Sunday, November 27, 2011

Coping Mechanism

There was this time in my life when Chotpo went away. For training related to her job. To a place more than 8k miles away. I had to accept it, somehow. And remain happy in front of her, so as not to depress her further. The only coping mechanism I could come up with involved avoiding her completely. I talked the minimum I could, tried to only answer relevant bits of email - not open up much, when she called, I would be talking the least. She did wonder why. No doubt she was quite disappointed. But that was the only coping mechanism I knew.

I have seeeeeerious attachment issues. Sometimes, I'm convinced I need therapy for this.

The week was hectic, but came to a depressing end. It is said that one shouldn't expect things from people - and expect outcomes/appreciation only and only from Allah SWT.

It's so easier said than done.*blinks hard for the umpteenth time today*

The only soul on the planet who can distract me completely from my troubles, is bhanju. I keep wanting him over, and playing with him. Till I can't think. Till I don't have to wonder, and hope, and feel the ever-ready lump in my throat.

I can only pray this time passes soon, in my life. And I forget the stuff that's been happening. And that people of the world find in their hearts flexibility, and gunjaaish for other's opinions and values.

It's just one of those days when it's so hard to smile. The following makes it worse:

Yesterday's NATO's (some sources claim it was US) helicopter attack on our checkpost martyred 28 people including a major and captain. Life has so little value for our 'friends' and people whom we are a 'close ally' of. It is said in the Quran:

Al-Imran (The Family of Imran)

3:118 (Asad) "O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not take for your bosom-friends people who are not of your kind. [87] They spare no effort to corrupt you; they would love to see you in distress. [88] Vehement hatred has already come into the open from out of their mouths, but what their hearts conceal is yet worse. We have indeed made the signs [thereof] clear unto you, if you would but use your reason."

If only we used reason...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

To Publish Or Not to Publish

A researcher's biggest dream is to have published their papers in reputed journals, conference proceedings, etc. To attain that dream, they work day and night in order to come up with ideas to enhance and improve existing ones - all to get their research publish-able.

When I started my thesis, my supervisor told me, "At the end of it, you have to get at least two publications out of it."

At the time, I was a little overwhelmed. Two out of one project? Turns out, people (smart ones) can get four or five (or more) out of one project. The key is to publish in reputed journals and conferences. The larger the journal's impact factor, the greater the impact of the publication.

Now, the scene was that a conference came up. It was a cool opportunity. I (to date) have no publication in my name. So of course I decided to try my luck. I wrote the paper like crazy one night (stayed up till God Knows when :S), and completed it. The first draft was then sent off to the supervisor - what satisfaction lays in writing something like crazy and then emailing it off. It's like a burden off your mailbox :p. That done, I got a favorable reply from him the next day. [Man, why don't I come to the point?]. He asked me to include the name of my unofficial supervisor too. Oops. Had completely forgotten. Hurriedly included her name and emailed her the paper too.

She replied with, "Please remove my name from the paper. I don't want to be associated with this conference."

I was astonished. Don't want to publish somewhere? Don't want to? People have that kind of a choice? :D
Anyway, I asked her that if she doesn't mind, could she please tell me her reason? She replied that this conference is jointly collaborated with the country which has till now, not apologized for its permission to publish the cartoons of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallalla hu alaihi wasallam).

I was even more astonished.
1) I had no idea this conference was jointly collaborated with that country.
2) I had no idea she would care about this.

I mean, you expect a certain type of people to have this kind of a thinking! Lesson number one: NEVER judge people by their outlook. You never know what goes on in their minds and what values they hold.

This moment was a little ponderous for me.

I mean. Here I am. No publications whatsoever. Beggars aren't supposed to be choosers, right. Eh. But one thought couldn't get past me. What if I am asked about this action on the Day of Judgement? It may seem like the pettiest, smallest, teensiest matter ever. But if you consider the ayahs of Surah Zilzaal :

[Zilzal 99:7] So whoever does a good deed equal to the weight of the minutest particle, will see it.

[Zilzal 99:8] And whoever does an evil deed equal to the weight of the minutest particle, will see it.

and that was the decision maker for me, at least. Nervously, I emailed my supervisor and explained to him why targeting this conference was not a good idea. And surprise ! He emailed back immediately (even though he had been the most enthusiastic about this conference), and said

"You are right. We will indeed try another conference."


Ain't I happy?

Btw, this another journal accepted my paper. Before I could even jump properly for joy, I had to sit back down. They were charging $300 for it. AND... there is no impact factor.

Bummer. :S

So I remain, publication-less for now. *sigh of er, ... satisfaction*

So long!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dear Heart

Welcome to the Dunya (World) where you can’t be with everyone you love, you can’t have everything you want & everything is temporary here. But be patient & strive for the Akhirah, where you can have anything that you desire & you can be with whoever you love & the best part is, everything is forever! ♥


Excellent Article - Why Millennial Women Are Burning Out At Work By 30

Something all crazy-for-the-corporate-ladder women should look at. It's high time we define our goals, and analyze whether something we so crave,  is really going to bring us satisfaction, or it will simply serve as a signpost, pointing us to bigger and better 'prospects'.

Do we really want to spend our entire lives in this pursuit? That's the big question. I am still looking for answers. But this article provides a great insight into the mindset of nearly all college-going (and beyond) women today. A highly recommended read.
 Why Millennial Women Are Burning Out At Work By 30

Young professional women may not relate to the financial struggles their Millennial peers are protesting against during the Occupy New York movement. After all, these ambitious go-getters are working as doctors, lawyers, engineers, and advertising executives, blessed with great salaries, health benefits, and paid vacation.
But these women understand the protestors’ frustration and unhappiness over the fact that their lives aren’t supposed to turn out this way. This is why a growing number of young professional women who seem to “have it all” are burning out at work before they reach 30.

These early career flameouts are reflected through the corporate ladder. Today, 53% of corporate entry-level jobs are held by women, a percentage that drops to 37% for mid-management roles and 26% for vice presidents and senior managers, according to McKinsey research. Men are twice as likely as women to advance at each career transition stage. One rationale is that men are more likely than women to do things that help their personal wellbeing at work, thus negating burnout, according to the Captivate Network. Men are 25% more likely to take breaks throughout the day for personal activities, 7% more likely to take a walk, 5% more likely to go out to lunch, and 35% more likely to take breaks “just to relax.”

It seems relaxation is something Millennial women have never experienced. One reason that women are burning out early in their careers is that they have simply reached their breaking point after spending their childhoods developing well-rounded resumes. “These women worked like crazy in school, and in college, and then they get into the workforce and they are exhausted,” says Melanie Shreffler of the youth marketing blog Ypulse.
Many also didn’t think of their lives beyond landing the initial first job. “They need to learn life is a marathon, not a sprint,” says Kelly Cutrone, president of People’s Revolution PR and author of “If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You.”  Ypulse’s Shreffler adds, “They expected things to be better now that they’ve arrived and made it. But instead they are starting over on the bottom rung and still striving. You can’t see the end of the tunnel because they are so many twists and turns. It’s impossible to see what life will be like in 20 years these days. It’s hard to look just 3-4 years in the future. They don’t know what they are striving for, which makes it really hard to move forward.”

Even those who did plot out their lives past the initial first career have unrealistic expectations about full-time employment. It’s not as if these women expected their jobs to be parties and good times, but many underestimated the actual day-to-day drudgery. “College is nothing more than a baby-sitting service. These students are totally unprepared for the real world. The reality for women who want to work in PR is that they are going to be working with 24 catty [women] who will backstab and compete with them. No one will say thank you. You will eat lunch at 5 p.m. It sucks and it’s hard work,” says Cutrone.

All of this unhappiness has left young women struggling over their next move. Simply quitting or changing careers isn’t an option because the education for their professional jobs has burdened them with substantial student debt. Also, while earlier generations may have opted out of the workforce through marriage or motherhood, these paths aren’t viable for these self-sufficient women, who either are still single or unwilling to be fully supported by men.

Instead, Millennial women are tapping into their Type-A personalities to combat this fatigue. “It’s important to analyze what is causing the dissatisfaction,” says Purdue University’s Teri Thompson. “The old adage, ‘Out of the frying pan and into the kettle’ is filled with wisdom: often we leave a job because of unhappiness and in our zeal to get away, we fall right back into the same traps, the same situations.” Therefore, these women are requesting more flexible schedules or seeking different work responsibilities. Many are turning to therapists and prescription medicines, as well as explore alternative remedies, including acupuncture, yoga, and even psychics.

Ultimately these women are going through the difficult realization that they may have to redefine their goals and come up with different measures of success in order to thrive in the corporate world, says Thompson. “It often takes many years to really understand one’s strengths and where one finds happiness.  In a sense, I do think it’s unrealistic to assume a long sought-after job can bring one such happiness that one’s searching is done.  We’re all a work in progress; new inputs—from new friends to new places visited—mean we’re constantly changing in our thoughts of what’s desired, what’s possible, what’s fun, what we want to do.”

Source: Forbes

Monday, November 14, 2011

True Friends

Rarely does a friend turn out to be a 'true' friend. There may be many different interpretations of the word 'true', but a/c to my observations, a true friend has the following characteristics:

1. They know exactly how you hide pain when you flash a bright-as-heck smile.
2. They can tell through your written words that something is not quite right.
3. They are loyal.
4. They are not too 3) - so that they'd start defending you even when you're in the wrong.
5. They love to tease you - and watch your irritation with amusement.
6. They'd leave their most hectic deadlines, to hear what you have to say.
7. When you get crazy ideas, they listen. Actually seriously.
8. They discuss the silliest things with you - like Pakistani dramas :D and cheer you up.
9. They have adorable kids who call you 'Aala' in the cutest way possible :D
10. They eat whatever you cook and criticize you so honestly that you don't even mind.
11. They don't think your ambitions are crazy, and totally believe in you.
12. They send you an instant emails when they read your sad blog posts :)

True Friends
More Friends | Forward this Graphic

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Long time no whine


The kind of day this has been, the following pictures cheered me up immensely..

Bhanju with the bakra (fondly called 'cow' - er, actually, every four-legged animal is called 'cow') :P

What a cutie, Masha Allah. Life is generally good, specifically sucky these days. I feel like something is pressing hard on top of my head, heart and sometimes, even ears [when I'm transcribing lectures at lightening speeds]. I don't think I've ever been in this kind of pressure in my life.

Who knew writing a thesis would be this difficult? *pounding head right now*.. And in case you're wondering why I'm sitting online with a pounding head.. well, it pounds more when I try to be horizontal. So better vertical.

So long folks.