Thursday, December 14, 2006

Gift Wrapping & Memories

Began wrapping the Christmas gifts... ya, I know, Fr. Nick was thumping the pulpit two Sundays ago saying Christmas isn't about presents.  Well, the presents may not be a religious part but they sure as heck are one of the most important cultural parts!

And as happens every year, as I fit the paper to the gift and cut the tape just right, memories come flooding in.  I've wrapped all sorts of gifts; gifts for siblings, gifts for student Christmases, gifts of hope .. and all kinds of feelings are associated with these Christmas gifts. 

Gifts in my family aren't the super expensive type.  They are meant to show that someone's thinking of them... I've had the most fun looking for unusual or quirky gifts.  But I have never managed to master the art of choosing gifts for men.  I usually fall back on stuff like socks, shirts and hankies.  I think the males in my family are swimming in the stuff.  But I do so like to shop for gifts...

Strangely enough, this year, I had some painful thoughts.  There was a time I wrapped a gift for a friend who liked to shoot verbal arrows my way.  One of those arrows still sting when I remember.  But I tell myself that she was not cruel... but she was just feeling cruel that particular day.  I wondered sometimes why she felt she had to be cruel to me.  Haven't talked to her for quite a long time now.  Life hasn't been kind to her. 

But I always believe that each one of us have a metaphorical cup of sorrow within us.  When we get more than we can handle and the cup overflows, we need to pour the pain out.  Unfortunately it is the people closest to us who get the acid splashes.  So when people hurt me, I think,"The cup is overflowing..."  Yeah, I know... no need to tell me that I don't have to sit down and take other people's rubbish.  But if you retaliate all the time, when will it ever stop?  And most times, the offender realises his or her mistake and feels sorry.  And in case you were wondering, when I can't take the splashes of acid anymore, I just go away.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Four Income-Tax Things To Do Before The End of the Year

Was reading a magazine (Personal Money). Interesting article about income tax.

4 Things To Do Before 2007
1. Add up all the book receipts for 2006 till it comes up to RM700. If not, go buy some more so you can get the max deduction.
2. Been thinking of insurance? Well, my life insurance + EPF is way over maximum so no need to top up. But my medical insurance is still only around RM2000. And I don't really need any more.
3. Medical check up? I can deduct RM500 for this. Hmm, actually I really do need this. Ponder ponder ponder....
4. Tax residence planning? Non applicable.

Hey, I can do Thing No. 1 while I do springcleaning, right? Thing No. 3 can swirl around in my head.. but I wanna nag the hubby to go get one. I kinda want him around for at least a half century more...

Gonna Be A Great Christmas!

This is going to be a great Christmas cos I'm no longer in the office!

When I was a teacher in La Salle, I'd start on the Christmas cards and gifts in mid November (right after school closes!). Polish up the necessaries like hair, bod, clothes ... clean up the spirituals (reflection and repentance.. lots of that.. heh heh!). Then it would be time to do spring cleaning (the most amazing bit would be scrubbing the driveway with soap and water!), dig up the Christmas tree and decorations, strings of lights..wrapping christmas gifts and hiding them. Someone would remember the carollers' visit at the last minute so we'd rush to bake cakes and buy packet drinks. Oh we had fun.

Then I moved to the office. Urgggh.
November would mean lots of meetings in KL or Malacca or Terengganu where I'd hear lots of carols in the shopping malls and gaze at huge (don't touch!) Christmas trees in hotel lobbies. At night, I'd be crunching numbers in Excel which would be a herculean task on my 12.1" laptop screen. December would be time for wrapping the year up and presenting our plans for the next year. There was one time my mum was surrounded by a saggy Christmas tree, recalcitrant tinsel and wild n woolly angel and santa decorations... she cried out,"Help help! I'm doing this all alone!". But there I was in my office clothes, hugging a humming notebook and dragging my bag of documents.. rushing for the door and thinking,"Help help! I'm late for the meeting!" There was one year when a meeting was held on the 27th of December! That meant that I had to be on a plane by 10 am on the 26th (only seat available cos nobody sane wants to fly that early on the morning after Christmas!). Then I spent the afternoon loitering in shopping malls miserable cos I was surrounded by happy families eating and laughing together while mine was far far away. That evening was spent in 'taklimat mesyuarat'.. yuk.

I expect this year (and all the years to come!) to be different. I expect it to be BIGGER BETTER

Now I Officially Belong To SMK Kolombong!

I officially reported for duty to Pn Rafidah the principal of SMK Kolombong on the Ist of December 2006.  First impressions: d*** big school, friendly but work-minded new boss.  Good. Cos some people focus too much on chit chat and the canteen.  I think I'm gonna like it there.

But then again, I'm a very flexible person.  I can adapt to almost any situation.  Unless my very safety is threatened.  Then it's time to run!  So now my mind is geared towards school and plans and targets and analysis...

2007 is going to be a great year.