I make a shy comeback on the blog this morning.
It’s been almost two years. Too much has happened.
I’ve developed an undying affection for Lady Gaga (now always a star in my eyes), I’ve written my first book in Arabic AND for children (can’t get any better), I freelance on full-time basis now (I know, right?), and the most magical thing of all? Almost 1.5 years ago (around the same time I went MIA on the blog), Mr. Love and I were blessed with the most squishable and vibrant little energy ball. Everything I love about Mr. Love, and few things I don’t dislike about myself either, she’s an amalgam of warmth, but saying she’s been keeping me on my toes would be an understatement.
-Zaha in a Bekai field, August 2018-
Life has become, no matter how prepared I thought I was, chaotic. All this talk about making her part of our lives, and carrying on as carefree as I would have liked us to be, turned out to be nonsense. She became LIFE, as simple as that really. And then over a year later, having given her time, love, space to grow, I see in front of me a confident independent (except at bedtime naturally) kind little human, and my heart explodes every single day.
I would like to believe I did a pretty good job, Mr. Love too. He’s been a true rock throughout this whole parenthood journey, and I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings. Right now, I want it to bring more squeezing, more winter (Hey Dubai), and surely more writing. I’ve missed you.
I love this video.
Women speaking from the heart, reminiscing about their youth, the to-DON’T-do lists they wish they had, the goodnight kisses and the dancing they wish they indulged in.
These wise women argue that the most important thing to us as human beings should be “being” instead of doing. I couldn’t agree more #LetGo
I sometimes lose sight of “a bit of me” in the process of planning my happy ever after, and I’m not particularly fussy, nor detail- oriented. I like looking at the big picture, but I still lose sight of “a bit of me”, which brings me to the conclusion that the conviction I’ve always had about life remaining indefinitely the same is really a myth. Life changes.
“Meet you halfway”
It just does, and when you’re planning your happy ever after, you plan for two. You think for two. You live for two. It seems simple in theory, but practice can be tricky, so I’m learning that the key to making ends meet is really to preempt what is awaiting instead of diving into it blindfolded. It helps.
You’ve got to envision the end result, and think to yourself: it’s me, Mr. Love, our warm fuzzy little home, our happy big books, and to get there, there are just a few (transitional) facts that you would want to come to terms with:
- You will prioritise: and by prioritising, I mean Mr. Love will come first, not your reading, not your writing, and yes (sorry to break the news), not your friends. He will (so effortlessly to your heart) come first.
- Your social life will take a temporary nap: and that is OK because the truth is: read no 1. again, and you are also constantly trying to find the right balance between you time, you-two time, his friends time, your friends time, and there’s just not enough time in the day, or week to juggle it all in. There is no digital magic wand for that just yet (sorry).
- And then there will be those days when you get the urge to flee, and you will wonder (yes, you will) what on God’s (not so) green earth are you doing it all for?
And love will (not so) surprisingly be your answer. It will so uncommonly be your voice of reason, and for the sake of love, you will walk steady and be just fine. You will prioritise. You will be less of a social butterfly. You will (sometimes happily- sometimes less happily) exchange a wild night out with a movie night in. You will introduce a new small section to your wardrobe (for when you meet the parents). You will choose to move into a house with a kitchenette instead of a proper kitchen (because you can see the look on Mr. Love’s face when he finds his dream house). You will do it all, and you will not risk losing any bit of “you”, because you two are meeting halfway and finding a common ground, and once you do (and you will), there you will have it: your happy ever after.
I woke up to this view this morning. My family’s been visiting for a week and while I’m greatly enjoying our short getaway, I can see their excitement dissipating as they watch the news of agony and misfortune in Lebanon every night.
– Good morning Fujairah Spring –
Having trained my mind to take a numb bystander position re- regular horrific happenings in Beirut, I can not but highlight how truly fortunate I believe I am to be here today. Dubai has offered me a whole lot throughout the past seven years: warmth, friendships, love, sense of security, personal and professional growth. I have not once felt that I do not belong or that i am treated differently.
With the famous #mydubai hashtag going so viral, my real dubai is actually not a snapshot, or a video. I need not document an aspect of it to remind myself or convince others of its timeless beauty. Mydubai is this calmness instilled in my heart every morning and night, knowing this is home, away from home.
This is not a blog post. This is a revelation. I’ve been observing my contentment trends for a while, and I’ve realized they’ve somewhat “matured”, probably because this year revolved around grateful living for me, and acknowledging little pleasures that I had long overlooked: visiting with family, watching a genuinely good movie, finding an interesting read, writing on this blog, seeking inspiration in others, dancing till my feet hurt, swinging till my eyes roll, exploring new relationships, building on already existing ones- relatively small things, but with quite a big impact.
(photo courtesy of my awesome mama – Alexa in Shtoura)
With all this in mind, I’ve decided to make my one and only new year’s resolution this morning, because December’s clearly all about getting things done, and January resolutions clearly don’t do it for me. Somehow, my mind always gets tricked into believing the year has just started afresh (automatically granting me at least another 11 months to make things happen)- #error
This December, I’m making things happen. I’m hopping on a bike the minute I land home in Shtoura (for the very first time), and I won’t fall off it. I’m going to dive freely into my sacred valley of snow flakes, almond trees, and homemade rice pudding, all whilst recapping how life-changing 2013 really was. I rose up a notch this year, set my priorities straight, and formed new habits – of kindness- in a span of 3 weeks only (it’s not a myth), and right now, I am utterly grateful. I’m hopping on a bike and I am owning the world!
TED’s non- cheesy guide to gratefulness here: my favorite is David Steindtl- Rasl! Stop, Look, and Go!