Saturday, December 30, 2006

Wishing You A Blessed Christmas

What does Christmas mean to me? My family has never been religious. We are baptised Anglicans but my parents have never taken me to church. We each pray in our own way, privately, and the only time we arein church together is for weddings and funerals.

So, back to Christmas...

Christmas when I was young was about feasting, family and the freedom for me to decorate the house any way I wanted. Hahaha, I remember one year, I wrapped tinsel around all the drawer handles and no one could open them until after the decorations were taken down on the twelvth day. Another year, I decided I wanted icicles all over the house and I spent two weeks of my school holidays cutting white crepe paper into thin stripes and dangling them around every doorknob, shelf, railing and chair back I could find! Then there was the year that I discovered snow spray (let's not get into that!)

The other feature about Christmas is spaghetti bolognaise. Mom would make a huge potful, and I mean huge! We'd stir and stir it until our arm muscles bulged. The whole house would smell of oregano and basil and rich-beefy-tomatoey goodness ... mmm, heaven! Later, as I grew up and took over the cooking, I added creamy seafood pasta, garlic grilled prawns, and of course melted cheese was in everything.

Then there was the whole presents thing. I would procrastinate and leave it all to the last minute - then Panic! Frenzy! Rush! And somehow still find time to make all the wrappings 'themed' for the year. It used to take me hours and hours to get it all done, and the list would grow longer every year.

The last five years have been different though. Since the 2000 tragedy, none of us have felt like celebrating. No presents, no decorations, no karaoke wild parties that last til dawn. We would just keep oursleves cooking and cooking until we drop, too tired to think. My family would stick together tightly. We have every meal together, from Christmas Eve dinner to Christmas Day lunch and dinner and sometimes even on Boxing Day. Mostly trying to finish up the leftovers.

Then, this year, something changed. Reading 'The Secret' reminded me of the lessons I learnt from various masters. This year, I decided to focus on what I have instead of what's missing. And I decided to start coming out of my hole.

It helped that the guru besar was constantly pestering Peter and me to give him an X-box for Christmas!

We held a wonderful party at 95%. Chris and his Org Com came up with the best theme ever "Coming home for Christmas" and it was like a homecoming. The whole huge family of 95% graduates and closest trainers coming together to play and feast was lovely. Very heartwarming. Made me very happy.

I must say I enjoyed buying presents again - although my family still didn't give any to each other. I didn't dare break tradition. But my sis-in-law did. And this opens the way for us to do more next year.

So for me this Christmas is about change, an opportunity for me to re-focus on life and reset my priorities. Mom will definitely be a top priority. And creating a comfortable, inspiring home. All this has taken a back seat for the past two years, and it's time for me to put my heart here now.

And I would like to start painting again ...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Been a while...

Been so busy that blogging (this blog anyway) has dropped in my list of priorities.

My life now goes like this : work all day and night at 95%, go home, squeeze Wabi, pat Ninja, sayang husband and mother, sleep like a person in a coma, and then it's another busy day at 95%.

The last few months have been really busy. I thought that year end would be relatively quiet, but no - several agencies are still actively running our trainings or briefing us on their 2007 training requirements.

Actually 95% is doing better than I anticipated. Although there's still a loooong way to go, I think we have built a decent foundation, and we're in a good solid place to start 2007. I'm looking forward to it with so much pleasure and excitement. And also calm - is that a contradiction? Well, I do feel calm, as opposed to panicky and worried - maybe confident is a better word.

Hmmm... when I sat down to blog, I didn't plan to write about this, but it just flowed out so I'll go with it. I guess that for the past two years, 95% has been my single-minded focus. Family and self have taken back seats cos I decided to give my all to setting up this place. If I don't, I will never know how far I can actually go.

Now that I am reflecting on this, I must say I am satisfied. I am extremely Blessed to have received so much support and encouragement and love. From all around. It's incredible!

Of course, my biggest supporters are Mom, Dad and Sonny - and I don't think I can do this if I didn't have the comfort of such a loving home. Ah, I can hear Sonny saying "but it's a mess, a huge horrible mess" I know dear, but there's love there. And I have decided to restore some balance to my life in 2007. 95% is stablising so I can start to build back my life now.

My dear, dear partners and colleagues : Peter, Shahnaz, Raz-berri who are always there, always within reach - it's amazing how far we have come, isn't it? As individuals as well as a team. Or family. Yup, you guys are like family and I love you so much.

Hmmm... I'm feeling mellow and sentimental. I got class in a few minuites so can't afford to stay in this mood - gotta go kick ass.

Will continue soon. Meanwhile, here's another photo of my dear Wabi for you to enjoy... heheh...

Monday, December 11, 2006

Ninja settles in

Remember the little black puppy who adopted us? Well, he is bringing me great delight everyday : he now allows me to stroke him from nose to tail!

How did this happen? Well, his wound opened up and started smelling again. So we really had to find a way to take him to the vet. But how? He was so wild and so scared that we can't even go near him to feed him. And he runs very fast.

Then, we found this incredible man - Kulwan, the dog whisperer. His specialty is his love for dogs. And he spends his time taking difficult dogs to the vet in his big van, and also takes on contracts to bathe dogs regularly. If you need someone llike this, call me and I'll give you his contact.

I told him about Ninja and he said no problem : if we can just lure him into our dog pen, he will come and handle the rest. And he did!

So Ninja was taken to the vet. And he stayed at the vet for two weeks, getting his wound treated everyday until it was completely dried up.

When Sonny and I went to check on him after a week, we found him still scared and he actually growled at me. Wouldn't let me go near him at all :(

But after two weeks, with the vet carrying him everyday and being gentle with him, he got used to people. When we went to bring him home, he allowed me to carry him into the car. But he was just being submissive, not yet trusting.

Anyway, I kept talking to him and patiently allowed him to come closer and closer at his own pace. Slowly he came closer and closer. He would lick my fingers, and run away. Then come back and lick again. One day, he let me stroke his head! Wah, so happy. Then, slowly, I could stroke his neck, muzzle ... and now can stroke him from nose to tail... yay!!!

And he looks like a happy dog now, chewing up everthing and digging up eveything, galloping all over the garden. I'm so happy that he is happy. Not a terrified little puppy anymore.

He is still easily scared though and he won't come to me when there are other people around. But he'll grow used to it, I'm sure. He has come such a long way already. And I am Blessed with yet another loving pet :)

I spent a lovely Sunday just alternating my cuddles between Wabi Sabi and Ninja, and Wabi Sabi and Ninja... Bliss...

Monday, December 04, 2006

Happy Monday!

For those of you who, unlike me, don't like Mondays ...
click on the title and visit this link, it takes a while to load so be patient, it'll make you smile.