Marahm Turns Sixty!

bismillah5bynafee I am sixty years old today, and I am happy.

I am happy because I’ve lived more than half my life, and I’ve been spared the worst of calamities, alhumdullilah. I’ve not been struck by the bulldozer of bad health nor the tragedy of untimely death. I’ve watched both my parents live well into old age, and I’ve seen my siblings enter middle-age in good health and security. My girls are grown and married and have magnificent children of their own, and they are taking good care of their families.
My job is secure, and my home with my mom is so comfortable. Allah has blessed me  richly, and I thank Him for everything.

My life has been marked by personal strength and emotional distress which have both left their marks. I understand much about myself I never understood years ago, thanks to my work in Progoff’s Intensive Journal, as well my general attitude of questioning and pondering everything worth pondering. I’ve had luck, both good and bad. I’ve made choices, both good and bad, but Allah has protected me from the worst consequences of either.

The decade of the sixties is the decade of retirement, of taking permission to close the door on formal employment. The decade of the sixties renews my commitment to nurturing myself in ways I’ve been unable to practice because of having to go to work. This is the decade in which I can finally give myself the opportunity to develop my talents, and perhaps achieve a few life goals.

This is the decade in which I shall dedicate myself to supporting my extended family even more. These next years are the ones during which I need to develop a regimen of physical exercise and dietary prudence . They are the years in which I will fulfill my lifelong ambition of becoming fluent in a foreign language, of delving into my writing (without being interrupted  by having to to go work), of organizing my recipe files, of sorting my belongings and downsizing my footprint. All of this begins today, inshaAllah, and I am very happy.


About Marahm

At first glance, I may appear to be a middle-aged American woman with kids, grandkids, retired from a job in a hospital, gratefully relieved from the responsibilities that come with all of that. Behind the image, which is true enough, I am fairly unhinged from much of American mainstream living, having spent twelve years in Saudi Arabia, years that sprung me from societal and familial impositions, and narrow bands of truth. I have learned to embrace my identity as a seeker, an artist, and a writer. I study Arabic and Italian language, because I love them, and I love their people. I still dream of spending more time in the Middle East and Italy, though the dreaming now seems more real than the possibilities. I am a photographer. I write, and sometimes publish, flash memoir, and now a blog or two.
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19 Responses to Marahm Turns Sixty!

  1. Sarah says:

    Happy birthday and congratulations! It is always inspiring to see people who are so positive and look forward to the future. May your retirement years be your best yet!

  2. djd says:

    Such a joyful post! It is good to read someone being thankful for their blessings.

  3. Happy birthday, Marahm! 🙂

  4. Zuhura says:

    Birthday blessings!

  5. WM says:

    You have a lot to be grateful for, masha Allah.

    What language are you thinking of learning?

  6. Issam says:

    Happy birthday sister and congratulations.

  7. susanne430 says:

    Happy birthday! Whoo hoo!! 😀

  8. Marahm says:

    Wow, thank you all! Thanks for reading, even though the font started out too small– I was mortified when I signed in tonight and discovered how small it was. I fixed it, but thanks for bearing with me.

    WM, I aim to become fluent in Italian, and also to keep studying Arabic.
    Italian is easier, and I still have hopes of becoming fluent. Arabic is so beautiful, however, that I’ve decided not to give it up, even though fluency still escapes me, even after all these years.

  9. ellen557 says:

    Alhamdulillah, happy birthday! Italian is loooovely, my friend is almost fluent in it – she spent about 6 months there and just went back for about 3 months and she’s very good. Sort of dispels the myth that you’ll never be fluent so inshaAllah you’ll be fluent in no time!

  10. Marahm says:

    Welcome, Ellen! What a nice bonus to a fantastic day– a comment from a new reader.

    Yes, all I need for Italian is a couple of months of immersion. The last time I was there, I actually started to think in Italian. That was exciting.

  11. djd says:

    Talking to oneself in the “other” language is a very helpful tool.

  12. Marahm says:

    Ah, yes! You are fluent in both French and English, no? Any others? I’d like to hear your story of how you came to the second language.

    Do you think your fluency in French helped you approach Michel Potay’s teachings? .

  13. Lat says:

    Happy Birthday,Marahm!mA! May God bless you with more wonderful moments and expriences!

  14. djd says:

    I have studied Spanish, Breton, sung in German, Italian, etc., but am not fluent in those. I studied French in college and immersion has done the rest. My husband is French and we have lived in France since our marriage. I am now studying Arabic.

    It definitely does help to understand Michel Potay’s writings to be able to read them in the original French. The Word itself is well-enough translated, but the notes are often awkward. Not to mention that our lack of spirituality blinds us, and culture, religious up-bringing, any other kind of prejudice, doesn’t help. The Creator is asking us to change the world–that does not mean the same-old-same-old. :-))

  15. Achelois says:

    Dear Maharm,

    A very, very happy birthday to you and I pray that you have a 60 more with health, happiness and wealth, ameen.

  16. Marahm says:

    Thank you, Lat and Achelois!

    djd, good luck with Arabic. I’m not being sarcastic here, I really mean it– good luck. Arabic is so beautiful hear, and so efficiently put together, it fascinates the intellect as well as the ear.

  17. unsettledsoul says:

    Happy Birthday!!! =D

    That is my hope also for the decade of my 60’s. I look forward to every stage! I am entering the decade of my 30’s now, and enjoying every breath.


  18. Fayrouz Ahmed says:

    Happy Birthday,Marahm! I hope the best is yet to come!
    Love your blog.

  19. Marahm says:

    Thank you, unsettledsoul and Fayrouz!

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