Honestly, even I can’t believe it. But that’s what it is. Suddenly, one fine morning you will get up as a sixty-six-year-old, when you are still feeling like a thirty year old self. Then you look back at your life, and feel so blessed, spoiled and pampered by my/your Allah Mian. It is all due to His blessings that I’m living to write this post.
A few days back I sat and wrote all that I’ve done in my sixty fifth year. My dear it is quite awesome – even if I have to say it. There is no end to the blessings of Allah at any and every age and stage in life! God-willing, one day you too will be celebrating your same birthday, and you’ll feel like I’m feeling now. Hopefully, you will be even better because, you will belong to another time with even more benefits. (Insha Allah!)
Remember my sixtieth birthday?
It was so amazing, my children made sure I had a real blast here.
As I mentioned this to Mum, she said, ‘the coming year will be even better!’ (– that’s the kind of Mum I have!) Love her. But then, she is speaking from experience, at her 88th year. Masha Allah.
Highlights of my sixty-fifth year:
- The biggest thing is having my mother with me to bless me with her prayers, wit, humor and lovely presence. She turned eighty-eight in November 2022.
- I was still under treatment for my cancer (which had disappeared, after six months’ treatment,) last year in June/July till August twenty-fourth for Herceptin and Perjeta infusions in my dual targeted therapies.
- Just a month earlier, in May last year, I had gone to Skardu with friends, as you can see here and Dream trip to Skardu – Part II.
- In September 2022, I went on a ten-day trip to Istanbul Turkey, here. My kids wanted to celebrate my getting well after cancer. ? A memorable trip with Waliya and myself going from Pakistan, Nadiya and 2-1/2-year-old Nyra, coming from Halifax, Canada. Nataliya, came with Anya from Seattle, USA. Yes, it was an amazing trip. We all had the time of our lives.
- This year in April during Ramzan, I flew to Halifax, Canada to be with my Nadiya, Haaris and Nyra. I’ve written about the trip here, here and here.
- As far as side effects of chemo are concerned, I’m almost over most of them including getting my sense of taste back, neuropathy and muscular spasms are almost non-existent. Now, just the tinnitus is there to bug me.
- I’ve re-started my walks in F-9 park now.
- Learnt Yoga, and often do it.
- Gone completely organic in my diet, and given up sugar completely, and avoid taking roties and take gluten-free bajra and makai roties.
- Started a successful vegetable patch in my home, growing winter and summer veggies at home, including spinach, tomatoes, okra, broccoli, ice-bergs and herbs.
- Went to Okara to check on Mum’s farm in February this year. My friend Riffat accompanied me and we stayed overnight in the Officer’s Mess there.
- Bought a mare for my mother’s farm. We have named her Malika, which means, Queen.
- The mare I bought from Mona Depot called Beauty is expecting now, (finally,) Need lots of prayers for her now. I wrote about her over here Thrill of buying a mare.
- My daughter Nadiya & Haaris are expecting their second child. May Allah bless them with a healthy addition to their lovely family.
- Waliya, my youngest daughter and her husband Faizan are expecting their first baby in October this year.
- I’m looking forward to having two grandsons in my upcoming year.
- In my excitement, I’ve revived my crochet and knitting skills to make cute sweaters for Nyra and the expected babies.
- Haven’t painted as much as I’d like to, but have had amazing sales of paintings.
- Met Aliya Janjua, an online friend of mine after knowing her for four years. She had invited me as a guest at her podcast in California, and she was the one with whom I did my first bridal package four years ago.
- Started much more work on my YouTube channel. More regular interviews are being conducted now and I’ve recently learnt how to upload shorts also.
- After Covid19, I’ve now started reviving my Shireen’s Studio activities, here. held writers and poets meet ups, where everyone shares their work. Sometimes we invite guest speakers to speak about a topic. Today, there is going to be a talk on The Purpose of man through Quran, by Mr. Ali Asghar Azeemi. We have often invited Abbas Hussain for his spiritual talks also. Another time, we had Jimmy Engineer share his thoughts. I’ve written about them here and here.
- Waliya and Faizan moved into the upper floor of my house, so I have them as my most adorable tenants. It is amazing having them so close, and so I can go to other places, leaving Mum in Waliya’s care.
- Mum remained well throughout this year, except the eight-day stay in hospital last year in July. (It was the first time she had been admitted in hospital after delivering me!)
- I met an old friend Nasirah in Halifax after 47 years! She is into quilt making, and I managed to get two quilts from her, one for Nadiya’s baby boy-to-be, and one for Anya.
- Last year, I was invited by the President Arif Alvi and his wife Samina Alvi to speak in the President’s house about my cancer journey. You can know more about it here.
- Waliya gifted me a cute kitten named Misty, after the death of my Fuzzy, my grey Persian cat.
- My friend Sadia and I often go on our late night drives, with one of us at the wheel.
- Recently, I went for two days to Donga Gali with friends.
- Lately, I’ve put real tree branches in drawing room, dining room, and my own bedroom, and lit them up with fairy lights. Has an impact. ?
- As you know, the daily food drives have continued for over three years now. That feels great. I’m so grateful to my donors for their ongoing generosity.
- By now we have already helped in marriages of 212 underprivileged couples. In another few days, it would be 222. This project has been very popular, and people find our humble offering very useful. We give a dinner set, kitchen and other utensils. My followers, send me their beautiful pre-loved clothes, also some new ones, for my brides. Many, send me their very expensive wedding dresses, which I give to our brides. So, around 8-10 dresses are given to each bride. More about my bridal project here. So, we help in around 8-10 weddings every month. This month it would be eleven weddings probably.
- I have a cocker spaniel (actually a German Spaniel female, Duchess, who I really like and is a real character.
- My staff of five persons are also very efficient and help me make my life so productive. Actually, my mother and I have this staff, a maid comes thrice a day for her, and is on call as she lives nearby. A cleaning maid to keep the house clean, a gardener to keep my garden in order.
- There are many subsidiary skilled folks who make my life easy with one phone call. Most of them have worked for me for over ten years. The plumber Nadeem, the painter Dastagir, the all-purpose man Jamshaid who is great at adding a door here or there, or doing up my kitchen cabinets. The lock man, who keeps the locks in order, the UPS guy who takes care of all the batteries in the house, (due to regular power failures we have an ongoing alternative system which switches to making all tvs, and a bulb and fan working in every room.) Ooops! I think I’m boring you to tears now. Well, now most homes have shifted to Solar energy. I’ve still got to do that.
- My grand-daughter Anya in Seattle is in Middle school now. I was there when she went to school in the beginning. Now she is eleven and one of the outstanding students there.
- The three sons-in-law are doing well by grace of God. I’m so proud of them and pray for their well being always. It is always a pleasure to communicate with them. They are all so talented. I’ve managed to interview the younger two – Haaris and Faizan, hopefully will do the third one when we meet next.
- There was a time in this year when I had three daughters in their thirties. Now, one of them has turned forty. (Can’t believe it, I remember when I turned forty recently!)
- As you may know, I share my birthday with my youngest, Waliya. Happy birthday to her too. She is blooming at thirty-one today. Spending a week in Malaysia these days. My prayers and best wishes are with her.
- Hey, yesterday, for the first time in my life I got a full body massage done, along with manicure and pedicure. All done at home. So I guess, I’m going to get this done regularly now.
- Wearing wigs is my thing now. So, I’m just enjoying it, since my hair hasn’t come back properly.
I know I got carried away above, but all these are the blessings of age and time.
Life continues to be funny:
One thing is sure, many silly things do happen in life even now. When I was younger I’d think that grown ups are almost perfect. Well, nothing of the sort. We make goof ups, blunders and face embarrassing situations also. Only difference is we have learnt to not talk about it too much now. So, that is the only smartness we learn with time.
Yes, the body which underwent the grueling cancer treatments is on the mend now. You pick up quite a few war wounds on the way, so my knee isn’t all that well either. Yet, I’m fit enough to do all the things mentioned in above highlights. So, its pretty cool. Best thing is that my weight is 65 kg, (Instead of 72-74 earlier.) I guess I can try to get back to 62 kg. Well, that can be my target this year. My height is 5’2”, so sixty kg would be best I guess.
So grateful to Allah:
Every blessing (and every hardship) is from Allah. Because both have an important role to play in our lives. So, I have so much to be grateful for. Can’t thank Him enough.
Remember, lines of destiny are in our own hands for a reason.
So, I wrote the above, before my actual birthday . Here are the highlights of that amazing day of my birthday.
Lunch at Islamabad Club
Had lunch hosted by my Home Economics class fellow Azra Nazir, along with my close friends Naila and Farkhanda.
A talk by Mr. Ali Asghar Azeemi at my place:
Enough to say, that I’m extremely happy. ? Alhamdolillah!
Hope you can also have a meaningful and satisfactory life marked by beautiful birthdays. Stay blessed, my Reader.