Thursday, 19 June 2014

Mid-Year Review: Word for 2014

About half of the calendar year has passed already and it occurred to me how many plans and good intentions I had at the beginning of the year, mid-year my position is very different as I am now six and a half months pregnant and trying to stumble through the day rather than achieve my biggest life goals.

I remember I had a word for the year, but I couldn't for the life of me remember what the word was. So I looked back through the blog and found it was FOCUS. Which is perfect, and still very apt. At the beginning of the year I wrote:

“I am looking forward to the coming year with a really positive feeling alhamdulillah. I feel a lot clearer about what I want from life and what I have to do to achieve those things. I have clear goals regarding my children, my writing, work, my business and my finances. I think I might just be able to screw up some courage and actually get on with trying to achieve some of them.

So my word for the year 2014 is FOCUS.

Insh’Allah, I hope to focus on one project at a time, work hard and get it done. I tend to have lots of ideas and love capturing them and then instead of focussing on delivery I am busy getting excited about the next idea that I think up. Ideas are useless until you act on them and do something with them. For that reason, I need to focus on one thing at a time and then keep my energy and attention on it until I can bring it to fruition.”

I think this is still very the much the case for me. I stopped everything else and worked on my Eid and Ramadan Planner 2014 until it was done. I am currently trying to work on another three projects and not getting anywhere because I have so little time and energy. This is the perfect reminder to pick one, take whatever time I have, even if it is five minutes at a time and focus on doing it till it is done.

Regarding my health I wrote:

“In terms of my health I have been trying to manage my eating better and found that although I have managed to improve some habits, I find it hard to eat less. So this year my focus will move from dieting, abstaining and feeling dissatisfied to focussing on feeling good about my body and mindful of its genuine needs, focussing on health and in particular focussing on movement and physical activity.”

Although I haven’t been consciously making this my approach, this is the direction I have gravitated in during this year. I know I can’t diet because I am pregnant and I have to find ways to get the nutrition I need to manage my energy. Finding I have low Vitamin D, B12, iron and who knows what else has forced me to stop feeling guilty about eating, make sure I eat lots of fruit, raw veg and nuts and doing my research about the best supplements to help me.

The word focus resonates, because that is the only way I have been able to get through my day. To wake up and focus on standing up. To get ready in the morning and focus on getting through the commute, even to focus on putting one foot in front of the other when I am getting off the train and walking the 100 yards or so to my office, when in reality all I want to by this point at 7:40am is lie down on the pavement in a star shape and not move for along time.

I have to focus on my screen during the day, so I don’t get staring off into space or give in to my inclination to get up, leave the overheated office and just lie down in the middle of the open plan office and pretend no one else is there (although thankfully the air con kicked in today after weeks of suffering through the heat in this glass box of an office).

I have to focus on the commute home as I switch between trains and busses, edge my way through the rush into any seat I can find and look forward to the minute I set foot in the door. I swear this is the best time of my whole day, the time I can let go and lose focus for a little while. The best time to just be in then moment and feel the coolness of my hallway, to take my shoes off and feel the cold wooden floor under my swollen, sore feet, take my hijab and abayah off and feel the air on my skin, see Darling’s enormous smile and excitement at seeing me and pick her up and squeeze her into the most delicious hug. I have a few minutes and then I have to focus again.

Focus on getting washed up for prayers, pray, make sure the kids have prayed, clear away their school things and then back out of the door to get Little Lady to her Arabic class (although thankfully her grandmother is taking turns with me on that), pick up any groceries I need on the way back and cook dinner and food for the next two days packed lunches. The rest of the evening is an exhausted fizzling out of focus as I pick up Little Lady, feed everyone, do a short study circle before bed and get everyone into bed before cleaning up the kitchen and getting everyone’s things ready for the next day. I think I will have to keep working on this focus thing. My second best part of the day is getting back into bed. I’m sure I am just counting down to this moment from the time I stumble out of bed in the morning. I can finally do what I have wanted to all day and lie down in a star shape and let my mind spin off to wherever the heck it wants to go.

Anyway, my next focus will be on preparing mentally and in practical terms for Ramadan, in getting to the end of this pregnancy one day at a time and in picking one project and working on it until I am done.


  1. Sounds like you are doing well. :)

  2. Wow, you have managed a lot, in spite of being pregnant!! I feel so inadequate now :)

  3. wow! you have a lot in your plate and Mashaallah you are handling it well sister. Keep doing....