Saturday, December 24, 2016

Remember the Reason for the Season

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year Everyone!

Last December, Bob ( that's what my mom calls him eventhough I named him Marley ) dashed into our home without a second thought & since then, he has been a part of our family. It was my first experience adopting a cat. Needless to say, plenty of new experiences along the way!

I gave up lock downs coz the more I tried to stop him from galivanting ( more to protect him than anything ), the sleekier he became at escaping. After a while I just left the door & windows open. I told him " Go ahead. I'll give you back your freedom. After all, you were never mine in the first place. Know that you have a home to come back to, whenever. Just be safe! "

From then on, it was Christmas for him all the way. We used to worry like crazy.. And yet, now that he can do whatever he likes, there are days that he'd rather laze about at home instead. Not only that, at least now, that I've learned to leave him be, I am able to sleep better at night!

There were times he got lost on different floors of the apartment building ( smart enough to enter the lift but too short to press the button to go down or up ) but as times goes by, he became smarter, so the lift ended up becoming his hotel room ). He either gets the right floor at times, we have to go search for him if not, and sometimes, kind neighbours & apartment guards will escort him back to our unit.
He's quite the charmer! There, enough said

Christmas to me, has always been about love & the act of giving. I was introduced to the spirit of the season, years ago, when my uncle brought my mom, brother & I to live with him. He was my first Santa. He gave us gifts, beautiful lavish ones & yet, to me, his biggest gift was his heart. Home was no longer a place. It was family. Those were meaningful moments of my lifetime.

He died recently, on the 2nd of Dec. However, he didn't take Christmas with him. Why is that so? Because to me, for as long as I continue to remember his kindness & good deeds to not only my family but everyone else, Christmas will forever remain a huge part of my life. He showed me during his lifetime that Christmas does not have to be just for a season. It is how you live your life everyday & in memory of him, I shall strive to continue that tradition.

We have had bad days, really bad ones, he & I. Suffering alone or not being able to be there for the ones you love is tragic. May you be at peace now.

Speaking of Christmas, I am happy to share that the spirit of Christmas still lives on even for those that have converted to other religions or even from those that are not Christians. As of yesterday itself, my mom, son & I got to have a wonderful Christmas eve dinner thanks to a Muslim couple's generosity. May the blessings be.

So to those that thinks it "Haram", to wish anyone a Merry Christmas, do take a moment to think about our other non Muslim friends who for the love of God, never hesitates to wish us Selamat Hari Raya :)
Lets be the light that shines the soul & may we always have love in our hearts.

So, to all those of you who feels glum this Christmasy season, take heart. It was never about money & neither is it about anything glitzy..Look around. There is always someone in need of some cheering. Be generous in any way you can! You are not alone.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Say Something Nice Campaign 2016 - Chef Leah With a Big Heart

Hello everyone! Please meet Chef Leah Choy. One of last year's recipient of the Young Changemakers Award 2015. 7 years young... with an old, wise & beautiful soul. She started a baking & painting business at the age of 4 1/2, to help raise money for her sister, Adele. Since then, Leah has earned at least RM29k for her sibling's recovery program/treatments in Philadelphia & has managed to even bake for the homeless over here.

Her innocent, fearless & can do spirit has brought her much love, support & success. She originally learnt how to bake, mostly through youtube. Her family, helps & guides her along the way.

I got a chance to speak to her for the 1st time over the phone today, early this morning. Needless to say, I felt like a proud parent. My maternal instinct took over automatically & she had an earful of advise & encouragement. She sounded so adult in her thinking & speech, she took me by suprise. How lovely! :)

She was heading off to Jakarta with her mom, Tay Mei Yean today. Since I am not able to meet her at the airport early this morning, I wanted to thank her personally for baking me such adorable & most thoughtful cupcakes. I had ordered it at the very last minute & yet she was able to accommodate my request. I am truly amazed. As this was going to be her first journey & flight with MH, she was pretty excited & so were we. ( the ones who knew about it ). I do hope she enjoyed her journey with us!

Speaking of cupcakes, if you know me well enough, you'll know that I can never resist 'em! I have many fond memories of having cupcakes with my closest & dearest girlfriends, Daphne & Leela in particular. We used to have such cravings for them! I even had a childhood friend, Wan Nor Hasny, who baked & sent to me, early this year, the most yummilicious homemade Red Velvet Cupcakes that I have ever tasted! ( The 1 year wait was worth every single bite, babes.. hehe! )

Eversince then, I have yet to have my cupcake fix, therefore, I am so looking forward & can't wait to sink my teeth into them gorgeous cutie pies again & savour those lovely little sinful bites of pleasure! ( but of course I'll share some with the rest of my operating crew members lah.. It is especially meaningful to me because Leah made it & I am super touched by her efforts! Lets see who will be the lucky ones working with me today :)

You can find out more about passionate Leah & that big heart of hers through her FB page @ Chef Leah With A Big Heart. Please do go, share & like it. Follow her progress & get inspired in the process! Do also consider ordering from her someday. She bakes other stuff too & paints art to sell. All these, so that she can help her family, fund her younger sister Adele's treatments in the US. May our paths cross again & hopefully, I'll be able to meet up with her & the family one of these days. In the meantime, keep flying high Leah :)

Do visit Leah at the opening ( 25th Aug ) & closing ceremony ( 24th Sept ) of the Say Something Nice Campaign by Anas Zubedy. ( You can check their Many Colors One Race FB & Instagram pages for more info ) She & their team, will be baking & selling her cupcakes as well as other things for the ones present. ( pay as you like ). The proceeds will all go to Adele's fund. What better way to be a part of something bigger than ourselves..Thanking all of you in advance!

Selamat Hari Merdeka & Hari Malaysia 2016 my fellow Malaysians! May we continue to be human first :)

 LEAH, ADELE & MEI YEAN with their kind advocate LEIA from Philly :)

This morning's gift for us from Leah ( we ordered those ) & some of the front end MH team that have made an effort to ensure Leah & mom will have a safe as well as a memorable flight with us. I wouldn't have known about Leah & family had it not been for Captan Afif ( seated ) in the first place. Thanks to him, MH & the rest of us had the opportunity to give something nice back!

Jangan lupa datang and meet one of our youngest Unity agents this 25th! Lets keep her spirit going & her heart full of love for always.....

I was so excited to see my cupcakes & so syiok eating it, that I forgot to open the note that was attached together with my order earlier. Work had also kept me busy. ( Oh ya! Thanks Leah, for including the buttercream toppings especially for me. Loved it much! My girlfriends also said, that they would never have guessed that a 7 year old had baked it all. Memang sedap & cantik giler! So anyway, before I forget again, back to the surprise note - Leah & Adele both finger painted this according to their mother when I thanked them. What a wonderful way to end a beautiful day indeed! I am truly humbled. Thank you girls..God Bless

p/s ~ Thanks to everyone who funded Adele through Leah, for the #belanjasomethingnice# cupcakes. Kudos to Anas & all you Zubedyans too for caring. Good job guys & may y'all have a meaningful event!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Have Courage And Be Kind :)

Everyone strives to be better in everything they do. The goals we set daily reflect our passion and overall ambition, just like the career decisions we make. A job is never a job. The chain effect of our happiness at work affects us and everyone around us.

We all have our own internal switch that turns us on. What motivates us to work towards being a better person, having a better career or living a better life, depends largely on what satisfies our current internal hunger. It is the soul that needs to be fed the most.

We, as human beings are capable of many wonderful things. Even the weakest of us all, and the least likely able to give, can do little things with great love. Courage gives birth to kindness & love springs forth from wisdom. 

So lets be nice to others for no reason. A day might come, that we'll need someone to be nice to us, without a reason. As long as each & everyone of us care enough, many of the world's greatest tragedy can finally remain as history. 

So, what's it like being a Stewardess? It must be cool eh..flying the world, meeting people, wearing that uniform...
Hmm..definitely! I truly love what I do :)
"With great power comes great responsibilty"..was that from Spiderman the movie?? I forgot. Anyway, I totally agree. Nothing good comes easy! Besides, we all have our own strengths & weaknesses, pros & cons. However, I am not here today to talk about my life as a cabin crew. We have all heard enough of that.

After 20 years of living in and out of a suitcase, for me & to me, the only difference a day makes, is what a difference I can make out of that day. Speaking of which, it gives me great pleasure to share a recent compliment, written by one of our passengers onboard my MH flight to Auckland. I am deeply touched and truly humbled by his generosity & willingness to take the time to make a difference in my life. He didn't have to write a formal letter neither did he have to thank me or my colleagues, and yet, he chose to. He reminded me of what being kind means.

Later on, when my Purser got a chance to read it, he made sure I got my name spelled right with a J instead of a Y. When I said, "It is not a big deal. It doesn't matter. What's important is that, SOMEONE has made my day!" Hurriedly he replied "We have to get it right. You deserve the recognition." And just like that, I felt appreciated. He didn't have to, but he cared enough to and that says a lot about that man.

It is really not that difficult to care or be nice. What we need to do, is to be brave & be kind. There will be days when we'll be on a down low. Days when everything is so slow & nothing seems to go our way. People expect us to smile but all we want to do, is cry. On days like these, it takes courage to pull ourselves through, effort to put ourselves together, to care enough about others when no one else seems to want to care about us at all.

You want something? Go get it. It is after all out there for the taking. Only the brave understands what it means. In order to get what we want, we have to first learn how to extend our hands, before others are able to reciprocate. Therefore, stop wasting time. Enough with the waiting game. There is plenty to be done!

Hence, that is why & how started. Since then, together with my other Fridays from all walks of life, we have done quite a number of chores for family, friends & strangers alike. From keeping homes clean, decluttering spaces, taking care of pets & entertaining children, nothing seems impossible. We have also shopped for some, delivered for others, repaired what's broken & shared what we are good at.

It is amazing what ONE can do when ONE care enough. If I hadn't started this more than a year ago, we would not have been able to pass our Thank God For Fridays Fund ( for the poor & underprivileged ) to some Orang Asli kids last June. All it took was the kindness of individuals & their willingness to work hand in hand to make this dream of ours possible.

Good stories are worth sharing. Here's an example below. Thanks to a few of Getafriday's clients, that had hired us to feed the homeless, my family & I were given the opportunity to do some charity work during the month of Ramadhan. It certainly gave me great pleasure, especially when I got to witness my little boy being brave & kind to others, less fortunate than him. Having my mom with us, completes the feel good cycle!

As Raya approached, I decided at the very last minute to go one step further & together with the help of a few kind hearted souls, ( bless them for their beautiful spirits ) we managed to bring some much needed cheer into a single mom's home. Thanks to her grace in receiving, she became the better giver :)

So, which is better? Flying or Friday-ing? I would say both! Can't live without the other. One lifts me up higher, the other, keeps me grounded :) 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

To give is to receive

I couldn't be with the one I love today, so I decided to love the ones I am with. Feeling miserable would do me no good, so instead, I choose to shower others with happiness. First off, I shared with some kindred spirits my intention this morning of distributing some yummylicious pineapple tarts for the homeless and underprivileged. I have a soft spot for them. My family and I have had to lose our homes a few times while I was growing up and many a wonderful soul have not only open their hearts but homes to us along the way. I know what it feels like to not have a sense of belonging nor a home to call my own.

Within a short period of time, all the tarts that have been prepared were snapped up by my friends for it. I then went ahead walking the streets of KL to make a difference in someone else's day today.

What a pleasant surprise to have met Philomena, a fellow Friday of mine from and a colleague that I have worked with as a Caregiver for MH 370 a few years ago. Today, is the first time we saw each other face to face since the disaster. Philo bumped into me and offered to join me in my mission to spread some joy today, so I accepted her help. Oh..what a breeze it was! With her kind assistance I did not feel the heat of the day nor the weight of the tarts. Even walking about from one corner to the next looking for people to hand the desserts to, became a fun activity. Philo was a joy to spend time with and I am glad I got the opportunity to spend today with her doing something good.

As happy as I am handing the stuff over for the deprived to eat, there was a part of me that felt a deep sense of sadness. How tragic it is to be in their shoes and yet there is nothing much I can do about it. Giving today makes me feel good but what happens to them tomorrow or day after? Will there be anyone else who cares? I know there are plenty but still not enough. If it was, you won't see people sleeping on the streets. I feel too deeply and it can be really exhausting.

At one stage, I burst out crying today. The smile I saw on a blind couple's face when I gave them a container of the tarts were priceless! The song they were singing brought tears to my eyes. It is called " Doa buat kekasih ". To see them having nothing except being happy with each other and yet are able to make our world a better place to live in just by singing, made me feel so poor. It is I who benefitted from their heartfelt rendition of that song and it is they who showed me what unconditional love is all about.

Another blind lady whom I approached and passed a jam tart to, actually stopped me halfway through my tracks as I was leaving and said, " adik, kakak belum bayar lagi untuk kuih ni. Jap ye ". I had to tell her that it is free. One Chinese forlorn looking man was so stumped by my gesture, tears rolled down his eyes. He wasn't even begging. I had to walk away to avoid embarrassing him. Some others called us from afar and asked for it. A few said no thank you. I don't really know why. I am now at home nursing a huge major headache. I am not sure from what. I am truly grateful to the ones that have made it possible for me to do what I did today. I managed to finish what I started. May I continue to find purpose and satisfaction in all the things I do.

" The only gift I have to give is the ability to receive. If giving is a gift, and it surely is, then my gift to you is to allow you to give to me."

Thank you everyone for making my day worthwhile...

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The above is the link to my website. Yes, I am a business owner too now. I started this last June 2015. I went off to SSM KL Sentral first thing in the morning on the 1st of June to register my company. It was a spur of the moment decision due to my stress level going off track when MH decided to pull the plug on us. I didn't bother to wait for my offer or termination letter that day, as it was too nerve wrecking. I decided to do something useful instead, hence the birth of GetaFriday.

I have been learning new things eversince. It has been pretty daunting. From wanting to vomit blood at times, to feeling a sense of fulfilment for being able to help others earn some extra income as well as get their chores done with minimum fuss. My biggest focus at present is to gain the public's trust. Be it the clients as well as the Fridays. "Friday" is a name that I have given to the folks that help me perform tasks for my clients. The name was inspired by the book Robinson Crusoe. Business have been pretty slow. Not many knows it exists. The ones that do are either sceptical about it or fully supports my dream. Neither do they know that I am the founder. Of course I have had help. I couldn't have started it without my IT friends and fellow dreamers. If they are the brains, our Fridays are the heart of our operations. Without any of them, this idealistic dream of mine could not have come true.

Come true it did. Not fast enough for my liking though. I am not used to rejections of the business sort or the manipulations of the business world. Neither am I ok with the wishy washy attitude of the people/organizations I meet to request for a grant or guidance. I started this off with Zero capital. It has been an uphill battle all the way. Lucky I enjoy climbing mountains! There are days when I feel like giving up and yet when I think of the good that comes from it and the intention behind GetaFriday, it spurs me on.

Currently, most of my Fridays are either ex cabin crew or current ones. We have a few students and some retirees. I would like to see our family grow. It is a means for us to supplement our income as well as spend the extra time we have, to help the community and be of use to society. From baby sitting, pet sitting, walking the dogs, home sitting, being a temp for others, right up to delivery of fragile and expensive items from one country to the next have been succesfully executed by us.

I do realize and am aware of the many choices that are out there, all wanting a portion of the cake. I do welcome the competition and I wish them all well. It can only get better. It keeps me on my toes and forces me to be more resilient. It also pushes me to adapt, change and go on with the times. What matters most to me is to be of help to others and as long as we can accomplish that, half the battle has been won. Rezeki ada di mana mana, yang penting ...kita usaha! :)