Monday, December 29, 2008

why talk about failures 7/7, FINAL..

Thursday, February 06, 2003, 2.33pm..
So this is why, as i turned 39 yesterday, i'm writing down my thoughts and recollecting past failures and successes, trying to recapture the energy and zest that seem to be eluding me the past few years in the midst of personal tribulations and continuously economic slowdowns. I know I can pull through out of this maze yet again, but somehow, I've been out of focus way too long. I need to get out from this fiasco. I need to be fully back standing on my feet. It all depends on me now. Yes, on my own small shoulders..

Do I still want this? Do I still have the dream? Do I still have the goals? Do I still have the focus? Do I still have the support? I'm just feeling tired of all the stress..

But somehow that doesn't sound right. I've failed and survived all the financial hardships. I've failed and survived all the personal tribulations. I've admitted to negligence and overcame my poor health regimes. I should be in tip-top conditions to face another decade of life. But why am I still not feeling on top of the world??? Why am I thinking of giving the past 10 valuable years of my life away??? What kind of life do I hope to have now anyway??

Sharing my inner thoughts and publicly declaring my inner turmoils is my last resort towards finding myself yet again. This complacency doesn't make me feel good at all. I should still be running around and getting excited about new challenges. Where is my zest? Where is my tenacity? Where is my dream? Where is my motivation? Where is my strength??

I will go to sleep tonight hoping to get some clear answers and directions. If I didn't know how to swim ten years ago, yet I survived the currents.. then I should be ready for some serious swimming competitions now. If I started the business from scratch ten years ago, yet survived the hurdles, hiccups, bumps and various other distractions.. then I should be wise & strong enough to overcome new obstacles..

I hope to re-discover my simple dream tonight..

february 06, 2003..

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

my furry, furry children..

tom @puan-tom @puan-tom-abang-saufi @permaisuri @latipah..
pebbles @batu @zubedah..

pumpkin @labu @rokiah..

puteh @abubakar..

scooby-doo @sulaiman..

mojo @mahmud..

mobi @biru @mustapha..

neng-neng @sheila.. & tam-tam @steven..

why talk about failures 6/7..

Wednesday, February 05, 2003, 2.29pm..
As I turned 36, I started to have all sorts of ailments which were not life-threatening, but managed to drag me down physically and mentally. The various western-trained doctors that I saw dismissed most of my complaints as simply lack of sleep, lack of exercise, lack of this and lack of that. It seemed that my body was lacking in almost everything except the lack of stress!! Their only advices were for me to exercise and rest well.. but how could I begin to do all that when almost all parts of my body were in some kind of pain or another?? I was also looking very haggard. Was I getting old before my age??!!

Another doctor, after patiently listening to all my woes, smilingly suggested the use of anti-depressant.. but hey??!! I was not about to be associated with any of those!! Somehow it gave the impression of me being manic-depressive, or mentally-unstable. That was not flattering at all..

Hence, my journey into the world of alternative medications started. These alternative/eastern/traditional medical practitioners seemed to have, in my mind, a better understanding of my body systems. Their diagnoses of my ailments were more 'compassionate' and sounded more pleasant!! And yes, instead of just telling me to start exercising, or have a complete rest, or just pop-up the pills.. with their bare hands, they physically exercise-rest-perk my body up while I was completely lying down whilst dozzing off!! What a treatment!!! ;)

Henceforth.. reflexology, shiatsu, chiropractic, acupuncture and overall body massages became my regular 3x weekly treatments for the next one year, and continues less regularly even now. Expensive treatments that took a while to see the results, but now I'm more in touch with the workings of my body systems. Biologically, my vocabularies now alternate with words like toxins, free radicals, energy-points, energy-flows, de-hydrations, and a host of others..

Exercising and resting slowly became easier and regular. Morning brisk walking 3x a week took over the extra sleep that I used to have after sending off my children to school every morning. Gardening became a daily leisure activity instead of a chore. Newspaper readings took a purposely longer time to finish. Iced coffee or iced cappucinos were slowly replaced by plain warm water. Condensed milk was slowly substituted with Anlene mixed with milo. Food supplements such as Beta-carotene, ACE, EPA, alfalfa, lecithin, multi-vitamins & minerals and noni juices became my regular diets..

It took my body approximately two years to recover back to its youthful glory. Why took such a long time?? My reasoning would be that old habits die hard. Whatever system breakdowns in my body happened mostly due to my inability or my failure to maintain and sustain those systems properly. For the first 36 years of my life, my body was always taken for granted to be able to survive anything without me having to do anything else. Therefore, to recover back to proper working systems would definitely need some time..

After all the pamperings and re-allignment of priorities from 'career-family-health' to 'family-career-health' to 'health-health-health'.. and as my body was continuously getting perked-up.. my mind on the other hand was increasingly getting complacent!!! I was probably enjoying my stress-free and improved lifestyle too much to be bothered about the growth of my business. Oh yes, the fact that hubby's construction business was booming and continues to expand up to this day, contributed so much to this complacency..

I started telling hubby and myself, probably it was time for one of us to concentrate fully on the family development. Having 2 business pressures in one household was probably not healthy for us in the long run. I started telling friends that I was thinking of retiring before I turn 40. I started justifying my decision over and over again by having countless discussions with hubby, friends and mostly, my inner self..

But what happens after 40? Will I be just sitting around doing family activities? Will I not be bored stiff talking only about past experiences? Wouldn't giving it all up be another failure? Or do I just need new ventures to pursue? Or new directions to focus on?

february 05, 2003..

Sunday, December 14, 2008

ebay brainstorming session..

hoping that this will be among my final brainstorming session about selling my ceramic handicrafts on ebay, let me just list down my previous worries and issues..

1. my ceramic items are breakable-items.. i was worried that many breakages, despite careful & safe packaging on my side plus insurance coverage, may give me plenty of negative feedbacks from my ebay buyers, therefore affecting future sales, not forgetting dampening my spirits..

2. i was under the impression that my buyers would expect to get their purchased items as soon as possible, hence i spent a lot of time comparing courier-charges and discovered that adding the delivery charges had made the cost of my ceramic products 3-4times more expensive!! i myself would not want to purchase my own products.. :(

3. i'm not familiar with auctions and the bidding processes practiced in ebay or elsewhere, and i was more keen in listing my ceramic items under fixed-prices but wasn't sure whether that could highlight my products very well, and thus was under the impression that i'd still need to auction off my items every now and then.. within some unfamiliar processes that i'd still need to explore..

4. my initial interest in ebay was to straight away set up an ebay-store and list up and showcase all my many ceramic handcrafted products designed over the past 15 years.. but i discovered that before i could do that, i'd have to firstly accumulate a certain number of positive feedbacks from my buyers.. and with above-listed issues still hanging in my head, my spirits were further dampened..

5. ebay has this feedback system whereby each successful transaction is allowed a feedback/comment from both buyer and seller.. either negative or positive comment will be made known to other ebay-ers as well, therefore these feedbacks/comments carry a certain weight to the reputation of both buyers and sellers.. i was worried that because of issues 1 & 2 above (breakables & expensive courier-charges), added with me fumbling through issue 3 (auction-processes) would eventually end up with plenty of negative feedbacks on my record (reputation as an ebay-seller).. thus would reduce my chances of opening an ebay-store..

there you go.. out of my head finally.. easier now to decide: to pursue or not to pursue?? time for my coffee break, huh??.. will continue later, roger and out..

Friday, December 12, 2008

3days 2nights in our children's kampung..

i'm feeling holiday-lagged.. 3 full-days of sunway lagoon, ice-skating, alacarte-dining, fish-spa-ing, some shopping and plenty of kids' fun-time.. is enough for aging bodies like mine and darling hubby's..!! by the mid of the final day, we had to argue and persisted with the kids that enough is enough, mama and abah needed to go home and recuperate..

by the next morning, today saturday, my darling hubby is back to work.. he's very focused and hard-working, that better-half of mine.. 3 off-days were already too long a time to be away from his busy schedules, and we fully-understand.. that was why we chose sunway, a mere 30min drive away to spend quality funtime, away from normal routines..

we used to be subang-jaya-urbanites all our working/married life till we moved here 3 years ago.. but my elder-kids took sunway and other urban amenities for granted coz all those were short drives away and almost daily-frequented.. therefore now, visits back to sunway or subang jaya are cherished by my 2 eldest..

and to spend 3 full-days in their 'kampung' environment with all amenities 5-minutes away from their hotel bunkers was heavenly.. and without having to drive back and forth from one place to another, darling hubby was more relaxed and contented to follow the kids and his wife's many whims.. ;)

Monday, December 8, 2008

re-attempting ebay..

lets see.. should i continue pursuing this ebay-business..?? or should i finally thrash it out from my head..??

i've thought of opening an ebay-store since 2004.. i've blogged and brainstormed my ebay-hiccups a number of times since i started blogging.. i've even attended an ebay tutorial seminar last week..

and the past 1-2 years due to my non-progress with ebay, i've even created 2 online-stores which are now in their finalising processes.. why should i now bother re-attempting opening an ebay-store..??

my eyes were caught by ebay-seller-starter-kit's tagline:
sell where the world goes shopping.. and as i was sharing my ebay-selling-tutorials with darling hubby after reaching home, i likened my 2 online stores as little shops with very limited customers in bukit beruntung.. whereas a store in ebay is like having a shop in busy & prominent KLCC..

now, does that mean being in ebay i'd not need to advertise/promote my store at all..??

i've considered blogging as one of the ways that i'd promote my little non-ebay online-stores.. i've even read and studied ways that i could attract more readers/visitors to my blog.. i've purchased and subscribed to popular money-making blogs both locally and beyond.. all these investments i made in pursuit of making business life easier for me..

but as i read more and more, i've made this discovery.. starting an ebay-business or any other online-business is actually very much the same as starting any conventional business, you'd still need to put a lot of effort, time and money for the first 2-5 years.. but definitely of course, with the business being on the net reaching the whole wide world, your online store/s would grow so much faster than those conventional shops..

with that in mind, let's re-look at my previous failed ebay-attempts,
here and here.. i'm also reminded of irfan-khairi's 36-tips which i'd re-publish here..

Friday, December 5, 2008

an ABBA fan since i was seventeen..

and 27 years later.. my 5yr old son is a fellow cult-member..!!!

i had been cooped up in my soho the past 5 days finishing off the remnants of my 2008 resolutions when i received a reminder call to attend this ebay-business tutorial seminar that i had registered a week earlier..

i've always been soho-based in my business-operations, but 5 days working from home without going anywhere even to do gardening or grocery-shopping had made my son very attached to his mum, so upon seeing me dressing up to go out to attend the seminar, ikmal started to sulk, cry and bawl..

that was until his father my darling husband suggested that he should watch some of the newly-bought pirated cds that he brought home the night before, which included 'mamamia the movie'..!! and immediately ikmal's eyes brightened up and almost as immediately he stopped crying, then settled down on the sofa with his barney whilst sucking his thumb..

yes, with mamamia the movie featuring all the ABBA's songs that he'd been listening very often throughout his young life, this mama could now go to work in peace and with full consent coz 'ikmal nak tengok cerita ikmal'...

enjoy one of my many ABBA's all-time favourites, DANCING QUEEN.. which ikmal insists, is HIS song..!! one of these days instead of my fellow dancers, eh girlfriends taking me karaoke-ing, eh kroaking.. i foresee ikmal accompanying his mama instead.. ;)

friday night and the lights are low
looking out for a place to go
where they play the right music
get into the swing
you've come to look for a king..

anybody could be that guy
night is young and the music's high
with a bit of the right music
everything is fine
you're in the mood for a dance..

and when you get the chance
you are the dancing queen
young and sweet only seventeen
dancing queen
feel the beat from the tamborine oh yeah..

you can dance you can jive
having the time of your life
ooo see that girl watch that scene
dig in the dancing queen..

you're a teaser and you turn them on
leave them burning and then you're gone
looking out for another
anyone will do
you're in the mood for a dance..

and when you get the chance
you are the dancing queen
young and sweet only seventeen
dancing queen
feel the beat from the tamborine oh yeah..

you can dance you can jive
having the time of your life
ooo see that girl watch that scene
dig in the dancing queen
dig in the dancing queen..

you can dance you can jive
having the time of our life
ooo see that girl watch that scene
dig in the dancing queen..

(wishing now i have an audio-something installed here in my blog..)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

ceramic passion re-visited, again..

i'm now just remembering my early years in my accidental-business.. whereby i spent my days full-time in my small factory.. supervising my 6 pioneer-staff.. expanding our work-area little by little.. increasing our production-machineries bit by bit.. driving around in my proton aeroback looking for suppliers in unfamiliar territories.. in my tattered jeans and overgrown men-shirts with dashes/splashes of paints & muds on both clothings.. with pens, notebooks & handphone always in my hand..

those were the days when guts and tenacity made me bolder.. when naivete and foolishness made me do things beyond my boundaries.. when zests and youthfulness were bountiful.. when my simple dream can actually move mountains..

enjoy the rest of the photos taken last week during my re-visit to ceramic passion..

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

one iced mochachino please..??

Posted by Picasammm.. yum, yum.. slurrpp.. very nice.. hope this will get my head cracking, eh..??

december already and what have i achieved this year..?? have i grown richer, happier, savvier, healthier..?? have i become more organised, more work-focused, more religious, more business-minded..?? have i become a better mum/wife/daughter/sister/friend..??

around this time last year, i listed my 2008-goals into 4-categories:, 2.personal, and and under each category, i listed down all the things that needed to be done or looked into.. and i ended up with quite a mouthful/typeful of little projects and assignments to keep me occupied for the whole year..

but other things always got in my way of course, both invited and otherwise.. but as i re-look at my long list again, i've to admit that while the last 3-categories are now almost fully-ticked, my 1st and foremost should have been my priority-category.. is barely one-third completed.. :(

it happens again, again and again...!!! maybe i shouldn't have too many other things on my mind..?? but i'm a soho-based mother with growing children who need regular guidance & assistance.. and my aging body needs much more tender loving care (read: maintenance).. and my 3-yr old house needs greater housekeeping than we ever expected.. and blogging is this new-found creative outlet that i just cannot resist having a daily-dose of.. and running your own business can be quite lonely sometimes, so those long-lunches and tete-a-tetes with my girl-friends are necessary, okay..??!!

therefore i'm very thankful for the advances in technology these days.. it makes life so much more easier and efficient for small little businesses like mine.. and i'm also thankful to be given the hindsight and motivation to pursue these alien technologies despite the many hiccups along the way..

so am i better off than a year before..?? whilst only barely one-third of my work-projects are ticked off from my list and it really bugs and bothers me big-time coz this business-owner is still actually not so business-minded even after 15yrs in business.. i'm happy to announce that all other areas of my life have progressed well accordingly to plans, and some have infact proceeded beyond my expectations, alhamdulillah..

one cannot get everything, eh?? i'll be more work-oriented next year inshaallah, darling hubby.. ;)

another month to tie-up any loose ends..??

i'm sitting here looking at my things-to-do list/s..
those lists have kept me sane the countless times that i got lost & confused..
those lists have gotten me back into focus the countless times that i went sidetracking..
those lists have helped me achieve whatever i've aimed to do..

oh how i cannot perform without my lists..
it's like driving but not knowing where is your destination..
akin to groping in the dark not knowing what you're supposed to be finding..
similar to reading & browsing the net without my glasses..

yes i'm in love with my lists..
so much so that one list is still ending and another already starting..
thinking that i've completed my tasks, not realizing more is to come..
thinking that only these that matter, but those could make a difference too..

so i listed what i'd like to achieve for the year 2008..
and continued re-listing, revising and expanding my resolutions..
eleven months passed by and now i find that my lists are still half-ticked..
different things achieved and some earlier ones don't matter after all..

guess it's now time to assess and analyse..
whether i've done good or whether i've strayed far..
who is the strongest of them all..??
my sanguine & passionate soul or my rational & level-headed mind..??