The daily chronicle of my family as we embark on our quest to relocate from New York to Cairo... the impending journey to get there and the daily lives of myself, my husband and our four children... and other random thoughts while living in Cairo!

Looking to make contact with other Muslimahs who are like myself with small children living or will be living in a foreign country.

I invite you to share the experience with us as we try to make this happen!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

High Expectations

Lately, I've basically been having the same conversation with people in regards to personalities and our expectations. When I was younger, I used to "dismiss" people who couldn't "rise to the occasion" or "make things happen" from their will to achieve or they "let go" of their dream or end goal because they suddenly felt weak or felt they "just couldn't do it" . I believed that, it was totally, another sign of weakness like laziness. Self-doubt and pity are our worse enemies! I totally STILL believe that...

Needless to say, those who know me, know I have a very strong personality- not one to succumb to situations but I search out alternative options (which I usually have already put in place) and look to meet those goals or tasks. I've always lived my life around Plan A, B and C. Of course, Plan "A" is the ultimate goal and the direct route to achieve it... Plan "B" is the same outcome but a different course taken to achieve the same end result... and Plan "C" is the option when all else fails- I don't know how to live my life without this scenario. Some may see it as sick or too rigid but you know what, all my life it has worked for me. I know I do possess an "Alpha" personality, and to understand WHICH type of Alpha I am (for those who know what I'm talking about) I need to tell you that I'm about 30% Alpha 5 and 70% Alpha 7- this is who I am. I've tried to deviate from this in the past but I couldn't... I can't... this is me.

I have learned over the course of my life NOT to dismiss people but try to help them achieve their goals with my, should I say, "steps to success". I tell people that for one, I'm not a crier- on rare occasion when the struggles of life REALLY get to me and it seems like the whole world is about to cave in, I break into tears. When this happens, I lay down and give myself the ultimate pep-talk, "You're not weak... crying is for others, not you", "you're better than this situation", "get over yourself", "rise above it OR lay down and succumb to your failure", "find a way to make it happen", "self pity is a sign of weakness", "WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO???". Usually at this point, I cease crying, wash my face, I sometimes pray and then I relax. I clear my head and tell myself, "What's the next course of action?". I then assess the situation at hand and revise my immediate goals and the put in place the new outline of Plan A, B and C.

Over the years, my husband and I have to come to crossroads where he has said on numerous occassions that he doesn't understand me or my mode of thinking... but with knowning how I am and my personality, I have come to realize that you can not explain your attempt or end result to him as he sees it as thinking too far ahead or sometimes too abstract... but I think most can agree that men tend to see with "tunnel vision" or like I sometimes like to say, "they can only see to the tip of their nose" while most women tend to look at the broader picture and keep the end goal in mind. There have been times when situations have taken days, weeks and even a few months before the end goal was achieved... and he would say things to me like I'm not working on getting something in order or making any effort to get things cleared up (not realizing that things have been working in the background) and then when it all comes together, the hubby would just look at me and I at him and say, "Exactly...."- enough said!

As our lives evolve, so do our plans and/or goals so we are ever modifying, changing or tweeking our outline in order to achieve our desired end results... it's to pray to Allah and seek his guidance... and USE the brain Allah (SWT) gave you- that's why we all have one (well, most of us anyways). ;)

We must learn to rise above the petty everyday sorrows and the misery it usually brings in order to get through this world... you have to learn to pick yourself up and dust off the issue(s) at hand and work towards making the situation favorable if not totally better. If you don't know who you are and what you want out of life, and don't have a general idea as to how to achieve your goal(s), you could easily be swallowed up by this mean, unforgiving, disgusting world and forever lost in the dark abyss of doubt and self pity. That's definitely NOT an option for me... is that an option for you???

What are some of your common practices to "making it happen"? Though my method of madness may seem extreme to some, your reply concerning your method might help someone who doesn't know how to achieve their end goal(s)...


أم ترافيس said...

I am like you in some regards actually. I push push push to get to my goal -- even if it is killing me :) The difference though is that I dont like it when it is hard and I am not that tough *sometimes* I just think many things should not *be* the way it is. So I end up swimming upstream for a while, then need to stop (after like a breakdown) and rethink. In shaa Allah I am working on the *fighting* part and just using my mind a little more... I guess the biggest key is to balance between the head and the heart. My head is right, but my heart is weak... hmm... interesting...

LOOOL anyhow interesting post -- Sometimes I wonder what gets you into these ponderings ;)

Inspired Muslimah said...

I really enjoyed your post! I agree with a lot you said. Iam an extreme planner, and I always have a back up plan. However, I am a cryer unfortunately. I break down very easily thought I pick myself up easily too. I am extremly sensitive,some say too sensitive.its weid because Iam this way but I also have a stronger personalilty and I dont back down easy (as we have talked about and btw, thank you so much for everything, I have had a lot going on this week,and will definitly be in touch. You are a good friend :)

Empress Anisa said...

Umm Travis- well, actually everyday life and being around my friends mostly is what inspire my post. But how ironic I had planned posting this today and I read your post on "small miracle" and it was basically an extension of what has been one the biggest topics of the last 2 weeks with me and my friends. It's not an easy battle.. but like you said, you must learn to strike that balance with head and heart which is definitely the right start! I promise you, if you try the plan outline, you wouldn't regret it- start out with the small things in life and then later include the "mountains" you have to hurdle... you'd be surprised at what you could achieve!

Inspired- I knew you had to be busy... I'm always here whenever you need me! Extreme planner is also me and when you keep things in perspective and work towards that end result with other options in mind, you can get through just about anything!

Francesca Najea Lujan said...

As-salaamu-alaikum Sis. Anisa,
I would like to say that I make istahkara prayer before I set up any plan to acheive something. I do believe that this is the best strategy, to ask for Allah's guidance and help before any major undertaking. I also know that I do not ALWAYS do this FIRST. Whatever the plan is, we should pray for guidance towards that which will benefit our religion, our living and our final destinies. Although I sometimes do this as an afterthought, I pray on my plans. I pray and give thanks to Allah and the people who He sends my way who help me to acheive my goals. People like you, who make life so much sweeter. Barak Allah ufeeki.

Hajar said...

Assalamualaikum sis,

Seeing a similar pattern here.

And I admit, when it comes to making plans, most of the time my mind goes above my heart. *still figuring on striking the balance* Because of my methods, I have been labeled quite a number of things though mostly taken on the positive side. Staying positive, believing that Insya'Allah things will eventually turn out for the better is the very thing that keeps me from going down. As for seeing other people breaking down, I try to help them and see it as one of the lessons in life; trusting that by helping others, you're really helping yourself.

As always, a brilliant post. ^

Empress Anisa said...

Najea & Hajar- Wa 'alaikum assalaam sisters!

Yes, I believe that praying and staying positive are important in achieving our success- to seek Allah's guidance in all that we do-and trust him to give us what is best for us... I've been called a few things myself when I've explained my mode of thinking to people but it works for me and InshaAllah, by His mercy, I hope it always will. Sometimes, of course, in life, things don't go as planned what been you have equipped yourself with alternatives, you can stay ahead or above the situation at hand and make things work for you. Most people I have seen over the years have one plan in mind with no other options and when that plan fails, they're crushed beyond belief. NEVER rely on one thing in the life of this world... the only ONE thing we can rely on, without doubt, is our Creator. Keep multiple options in mind and be willing to bend in order to achieve whatever personal success!

hijabee said...

I feel like you wrote this post for me and Allah meant for me to read it. I'm at a point in my life where I sometimes feel very lost and don't know what direction things are gonna go . I have different plans in my head but I don't quite know which ones to strive for. I end up doing a lot of thinking and praying, hoping that Allah will guide my heart to the right path....

Empress Anisa said...

Hijabee- Wa 'Alaikum Assalaam... well, with you thinking and praying, you're definitely doing the right thing in order to make your decisions.
Alot of people have this problem: too many thoughts in the head, not knowning which and what to pursue first. I tend to take things in an order for me that what is most beneficial for me and mine? Which would affect our lives more? And what is most important at this immediate time? That's how I tend to prioritize what I need to be doing... and of course, try to always pray about your pursuits- Allah (SWT) will ALWAYS give you what is best for you.