Subdued; I Ramble: 21 April 2022

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

I am feeling pretty down now. I think the term ‘Ramadan Challenge’ has just taken its own course.

I did not even realise that we are past the halfway mark of the holy month. It seems surreal. At this point of the game, everyone is stepping up their efforts in a bid to meet Lailatul Qadr. That special night also known as the Night of Power, when supplications are accepted and highly rewarded, and your past sins forgiven.

And right when the bid for Lailatul Qadr is on, so did my personal Ramadan challenge that seemed to have been written for me.

My problems are starting to feel a little heavy but nothing too complex. They are just heavy in weight. I faced one of the problems before so I do not feel too emotionally overwhelmed and I faced another one many times before so I do not have too much fear from it. Then there are a few that are right smack in my face all along so they are not exactly my first rodeo.

Back to my Ramadan challenge. So basically, just when the race for Lailatul Qadr is about to start, my husband contracted COVID yesterday morning. I tested negative today but there is always a chance I might contract it as well although I should be immuned to it since I had it last November. However, mine was the Delta variant so I am not sure if there is a high chance of me getting the Omicron variant. Or is it Omicron XE now?

It came as a surprise. We have always thought that my husband is forever immuned from COVID seeing how he did not get infected when I had it. We practically live in a shoebox and share a toilet. Like how did he not get it with me that time? Haha.

So what I am feeling right now is exactly the same as what I felt when he broke his ankle; alone. Coincidentally, a key personnel from my personal support network has just flown out of the country for months-long respite. I mean, just how much louder can The Maker’s challenge be conveyed to me? He is really telling me, “YEP, YE ARE ON YER OWN, LADY”.

Yes, it is veritable that The Maker is extremely jealous. He does not like it when I attach myself to people more than to him. So right now, He is showing his jealousy by making me feel the exact same feeling that would steer me towards Him. It is indeed a familiar feeling that I recognised it almost immediately.

Of course, it comes without saying that as long as my husband is ill, there is no income coming in. I cannot do our usual deliveries without the driver and he is my deignated driver. Haha. I am just a coordinator. Thankfully though, The Maker gave me a little way out of that hole by moving the hearts of our friends to employ me in supporting their operations. I will be paid hourly while my husband is out of work. Of course, I will need to test myself everyday before I head out as assurance. I will keep my mask on as added measure.

Something is better than nothing.

Want to know something else interesting? I have just asked myself two days ago why exactly am I in a marriage that has not been meeting one of my many many needs. And just like that, poof, tada! Husband gets COVID. And out of that comes another familiar feeling; responsible. Whether I like it or not, whether I want to or not, I have been placed by The Maker in positions that come with a lot of responsibilities throughout my entire life; being a student, being a teacher, being a supervisor, being the eldest daughter and sister, being a wife, and probably on a whole lot more occasions than I actually realise.

The real reason I resigned is because I just want to be selfish and just do whatever I want to do but even that went south because The Maker decided I have to be responsible. I have to always push away any and all selfish needs of mine because He wants me to be responsible.

So this is His way of showing me how much this marriage needs me, which is just as much as how I need this marriage in order for me to stay responsible.

The higher you ascend, the heavier the crown. That is what my mind has just come up with.

That feeling you get when you get the heavy things off your chest. The darker the hour, the heavier the thoughts. I am on a philosophical roll here!

I can close that topic now. I am now in the mood for another more persistent load I have been carrying around. It is about my body image and body issues and basically the entire package of it.

Trust me, I am comfortable in my skin but I am just not enjoying how I look right now. I realise now I feed off the power I feel from enjoying looking good. It has been difficult trying to feel attractive when constantly wearing masks has damaged the mask-wear areas on my face and now I think I am at my heaviest of 62.6kg.

I believe developing the look that I want is one of my goals this year. It has been hard to commit to caring for myself. I do not know anything about proper skincare, good makeup fixes, refuse to buy clothes just to flatter my current bodyline (I much rather lose the damn weight and wear the clothes I have, plus it is more economical that way), refuse to adopt effective exercises, and I do not know how to start preparing balanced meals for my husband and I when we do not have the budget for superfoods.

Tough.

There. It is all out there now. I feel less burdened and more subdued now. Today is another day and another chance at meeting my goals.

Just be brave, Huda. You have dealt with this before. You are a seasoned player. The games do not get easier. They are just different each time. And you season with time. (Spotted a potential pun here: Season with thyme. LOL.)

And Allah is As-Samee’, The All-Hearing. – MM

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Early Days of Ramadan; I Ramble: 7 April 2022

In the name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful.

Hello!!! Hahaha! Feeling a little perky today but that is mostly because I managed to have a little bit more sleep compared to the past few days.

*yawns*

Well, I did say, “A little”. Ha!

My first few days of Ramadan have been shaky and it was quite challenging to work while feeling hungry and nauseous. I have motion sickness so it kinda sucks when I cannot pop a piece of candy into my mouth to quell the dizziness while we are on the road.

Also, I have been having tummy troubles. I kept using the toilet right after pre-dawn meals so that left me running on an empty stomach from early morning to sunset. Sad.

I realised I cannot look at my phone for too long while we are on the road because of my motion sickness. I cannot stand for more than five minutes either. I felt like I wanted to faint while waiting for one of the customers to return our delivery trolley so I had to sit in the vehicle while waiting.

My husband is expecting a house guest in late April so that means, I have to start cleaning the house already. OMG. The whole point of me quitting my day job is so I could have a well-maintained house. However, I have been so focused on helping my husband out with deliveries that I have completely lost sight of the maintenance of the house.

I am really glad I started bullet journalling again. It has been helping me keep track of a lot of things.

So yeah, I will start my cleaning mission tonight. I think I want to start with the smallest space in my house, which is the store room. Anyway, we need to look for the death certificate of my husband’s dad to facilitate the remarriage application of his youngest sister. Might as well start there. It has cluttered up again after our massive decluttering last year, I think.

I also need to remember to post on my Instagram daily. I had completely forgotten to do that when I had promised I would! Gah!

I need to work out some selling details of our merchandise for Street MOB Clothing. I need to reply to a vendor I am enquiring with and then break down the costs to see what works best for us.

As for Smiling Greens, I think I am happier now with the main landing page but I will need to do up the other pages and start doing up regular content. A lot of work cut out for me.

And Allah is Al-Muzil, The Dishonourer of Disbelievers. – MM

Hello, Ramadan; I Ramble: 2 April 2022

In the name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful.

Aaaand just like that it is Ramadan again! Woohoo!

I must say I have not started out very well but managed to pull myself back together to have a more decent go at this year’s Ramadan.

I decided not to do a Ramadan vlog series like I have done previously. Instead, I will just be posting daily on my Instagram feed. I have already started with a Hello Ramadan kinda post.

I think it will be good for me to get back to my prayer tree tracker. I want to see whether the change in my job/lifestyle has produced better results for me.

The red leaves are daily prayers, orange for terawih, and yellow for witr. I have until tomorrow’s Asar prayers to add on more red leaves for 1 Ramadan.

Yes, I know, my Ramadan efforts are pathetic. More power to you if you are able to establish eight terawih raka’ats and three witr raka’ats at least daily! My Ramadan starts are always weak admittedly. My next Ramadan goal is to start strong at eight raka’ats for terawih. But for this Ramadan, my intention is to slowly build up my stamina. I could not even pray five times a day religiously, what more carry out the sunnah prayers before/after the mandatory daily prayers. Naturally, I am spiritually weak and my heart is pretty dead. Ergo, I do not share the same drive as other Muslims in welcoming Ramadan.

But of course, I do not want to let my heart remain dead and my spirit weak forever. I have to start somewhere. So I figured, possible public humiliation and bewilderment through this post might give me the nudge I need to make myself a better Muslim.

I definitely want to do better in life and the Afterlife. In order to do that, I need to hold myself accountable.

Ya Rabb, please give me the strength to be a better person and Muslimah. Amin.

And Allah is Al-Mu’izz, The Honourer, The Bestower. – MM

Hello, April; I Ramble: 1 April 2022

In the name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful.

What’s up, guys?!

Today is prominently April Fool’s Day but luckily the Singapore government was not fooling us; the Singapore-Malaysia border has opened after two years of closure!

It is a cause for celebration for those who have been yearning for quick getaways.

As for myself, I have no plans to cross the border yet. Right now, my attention is on adjusting to my new lifestyle and my brand and businesses.

Working side-by-side with my husband in doing deliveries has been a roller coaster. Not every couple can stand spending every moment with each other. Fortunately, my husband and I have a few different interests that give us some breathing space when we need to. Most importantly, we love each other enough to withstand each other’s nonsense.

I have never been yelled at as much as I have been yelled at and I have never laughed as much as I have been laughing now.

In the end, I think, if you want to survive as a couple, you gotta take the hits from your partner without immediately reacting negatively. Hits here do not refer to physical altercations, of course. Hits here refer to the emotional missiles, verbal angry outbursts, snide remarks, etcetera. Then, when there is an opportunity to respond kindly to the hits, take the chance to express your unhappiness. At least, this is how I make my marriage work. For example, during our delivery, when I told my husband that we need to go towards a certain direction yet he chose to go a different route and caused us to be late, I held in my “I told you so” beration first. After completing half of our deliveries, when he got in a better mood and I judged that he would be able to accept criticism, then I let out my “See, never listen to me, right? I told you to go through my way, right? We could have reached here earlier. But you shout shout shout at me and made me sad.” Of course, I would pout a bit in order to express the unhappiness while doing away any intention of being mean. It helps a lot, man. He would always apologise and console me thereafter. A lot of people tend to pay more attention to good timing during the courtship period. By right, your sense of good timing should also last throughout the entirety of your partnership post-courtship. So please practise good timing and patience whenever your partner makes you upset. There really is no point in adding fuel to the fire. Even if you know you can win the argument, choose to lose first in order to win later on. So that when you cannot win the argument, you will still win your partner’s heart.

Now that I am mostly working on weekdays with my husband, I have more free time to work on Street MOB Clothing (SMC) and Smiling Greens.

Finally, we have taken a baby step forward with SMC. Managed to reserve the business name under Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, a Singapore statutory board. So now we have <120 days to complete the business registration, which is a fair amount of time to make the money for the registration fee. Its founder who is our good friend, Danial, entrusted me with the ownership of the business.

It took me a while before I realised how I have uncannily taken ownership of assets. I am a part-owner of my parents’ house, I am an owner of a car only my husband knows how to drive, and now I am a business owner. This is just crazy. I would have been more impressed with myself if I did not have to owe any money in owning all three. Alas, now my husband and I are living a “kais pagi makan pagi, kais petang makan petang” (make ends meet) lifestyle.

It is very challenging, of course. I am giving it three months. If it does not work out, I will need to get back to working on a permanent basis. It does not have to be full-time. Maybe part-time will do.

However, right now, we are happy to help Wild Boocha with their deliveries. Thanks to our good friend, Shike, for sharing with us a platform where ad-hoc delivery requests are posted and thanks to Danial for advertising on there and highly recommending us to his bosses for the job when we responded to his ad. Last week, when we started delivering for them, we only had a few orders each day. This week, we ended up with more each day! And we are so ever grateful to the Lord for his Providence and to Wild Boocha for entrusting us with their deliveries!

As for Smiling Greens, I will need to overhaul the concept a little bit. Since we are not able to operate as a microgreens provider, Shike and I agreed to scale it down to a blog. Once it is ready, I will shamelessly promote it here and I hope you can support it by reading the articles we post on it. Hehe.

Yeah, I remain hopeful that things will fall into place with good tidings and blessings from the Almighty.

April is going to be an amazing month with all the restarts and of course, RAMADAN IS COMING!!!

Let us be excited together!

It is going to be a challenging but fun month!

And Allah is Ar-Raafi’, The Exalter. – MM

Positively Failing At Everything; I Ramble: 15 March 2022

In the name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful.

My friend, Shike, has been checking on how I have been doing since my last day of working at the old workplace.

So I thought I will just put it out in the open.

I am failing.

I am positively failing.

I am positively failing at everything.

I am failing as a wife, I am failing as a delivery coordinator, and I am failing myself.

Heck, I even discovered that my old schoolmate has turned out to be a successful public prosecutor.

So yes, I am an absolute failure.

But weirdly, I do not feel upset by my failures. I am kind of excited.

Have I finally turned old? *gasps*

I mean, by right, at any given point of time, Nurul Huda would have just snapped and broken down or whatever shit she would usually do when her self-esteem gets beaten up.

But somehow, this Nurul Huda is responding so differently upon acknowledging her failures in life.

I do not know what gives. Maybe all the walking I have been doing has somehow cleared my head and allowed me to think a little more compared to feeling. Feeling is how I get carried away most times. Overthinking does my head in too. Yet, at this point in my life, maybe finally I have somewhat resonated with the Islamic principle of accepting the fact that what is written for me is not meant for others and vice versa. I cannot always want to have what is written for others because what is written for me may actually be better for me. I think this abstract concept is very hard for a lot of people to grasp because people are so used to more tangible experiences. And that is why it is very hard for people to grasp the concept of equity, which consequently caused them not to understand Islam. The idea of equality is easier for them to grasp because the concept can be demonstrated more tangibly. Like when a woman gets an orange, a man should get one too to be equal. So when the woman gets an orange but the man gets two instead, it no longer becomes equal. However, what if the woman gets an orange because she lives alone and the man gets two oranges because he has to share the oranges with his wife? The distribution of the oranges is definitely not equal but it is definitely equitable because in the end each person gets one whole orange to himself or herself. So how could it make sense then that the single woman gets one orange and the man with a wife gets one orange too?

So while my old schoolmate is probably saving many individuals’ lives through her profession, which looks a lot like saving the world, I am actually probably saving some individuals’ lives as well without realising and to these individuals, I may actually mean the world to them. In the end, it works out equitably. I wish people who constantly punish themselves for not doing more or feel bitter or resentful towards the success of others can understand this concept, really. People need to be whole lot more positive about their failures in order to learn and grow.

Yeah, it sucks to fail a lot in life and I mulled over this on a public park bench for a good amount of time during one of my recent walks. But my failures shaped me into what I am now. I feel like this Nurul Huda, this version of myself, is exactly what is needed at the present moment in the course of what has been written.

While I have failed to meet some of the targets I set for myself this week, I am happy to say that I have been learning how to monetise blogging. I did not realise just how much there was to cover until I start to get headaches from trying to absorb all of these information.

And yeah, I will definitely try again to wake up at 5am so I can spend more time studying. The faster I study, the faster I can spring into action, and the more time I can carve out for Street MOB Clothing and Smiling Greens.

And Allah is Al-Fattah, The Supreme Solver. – MM

Monday; I Ramble: 14 March 2022

In the name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful.

Oof. Hello, Monday.

I have been having trouble sleeping, it is unreal.

And problematic. Because I would really need my sleep now.

Full-time housewife, part-time hustler.

I hope I can achieve some results.

I do not have a lot of confidence in monetising this blog but it would not make sense for me not to, eh?

Weirdly enough, I seemed to have raked in 70 WordPress subscribers after some good years of blogging here. But we all know that some users may already have abandoned their account. I have always started out with the intention of enjoying myself, doing this little hobby of mine. But now with our livelihood at stake, maybe it is time to increase the stakes. Ha.

I mean, after all, I am paying for the domain of this blog. I definitely need to earn the capital for subscribing to the domain, right?

Looks like I have a lot of studying to do with regards to earning back my capital via blogging.

My focus for this week is therefore to:

  1. Wake up at 5am everyday.
  2. Learn how to monetise this blog.
  3. Earn $1000 from deliveries during the weekdays.
  4. Have a successful outcome for SMC’s agenda on Thursday.
  5. Start on my home project on Saturday.

I think that will keep me occupied this week.

And Allah is Ar-Razzaaq, The Provider. – MM

There Is No Other Choice But To Hustle For Our Livelihood Now; I Ramble: 9 March 2022

In the name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful.

And so I did not get to wake up at 5am. Despite being in bed by 11-ish, I could not fall asleep until it was after 1am? It was getting close to 2am. Then I woke up at about 3am-ish. I had a little trouble falling back to sleep as well. By the time my 5am alarm rang, I just slept through all the way until it was 7.11am. LOL. Nice timing, right? Like how convenient. Get the pun? 7/11. Convenience mart. Hahahaha!

I did the math and unholy shit, we will have to hustle for at least $200 a day in order to be able to pay for everything. That means each month we will need to rake in $4000.

At this point I am just wondering how we have been able to get by with just my $1900 pay check each month after CPF deductions.

I have to admit, I am extremely afraid but at the same time, I cannot help but feel justified. It goes to show that if Allah wants to help you, your source of income is more than the paycheck you bring home. It is by His providence that we earn through other doors and channels of provisions. In Islam, this is known as rizq. In Malay, it is rezeki. I thought this word to my Chinese friend, Yi Wei, and she has been using it correctly all the time since. Haha!

And yes, actually, the more you give, the more you receive. Never underestimate the power of tipping your Grab/Grabfood drivers, even if it is just $1 each time. Or if you rather, giving the extra change to the Ronald McDonald House Charities. There are loads of venues to give alms. In this modern world, as much as there are lots of venues to sin, there are also just as many ways to do good.

I was looking up the Quran since I cannot pray. Something to set the tone for the day. I am not that random today, so I simply looked up chapter 9 to coincide with today’s date and verse 3 to coincide with the current month of March. And hello, At-Tawbah. Tawbah means repentance. It is something I am moving towards. Or struggling to move towards, actually. Just nice.

A declaration from Allah and His Messenger is made to all people on the day of the greater pilgrimage that Allah and His Messenger are free of the polytheists. So if you pagans repent, it will be better for you. But if you turn away, then know that you will have no escape from Allah. And give good news, O Prophet, to the disbelievers of a painful punishment.

Quran Chapter 9 Verse 3

I find it very interesting that I picked quite a harsh verse at first glance. But as I read deeper into it, I realise it fits my situation perfectly. There is definitely a whole history behind the verse. I cannot quite remember the story. It has been so long since I have had lessons on the history of Islam. I relate to it in terms of the transition I am making in my life right now. From holding down a full-time job to not having one. It is quite a game changer. And in this pursuit of a different sort of life, there is a higher chance of me being likely to be obsessed in chasing money and material wealth to the point where it is almost like I am worshipping a materialistic life. It is a bit of a warning to me; that I should not forget to thank the Creator for creating opportunities for me to earn. As much as we put in the effort to earn, we must be fully aware that we are only able to earn by Allah’s permission.

He can make us sick in an instant and we will not be able to earn. He can grant us great health that our pursuit of having a good livelihood will be made easier. So it is extremely important that I remember, always, first and foremost, who allows me to get what I want and what I need.

And Allah is Al-Wahhaab, The Supreme Bestower. – MM