2015….. You Have Been Good To Me…!!!!

  
When I try to think of 2015, nothing big really comes to my mind. It was a peaceful quiet year. The best part about it was that it was all about myself and my loved ones! It is so hard to convey the feeling I get when I look around a room full of my family, friends, and loved ones,  all smiling and happy and healthy, all together in one place. I feel blessed and so lucky! I know one of life’s greatest mysteries is that nothing stays the same, but I don’t want to think of that! Now is all what matters! 

2015 surrounded me with wonderful people, that I am so lucky and thankful they are in my life! People who with every passing day add some glitters to my life to make it more joyful. People who lift me up, encourage and support me, and are genuinely happy to see me happy!  People I love, care for and accept just the way they are. 

 

In 2015 I learnt to drop the resistance and fly free in the endless skies! We sometimes fall in the trap of worrying too much about things. We worry about tomorrow, about our plans, and about if our wishes will come true! And in the midst of it all we tend to forget that the universe will work it out!  

The universe only brings what works for you, but if you resist it, and refuse to allow whatever was coming to just be, you lose in so many ways! I learnt to leave my door open, and welcome everything coming my way, with flowers and wide open arms! I learnt to cherish the present, because this is all I have control over. And this is what will make my yesterdays. So when I look back I am certain that I lived every minute of my then “NOW”! 

2015 also taught me to be easy on myself, to treat myself like a little fragile and precious baby. Because I am worth it! Because I need myself to be nurtured and well taken care of so I can do it for others! I learnt to make the habit of waking up about 2 hours before my son, so I can enjoy a good walk, filling my lungs with the cool fresh air, the air that is going to fuel my whole day! I cherish this time I have for myself and it is the highlight of my days!

I made time for me to enjoy the things I love, like cooking, baking, listening to podcasts, reading, writing and studying! Because these activities motivate me and make me happy! And when I am happy I tend to work, and live better! And so does everyone else around me! Because happiness is contagious….

2015 taught me to be mindful! On one of the TedTalks I listen to this year, I heard something that really changed my life! It was something like: ” How many times you found yourself thinking about a million thing while cooking, doing the laundry, working….etc? That’s the reason of our unhappiness!! If you keep your thoughts limited to what you are doing at that specific moment and that only, you will be aware of yourself, of your being, and you will be happy!” 

This hit me like an ice cold bucket of water! I DO THAT! My brain never shuts down! I am constantly thinking and thinking and thinking and thinking…. And it never ends! So I stopped! I pressed the stop button! I enjoy what I do now, even if it wasn’t fun, but I still feel it, touch it, live it! And not allow reckless thoughts to destroy it-whatever that can be. This had brought peace to my soul! It was like doing everything I was doing my whole life, BUT for the first time! And everything around me suddenly tasted better! 

In 2015 I also learnt to simplify my life! My priorities were made and nothing else mattered! I figured out what was important to me and worked according to that. I eliminated all the unwanted bagage that was blocking me. This goes for people too! I surrounded myself with only positive people, who add meaning to my life! No gossip, no jealousy, no hating, nothing of that, just pure, clean, beautiful feelings that brighten my days!

I learnt that the more I do, the more energetic and motivated I become! Giving back to the community as a way to say THANK YOU! Making my loved ones happy by treating them a little more special everytime! Reading more and learning a new skill every day! 

2015 was the year this wonderful space was created! And I am forever grateful! This blog has beautified my life in so many levels! It is my little corner, where I let go of tension, stress, rules and guidelines! My thoughts flow like a river and are transported to these pages to document my life! It makes me happy to write, it makes me happy to think and it makes me happy to share both my writing and my thoughts! 

May be 2015 hasn’t been marked by a big huge event, but these little things I have learnt changed so many things! They pushed me to be a better me! They made me happy! 

…… So Thank you 2015……!! You have been good to me….! 

Ouiam 

Dear Christmass: I Love You…. Β Ps: I Am A Muslim…

  
Now my fellow Muslims, don’t you jump on my throat just yet, and sentence me to death! I will first need you to take a deep breath, remove those dark glasses of extremism and fanaticism, take a big sip of this tolerance drink I am offering you, and just listen to what I have to say!

Whether Christmas is the actual birthday of the Christ or not, whether it is a pagan holiday occurring in winter or not, I am going to spare you the agony of stating boring historical facts that can be easily found by only typing : “What is Christmas” in google. 

All I can say is that: I don’t care what it is! What I care about is the beauty and the joy of this festive season! It makes me happy when I pass by my neighbours’ house and see their Christmas tree all lit, standing in glory by their door step! It makes me happy when I go to Starbucks and get a new cup filled with new flavours strictly bound to this season and this season only! It makes me happy when I see my friends’ kids busy crafting holiday cards for their loved ones! Actually it makes me a tad jealous and a bit sad….! Because it seems like we -Muslims- don’t know how to celebrate as beautifully as the Christians do! And when I say “Celebrate” I definitely don’t mean cooking and baking 1000 dishes on Eid day or handing small money to the little kids- I am sure they love it but that’s not my point. But rather spread love and joy throughout the whole month! The waiting and the excitement over that beautiful tree, symbolising life and Christ- the core of their holiday. Creating family traditions that include every single member of the family! Giving small gifts as a gesture of love and appreciation to the loved ones! And a lot more! They take their celebration to a whole new level, that unfortunately surpasses us! 

Christmas is full to the brim with love, laughter, presents, beauty and joy spontaneously spread all over the month of December ! And I love it !

What I love even more, are the memories and family traditions created over that magical month in each household! Children baking cookies for Santa, while wearing cute Christmas pyjamas, and watching Christmas movies! Those same kids will grow up with a box full of wonderful memories, that they will pass it on to their own kids and so on! 

So herby I confess that I will be copying every tradition of Christmas and adequately adjusting it to our Muslim holidays. I want the beauty, the joy, the magic to wrap our Ramadans, Eids, Prophet’s birth and New Year! I will make sure my son gets beautiful memories linked to each holiday we have! I am a proud Muslim and want my son to be proud of his Arabic Muslim heritage and not look at other people’s festivities, and wonder why don’t we have that! I want him to know that while we love and embrace other people’s culture and traditions, we have our own that we will try to embellish and sprinkle magic all over it as beautifully as christians do!! 

So yes …. Dear Christmas I Love You… !!

Ouiam

Once Upon A Time….

  

Once upon a time, I was 18 and brave! Full of life, carefree, spontaneous, shy and happy! In a car, sitting in the passenger seat, “Belle- from Notre Dame De Paris”  on full volume…. She is driving and we are both singing! My CD…. her car! And the world seemed so magical! When I say magical, I don’t mean to use it as a metaphor! I mean really magical! Nothing else existed! Just me, her and “Notre dame de paris”! Rainy evenings, warm coats and furry hats! Sipping our hot chocolates while discussing why did “Edith Piaf” ever sing “Non Je Ne Regrette Rien- No I regret nothing!” 

She was beautiful, always elegant and fancy! A real Lady…. And boy did I love her! She would tell me to be free, happy and to always stay true to myself. She would tell me to dress like a lady and always keep a smile on, even if my heart was bleeding! She would tell me to keep my head high because I was young and sweet! She would tell me to love….! She would beg me to love! Who is/was she, you wonder? She was my hero! My “what I want to be when I grow up”, she was my aunt! 

You see, most of us have aunts and you would think what’s so special about this one? Let me drag you a little deeper to a story dated a little more than a decade ago….Where a rebellious teenager, stubborn and hot tempered (hypothetically me) refuses to follow, and wants only to lead! Why wouldn’t she? She just embarked in a new chapter of her life! She started college… The first step toward a brilliant future, that she had meticulously planned for every first few hours of the night and until dawn, every single night of the previous three years, while she was busting her butt off studying! 

I was the only girl in a classroom filled with boys. My father thought I was brave as a man… It was a world meant to be for men! So I automatically embraced the notion imposed on me, and thought women were useless and why should I ever take advices from them…. Little did I know! I so wish I could pull my old self’s ears right now and say: “How dare you!” 

I lived with her, and almost effortlessly, she proved me wrong! Women were everything everywhere to everyone! 

Every time I took snacks to her room, a little past midnight, sat in her bed with her. She would put music on … Old French songs: Julio Iglecias, Joe Dassin, Jack brel, Enrico Macias ….She then starts telling me her stories, her adventures, her secretes and her thoughts! We talk freely! Never afraid of being judged! We go back to a million years ago, where we were all the same! Using leaves to cover our insecurities. Worrying only about food and shelter! She smiles… She uses big words …. She smells sweet… And I tell myself: “I wanna be her when I grow up”.

I learnt from these little late night dates what I have never learnt in my whole life! 

A little more than 10 years have passed, sadly I didn’t grow up to be her…. I can never be as light as she was-Even though she was in her fifties when I was only 18, I never felt it! To me she was always young and restless!- But I have these memories that I hold on to and no one can ever take them away! 

Sometimes I forget to smile, I forget to put lipstick on, I forget to put both my hands on the steering wheel, I forget to sing… Then one day I get into my car, put that same CD on- yes, the same one we listened to 10 years ago, it gracefully survived, just like I did. And I take a long drive. I close my eyes- when the traffic lights are red- I take a deep breath and the magic comes back! I sing loud, I smell her sweet scent in the air and miraculously I become 18 again! I hear her again telling me all about: Parole Parole.., La Vie En Rose…., La Femme De Mon Ami..! 

And once I get my satisfying dose of magic, I hold that CD so tight and carefully place it inside its cover, as if it was a precious jewel- and to me it is! I keep it for my next wake up call, for the next time I feel the magic slipping through my fingers like sand, for the next time I no longer smell her sweet scent around me. 
She taught me that life can be sweet and that magic does exist! I wish I told her just that! I wish I told her that she was my muse, and still is! I wish I could tell her how right she was… That Love is everything just as she said it was! 

Now, 10 years later, she is still teaching me life lessons….! To tell the special people in your life that you love them and you deeply care about them, every time they leave seems silly, but what if that was the last time you ever get a chance to do it? Tell them they were right when they are! Tell them you like the colour of their eyes, the way they make french fries, the way they hold the pen, the way they walk..! Tell them the silliest things… Because now you can… Tomorrow you may not be able to…..

Ouiam