I have been struggling to find opportunities to blog recently with work and family activity keeping me busy. My new role and the loss of a colleague due to office conflict has meant that my workload has shot up leaving me struggling to share my energy fairly between work and the rest of my life. This week I had to organise a service-planning workshop for managers, write and present a presentation on one of our local wards and the effects of regeneration on it, implement a project review process for our regeneration service, present my paper on electronic data management and make recommendations and work on updating our intranet site. This at the same time as dealing with my manager who veers between being very nice and rather noxious.
The ward regeneration presentation had me seriously nervous until I found this dua which helped:
Rabbi Ishrah Li Sadry, Wayassir Li Amry, Wahlul ‘Uqdatan Min Lisany, yafqahu Qawly.
My Lord, I ask you to expand my breast, make my task easy, undo the knot in my tongue so that my speech will become comprehensible.
What also helped was turning up to find that many of the senior managers and external visitors (Councillors and CE of development agencies) were more nervous than I was – I was shocked, but reminded that these were only people. Before the presentation I had seriously got the impression that because I am softly-spoken and small, my manager wasn’t convinced I would be able to do this presentation. It was ironic then that my part went well and I enjoyed showing off (sorry I can’t help it, I do like an audience) and she managed to fluff her part.
At home, the school term is in full-swing with trips and plenty of homework, but without my in-laws staying and my mum still unable to do much because of her broken hand, I and hubby are really having to do a juggling act with taking care of the kids and everything else between us, alhamdulillah for hubbies patience and good nature.
I am aiming to do Arabic with Little Lady five days a week, but managing 3-4. I am also trying to get Little Man started but progressing very slowly. Gorgeous wants to learn but disrupts everyone by making the others giggle.
With extended family, we are in the full throes of wedding planning with my brother and this seems to be the only topic of discussion we are capable of at the moment. Things have not gone smoothly and I have been learning a lot about diplomacy, holding your tongue and letting things go. It has brought me closer to my brother though and we should have a lot of things booked and ready in the next two weeks for his big day at the end of March. We also have the henna night to plan for and this should be a blast. We are planning it as a crazy party for our family and friends (think sweet bar, Cilla Black, games, henna, food mischief and a lion). Our theme for the event is a very traditional green and yellow that you find at Pakistani henna's like the one below:
I still have to do something about the shopping list my in-laws have given me for my two brother-in-laws weddings (most likely in February/March too). I have made clear that kids cannot miss school or they will lose their school places and that I don’t have enough leave from work until April, but I keep getting the feeling that hubby will suddenly decide nearer the time that we are all off to Pakistan for the wedding, which gets me stressed every time I think about it.
So it is a learning time for me. Dealing with my manager and being more assertive, trying to be well-organised at home, trying to share my time and energy fairly and reserving enough of em for my husband and children, trying to communicate effectively with family and extended family, dealing with family politics fairly and without getting bogged down. But alhamdulillah, it is all good. I always think of my gran with her lucid mind and broken body wishing she could do so many things and knowing I might get to a point when I wished the same, for now I can do the things I have to and I am grateful for that – life feels full and colourful (alhamdulillah I think of her a lot right now, with fondness and gratefulness for what she taught me about dealing with life and family).
I did get to the thinking where you start to feel that you are walking a tightrope, trying to balance numerous plates. But I decided not to take that approach. I jumped off the tightrope, when I decided that I will do one thing at a time and only what I can manage and make sure I make plenty of play time (although I WILL resist the urge to creep out of bed at midnight to read or play with my beads).