My birthday is coming up very soon and since I’ve been having lots of contractions on and off , I don’t think I will last until my due day month of August. I thought I would share what I’ve learned in my 30 years. It will not be in any order, it will be just random thoughts that pop into my head as I write. I just hope I can think of 30 things. Here we go!
- My mamma always told me in Portuguese, “You catch bees with honey.” This saying has many interpretations but what I took from it is, to be kind, it will take your further than rudeness.
- Being patient does not mean you sit around waiting for something to happen. You have to work hard even if it means waiting forever to see the outcome of your hard work.
- Crying and letting your emotions out does not mean you are weak, it means you have courage to deal and confront with your problems and emotions.
- Mothers are always right! My mamma told me I will understand her when I have kids of my own and oh boy was she right about that!
- My crown is my hijab. I wear my faith on my head and there is nothing more powerful than that. It keeps me in check and conscious of my every action.
- Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. First impressions are not the most important at all. Great people can pass right by you because of misjudging at first glance.
- Everyone has a story worthy of telling. Worldly problems can be solved through story telling, we would soon discover how similar we are than different.
- You can’t change the world but you can work in changing yourself and hopefully something good will come out of it.
- Things never happen according to our plans. It doesn’t mean we can’t work hard towards our goals and dreams. But I strongly believe that God has a better plan than we do. There are things that we want right now that can actually harm us, if our plans are shifted by God’s will it’s for a purpose.
- If something is meant to cross your journey it will and if it is not meant it will not.
- Never assume! So much negativity comes out from assuming something of someone or situation. The truth is only God knows our true intentions and if we don’t ask because we assume we know everything than we stay in a stage of ignorance.
- The best stories come from our elderly friends. Truly they are like libraries, if we do not communicate with them, we miss out on a lot of experiences, expertise and knowledge.
- To take care of your health. Health is best richness we will ever have. Health is worth more than money. We shouldn’t take health for granted and try to take care our body, mind and soul as much as we can.
- Society has undertaken the value of a mother. Being a stay at home mother is viewed as a failure in life and a waste of time. Stay at home mothers don’t get the same respect as a women who establishes her career and is aggressive in the workforce.
- Societies that value and support motherhood are overall a more successful society. Take some European countries as an example, such as, Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands ect. look at their crime rates and quality of life.
- Peace and tranquility lies in the remembrance of God and not in beautiful island far away.
- Men and women are not created equal that doesn’t mean we are not equally important and valued. I should not strive to be the same as men nor should I want to strive to be like a men for the sake of his manhood but for his motives and accomplishments. Giving men the standard of what a women should strive for is just reiterating that women are inferior and to be superior like them, we should work to be the same as them.
- A person’s self value does not come by the things one has or achievements but rather by ones intentions and good action.
- What use does knowledge have if one uses for evil?
- Knowledge is everywhere it is not restricted by standard education.
- You may look to your right and find someone who is in much better situation than you but if you look to your left you will find someone else in a worst situation. Be grateful.
- Look for the things that you do have and not what you don’t have.
- Don’t take your mood out on people. This is actually very hard for me because I can’t control my emotions very well, whether its anger, sadness or happiness so I tend to act the way I feel but the reality is, no one deserves to be treated unkindly only because we are not having a good day.
- Everything has it’s time. Another one that is hard for me as well. We might see everyone else successful around us while we are stuck in a puddle but we don’t know what the future has installed for us.
- There is no such thing as a picture perfect. What we see in the exterior might not be what we really think it is. Doesn’t mean someone that looks happy in the exterior is actually in a stage of contentment.
- This wordily life is not meant to find happiness it is meant to find God and our purpose in this life.
- Kids are not a burden they are a blessing. I am tired of hearing how expensive and time consuming kids are. There is nothing more worthy in this world than passing along your legacy and hard work that one puts towards raising your kids.
- Let go a bit! I used to pride myself of being spontaneous and going with the flow. Now, I feel I am very controlling and have to organize my time. Although, I believe it is good to have some sort of organization in your life, it is important to let go of things and try to enjoy unpredictable moments.
- Traveling is the most enlightening experience in the world.
- Spend your money wisely. Oh how I wish I could take my own advise!
Wow, I can’t believe I made it to number 30 and I can’t wait to have 60/70/80 and 90 more tricks under my sleeve. Let me know what were some of your life’s biggest lessons. I would love to learn from you.
Ramadan is over but here is a post I wrote right when my computer crashed again.
I’ve been trying to be more self-conscious of what I put in and on my body and for that reason, I had to make some adaptable changes in my daily routine. Here are some things I’ve stopped using or eating;
- Shampoo and conditioner I can’t believe this one actually works! I recently discovered that you can use baking soda and apple vinegar for shampoo substitute. In addition to that our hair does not need conditioner. In my recent trip to Cape Verde a couple of months ago my family bluntly told me, how disgusting my hair looked. I didn’t know what was causing my hair to look so bland and dull. I have to tell you that this replacement is the best think. I immediately seen a difference in both my kid’s hair and I.
- Cleaning products I’ve stopped buying cleaning products for the obvious reasons, for their harmful chemicals. This one, I am dearly thankful to my mother who thought me that I can use apple cider vinegar to clean my entire home. Apple cider vinegar is a staple in my pantry, I used it for cleaning, drinking, seasoning, facial and hair uses and much more. My runs to the grocery story evolves on whether or not I need to restock this magical liquid.
- Skin and hair moisturizer– I no longer buy store products to moisturize my hair or skin. I simply make a fuze of coconut, almond and a bit of castor oil and use it every day on my skin and hair.
- Sunscreen- Almond oil is a natural replacement for chemical sunblock. In addition to that staying out of the sun for a long time and covering the skin that can easily get sunburn such as shoulder, nose and backs..
- Junk foodEgypt is notorious for their junk food options. You can see people of all ages munching one chips, chocolate and fry food for breakfast. I admit that I have not stopped my kids for occasionally enjoying some ice cream, chocolate and cookies. However, I don’t bring these things to my house. Often time, the kids enjoy these treats when they are surrounded by other kids who are eating the junk food or when a family member/friend offers my kids these treats.
- Product based facial and hair masks– There is absolutely no need to go out and buy facial masks that are filled with chemicals and just dry out the skin. You can just go to your refrigerator and you will find some many options for a home-made mask. From eggs, to yogurt, honey, fruits, sugar, baking soda and much more. You know that half banana that your kid left behind, well you can smash it and use it as a face mask as it is. Or the yogurt your kid did not finish and make my favor mask; yogurt, turmeric spices, lemon or apple cider vinegar and honey(optional) and place in on my face and neck. You can leave this mask for up to an hour, it will drastically give you a glow and remove your pores. For dry scalp and dandruff, I like to use turmeric spices, olive oil or almond oil as a mask before washing my hair. Immediately after washing you will notice that your hair feels lighter, brighter and with more volume.
I used to roll my eyes upon hearing my friends telling stories of Ramadan in their home countries. Part of my attitude was due to ignorance, not knowing what Ramadan was like in a Muslim country. The other was triggered by jealously upon hearing stories about family gatherings and traditions that I was not able to create with my non Muslim family.
This is my second Ramadan in Egypt and I must say that my friends were right, celebrating this month in a Muslim country is very different than in the United States. However, there are both cons and pros being in these two countries during the holy month.
Pros of Ramadan in Egypt;
- The whole country evolves around this month. People are able to go to work a little later and/or come home early to break their fast.
- The streets are lighten with Ramadan decorations.
- After breaking the fast, the streets are filled with excitement and movement.
- Eating many traditional foods and sweets
- People are more prosperous towards each other. This month is also a great month for giving charity. Therefore, people make a great effort to feeding the poor, giving money to beggars and donate unwanted stuff.
- There is less chaos during the hours of fasting.
- Family/friends visiting each other to break the fast together.
- Three days off to celebrate the end of Ramadan
Cons of Ramadan in Egypt:
- The daily routines get thrown out of the window. People stay up in the late hours at night and wake up super late.
- The heat is beyond unbearable.
- People tend to eat a lot and unhealthy during this month defeating the purpose of eliminating excess consumption and building empathy for those who do not have food to eat on a daily basis.
- There is a stigma for eating in public for the people that exempt from fasting, for example, if you are a pregnant woman, breastfeeding mother, sick, on the menstruation cycle or even a Christian it is very hard to eat in public without judgment.
- As a woman, you are not able to assist the Friday prayer and the extra prayer at the mosque
Pros of Ramadan in United States:
- Routine, the fact that it is Ramadan does not change the daily duties and responsibilities that need to be preformed. Although, the country does not change to support the Muslims during this month, actually can have great benefits, such as being organized on what you need to do towards your Islamic practices throughout the day and how one is going to accomplish the goals one sets for himself during this month.
- Getting invited to friend’s house and enjoying a different culture and traditions while breaking the fast.
- Going to the mosque and praying the extra prayer as a woman.
- More changes to demonstrate Islam in a positive away and break the misconceptions seen in the media.
- No judgment if a Muslim is walking down the street holding a cup of coffee.
Cons of Ramadan in the United States:
- No understanding from your job if you all the sudden are less productive and tired at work.
- Breaking the fast during break time which sometimes consist of a 30 minute break, where we have to eat, drink and pray.
- Life doesn’t stop in this month so if one is not organized, one can loose many opportunities for extra good deeds, charity and prayers.
- No payed holiday for celebrating the end of Ramadan unless one uses his own vacation or personal time.
- Not hearing the call for prayer and enjoying the Quran being recited in the streets.
Disclaimer:These are my personal experiences in both of the countries during Ramadan. It isn’t by any means a whole representation each of these countries.
P.S: I would love to hear what Ramadan is like where you live. Comment down bellow, where you are currently living and what are your Ramadan traditions.