Hello and welcome to my blog! How are you doing today? I wanted to post yesterday but I had a very busy day. My sister came over with her 2 hyperactive kids and it was overwhelming for me. I got a migraine. I love my sister, nephew, and niece, but kids can be loud and obnoxious. I couldn’t hear myself think and I ended up sleeping at 11 pm which was reasonable, but my brain shut down long before then.
Today is a new day, and I just watched the sunrise.
It’s nice and peaceful out here…
They have been turning off the generator more often lately. For months they were turning it off 4 hours a day, now it’s 8 hours. That’s because the government is giving us 1-hour of electricity every 24 hours, and the private generators we have to pay a lot for are working overtime to give us electricity. Thus the generators must be turned off for a few hours a day to avoid breaking down.
But instead of sulking because of the deteriorating conditions regarding the electricity, I decided to seize the opportunity and go on the balcony whenever the power is out. I didn’t use to go on the balcony, but I have come to enjoy the fresh air, the sunlight, the birds chirping, the peace in the early morning…and the sunrise.
There is a fuel shortage in Lebanon, and I have no idea what’s next for this country, but there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel anytime soon. However, I’m finding peace in the things I know not to take for granted. You never know what tomorrow will bring.
I have a busy day ahead, and it should be fun, albeit a bit socially overwhelming (my introverted self would rather curl up and read a book but my “craving going out” self just wants to have fun, even if I must interact with other humans in the process). After my sister came over, I’m not in the mood for socializing, but I am in the mood for going out and experiencing nature. I’ll keep you posted, today or tomorrow, depending on how exhausted I’ll be.
That’s what my 5-year-old son announced to me the other day, and when I asked him why he said “because I don’t want my teeth to start falling”.
He is now six and has lost 2 teeth and was very excited to lose more but for some reason never did.
It fascinates me and freaks me out that my son is thinking a lot about his future. He wants to be a policeman (I hope he changes his mind) and he tells me to keep the clothes that are small on him for his kids. He wonders what being an adult is like, and when he asks too many questions, I tell him “just think about reaching 6 years old. Eat, sleep, and pray, and don’t think about anything else”.
He currently wants to be a zookeeper but for dinosaurs. He isn’t convinced they are extinct.
The reason why I say this is because my son worries so much about the future, I feel like he is missing out on the now. Where have the times gone when our kids could just play freely without worrying what job they’re going to have and how they’re going to get enough money to feed a family?
I’ve been worrying about the future a lot lately. The future seems bleak, especially in Lebanon. But that’s my job, to worry. My son’s job is to have fun and be carefree.
Two things come to mind when I think about this situation:
The 1st is a poem I adore “I want to be six again”.
I want to be six again. I want to go to McDonald’s and think it’s the best place in the world to eat. I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make waves with rocks. I want to think M&Ms are better than money ’cause you can eat them. I want to play kickball during recess.
My son doesn’t want to turn six because he is afraid of his teeth falling. I think this whole not going to school is taking a toll on him. He is spending a lot of time with a parent who has anxiety and another who is constantly worried and deep in thought. It’s hard to be carefree when the overall mood is as if someone died.
The mood is still the same most of the time. I tend to hide from my family to be on my phone peacefully. The difference is I think I have a better grip on my mental health than I did last year.
I feel like I lost my smile. I used to be so perky and joyful. The book I just finished reading had a father who was too carefree, bordering on carelessness. There was a mom who was always worried about what might go wrong, so uptight and busy and tired all the time. It’s sad but I saw myself in her. Then there was the grandma, who was a ray of sunshine. I saw my late grandma in her, may she rest in peace.
I’m currently reading 100 simple secrets of happiness, but it’s taking me forever because the one I have was translated into Arabic.
I played scrabble and uno yesterday, but even while playing, I noticed I’m somewhat on edge and serious. I’ll try to loosen up more, for the sake of my son. He seems to be freaking out all the time lately, worried and scared. I wish I could distance him from me and get him in contact with a happy soul. I’m not in despair, but I feel not so optimistic, and somewhat numb.
We played monopoly yesterday. My son has been occupied with arts and crafts for hours lately, but once he gets bored, he becomes very annoying. I’m trying not to get annoyed by him, but to be mindful instead.
Another thing that comes to mind is a poem I wrote a long time ago. I think I called it “Give me the heart of a child”.
So I spend my days writing to-do lists, seeing family, doing some housework, procrastinating other housework, watching The Vampire Diaries, sometimes exercising, sometimes reading. I’m practicing The art of getting by. If you didn’t watch the movie, you should. I think there’s a book too, but I haven’t read it.
Last night, my son was really worried he’d be bit by a mosquito in his sleep. He was terrified. I told him “You need to have faith that God will protect you and that nothing can harm you unless God wills it to”. Maybe I should internalize my advice. I’m good at giving advice but terrible at following my own words.
Are you worried about the future?What are you doing to cope?
A strategy I use when I’m worried about something. The 1st part is to imagine the worst-case scenario, then make a plan on what you will do if the worst were to occur. Finally, imagine the best case scenario and hope for that.
Hello 👋 reader and welcome to my blog! Today I’m going to talk to you about hope.
When I think of hope, I think of faith. You can’t have hope without faith. Otherwise, it’s just wishful thinking.
Before October 17th 2019, I didn’t have much hope for Lebanon. I would say “it is what it is” but I never thought it would get worse.
When the revolution began, I got mixed feelings of hope and hopelessness. On one hand, I hoped the revolution would bring about change, but on the other hand, I knew the government wouldn’t give up their power so easily. But then New Years came around, and the revolution died down. Nothing had changed. Prices were up and by March a new pandemic had begun.
I had hope that COVID-19 would last a few months and then it would be over and we could all go back to our lives, bussiness as usual.
It’s almost March again, in 2021, and the pandemic is still here, and the prices are still rising, and NOTHING has changed.
Still I have hope, that maybe in 10 years we will be back on our feet, stronger than ever, but for now, I’m taking it day by day. I’m working on my personal growth. I’m building my resilience. I’m creating mini moments of happiness, and when all fails, I break down, then wipe my tears, and start all over again.
At the end of 2020, I really hoped 2021 would be better, and it is in some ways. I’m stronger now. I’m working on my blog, on my marriage, on my parenting. Some days I’m surviving. Some days I’m thriving. But everytime I think about the situation in Lebanon, in the world, I bury my head in the sand because otherwise I would crumble inside.
Despite the fact that the economic situation in Lebanon keeps worsening, I choose hope. It will get better. Maybe not now, but it will. One day.
I did a poll on instagram asking if they felt hopeful or hopeless about the situation in Lebanon, and all the votes for hopeless were from my lebanese followers, and the one person who voted hopeful was an American who lived in America.
I feel that it’s logical for people to lose hope when presented with reality, but there is some hope that can come out of hopelessness, without which no improvement occurs.
If the cavemen had no hope when faced with predators, they would’ve just lied down and let themselves be eaten by the tiger. Instead, they made weapons and created strategies to camouflage themselves or kill the tiger. They found a way to survive. They built homes and protection. Years went by and suddenly they were thriving.
I don’t want to be cliché. If you are in a bad situation in your family, in your country, mentally, physically, spirituallly, don’t lose hope. Don’t let the tiger eat you. Build a weapon. Master your skills. Learn new skills. Celebrate small wins. Enjoy the good moments. There are always good moments. Don’t sit around and mope and complain about how life is unfair. Get up and do something about it.
I hold my son in my arms, and I feel the love flooding through me. This peace washes over me and I feel so much gratitude. If you were with me through my difficult pregnancy, sudden delivery and 3 weeks of agony during which my 1.5 kg son was in the NICU, you’d understand (he is almost 6 years old now and weighs 18 kgs).
Maybe you went through a similar experience. If not, I hope you never do. If you are going through something difficult now, be grateful for 3 things:
That is wasn’t in your faith/religion/spirituality because the loss of money or health can be bearable if you have unshakeable faith in whatever you believe in
That it wasn’t worse (when my son was in the NICU, there was another baby in the spot next to him born with a heart condition and also had to be operated on his intestines 2 days after birth and his mother was in the ICU fighting for her life).
That God granted you patience because patience is the safety valve that helps relieve the pressure of a hardship.
Lebanon is going through a tough time, but I am grateful to have food, clothes and shelter. I’m grateful to be near my husband and that I have a cute smart healthy son, even if he drives me crazy with the online learning and going to bed and eating meals. Every time I hold him, I remember what I went through when he was 1st born and I’m filled with gratitude at how far he has come from the 1.5kg baby with a nasogastral tube through his nose because he was too weak to breastfeed or bottlefeed.
I pray for those who have no food, clothes or shelter. I pray for the opressed and those in war zones. I pray that God uses me to serve his people and that I make a difference. Lately I feel like I haven’t been making a difference because no amount of words spoken will feed the hungry but at least I’m raising awareness to the gravity of the situation in Lebanon. I can’t tell you to donate because most of donations end up being sold in the black market or sent to Syria so I’m not sure donations will actually reach the poor people. I don’t know how else to help. Covid is making it difficult to help because I’m too scared to leave my house. I’ll find a way though. I’m praying for it.
It’s 2021 and it feels like 2020, but worse. We have gotten used to the idea of staying at home but we are kind of sick and tired of it. So I’ve been living on memories to combat the sadness.
I’ve been feeling nostalgic all morning, going through old pictures on my hard disk
It’s February and in Lebanon, it snows in the mountains during January and February. Perfect time to go skiing or in my case, sledging (I’m too scared to try skiing). Last time I went sledging was in February 2019, 2 years ago exactly. I went with my family while my son was at school. It was awesome! I don’t post pictures of myself or my family, so I will share some of the pictures from the snowy cedar mountain.
Do you like snow?
I’m dying to go but because of COVID-19 and because everything is probably 10× the price it was 2 years ago, we can’t go this year. I couldn’t go last year because school kept going out and I didn’t want to take my son sledging (flashback to childhood incident of me sledging for the 1st time at age 10). I would definitely take him this year but I don’t think my husband would agree to it. Besides, prices and COVID-19, so maybe next year?
Another place I got nostalgic about today was this restaurant in the mountains that I went to in 2018 I think with almost my whole family (I have 7 siblings and 5 were present) and my mom and dad and my son and my sisters 2 kids. It was so much fun. The restaurant was called نور الصباح (morning light). They had good food and a beautiful view. There were even swings and a seesaw and stuff for the kids to play.
I wish I could show you how cute my son looked in that trip but I guess I could settle for the nature pictures.
And pictures of the inside of the restaurant
Do you like dining in restaurants? Do you like going to the mountains?
If only I could go here again…
The last place I got nostalgic about today was the port. This posrt is literally 5 minutes by car from my house and in 2020 I went about 3 times. Once at 8am before anyone was there, but I got a nail up my foot because of the trash all over the shoreline, and the other 2 times, I went at night and it was crowded and dark and nobody was wearing a mask and I bolted after 5 minutes. It’s currently closed off due to the lockdown but I really miss going there, especially with my dad. Today I went back to the 1st time I took my son to see the seaside with my dad. He was mesmerized! He was 2 years old then and it was a lovely experience. Especially seeing my dad play with my son and all I did was take pictures and take it all in. Here are some of the pictures I took from that particular trip.
Do you love the seaside?
It’s nice to see the beautiful parts of Lebanon, the parts they don’t show in the news.
Isn’t Lebanon lovely? I hope this crisis is averted soon and Lebanon stands back up on its feet. It truly is a spectacular country.
What are some places you miss going where you live?
This is an appreciation post for all the readers who stuck with me and kept reading my blogs despite their personal problems, despite their busyness, despite the situation of their country.
January 2021 was the longest year ever!
I have had more ups and downs in this month than in all of 2020. Or at least it feels that way. It’s no secret that January 2021 felt like an extention of 2020,and whether you live in the US and are dealing with the divided nation issues, or in Lebanon and dealing with the chaos that is going on (I don’t know how else to describe it) or in any country in between (because each country probably has its issues except maybe Germany), it means a lot to me that you took time from your day to read from the 40 posts I wrote during the month.
Thank you to everyone who liked, commented and shared. Although I don’t post to get likes, but rather to motivate and inspire, and I love reading your comments and getting your thoughts and learning about your similar experiences.
I’ve struggled with consistency in writing because I’d write on a whim. I tried to time my posts but you can’t time creativity. It comes in bursts of energy. I speak from the heart but I also learned a lot about which time to post and what day to post most and how to use links and write my title properly and pay attention to the introduction. After all, I don’t want my blogs to not reach people because I didn’t know how the algorithm works. Writing like that this month has gained me the most views ever! My 2nd most viewed month was October. So thank you. I take this as a sign that you like my writing.
There are some posts that I write on the spur of the moment, like the storytime posts and the poems. Other posts I plan and research about 1st like the advice posts. I will include the links to my top 5 viewed posts during January in case you haven’t read them yet:
Why can’t people just wear masks and avoid crowded areas?
I’ve been wearing a mask since March 2020, and I only visut my parents once a week and my in laws once a week and I occasionally go to the supermarket.
Why is it so important for people to laze around in cafes without a mask and ignore all covid-19 restrictions?
My day was okay, and everything was fine. I didn’t get much done on my lists, but I did get a lot of things done. I was happy with myself and life seemed okay, despite the whole country being in lockdown since Thursday.
However, I got news that in 72 hours even supermarkets will close and there will be an even more strict lockdown, not the “you can walk in the street but don’t open your business” kind, but the “stay at home and don’t even open your door” kind.
I think I’m starting to panic. I started imagining people panic buying, and chaos and my stomach is doing somersaults and my migraine from this morning is back.
I’m trying not to panic. I’m not araid I’ll catch corona virus. I’m afraid of what will happen if I’m confined to my house with my husband and son, no walks, no visiting parents, no me time on Friday. I fear for my mental health.
I’m going to take it day by day. Right now I’m tired and I have to sleep. It’s 10 p.m.
I have a migraine as usual. I’m trying so hard to to go with the flow, not planning, but believe me this week has been bizarre and part of the reason I think is because I’m trying to be spontaneous and not plan. I feel like “who am I if I’m not a planner”? Do you know what I mean?
Anyway, so my efforts to let loose haven’t been so great. I was still using my to do lists some days, and I still have this application called Habit Bull that keeps track of how often I brush my teeth, read Quraan, read from a book, exercise and shower. They wouldn’t let me put more than 5 (if they did I would obviously).
I just finished drinking coffee and eating pancakes. I enjoyed them very much.
I can’t force inspiration. I want to write several blog posts but I keep procrastinating. I had time yesterday but I didn’t have the positive inspiration to do so and I keep getting migraines even though I’m going to sleep early around 10 p.m. and I’m waking up at a reasonable time, like today I woke up at 7:30 a.m. but still I feel I’ve been walking around for the past 2 days with a brick on my chest, so to speak, and I have come to the realisation and hopefully the acceptance that I will never be happy in certain aspects of my life because this is how my life is and I can’t change it.
I know that contradicts with everything I normally say but it align with the serenity prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
Seriously, there are some aspects of my life that I can’t change, like I can’t control the economic and political situation in Lebanon. You might argue that I could travel but I can’t travel because my husband doesn’t want to travel, so I’m stuck here.
I’m stuck in a life that I don’t want but must learn to appreciate and I have to make myself happy however I can, through writing, reading, watching tv shows, drinking coffee, eating carbs, etc.
So I’m going to do the little things that make me happy since the big things don’t make me happy. There you have it. I have to go now. Have a nice day.
On March 2nd 2020, I published my 1st book on Amazon. My publishing journey has been a whirlwind since I decided to publish in October 2019. Once I decided to actually try to sell my poems because all my friends said “you should sell your poems”, the Lebanese revolution began a few days later and my hopes to publish in Lebanon went up in flames. A few months later, I remembered an instagram friend advised me to publish on Amazon a year before because she wrote a parenting book on Amazon for free! I said why not.
By the time I gathered my poems from 2015 and edited my manuscript twice, found a bank I could use, I finally took the leap and published.
I was then hit with another roadblock, how to market my book. I can tell you so far that all my half hearted attempts have been futile, since I’ve been stuck at home with a husband and a 5 year old boy and consistency is not my strong suit and I have developed a love for binge watching tv shows and watching tv during this pandemic and depression hit me more than once during these 10 months since the initial lockdown and the situation in Lebanon has gotten worse day by day, so here is yet another attempt. I won’t try to market all 7 books at once.
Let’s start with my 1st book
Motherhood in poems : Healing from PPD
Why did I choose this book?
Nobody gives you a course in motherhood before you get married. You watch a lot of romantic movies, dream of the perfect man who will sweep you off your feet so you’ll live happily ever after, and you see the babies in the pampers ads look so cute you get baby fever, and next thing you know, pregnancy does not make you glow and the doctor is handing you a baby and explaining about all the ways you need to nurture him physically and emotionally and you’re like “huh?” and the doctor literally says “you didn’t think you were just going to feed him and change his diapers, right?” and you go *internal screaming* and not even the doctor explains ppd to you.
It took me a year to realize I had ppd (post partum depression) because I was crying all the time, feeling overwhelmed and despite the help I got from my mom and in laws, most of the work was on me and I was expected to devote myself to my child while holding a household and adhering to society’s standards of perfection and blending with my traditional in laws and getting to know my husband while feeling so utterly alone and if I even thought of complaining about anything (not just the baby stuff) I was hit with “why can’t you just appreciate motherhood? It’s such a blessing”
It wasn’t until I read Chrissy Taegan had ppd that I looked it up and resonated with it and started to heal myself. The poems I wrote during this year were therapeutic, and they pulled me out of this depression, and I hope that they will do the same for you.
This brings me to my next question. Who is my audience?
Mothers, especially those with newborns or pregnant or even people who want to become mothers (in case you want to reconsider before it’s too late). I want to give insight on what it’s like to have ppd and about how to get over it. My target audience was worldwide, but I found out kindle isn’t available in any of the Arabian countries, especially not in the Middle East. Also the paperback version is half the time not available in Lebanon and the other half has 50$ shipment fee. Besides the fact that the dollar vs lira value has plummeted and my 12$ book now costs a fortune in Lebanese liras, not to meantion the added 50$ shipment fee. So as much as I would love to sell to my lebanese followers and friends, my target audience are Americans, Canadians, Austrialians, UK and maybe one day European countries if I even get that popular.
Let me walk you through my book. I categorized it, as you know I love to be organized, by topic.
Part 1 is about negative encounters. You know when you have a conversation with someone and you just want to punch them in the face? That kind of encounter.
Part 2 is about depression. Obviously, this is a book about healing from depression, so I must put poems that describe how I felt. Don’t worry though, it gets lighter.
Part 3 is about anxiety. My blog is basically about mothering with anxiety. I’ve had anxiety since I was 20, or at least that’s when I was able to label it as anxiety. And to become a mother while already having anxiety is no easy task.
Part 4 is about love. It’s mainly about my relationship with my husband and how my love for him held me together, even though he didn’t really help with my depression because he didn’t understand why I was lashing out and crying, but nevertheless, he tried his best to support me as a husband should. The fact that I could stay home and didn’t have to work was a bonus, but I do wish he understood my need to go out and about more. In his defense, our son was born with a weak immunity and was very fragile for the 1st 6 months of his life.
Part 5 is about motherhood, or at least the positive aspects of it. The love, the care, what it feels like to be a mother, anxiety and depression aside. It truly is a blesding, but I guess they should write “may cause ppd and beware if you already have anxiety” in the fineprint.
Part 6 is about optimism. I had to start developing a positive mindset in order to get through my depression and function as a mother and as a human. Optimism is key but it’s not easy to reach.
Part 7 is about friendship. Wherever you are in life, you need a support system. You need friends you can vent to who will validate your feelings, give you advice and make you feel loved, and I’m glad I had friends like that by my side, even though most of them are in different countries, but they are just one text away.
Part 8 is about prayer. Without my faith, I wouldn’t have been able to make it out of that long dark tunnel I was in. I’m grateful that I was able to see the light and prayer helped me develop patience and perseverance.
I hope you enjoyed my walkthrough of this book. If you want to, you can order it as paperback for 12$ here and starting December 3rd for just 10$ as kindle ebook here (it’s currently enrolled in kdp select which means if you have kindle unlimited you can read it for free with your 10$ per month subscription and I get payed for the amount of pages you read).
If you want some snippets from this book, go to my author instagram page here and check out my latest posts.
I was going to name this post “the solution to all your problems” but I didn’t want to be THAT dramatic.
Good morning everyone! Or good evening, depending on where you are in the world and when you read this. How are you doing? If you’re from America, how are you really? If you’re from Lebanon, I think we passed the point of “how are you” and got to “how can I help?”
Last night I wanted to post before going to bed, but I was exhausted. The good exhausted. The thoughts were there, and dare I say, they were HAPPY thoughts!
This has nothing to do with Biden winning the elections. I wasn’t even keeping up with the polls and I didn’t find out until this morning when I watched a comedy sketch of James Corden’s. I’m not even sure how I feel about that. My political views are still under construction.
Anyway, so yesterday, despite the inevitable negativity that occurs when you spend time with family, or around PEOPLE in any sense, I had a good time. And despite my exhaustion and the pain in my foot from being unusually upbeat and forgetting I need to rest, I had a busy productive SOCIAL day.
I wanted to write about it, but I figured everyone would be consumed with the elections, or whatever it is that’s happening in Lebanon (I don’t watch the news, but I follow Ddoesbusiness for updates), so I watched The Umbrella Academy, as one does when they wish to escape reality.
If you haven’t watched it yet, you’re missing out. It has super powers, family drama, time travel, and a sarcastic 13 year old who is actually kind of funny. Oh and the apocalypse.
Another thing, disconnect to reconnect. Seriously when I’m at my parent’s, I spend much less time on my phone, because I’m busy connecting with actual people, and honestly, I noticed being on the phone so much fried my memory and concentration.
Here is a funny video I watched this morning about life without internet. If you don’t watch Julie Nolke on YouTube, I don’t know what you’re waiting for.
I’ve been up since dawn, and I will carry on with my day now. Just thought I’d stop to ask how everyone is doing and give you an update.