Friday 6 October 2017

How Hajj impacted my family

Welcome lovelies!

I clearly haven't returned to my regular Friday morning posts, or regular OOTD posting... I am trying to establish a new routine, trying to find my groove in my post-Hajj world. The habit of regular self introspection has stayed with me, the constant conversations with my Creator- all of this contributing to the processing and understanding of my intensely spiritual experience. 

I have been asked so many times about my journey, and my answer to every single person is that it was Amazing!, Beautiful! and very hard to describe to someone else. It is as if the experience was so sacred that words cannot describe it, and also, no two people will ever have the same experience. My Hajj was 'tailored' for me, the trials were just for me, the highs were for me, the challenges and every little aspect bestowed upon me to make my Hajj meaningful, were for ME. And even though hubby and I were travelling together, we both had different spiritual experiences while the physical aspects of Hajj were shared. I know, without a doubt, that there are still lots more processing to come as I unfold and unpack more about my journey each day, and then I will be able to share what I have learnt. 

Life has settled into a new pattern, priorities have subtly changed and even the kids and their behaviours have changed drastically since we've been back. The advantage of leaving behind older kids, means they are able to appreciate us, what we do for them and how having us around gives them a sense of security. I am eternally grateful to my younger sister who moved into my home (with her own kids) and uprooted her entire life for 8 weeks to take care of my kids. And even though she gets my kids, what they each need to feel settled and how to manage each one, there was still a huge void she struggled to fill. My boys love her dearly and they share a very special bond, and yet, by week 4 they were ready for us to come back home. It's crazy, but they actually missed the routine (I used to be a drill sergeant in their formative years and so routine is ingrained in my home), they missed the boundaries and just the knowing that we're around for anything. 

One of the main themes around Hajj is sacrifice, and the conscious detaching from your normal life and material possessions, and the realisation for us while we were in Saudi was that this was not only applicable to the two of us, but for the 3 boys as well. I had to remind them whenever they felt down, to imagine that whatever they're feeling as part of the Hajj, our Hajj, but by extension they too are having to make some sacrifices and compromises. We were gone for two birthdays, my 40th and Ziyaad's 19th, this was hard for the kids as birthdays are a huge deal in my home. For the first time, Ziyaad didn't wake up to us singing to him, the scavenger hunt for the gifts didn't happen, his favourite meal and dessert wasn't prepared.... And through all these little things they missed, it brought them to a new found appreciation for those little gestures which is a norm to them. I had a conversation with my eldest yesterday and to hear him say :"Mom, I have realised how hard it must be to be a parent. I really appreciate you and Dad.", brought such a lump to my throat I struggled to keep driving. What it also showed me is that my kids have also had to do some processing and some introspection to come to new realisations. 

This journey was not only for me, it brought about a new understanding in my home. I was also really grateful to hear, upon my return, how well-behaved and responsible the boys were, how they looked after each other and helped out around the house where they could. I could not have asked for anything more, and so I too have a new found appreciation for these three young men who are gifts to me in more ways than one. 

Whilst I am adjusting to life post-hajj, so are my kids, and so often we forget that they too have endured changes during our journey. This is one aspect of Hajj that nobody ever talks about, nobody even hints at it and instead will say that you shouldn't worry, your home and kids will be taken care of. They will be taken care of, of course, but what processes they go through is another factor that cannot be ignored or overlooked, as they too have undergone a huge transformation, even if it is just by having to dealing with the lengthy absence.

This lookpost is a casual one, on a day where I needed some fresh air, and to connect with nature. It always calms me, rejuvenates me just to hear the birds chirping, to feel the sun on my face and smell the fragrant blooms.

Outfit  details:
Striped shirt purchased in Saudi Arabia
Woolworths Jeans (old)
Scarf by Riehana's Scarves
French Connection slingbag 
Sunglassses From Glam Closet

Ciao for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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