Eid Musings (2009)

Me with 9 month old Tameem.

Me with 9 month old Tameem.

Well Eid is over and, more importantly, so is Ramadan.  I love Ramadan, but I don’t miss it when it’s over!  The first two weeks are okay, but the second half is really tiring.  My system really got messed up this year.  I do the opposite of what most people do.  I don’t sleep late and I wake up really early.

Most days I’d be up at around 3:30 am, have something to eat, go to the mosque and pray, and then go directly to work.  I’d be at my desk by around 4:45 am and work all the way to anywhere between 1 pm, to 5 pm.  If I get the chance I’d sleep anywhere from 15 minutes to a couples of hours in the afternoon.

I got a LOT done, and it was a very productive month, but I got really tired.  I’m looking forward to a normal routine again.

Eid Thoughts

There are so many Godly wisdoms that – as mentioned in the Holy Quran – we cannot count them even if we tried.  One of these wisdoms (can wisdom be plural?) is Eid.  I love how you get to spend time with family that you otherwise would not.  There are so many cousins I love and appreciate but I just don’t have the time during the rest of the year to see.  I have over 70 first cousins just from my father’s side!

Eid is a great time to just catch up with everyone.  You don’t have to have long conversations, just spending a few minutes chatting and catching up is enough – just like speed dating 🙂  It’s great how certain times of the year have been specified just for this.  It reminds us of what’s important in life.

Making Calls

This year I decided to be more proactive in asking about my family.  You see, when growing up, because of my father’s age, importance and “celebrity status” most family members would always come to visit him.  So I’m afraid I didn’t really learn to ask more about my family, as I took it for granted that I would see them at my father’s house.

Also, since I started Zen-Do, my first business, I have been super-ultra-busy.  In the early years Zen-Do completely took over my life.  I used to do everything from teach the classes, to creating the curriculum, to answering the phone, to doing the marketing and sales, to cleaning the floors.  Okay okay, I didn’t really do much floor cleaning myself, but I had to on occasion.  Anyway, my point is that work just took over my life.  I hardly had time for my wife and young baby at the time.  And making time to call and ask about extended family at the time was just out of the question.  You have to make sacrifices.

Though I’m still extremely busy, I work differently now, and am not as involved in the day to day operations of my businesses, which gives me the chance to re-connect with family and old friends.  And to have somewhat of a ‘normal’ life (bearing in mind that entrepreneurs never really have normal lives per se).  So, this year I decided not to sit and wait to see people at my parents’ house.  I decided to be better at Silat Al-Raham [loosely translated: asking and caring about family] and make some calls.

I made a list of relatives and close friends and called them all (though I did not reach everyone). I called an aunt in Al-Hasa in Saudi whom I hardly know, and see less than once a year.  I called cousins in different countries and called friends in Europe.  They were pleasantly surprised and at the same time I felt good.  You forget how many people there are that you love and love you back.  I  don’t think I did enough by any stretch of the imagination, but I did more than did in the past.  I’m still learning and trying to get better at it.

There are some people who I admire and want to emulate (to a certain degree).  I have a cousin – mashallah – who has everyone of his cousins’ number stored on his phone (probably hundreds) and he calls them all from time to time.  I also have a friend who has all the birthdays of his friends, relatives and associates in a database, and calls them all on their birthdays – mashallah!  Though I admire that deeply, I don’t think this is something I could do, or would have the time to do.  I’m happy starting with my baby steps.

Swine Flue

I noticed this year some people only extending their hands and not hugging and kissing.  I was surprised about this, but then I guess not everyone has the cynical view of swine flue that I have.  Personally, I think it’s a big fat lie and conspiracy, but that’s just me.  [you can see more on my swine flue views here.  I also recommend you read my wife’s professional opinion on her blog].  So slightly less kissing and hugging this year, and slightly more handshaking.  And as far as I know, no one has turned into a swine yet, and we’re all still alive 🙂

Overall a great Eid.  Well, that’s all for now.  By the way, wanna see last year’s Eid musings? Click here.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and talk to you soon.

2 Responses to Eid Musings (2009)

  1. Mai 22 September 2009 at 2:10 pm #

    Hey Suhail,
    1- Eid Mubarak
    2- I used to call a long list of my friends every Ramdan for several years but not any more. I realized that I get back only a few eid wishes in return!
    Every one claim to be busy…well, do you mean I am not???
    I can’t understand such attitudes that depend on the flux strategy in friendship i.e. friends are getting into someone’s circle of friends and as soon as they are in – they find themselves out!
    I used the term friends as this is how they introduce you to others- so they admit of considering you a friend though the fact it is temporarily.

    Now, I switched to plain / empty two words e-mail ( Eid Mubarak),some phone messeges and only few few phone calls to whom I really appreciate my friendship with them and I really make the efforts to call them anywhere in the world.

    I hear you saying that your post was mainly talking about family and not about friends……well, I did not have contact with many of them for several years!

  2. Sawsan 24 September 2009 at 12:59 pm #

    Hey Suhail,

    Eid Mubarak to you and your loved ones. Nice to hear from you. I do agree with your thoughts. Most of us are super-ultra-busy and eid is a very good opportunity to connect with family and friends. I usually send phone messages to my friends and I do get replies back ( some of them send their wishes ahead of me). I call my cousions and close family members.We keep one day for all family gathering.

    About the swine flue, I think there is no harm in taking some precautions like frequent hand wash but I think people in Bahrain now have flue phobia ( though this is not the case in most other countries) and some are even afraid to shake hands !.

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