My mind has been in too many places over the last few weeks and months. As each day goes by, I keep promising to myself that I'll sort things out soon, that I'll reach my goals and clear my mind. But the to-do list keeps getting longer, and the destination keeps getting further no matter how hard I work to reach there. Allah is with the patient, I keep reminding myself. Still, patience can only take one so far; hard work and dedication are key.
With that being said, I'm just going to spill out some thoughts here, with no attempt at cohesion.
Soon, incoherence will be the lingua franca of our times. It seems that texting has become a national sport. Am I the only one who finds this somewhat disturbing? The studies are inconclusive, but I have to believe that future historians will look upon this trend as a low point in communication and the written word. Then again, this same generation has made it commonplace to publish one's deepest thoughts to a worldwide audience, so perhaps there is hope.
Nothing markets better than the truth. My manager and I have both been suffering a nagging cough for over a week. During this time, I finally discovered Buckley's Mixture, a famous Canadian cough syrup; "It tastes awful. And it works", the tagline says. And it certainly does. As soon as I poured it in my teaspoon, I felt disgusted by the bland, colourless liquid that splurted out from the bottle. Taking a deep breath, I downed the teaspoonful of mixture into my mouth in one gulp, whereupon my face and mouth started contorting inadvertently. Such an incredibly vile taste, it was. But within seconds, I could feel the effect through my throat and sinuses, and the relief was instant. Now it has become common practice at work for my manager and I to step out of meetings to "take a shot of Buckley's".
It seemed like the natural thing to do was to visit the company website, and learn more about the sludge-coloured syrup I had just swallowed. For a website devoted to cough syrup, it turned out to be incredibly hilarious. The current contest has participants filming themselves downing the liquid, with the winner being the one whose "bad taste face" is the most twisted and unpleasant. Of course, all this is part of the Bad Taste Tour.
(Buckley's did not endorse or sponsor this message in any way; I just like the product.)
Sometimes, the simplest of reminders are the most effective. I was standing outside the masjid with a couple of friends, one of whom is a colleague based out of another city; he had helped me get my job in the first place, offering me useful interview tips and suggestions. He had been around a lot longer than me, so I'd often solicit his advice with respect to my career, especially with regards to the balance of religion and career obligations. I expressed my concerns about the corporate culture, the same concerns I wrote about here. As I had often been advised to network and establish connections with the senior folk in the company as much as possible in order to advance my career, I lamented that my own reserved nature would hinder my progress. After all, as a matter of principle, I would never even go near any gathering in which alcohol was served, even though these sorts of events were considered to be the best ways to establish oneself and meet with the right people. I expressed a bit of frustration perhaps when I said that I was losing opportunities, even though I would not waver on my principles.
My other friend turned to me immediately and said "No, you aren't losing opportunities. Opportunities are from Allah; there is no progress in disobedience. Allah will open the opportunities for you so long as you keep to your path. Your rizq is already written." It was a message I had heard hundreds of times before, but it meant more to me at that moment than every other time I had heard it. Alhamdolillah for friends who remind me when I forget.
I'm not a very obedient citizen of "blogistan". My posts come few and far between, and my reading list keeps getting shorter. Furthermore, I tend not to participate in the tags that go around. But considering my infrequent updates, I thought I would share in the "Thinking Blogger Award" that has gone through the rounds before finally arriving at me. There is a surprising amount of quality content out there on the blogosphere amid all the nonsense, and I hope I can call attention to some of those pages that I have learnt the most from. At the very least, the content here will make up for my own infrequency.
Seeker's Digest: This is the blog that inspired me to start my own, back in 2003/2004. Not because I share a name with the author, but because he touches on all the things that interest me, be they theological, technological, or academic. On top of that, he offers scholarly insight where most bloggers tend to fall into the layman variety.
Disconnected Verses: This one is new, still finding it's feet perhaps, but the artistic talent being showcased here is unquestionable. Individually, all the contributors were impressive; now, they are all in one place for our reading convenience.
Indigo Jo Blogs: I don't comment here much, but the content is generally poignant and educational. This blog covers mainly current events from a British Muslim perspective, but there is something for everyone.
Writing, Clear and Simple: I've picked up a lot of tips from this blog which I believe has improved my writing. While I haven't fully solved my apostrophe problems, I have fixed some other common errors of mine thanks to this blog.
Lifehacker: I dislike most technology sites, but Lifehacker is different. I'm often asked by colleagues as to how I can complete tasks so efficiently with my computer, and my answer usually references some information from Lifehacker. While the tips are mostly computer-related, Lifehacker offers a plethora of information on general productivity and life skills.
None of these blogs are really personal ones, so this tag won't go any further on those sites. I believe the rules of the tag originally called for us to reference specific posts that "made me think", but there are too many to count.