Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Yes Ma'am, praying, and cleaning

Well good morning.

So much has gone by in the last couple of months, I can hardly comprehend it all. I'm not about to list them all, because this semester has wrought so many changes, I have no idea where I would begin. So, I'm just gonna talk about the last three things that I've considered blogging about, but just didn't have the time to do.


Apparently, I have a problem with saying 'yes' too much, or 'no' too little. I never realized I had this problem, before. Actually, it's almost as though, if I do not say yes, I am failing myself. I understand prioritization. I truly do. There are times where I will say no to people, and it will be like cutting off my left pinky toe, something that isn't really needed, but heavily painful. My problem is, that I will overload myself with so much work, and constantly tell myself "think of it as a temporary challenge" or "you know you can handle it", or something equally as 'motivating'. In the end, I can handle pretty much everything life throws at me. My friend growing up used to interpret the verse 'God does not burden a soul more than it can handle' as to meaning that sure, God will only dish out to you, what you're capable of. But humans can take on more than they can handle, and that's when it gets burdensome. So, maybe I'm taking on too much, maybe I'm not. The thing is, regardless of how much I take on, I feel like I always still have time for my family, friends, work, and acquaintances. I never feel like I don't have any free time. So, what's one more project in a string of projects. My friends (and sister) have told me I need an intervention... But I REFUSE... see, I can say 'no'! okay, okay, maybe I need to say no to people, but I see this as 'conditioning'. The more I can handle now, the more I can handle later. Or, actually, more accurately, the more I do now, the less I have to do later. I truly believe that. So, if I can handle so much, and still have time for my loved ones and alone time.... does that mean I'm saying 'yes' too much??? I think it means, that I am taking on exactly enough. I will never give up family time, friends time, community time, and alone time. I believe in giving each their right. So, yes... I can say 'no'.... but I say yes, a lot too.... but it boils down to what I am saying yes to.

What am I saying yes to? Well, anything that has some potential value that can be nurtured. Research, yeah okay. Hanging out with friends, okay. Reading 15 novels in a row, okay. Watching a marathon, okay. I just do things. Sometimes I do a cost-benefit analysis. I mean, I was going to work on a HUGE international research project last summer, and in the end I decided not to, even though I got accepted. I said no to pharmacy school, my #1 college choice, even though I was guaranteed a spot when I applied like 6-7 years ago. There are so many things I've said no to. I say no to injustice. I say no to abuse. I say no to oppression. I say no ignorance. I say no to inaction. There is so much I say no to every day, and in lieu I say yes to other things.

So, maybe I don't have a yes or no problem. Maybe, what I have is a 'letting people know how much I am doing' problem. Maybe, if I can handle so much, I don't have to tell people about my decisions... Just do things, regardless of telling people. My mom doesn't need to know that I went jogging that morning. My sister doesn't need to know I vacuumed the house. My brother doesn't need to know I bought the cat food. My coworkers don't need to know that I volunteer at different places. My dad doesn't need to know about my latest research project. My friends don't need to know about the newest political book I read. and so forth.

But then, what do you talk about? If everyone is giving updates, or asking you questions, what answer do you give? hmmmmmmmm..... I'm not really sure. Do you withhold information, so you don't have to hear people's thoughts about your actions? Or do you say what it may be, so that you share a piece of yourself with the people surrounding you? I honestly don't know. These thoughts have been revolving around my head for the last couple of weeks or so, and clearly, they are cyclical in nature. :X

Okay, well if you have any advice on that one, please post!


So, I said 3 things. I posted the first which was about the yes/no stuff... It ended up being a lot longer than I initially intended, and I try not to edit my posts. I let them be a stream of thought, just as my brain normally works. Anyhow, my second thing to post about.

Morning Prayers

I was at the mosque for the morning prayer last Friday, around 6:45am. With me were two other sisters. One of African descent, I believe from Ghana and another of South Asian descent, I believe from India. We were standing in the women's prayer hall, silently following the congregation. It was beautiful. Three women from three different backgrounds, in three different age groups, with probably three totally different mentalities, praying together in silence. It was a delicate, divine, and dazzling experience. The imam's voice wrapped around us, deep, reverberating, calm, almost a sense of serene stillness. We were being led in the motions of prayer, and it was utterly beautiful. I don't know how else to describe it.


Need to clean.

I have never realized how much of a clean freak I am.

Ever since my mom left the country, I realized how much she did to keep the house together. She would do things, like vacuum daily, and we would tell her, mom you're over doing things. Lo and Behold! I am sweeping daily, because the house just gets that messy. I'm coming to realize, after living with 4 other roommates, that people aren't necessarily as clean as you are, they have higher tolerance to messiness. And when you have a family of your own, you need to train and delegate those cleaning tasks to your children from a young age, to normalize the cleaning process. That is, if you don't want to live in filth. But most of all, you need to lay out your expectations and standards to those who you are currently living with (whether they are parents, siblings, or roommates). They need to hear what you have you say; similarly, you need to do the same. Recognize, each others values and standards of comfort and try to accommodate each others' needs, without overly sacrificing your own.

So, roomies, if you're reading this.... I am about to bring it full force for the new semester. I cannot live in crumbs... I just can't. My sanity and productivity depends on it!

So, those were my three posts, combined into one....


oh and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!


Tata said...

Tata needs to do tidy his room. :O

amrah said...


Mrs. Cullen said...

i think i've kinda learned how to control my "yes" problem. kind of. i just don't anyone?

Younus said...

I dont think you have a 'yes' problem... Youve said no to me a couple times ;) hehe you take on what you know to handle... there are times where youre really exhausted (especially these days) so I suggest toning it down for a couple weeks to bring yourself back up to par... but the way you handle things in life is what I admire about you mA...

supreem said...

yeah my problem has become that my undying optimism has been turning into persecuting pessimism. :x I NEED BUMBLEBEES BUTTERFLIES FLOWERS RAINBOWS SUNSHINE CLOUDS HAPPINESS!

Dua said...

Hey Reem! I didn't realize you kept a blog, all great fun, haha. Glad I got a chance to read it. I feel you on the yes/no thing. I was like that until this past fall where I got so caught up in everything I took on my brother had to take an appointment for application (he's a senior) help. Haha, then I put my foot down. I was like that's ridiculous and started saying no to a few things. It saddens me but sometimes you gotta do you.

Also, the whole I'm going to do so much now, so I don't have to do as much later. Not gonna work!

But hey, as long as you still have time for family and friends, do whatever. Lose sight of that and then you has problems!

Wandering scholar said...

this is really interesting.. especially the part in which you reflect on the scope of the interpersonal discourse.. it links, but possibly only in my mind, to something i was reading earlier in which the author was arguing that people in our society now are primarily talking (almost reporting) about what they are doing, rather than what they are feeling. the question is propelling b/c 1. i wonder if this is really the case 2. if so, why then 3. what are the implications of that perceived shift? so back from that loop (!) I remember being a lot like your description of your january-self less than 3 years ago with excessive intensity, and then I slowed down a bit. what i came to think is that no one mode is better than the other necessarily, but that i used to feel that if i am not going at a 100(0)mph then i'm in a state of stagnation and would be wasting precious life in a criminal and primitive manner. everything has a flavor and it is your enthusiasm and commendable drive to want to contribute and sample, but sometimes charting space for a relatively constrained number of engagments that are of particular value/meaning/purpose to you (even if that means rest or simply goofing) can ease the justified stress greatly while not compromising your sense of involvement and significance- because your choices would be based on quality rather than epic porportions.