Things I love

  • ~Louis
  • ~Family&Friends
  • ~IceCream
  • ~MyKindle
  • ~CoffeeBreaks
  • ~Sparkles
  • ~Knitwear
  • ~Vanilla
  • ~AllThingsLUSH~
  • GossipGirlxoxo~
  • Chips&Ketchup~

26 January 2016

Renewed Year, Renewed Me.

Unlike some, I don't have a love or hate relationship with New Year Resolutions. I like giving myself some "to do" tasks but I don't hold myself to a time or worry that I didn't sign up to the gym on 1st January (note: instead I decided to sign up in November and pay three months' worth of membership already...oh dear). After all, we set ourselves tasks throughout the year so I figure this is the same and there's no point getting hung up about not sporting a six pack in time for Cadbury Cream Egg season.

Having said that, this year I'm setting myself 3 resolutions and one massive overhaul. It will be life changing. Not pulling a reverse Caitlin Jenner folks, no, I'm going on a journey of self-nurture and care. But first, my 3 resolutions:

  • Give blood - many years ago I read an article about resolutions and it suggested how about resolving to donate blood? Every year since then I've made this resolution but have never been able to (usually because I'd been in some "exotic" country that year). This will be the year.
  • Run 10km - I've downloaded the app so I must be serious about this, right? I'm not a natural runner. I want to be. I'm angry at my genetic make up for not being one (this is crazy, I know, it's like my "why don't I have blue eyes?" phase - there was one, it was long and ridiculous, ask my mom). Anyway, the most I've ever jogged in one go was 6km and that was after years of regular jogging. I won't let that phase me. I truly believe it is achievable in a year and so I'm giving myself 2016 to achieve this goal. Maybe at some point I'll sign up to a race to motivate myself. Not maybe. I will.
  • Crow pose in yoga - at first I thought I should set myself the goal of a head stand (the funky one where you're supported by your forearms) but then I decided crow pose instead...this had nothing to do with my lack of faith in myself! Ultimately though, I want to build it up slowly and want the result to be incorporating more yoga in my life. So, this is resolution 3.

All fairly achievable resolutions in my opinion and I'm super happy with having come up with them.

As for the overhaul.

I'm a believer in energies - negative, positive, internal, external, universal, local, mind, body, soul. For a while now I've not been taking care of myself as well as I should. Self-care is a funny concept. First of all, I shy away from dwelling on the idea too much because I recognise that I am privileged and live a wonderful life therefore, surely, I shouldn't have any "issues", right? Wrong.

Secondly, I find that some people are naturally better at balancing their thoughts, lives and priorities. They give weight to the "right" things. Where this is most apparent to me is when I see people committing fully to something and reaping the rewards. I've steered away from multi-tasking for the past few years now (and if you can, I would highly recommend it). Problem is, I don't fully commit because my mind wanders off to the silliest of places. Let me give you a couple of examples:

Attending an interesting talk

"...this talk is great, so glad I came...I hope I don't have an ugly concentrating face...the speaker is so eloquent, will I ever be that good?...oh if only I was better at [xyz]....omg he/she is only 26 and already this good at what he/she does! I asking the right questions?...oh no did I focus too much on myself when I was talking to [whoever I was talking to]..."

Going to a gym class:

"...well done me for signing up to this class, I am going to give it my all....ugh my legs hurt...will I get cyclist thighs?! I don't want that...look at that person at the front, they know all the sequences!..I wonder if I can justify a burger now? that tights & top combination, wonder where she got it from...oh dear I have no coordination..I'm failing at this class..yes, I'm officially failing at life..."

You see what I mean? Rather than allowing the positive energy to flow, I'm blocking it out with my constant talking, which includes self-doubt! Which is why I need to change it. I feel (correct me if I'm wrong) that people who commit to an action / event are more engaged, thus benefit more, both short-term and long-term. And I think this is directly related to being a more balanced person and having the confidence to enjoy what you are doing in the moment and grow from it. 

So, more balance = happier Saba.

How will I set to achieve this you ask?

1. I will schedule time in my calendar! So far this is working well - it's nice to see what's coming up and have something to look forward to. Where I can improve is by allowing myself enough time to do what I scheduled to do. Sometimes I don't want to say "no" so what ends up happening is I over schedule. I try to please everyone and end up pleasing no-one, or worse, end up with a cold at home cancelling plans and feeling rather silly for it. How many of us are guilty of over-scheduling, eh?!

2. Self-reflection, yoga and Reiki. In addition to time spent with L, family and friends and also myself, I want to use some of my free time in actively healing myself. Even though I fully believe this is what I need, while I write this I keep thinking "there are billions of people who are surviving and happy without any of this extra self-attention". It's ridiculous. To start off with, how do I know who is "happy" or not? Also, if I want to positively affect those who are less fortunate than me then surely I should get to a place where I can assist, and if I'm not yet in that place, shouldn't I pro-actively head in that direction? And so, I know I must focus on myself to finally be able to support those around me in a considerate and genuine manner. Reiki is a practice I've heard a lot about from a very close friend of mine. I've always been curious and this year I am going to get some dates in the diary to seek a Reiki therapist. Honestly, I can't wait. More on that later I'm sure!

3. Be present and lessen the over analysing. Say "yes" more often. Stop worrying if you're in fact enjoying the moment or not. 

And there they are. My resolutions for 2016. I'm proud to say that since I've started writing this post I've done 7 days of yoga (30 Day Yoga with Adriene Challenge) and I feel GOOD. And once I've gotten rid of this cough I'll be utilising my running app & jogging leggings. 

I'm hoping to be able to share some self-reflection on here (ie another self-obsessed person on the Internet talking about themselves *yawn*) if anything, to keep me on track. If you have any resolutions or thoughts, please do share as I love hearing what journey everyone else is embarking on.

With lots of love,


06 January 2016

Hello there.

I remember the night that Louis declared….

... “the Saudis are bombing Sana’a”

I was awake due to my full bladder, having gone to bed without any sign of distress or imminent conflict in Yemen. It took all of my willpower to avoid checking my Jordanian mobile phone, knowing that if I was contacted on that, then things were bad. Instead, I chose to send a WhatsApp to my mother to see if they were ok and convinced myself to go back to sleep, thinking that whatever would happen will happen and I’ll find out in the morning.

When I woke up, I checked the news. It was true. The Saudis had decided to start bombing Sana’a overnight, while people were asleep in their beds, thinking they were going to wake up to another day of the Yemeni chaos they’d gotten used to over the past two years. I stared at the screen in disbelief. I started following the story. For the first time ever I felt angry at the world. I felt betrayed, abandoned, shocked. I managed to speak to my mother daily, but the situation was deteriorating. In a ridiculous effort to brand this ridiculous operative, the attacks were called "Operation Decisive Storm". I'm not quite sure what was so decisive about this operation, save that they could've decided to storm their libraries instead of their weapon halls.

Shortly after, I posted some thoughts on social media, feelings I still have over 9 months later: 

...I don’t know why I feel it’s so important to post my opinion, but I guess in a time where I feel so helpless, this is the only way I know how to express...These countries ["the coalition"] have sufficient problems of their own  -perhaps consider spending the millions that you are destroying my country in fixing up yours (or mine if you insist on spending money). You stand for “democracy” yet none of you are democratic...The world has disappointed me so much over the last few days. I feel so, so, so sad. I’m heartbroken...I feel no sense of justice. And I don’t want anyone to start claiming that Syria or Palestine or whoever are worse or better or whatever. This has nothing to do with them. This is about Yemen. And the World has failed us...

I read article after article, trying to understand what was going on. I think what bothers me the most about this war, well any war, is that it is all political. It sprouted out of (seemingly) nothing and there's no end in sight. I'm reminded that I can't blame the Saudi's fully, and I can accept that. I can accept that Yemen was already in a bad place, that we were most likely heading towards a civil war. But ultimately, it was our civil war. It bothers me that, in a country where the gun to man ration is 4:1, the population witnessed what was relatively a bloodless revolution. The fact is, us Yemenis are fairly laid back people. We are simple and are just about getting by with what we know. And here are these power drunk, egotistical, filthy rich neighbours who have decided to play a game with our lives.

We are all bleeding for Yemen. I can’t begin to imagine the fear that the people still living in the country are feeling. Less than a month into the war, we started discussing evacuation with my mother and siblings in Sana'a. It was not something we ever thought we'd have to discuss, assess, resort to. What made me most sad about that, however, was the fact that millions of people throughout history have been through this. They've had to abandon their homes, their lives, and sometimes, their families. And yet, this gave me a weird sense of calm - knowing that my family were going through something so many before them have had to endure, survive and ultimately, prevail over. And yet it made me so sad at the state of the world. Of course I know that I stopped to analyse my feelings towards this because my family were being affected. Of course it's selfish. But it doesn't make me any less heartbroken for those who've been through it before.

My family have now managed to leave Yemen, not without the stories that inevitably arise from any evacuation quest ever undertaken.

When I started this post back in April 2015…let that sink in…I was going to recount some events that others have shared with me and photos from family members of their houses being destroyed. But now, over 200 days since the first bomb was dropped, I’m not sure that’s sufficient. Truly, I don’t know what is. I'll read the news stories and hear family accounts. We'll all see horrendous photos being posted of the inconceivable humanitarian situation and wonder why any of it happened in the first place. And maybe one day, nowhere in the near future unfortunately, those in power will finally realise that the only way to live in a peaceful world is to stop weapons from ever being made, invested in and mostly, profited from. 

Selfishly, I had to publish this post, to move on a little bit. I’ll bury my head in the sand and focus on myself to survive another hour, day, week, month. I’ve never felt as confused as I have in 2015, when I truly grasped the concept of political games and how, logical and attainable answers are ignored because those in power have their own agendas to fulfil.

Yemen will never be forgotten, because anyone who’s spent any time there has a unique love story that will forever live on. I’m not sure how the Yemeni people will come out of this - they remained optimistic for so long but now have every reason to give up hope. The dust won’t settle anytime soon. I hope that when it does, there will still be remnants of the Yemen I once knew.

I start writing here more often again. I have an inkling that my ponderings will be more sombre, but I promise to include some random photos and musings in between so as not to push anyone over the edge!

Here’s hoping 2016 will be kind to us all.

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