggie 2

Miss Stewart is rushed to the school infirmary. A stack of thick files fell on her fragile frame. Luckily Miss Stewart is already expecting another staff, Mr Albert. It was Mr Albert who alerted the nurses. As for Mag, she is escorted by a prefect to her room.


The birds are chirping and the fresh smell of freshly mown grass after rain are Mag’s forte. It is a lovely morning in the new environment for Mag. She puts on her khaki pants paired with loose off-white knitted sweater since the weather is quite chilly. It’s almost spring. Mag explores the school compound. Class will only commence in two more days.

The school has three major buildings; the girls’ building on the right side, the academic building is in the middle and the lads’ is on the left. At the centre is the infamous Espionnage square. The students believe that whoever walks across the square would fail their exams – absurd but it helps to keep students from ruining the landscape. There are tulips, roses and peonies planted in the square to form a circle outlining the school initial; AI which stands for Avicennia Institution.

AI is head by Professor Prescott. He is recognised nationwide as a respectable yet humble man who fought for education and thorough human development. Prescott is tall with broad shoulder and decent build. Mag can see him through his window office. Unexpectedly, the Professor turns to his window and notices Mag. He smiles at her and takes a sip of his drink. Then, Professor Prescott returns to his work.


“Blimey! What has got into your head Hannah?! You’re all dirty now! Let’s get back to your room and change. Ughh.” “I’m sorry but I can’t just sit back. I have to help the duckling to be with its moommmm~” Two girls walk pass through Mag in hurry. One of them is covered with mud while the other is fumed with anger. Hannah accidentally bumped into Mag. They both lose their balance and fall on the wet soil.

To be continued…