September’s Misses and Kisses

This morning I happened to glance at my star focus in one the local dailies and it read:

It is hard to explain what had happened to you this month. All those strange lows have ended up with an incredible high.

This pretty much sums up this month’s ‘Misses and Kisses’. My son is happily settled in his university. I now have some kind of pleasant work-life balance. I have maintained my self-imposed discipline in blogging and made my friends and family happy with at least some of my posts. Above all, I have made peace with an overheated issue that had been festering for months and all of this overshadows the minor ‘misses’ of this month.

Now, looking forward to the bright and beautiful fall month of October.

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Sweet September: Luminary Lubnas

I began the “Sweet September” series with a wonderful woman called Susan Boyle and I am now finishing the series with  ‘Salaam’ to some  ‘Luminary Lubnas’ who have fascinated me.

Here is Lubna Ahmed Al-Hussein of Sudan. Oh, yes you read the name right, Sudan indeed! She, a journalist was detained under the Sudanese criminal code for “sensational dressing up.” oohh sensational dressing up, what was she wearing, a bikini, a thong, see through sheers, you ask..? Actually, she was fully clothed, head to toe, from the head scarf you see in the picture to loose fitting shirt and trousers leaving only parts of her hands bare.  But according to the law of her land, she committed an offense.

Lubna Ahmed Al-Hussein is on trial for wearing trousers in public. The offense is Clause #152/1991 of the Sudanese criminal code, which carries a maximum sentence of 40 lashes. Ten of the 12 other women picked up with her in a restaurant chose to accept 10 lashes, but Lubna and two others asked for a lawyer and started to speak out.

Rather than accept this oppression, she stood up for her rights and her courage drew an international outcry. Her trial was very much followed by the international community. A judge later convicted her of public indecency and fined her $200 while sparing the lashing. She, however, refused to pay the fine and went willingly to prison for a month for not complying with the judgement. She was released after one night’s stay in prison.

Lubna went to the trial and to the prison wearing the same trousers that she wore when she was charged. And when asked why she chose to fight back, she replied,

This is not a case about me wearing pants. This is a case about annulling the article that addresses women’s dress code under the title of indecent acts. This is my battle!.

…. and for that, Salaam Lubna Ahmed!


Another shining Lubna is Sheikha Lubna Khalid al Qasimi, the Minister of Abu Dhabi.

She has the distinction of being the first female government minister in the country’s history. She long ago broke through the glass ceiling as CEO of Tejari.com, a rapidly expanding regional e-commerce exchange headquartered in Dubai. She is a  popular speaker on women’s issue, Islam and internet commerce and is one of the Current 100 Most Influential Women in the World, and rightly so!

From within the parameters of her traditional and religious confines, she has found the courage, intelligence and spirit to break through the binds and for that Salaam Sheikha Lubna !!

That brings me to yet another luminary who fascinated me,  Lubna Olayan of Saudi Arabia.

Olayan, is CEO of Olayan Financing Co., responsible for 40-odd companies throughout the Middle East. The estimated family worth is more than $10 billion. Her position as a major private investor gives her substantial influence in the Kingdom. Unfazed by the plunge in the Saudi stock market in 2004-05, Olayan Financing continued to reinforce its presence. It teamed with Credit Suisse to open a brokerage firm in Riyadh, it became a major shareholder in Saudi Arabia’s first low-cost airline. Olayan also sits on several boards worldwide, including advertising and PR giant WPP, Europe’s leading business school INSEAD, and the Arab Learning Initiative. She is also a member of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum, and the International Advisory Board of the Council on Foreign Relations.

She lives in Riyadh with her family and also finds time for several charitable organizations.  Again for breaking through several traditional and religious practices and for being a role model for many young women in veil, Salaam Lubna Olayan!!!.

Sweet September: So, You Think You Are Happy Ladies?

Marcus Buckingham, leading expert in personal strengths and best selling author has an interesting article in ‘The Huffington Post on the findings of his recent study  ‘What The Happiest And Most Successful Women Do Differently’

Marcus says,….

you know better than anyone whether you’re happy. You know whether you feel you’re living the life you were supposed to live. So, to those of you reading this and thinking “I can be happier. I want to be happier in my life,” here’s the prescription. Here’s what you can do to find your strongest life.

But first he recommends to self-diagnose the kind of life you’re living by trying these questions on yourself:

1. How often do you get to do things you really like to do?
2. How often do you find yourself actively looking forward to the day ahead?
3. How often do you get so involved in what you’re doing you lose track of time?
4. How often do you feel invigorated at the end of a long, busy day?
5. How often do you feel an emotional high in your life?

And what did he find in his study?. He says,

Martha Washington, the first first lady, said that, “The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our disposition and not on our circumstances.” Our research certainly confirmed this. The women who could answer positively to the questions above had, on some level, simply decided that they were going to be happy. They made that choice.

He adds, …” However, more specifically, women:

  • Focus on moments more than goals, plans or dreams: Certain moments in your life create in you strongly positive emotions–let’s call these “strong-moments.” Not all moments are strong-moments–some moments spark negative emotions, while some don’t spark any emotions at all. But when you do experience a strong-moment, it is authentic. It is true, in the sense that the emotions you feel are true. You may not know exactly what you should do with your emotions, or what label you should give each emotion, but you know how a specific moment made you feel. You know this more certainly than you know virtually anything else in your life.  …..When you commit your life to being true to yourself, you are not committing to some far-flung destiny, some grand dream, or some disembodied list of values, no matter how worthy. Instead you are committing to the truth embodied in this strong moment, the truth that this specific moment, for no rational reason, energizes you.
  • Accept what they find:….Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation, giving up on your dreams. In fact, more often than not, accepting which moments strengthen you and which don’t reveals to you exactly how you can live out your dreams, whether at home or at work. It means not only being comfortable in your own skin, but also being creative in your own skin.
  • Strive for imbalance:…They seemed to realize that not only was a perfect equilibrium nigh on impossible to achieve, but also that even if they did manage to achieve it, it wouldn’t necessarily fulfill them anyway–when you are balanced, you are stationary, holding your breath, trying not to let any sudden twitch or jerk pull you too far one way or the other. You are at a standstill. Balance is the wrong life goal. Instead, do as these women did, and strive for imbalance. Pinpoint the strong-moments in each aspect of your life and then gradually target or tilt your life toward them. This means being as deliberate as you can about making them happen. It means investigating them when they do happen, looking at them from new perspectives, and celebrating them. Above all, it means giving them the power of your attention.
  • Learn to say ‘Yes’: So often you are told: “You must learn to say ‘No.'” But, to live your strongest life, do the opposite. Learn to say, “Yes.” Yes, to the strong-moments in each part of your life. Yes, to the people who help you create these moments. Yes, to your feelings as these moments happen. Say “Yes” with enough focus and force, and yours will not be a balanced life, but it will be a full life.

Marcus goes on to recommend the Strong Life Test: Think of it as an internal compass. It measures you on nine life roles– Advisor, Caretaker, Creator, Equalizer, Influencer, Motivator, Pioneer, Teacher, and Weaver. More than likely, your life calls on you to play all nine roles some of the time, but, even so, you are not a blank slate–your personality doesn’t shift and morph according to the demands of every unique situation. Instead, as we all do, you have some consistent patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving, patterns that are distinctive and that remain stable across time and situations. These patterns come together in a Lead Role, a role you return to time and again, a role that you and your closest family and friends recognize as the core of who you are. Your Lead Role will help you to know where to look, in any domain of your life (as a spouse, relative, mother, or employee), for the kind of moments that will strengthen you the most, invigorate you the most, bring you joy, excitement, and fun. The Strong Life Test doesn’t give you all the answers, but it tells you where to start.

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My 2 cents:  I think all of the above strongly applies to men too because I do see/hear about a lot of men, at least in the West, taking on multiple roles at home and in life. I also think that ‘Striving for imbalance and learning to say ‘yes’ are certainly a ‘thunk’ on my head! Not sure how much more crazy my life would become if I tried these, but I am game. Finally, I would end with my strong belief…

Woman

Sweet September: Really..? How Long Have You Been A Blackman?

President Obama on Letterman show this month,

Then Senator Obama on Letterman show last April , ‘You don’t run for the second’..

( psssst: Attn: Prez’s wardrobe assistant: You might want to check your boss’s most recent visits with a host to avoid glaring repetition. To me it appeared like he is wearing the same tie with identical suits and shirts. Oh, we’ll take the man even without any shirt on, ….. just telling… ).

Meanwhile the twitter-quitter who ran with Granpa Grumpy, proudly proclaims in HongKong,

McCain and I came in second in a competition of two.

hey, you whacko, out here in the mainstreet we call it ‘LOSING’.

Sweet September: Sunday Morning Up With The Lark

Wanna sing-along with Daniel Boone?

Sunday morning, up with the lark,

I think I’ll take a walk in the park

Hey hey hey, it’s a beautiful day

I’ve got someone waiting for me

And when I see herI know that she’ll say

Hey hey hey, it’s a beautiful day

CHORUS

Ha, ha, ha, beautiful Sunday
This is my my my beautiful day
When you say, say, say that you love me
Oh oh.oh… my my my its a beautiful day.

Birds are singing, you by my side
Lets take a car and go for a ride
Hey hey hey, it’s a beautiful day
We’ll drive on and follow the sun
Making Sunday go on and on
Hey hey hey it’s a beautiful day

REPEAT  CHORUS

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Update: Ok all, I have to admit that, Sunday morning, tak’n car, goi’…n  rid’n especially with my son, did make it a very ‘beautiful day’ indeed !!

Meanwhile, Suzanne from Firedoglake reminds me of another way to make my Sunday even more beautiful-  yep, ‘Comics N Cartoons’ !!!!!! yeahhhhhhhhhh enjoy !!!

Sweet September: Holy (M)Boli

Slow news day? Not to worry. Meet Dr.Boli: one of the blogosphere’s very intelligent and interesting blogger. Brought to you via NutellaonToast.

According to Dr.Boli’s home page

Today, at the age of 225, Dr. Boli still edits the magazine personally, at a time of life when other men might be considering an honorable retirement. As a concession, however, to his advancing years, he no longer writes every word of the magazine himself. At present he writes every other word, the intervening words being supplied by a well-known agency

here are some samples of the ‘boliramic’ posts I enjoyed

ANNOUNCEMENT.

Traffic alert. Secret Service agents and local police have closed off the Panther Hollow Bridge while King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia changes a tire on his Mercedes.

ANNOUNCEMENT.

Traffic alert.  All of Schenly park is now closed, as the tire problem has proved somewhat more intractable than originally anticipated. A new Mercedes is being airlifted in by helicopter transport.

ANNOUNCEMENT.

FOR IMMEDIATE SALE: 2009 Mercedes S-class. Gold-plated. Bulletproof glass. One flat tire. Several dents in hood from ornate jeweled walking-stick. Apply to the United States Secret Service or the Embassy of Saudi Arabia for more details.

ANNOUNCEMENT.

Lost and found. An ornate jeweled walking stick, somewhat bent and with considerable damage to the head, was found in the shrubbery at the end of the Panther Hollow Bridge. The owner may claim it by describing the item at the Phipps Conservatory membership desk.

DR.BOLI’S ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MISINFORMATION

A Special Supplement for the Pittsburgh Summit.

Canada. By an embarrassing oversight, Canada was left out of the three previous G-20 summits, but Canadian delegates were too polite to say anything.

India. There are more electric kettles in Mumbai than there are on the entire continent of South America.

Italy. As an elaborate prank on Prime Minister Berlusconi, the jocular Italians have elected an entirely different government in his absence. Won’t he be surprised when he gets back!

Russia. As part of a recent economic-reform package, the Russian government is now operated on a for-profit basis by IKEA of Sweden

South Korea. It is reported that the South Korean delegation will not sign any agreement unless the United States promises to increase its consumption of mediocre pianos.

United States. President Barack Obama can write classical Greek with his right hand while simultaneously writing Sanskrit with his left, although he cannot read either language.