Put First Things First

(Hanie blogging from her 12th floor’s new office in the city, or as George has put it – in “downtown”) 

……and so it goes in Covey’s 3rd Habit. It preaches us to be focus, prioritize and do the most important things first.

I have not blogged in a while due to the busy schedules I have been keeping for the past many weeks. George came back to sort out our home arrangements back in Malaysia and ended up extending his stay for a couple more weeks. We went for our much delayed mini-honeymoon to Langkawi which was fantastic. We literally soaked up the sun as the weather was a soaring-high 36C on certain days. The evenings were spent talking to each other till the wee hours of the morning. The earlier glitches with Airasia was all but almost (I said “almost”!!) forgotten.

The highlight of the tour came in a form of my dearest husband singing songs to me in the karaoke of the beach resort of which we hogged for the entire evening. The pretty tea set which he bought in Kuah town was a bonus and that came as a surprise.









It was a fine balancing act for us to manage between the domestic chores and the life of a newly married couple. But somehow things just simply fall into places as if we have been doing this for our entire lives.

Weekdays were spent networking and attending dinners with other business communities and expat groups. We met some really wonderful people along the way and at the same time recognizing and embracing the new challenges we have as a couple.

George and I played tourists as well right in the middle of Kuala Lumpur. It takes my husband who lives 10,000 miles away to teach me transport schedules in my own city. We walked from China Town all the way to KLCC. Eventhough it took us about 5 hours to reach our final destination on that hot, sunny Sunday, but along the way, I get to know my husband a little better. I didnt know that the sweaty and unglamorous me in my Sunday garb and slip-ons could invite some wonderful responses from my husband. Right in the middle of the busy streets of Kuala Lumpur, no less.

The Teenager has been busy with her classes and social activities. George and I organized a belated birthday BBQ for her during the first weekend he came back home. It went great. A bunch of noisy and hungry teenagers invaded the house. We slowly retreated to our quiet corner so as not to get in their way for the evening. I was told they slept around 5.00 am.

I started off at my new job earlier this month too. Different culture from anything that I have ever experienced with an equally dynamic lady boss. And I love every minute of it.

Thinking back, these were my way of “putting first things first” ahead of anything else. There are only two people in this whole wide world that I care about right now and they are with me. They are my “first things” no matter what other things come my way. Even my blogging needs to take a step back.


Updating an old adage…


There’s an adage that says something to the effect of “behind every great man stands a great woman”. Well, in my case, the following is so much closer to the truth and reflects how I feel about things:

“Beside every great man stands a great woman…”

My wife and I were at dinner this past Tuesday night with one of her friends, and some people that we had never met before. Such occasions can be tense and stilted affairs, as people stand back to scope out “the vibe” before deciding if and how the ice should be broken. I have to admit that I am usually one of the “vibe scopers”, and I was holding back at the start of this event. Enter my wife, who jumps in with both feet to start up an immensely interesting conversation with one of our dinner companions. I was in awe of the way she got the conversation going, listened intently to the other person, identified common ground between her work and his, and then shared her own vast experience and knowledge. I felt such an incredible admiration and respect for my wife while watching and listening to her. I couldn’t help but glow inside as I recalled the day of our marriage, when this wonderful woman had so happily and enthusiastically agreed to share her life with me. This woman is my true equal – walking not a step behind – but right by my side through the rest of life’s journey together, Insha Allah.

Tuesday night, I fell in love with my wife all over again…