30

Long time no post.  The trial that I’ve been working on for 2 years and that has been consuming my life for the last few months has finally begun.  I’ll probably be going down to Chicago next week to assist.

Today I turn 30 and I’m having a third of a life crisis (inshAllah I can hope that Allah [swt] grants me 60 more years).  We celebrated my Grandma’s 90th birthday this last weekend.  I was a late birthday present for her – 1 day after her 60th, I came into this world.

More than a hundred people came by to wish her well.  I can only pray that in 60 years, I am still happy and healthy, and that I have so many people that love me.  And, I hope that I am still worshiping Allah [swt] and striving to follow the path He gave our beloved Messenger [saws].

My third of a life crisis is many fold.  I’ve been a muslim for more than a decade – nearly my entire adult life.  And yet, I’m stunted in my spiritual growth.  I need to stop and rework my plans deen wise.

I need to get back on track with healthy eating.  I started some new medication that I think is causing me to gain weight.  And I’m not eating nearly as well as I have in the past.  That happens when you work 80 hours a week.

I need to exercise.  I haven’t been to the gym in 2 months.  I want to start running again, and run a marathon before I turn 40.

Once I lose weight, inshaAllah, I want to start to dress “nicer.”  These days, I look like a dumpy, chubby shlub who wears hijab.  Not the best dawah.

I want to become a socializer at my cat shelter, to help timid and feral cats become kitties that anyone would love to take home.

I want to spend more time with my cat.  Squeaky is desperately lonely without me.  And I miss her terribly.  This picture is from last Friday, when we finally had some time together outside.  Even when I get home at midnight, she still runs to the front door, thinking we’ll be going outside.  I hate to disappoint her.

I want to learn how to thread my sewing machine.  And sew sew sew so I can make costumes.

I want to develop patience to make more complex cross stitch.  I stitched my brother a Firefly piece for his birthday, and he really liked it.  Picture forthcoming inshaAllah.

I want to become a better cook.  I love to cook, and again, haven’t had any time to do that in recent months.

I want to spend time outdoors.  I used to camp and backpack.  I want to do that again.  Nature is a huge sign of Allah [swt], and I want to be there to see it all.  See that picture?  It makes me say subhanAllah!

Yes, there is a lot that I want in my life.  Oh Allah [swt], give me the life, the energy, the strength and the time to accomplish what is best in my life.  Ameen.

this week from my ipod

zumba zumba zumba! zumba zumba zumba!

The title should be read with a conga line lilt.

Have I mentioned how much I love zumba?  It’s the only form of exercise where I reach the end of the hour and I’m like where did the time go and awww, I want more!

There were 2 other sisters at zumba last night, which gave me warm fuzzy feelings.

And speaking of uber cool sisters and zumba -I wanted an adventure and I wanted a job’

OTTAWA — Wafa Dabbagh is many things. She is a tiny, bubbly bundle of energy who loves Zumba fitness. She prays five times a day, keeps an immaculate home and bakes a cake for her beloved neighbours each weekend. She has a bachelor’s degree, a master’s in business administration and a cancer diagnosis, the last of which she treats like a bothersome cold.

Dabbagh is also a pioneer, the first member of the Canadian Armed Forces — and still only one of a handful — to wear a hijab, the Muslim headcovering for women.

walking the walk…

…is harder than talking the talk.

I’ve recently become reacquainted with my inner tree hugger.  While I wouldn’t say that I’ve been blase about environmental issues this last decade, I didn’t burn with the same fire and passion I had in high school.

With my (re) commitment to living health leading to further investigation of the disastrous (and unislamic) system of factory farming and the emergence of fellow muslim tree huggers, I’ve decided it’s time to start walking the walk.  And I do mean literally walking.

In the past, I’ve dreamed about doing something grand and glorious, crusading to solve world problems on a large scale.

But, I’ve realized that I may not be cut out to do that, but I can make sure that my actions are worthy of being viewed by Allah (swt) on the Day of Judgment.

If I can get somewhere by bus and/or walking, why should I waste resources driving myself?

Eat, drink and clothe yourselves. But by doing so, do not be wasteful and arrogant.

[Nasai]

Alhamdulilah, we’re blessed to live in a metro area that has decent public transportation, so I have the option of taking mass transit and/or walking to most places I need to go.  The new Casa Squeaky is smack dab in the middle of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, which puts me within a 25 minute bus ride of work, a 5 minute bus ride + 10 minute walk to my cat shelter, a 10 minute bus ride to the grocery store and a 10 minute bus ride + 10 minute walk to the gym.

With my new workout schedule calling for me to go to the gym 5 times a day, it means I’m on the bus, a lot, and I’m walking, a lot.  20 minutes round trip walking to the gym might not seem like much, but in the dead of Minne-snow-da winter, it’s pure torture.

My nafs keeps telling me, take the car, take the car, it’s only a few miles, what would it matter?  And my frozen face begs, please, for the love of God, take the car!

But this is my jihad.  I’m blessed to have transportation options when so many do not, and I need to struggle with myself to make the best choice for this planet and for my body.  Onward and upward I slog, through rain and snow and sleet and hail or wind chills well below 0 (all of which we’ll probably be getting in the next week or so).

i’ve fallen in love…and a flashback

So I’m now 100% in love with Zumba.  Alhamdulilah they started offering it at my gym, so now every Wednesday I can pretend that I can actually dance, and burn a ton of calories doing so.  FYI, I totally cannot dance, but that’s the beauty of zumba – you can dance horribly, but so long as you do it with lots of enthusiasm and energy, no one cares.

The flashback came when we started a bhangra number, and low and behold, it was this:

It was all I could do to keep myself from breaking down from laughing too hard.  Anyone else remember when this popped up all over the place a few years ago?