Hello, 2019.

Bismillah,

I have a habit of doing a yearly review on the last day of the year but somehow I missed it last year – perhaps due to the anxiety and unknowns of moving to a new country. Alhamdulillah, it’s getting better this year. It’s time for me to sit and jot down the reviews.

What did 2018 bring?

Adjusting well to my current job

Coincidentally, I joined my current company in the first week of 2018 so this month marks my first year since then. I struggled a bit when I started simply because I wasn’t familiar with replying to customers directly. With my previous company, everything was communicated internally first due to the size of our clients and their heavy marketing budget. Working in a start-up definitely has its perks. You gotta define your own set of rules and you have a chance to shape how your team works (at least). It has been challenging so far but I enjoy it. The work-life balance has been great and my boss has been supportive with each one of us in her team I can’t complain.

Kids are adapting well at the childcare

This is another feat, alhamdulillah. My biggest fear of moving to Germany is actually how I could leave my kids under the care of an institution for the whole day. When we were in Singapore, they were taken care of my helper so basically, they only had one person that’s taking care of them for the whole day while we were at the office. The trust they had with my helper is just like trusting a family member. Well, Z had 2-3 hours of schools every day, but it’s just a school, not a full daycare.

In Germany, there’s no way we can afford a live-in helper and the thought of getting another live-in helper frightens me. Our previous helper was great but it took me months to fully accepted her into our family.

We were lucky to get spots for both boys at the same childcare in two months while the situation in Berlin is beyond bad. The adjustment period for Z was short since he was bigger and he’s social by nature. M, on the other hand, took more time. He started his adjustment period in August and it took him two whole months until he can finally stay in the childcare full time. Now that both of them settled well in the childcare and trust their caretakers, we can finally have a working schedule as a family.

Transitioning to taking care of the house by ourselves

Oof.

I knew that it was going to be challenging to maintain the whole household while being a full time working mom – but I didn’t realize that it was going to be THAT challenging to the point that I needed a strategy – if that’s what you want to call it haha.

I wrote more on that in another post – so I am just gonna leave it there. I am glad to say that the order in this house has been maintained well.

Read more: Supaya Tetap “Waras” Menjadi Working Mom

A trip to Paris and Hamburg

I won’t lie – one of the reasons (or benefits?) of moving to Europe is to be able to see European countries with our own eyes.

Read more: Why you should move to Berlin

Bringing two kids under 5 traveling with us has been a challenge but that’s not impossible. Of course, a backpacking trip is out of question hence why we could only manage two trips last year. They were fulfilling though – they provided good breaks in between our busy schedules.

Bullet journaling

I started bullet journaling back in September 2017. At that time it was thanks to Synta and her Instagram accounts. Her bullet journal is so clean and inspiring. Soon I discovered Amanda Rach Lee and other bullet journalists – mainly from Instagram. It was intimidating at first since I have no art background at all – but by trial and error, I think I finally found joy in bullet journaling. I wrote a lot when I was a kid because that’s my main outlet when I was happy or sad and all – and now I am doing this on my journal as well along with other things such as my tasks and to-do lists.

Shameless plug – I have an Instagram account that is dedicated to my journaling journey – if you are interested 📖

Reading Challenge 2018 achieved

I set a target of 20 books at the beginning of 2018. I admit I cheated a bit by re-reading all 7 Harry Potter books (and I finished them all in one month) – and some of the rest of the books is really short, but hey, a target is still a target right? I am glad that I found comfort in reading again – just like what I had when I was a kid.

If anyone is interested, here’s my Goodreads account – it has been very very useful to track my progress and more importantly, to get a book recommendation from others. I admit that I am still very much deciding my to-be-read list on ratings, but hey, baby steps 🐾

What’s in store for 2019?

Passed JLPT

This has been on my list EVERY SINGLE YEAR since 2015 – but I never got around to complete it. Not even attempting it. It’s gonna be even more challenging to take a test in Germany because I will need to travel outside Berlin. Luckily this summer’s JLPT will (hopefully) fall at the same week with our holiday in Jakarta. I am planning to sneak one day to get into the test. But first, of course, I need to study hard.

Getting at least one degree from Udacity

I registered for one of their nanodegree programs last year – and I haven’t even finished that one yet. Their courses are quite demanding in terms of projects and I am still struggling to find times to do them. I am aiming to get at least one degree from Udacity this year – wish me luck 🍀

More traveling

It’s more because we have school holidays lined up in April, July, October, and December this year. So far we already have trips planned for April and July. Let’s see what we can afford for October and December – our holiday budget seems to be running out fast 💸

More reading

Since I managed to finish my 2018 Reading Challenge, I am setting up a new challenge for me this year – 25 books, yay! By the time this post is published, I had finished one book. It’s a super popular book and truly a page-turner. I am planning to do a book review on this blog as well. We’ll see how that one goes since I can barely maintain a weekly post 😶

Oh – and this is actually also a good resource for reading recommendations. Recently I followed an Instagram account focused on motivating mothers to read more – it’s a brainchild of my lovely friend, Puty. If you are interested, you can follow the account and see recommendations from others too. I found it to be really encouraging and I love the book recommendations that are in Indonesian as well – I am building a list of books to be bought when we are going home for holiday this summer!

Networking

This sounds so professional, but actually.. it’s not. For the past year, I have been holing up in the house. In my defense, there is so many to be done over the weekend. Laundry, groceries, ironing, etc. Until I realized that I hadn’t made any real human connection and it kinda dampens my spirit. I will be the first one to admit that I am totally an introvert – interacting with other human beings requires great effort and energy for me. But I still need them on regular basis and nothing will change if I don’t make the first move.

For a start, I am planning to come to the mosque more often and perhaps I will be able to meet more people there. I have been neglecting that for the past year – maybe it’s a good time to start coming there again.

Connected to Him

It’s related to the point before. I felt like losing my connection to Him – to be honest, this has been plaguing me for more than a year and I hadn’t made any real effort to revive this. Thousand of excuses, I admit. I still don’t know how can I achieve this. But this is definitely one of my important goals. ☪️

**

To close this post, I wanted to say Alhamdulillah for a blessed 2018. Hopefully, 2019 will bring us greater things and most importantly, getting us closer to whatever gives you comfort.

Chilly Berlin,

 

Day 5 – On Religion

Bismillah,

Wow where should I even begin with this topic. 

This is again a very dear topic with my heart – for me, religion is the anchor of my life. My religion is one absolute truth for me. I can’t say the same for everyone, but this is where I stand when it comes to a religion.

Day 3 – Yourself in 10 Years

Bismillah,

This is a hard topic. I honestly don’t like this kind of question cause I don’t exactly know what will happen in the future. But to be fair with this challenge…

First of all, perhaps I should think of which country I would like to be in 10 years.

I have few options: 1) Staying in Germany, 2) Moving to another country, 3) Going back for good

And all of them are .. possible in the future. If we were still staying in Germany in 10 years, my kids will be spending their teenage years here and most probably they will also be going to college here in Germany. Considering how different the education system here with Indonesia or any other countries, it’s only making sense that they are staying here for university. 

If we are moving to another country, we need to do that before the kids are moving upward to the higher tier of the education system here – so they will have more time to adjust with the new system, culture, and perhaps language. 

We might be moving back for good as well – but honestly, this is the least favorable option in my mind, simply because adjusting back to the old system is terrifying (at least for me). Not to mention that the infrastructure and bureaucracy back home are such a mess. 

But we’ll see. For now, I can’t say where I would be in 10 years – anywhere with my family, I guess. 

It Has Been A Year

Today, a year ago, I left Singapore and the life that I had built there for 12 years.

I said goodbye to our helper who is so dear to us and our kids. Hoping that the new family she’s working after us is going to treat her kindly. She deserves that.

I said goodbye to my friends – without whom I would have not survived the grueling hours of the university and its assignments.

I said goodbye to the Indonesian community that always made me feeling like I am home – far away from home.

I said goodbye to the delicious halal food that is a plenty – easily reachable whenever I was bored with homemade food – and all of those hipster foods that I hadn’t had any chance to try.

I left the strong Muslim community I had – the weekly Sunday class with Ustadz Fatris, the chance to perform Ied prayer at open space – all the perks that I took for granted.

I took my boys away from the environment that they know so well – the friends that they have there, the comfortable weather all year, and all

We faced lots of hardships during our first few months here. I had emotional breakdowns – I needed to do so many things in a short time. Adjusting to the new job, new routines as a chef, housewife, and working employee, in a country which I have no idea of how to speak their language. I think I spent my first few weeks wanting to go back to Singapore and just to be done with Berlin.

I was miserable. We were miserable.

The adjustment period gave shocks to our relationship as couple, parents, and family, it tested our patience – but most importantly, it made us even closer to Allah.

Now, after a year, I am glad to say that things have taken a turn to better. The kids are finally adjusted with life in the childcare and more or less having a schedule. Both I and Husband have accepted that things are not going to be as smooth as they were – but there will always be helping hands everywhere.

Forced by the situation, I can finally cook edible (and sometimes good!) Indonesian food at home. I have learned (not mastered it – yet) how to adjust my schedule with the kids’ – long gone the days when I could sleep at 3 am and still could function during working hours.

We take the kids out on weekends to whatever is available around the city – despite not knowing much about the German language. Our eldest speaks German better than us and that’s a good sign since he’s going to primary school in 2 years time where all the lessons will be in German. We are still going to talk to him and his brother in English at home, so hopefully he’s not losing his roots. It will be a challenge to teach them Indonesian though – but for now, as long as they understand the instructions in Indonesian, that’s already enough.

Moving forward – I want to be able to at least speak conversational German. I also want to be able to multitask better without losing focus – that means less time for less important things, including social media. Some aspects of my life need to be fixed and upgraded too, especially when it comes to managing emotions and my quality of prayers.

With the kids, I want to be even more patient with them. I think they can sense when I am angry and while I do think it’s important for them to be able to asses the situation, I don’t want them to associate me with ‘anger’. There must be a way to talk to them and letting them know about the limits and have them obey that. I am still searching for ways to achieve this.

As for my husband, there are times in the past one year that I thought that we were too busy being a parent that we forgot about become a couple. Not sure how we are going to find some quality time with the hectic schedule that we haven’t been able to fully mastered yet – but we are going to take it easy and perhaps will start with watching a movie together haha.

There are still so many things that fill my mind – but I will process them as I go. Here’s for (hopefully) another blessed year in Berlin.

One evening in autumn, 

Day 2 – Your current relationship

Bismillah,

Continuing on my 30-days blog challenge, I am moving to the second-day story. Relationship.

Oh well, I am currently married – and I hope to stay that way even until Jannah 🙂 I have been married for 6 years now. And Husband is my high school sweetheart. We met back when we were only junior high schooler. He was my senior. A super smart senior who once got a perfect score for Math national exam.

We dated for almost 9 years before we got married back in 2012. We graduated from the same junior high and senior high – and even university. Some people questioned if I followed him since young and that made me sound like a stalker haha. In all honesty though, he did have some influence with me choosing my university and my major. Not to mention that his support helped me a lot. But I do like my major so I guess everything fell into the right places.

I also have two kids – Z who is 4 years old and M, a two-year-old ball of energy. Every day most of my exhaustion is because of them – but I am not complaining (often). Would not trade it for anything.

So to sum it up, I am a housewife, an engineer, and a mother. I am still struggling with multitasking all of them, but I am getting better.

See you on day 3!

 

Day 1 – About You

Bismillah,

Entah gimana ceritanya – saya bisa nyasar ke blognya mbak Sali. Kayaknya kemaren cuma random ngeklik blog orang di fungsi readernya WordPress sih.

Dan setelah browsing-browsing beberapa artikelnya, mendaratlah saya di postingan beliau tentang 30-Day Blog Challenge.

30-day-blog-challenge

Wah, menarik. Kebetulan lagi kehabisan ide buat ngeblog haha. Tapi gaklah, saya kayaknya ga akan sanggup one day one post (uhuk, Reisha, uhuk), mungkin ga akan bener-bener 30 day straight ngerjain challenge ini. Mungkin juga diselang seling postingan yang lain. Let’s see how it goes :p.

For day 1, it’s about yourself and the most recent photo of yours.

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Setelah 12 Tahun

Bismillah,

Jadi beberapa hari yang lalu ada yang woro-woro di whatsapp grup #1minggu1cerita kalau tanggal 27 Oktober ini adalah hari blogger nasional. Whoo.

Saya ga ngerasa pantas sih dibilang blogger karena isi blog ini kebanyakan ngalor ngidul plus recehan-recehan yang bisa sambil dibawa lalu aja, haha. Tapi mau ga mau jadi kepikiran, sudah berapa tahun ya saya mulai nulis online diary ini? Apa bedanya ya waktu saya pertama kali mulai nulis blog dengan sekarang? Tulisan-tulisan saya sih masih tetap recehan, tapi paling ngga, ada ga ya yang menuju arah yang lebih baik? #ciyeee

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Setelah Demam

Bismillah,

Ga terasa udah sebulan lebih ga nulis disini ya. Ya ampun. Drafts sih masih banyak tapi motivasi buat nulis somehow menguap begitu gampang bilang aja males sih Fan.

Anyway, sebenarnya beberapa minggu lalu saya udah ada draft tulisan yang siap buat di publish, tinggal di polish sedikit sama tambahin featured image, tapi qadarullah, pas minggu itu saya malah tumbang karena demam 3 hari. Suhu badan saya naik turun 39-40 – lumayan miserable sampai-sampai Suami saya bilang baru sekali ini beliau lihat saya sesakit itu selama 6 tahun nikah :’D
Continue reading “Setelah Demam”