Survival tactics in Pakistan – or anywhere else! When the going gets tough, the tough get tougher. How much tougher? Hmmm … lets find out.
So you know, life has been basically fine. But the office procedures, after my father’s death, have been literally killing me.
When my Dad passed away in February this year, naturally it was traumatic for us all. Having to manage everything, single handedly was tough. Thanks to my personal enemies, I’ve got to stay strong at all times. Which is good too. May Allah bless them ! 😉 They keep me alert. They keep me happy, they make me value all that I have in spite of their futile efforts.
I discovered, no one has to be mean to anyone in our country (or any other.) The ‘system’s and ‘procedures’ make sure you are tested and tried at every nook and corner.
See other’s pain:
Right in the middle of constant stamp papers and affidavits, I stood up and looked.
I realized, my problems are nothing, compared to those of so many who came to console us. So many who stood by me, (online and in my life,) had real life horrific issues of their own. Yet, they came. Some fighting cancer, some just recovering from their own losses. One had the loss of twins, after going through so much to have the babies.
So many things.
So, what am I getting at? Knowing you are not alone, helps. Seeing people worse off than yourself, makes you realize, how silly you are being! Also, it leads to giving more sadqa and charity -which is even better.
Thanks to the help of my amazing followers on Instagram, website and Facebook pages, I’ve had donors providing for persons who really needed help. I had done my homework. This smile on the face of Shamim from Kanewal, mother of three daughters, made my day. She made me forget my aching body that day, when you all had given her things for her daughter’s upcoming marriage. Every mother would like to see off her daughter in nice clothes, taking a few nice necessities with her. (Yes, I had put oil in my hair, and when my helper Hasnain made this video call, I was thrilled to see all your contributions had reached her safely.) She lives alone, supported by the pay of her one working daughter. Her mother lives with her, her husband passed away, sometime back.
So, let me share what I’ve learnt:
Three ways of dealing with rough times:
Do what has to be done methodically:
- Restrict timings allotted to the added chores resulting from the trauma. Believe me, Rome wasn’t built in a day or two! No matter what people say, it will take time.
- So, do one thing at a time.
- Keep it all in a box in your mind. Do not let it spill into your entire day/life.
- Do not get upset when it takes longer than expected. It will.
- Know, that it is not just in Pakistan, everywhere, there are a lot of hassles.
- I had allotted one month for the chores. It’s now over five-months, still the work isn’t done.
- Prioritize wisely: for instance, my mother was most important. So, at first I just focused on her, and making her feel better. Then in conserving her valuables. Then doing what had to be done.
- Give a daily time-slot to the added chores, after that take a break or get back to your own life.
- Forgive yourself for any mistakes.
2. Keep your faith in humanity and systems:
- Know that there are good people everywhere, and sometimes it is our own fault. Learn the systems going on in the organization, and go accordingly first.
- We have to get in sync with the ‘system’, learn as much as we can about it. Follow their rules first. For instance, hospitals have an operation day, and OPD day and so on. No point in getting angry if you went on the wrong day to see the surgeon.
- Yesterday, I had a tough time, I had gone about 28 km to Rawalpindi for second time. It was a real suspense thriller situation. The work wasn’t getting done, instead of getting personal with the man in charge, I just mentioned, that there is some problem, even though he isn’t to blame, nor was I to blame; but how to solve it? He was trying his best to help me but problem wasn’t getting solved. I was being shunted between two offices. Finally, he thought of something, which cleared out everything within minutes. Otherwise, I was to go to the courts. (That’s equal to saying, it won’t be done.) Alhamdolillah. Just keep praying in your heart.
3. Don’t leave morale boosters!
- Things that give you a boost: your prayers, siparah, meeting friends, doing artwork, reading, music or whatever.
- Your normal good-deeds which you used to do, before the big trauma happened. Do not stop these because now you are extra busy, or financially challenged, even then. Allah is there to take care of you. You can reduce the time, or amount if necessary, but don’t stop.
- Repeat gratitude list: Thank Allah for the trauma also: Firstly, know that God knows better than any of us. We are human and cannot see far enough. Accept His verdict. Find reasons why it is better this way. For instance, in my father’s case, I know, Allah saved my father from some very unpleasant surgical incisions which were being planned. He is in a far better place now. Also, Masha Allah he led a full and worthy life. Fought for his land and offered his life for it, twice: during 1965 and 1970 wars.
- Make time for giving relief to yourself: Since it is going to take time, if you give up your happy meals, your exercise, your meetings with friends, sacrifice everything, and you will end up depressed, suppressed and miserable. I’m telling you the ‘systems’ are so lethal everywhere, that you have to keep your nerves, your morale and your spirits high. Pamper yourself: Do, that pampering which you’ve never even done before. (My sweet follower and donor Alia Janjua pampered me in such a sweet way that it truly boosted me up at a time when I really needed it.) I guess, she knew I’d never do it for myself.
- Stop all negative thoughts or talks: Just don’t allow this within your own self, nor with your friends. Be positive, you will get out of this phase in life. There will be more problems later on also, so keep your stamina for that too! 😉
Believe me, keeping our own sanity and spirits high is more important, than any ‘work’.
Hello Shireen Aunti.
I loved the way you expressed your views on this topic and especially the ML and DFM terms stated in there. It’s completely true
Hi, Sonia Imran,
I’m glad you loved it. Is it because you’ve had a taste of it too? Sigh! I just hope one day, sanity prevails….