2012: My Virtual Jar of Memories
(Mostly first half of the year)
I started volunteering with Zoo Negara Malaysia. Why volunteer? Because we need to walk the talk on the welfare of wildlife in captivity. Because being part of the solution often entails getting down and dirty and doing hands-on work. Because to have a World Class Zoo, we need to be a World Class Society -- and it begins with you and me.
My lovely differently-abled foster cat, Jingga, goes to her new home after making a full recovery from her head injuries. She remains my favourite rescuee/fosteree ever.
17-19th Feb 2012:
The awesome Perak River Kayak Expedition, organised by Rugged Adventures and Action Sports Sdn Bhd.
9th -11th March 2012:
My twelfth year as a Malaysian Nature Society Raptor Watch Volunteer.
16th - 18th March 2012:
Finally doing my Basic Caving Course with the Malaysian Nature Society Cave Group, at the mysterious and awesome caves of Kota Gelanggi, Pahang.
My friends and I made several trips to the Bentong Farm Sanctuary to assist with animal care work and farm work.
Two less lonely people in the world.... my longtime buddy Aravind and I decided to embark on our next adventure together... a relationship.
P/S: Mr. Unromantic said that he didn't know if he would love me yet when he first asked me out. Apparently it took a few dates for him to realise that he did love me as something more than just a friend. Well, that suits me just fine. Far better than people in my past who wasted years of my life on empty promises. This relationship has brought us a lot of fulfillment and laughter.
28th April 2012:
The Bersih street demonstrations for free and fair elections. They can cordon off Dataran Merdeka, but they cannot stop Malaysians from taking back our streets and public spaces.
16th May 2012:
Remembering fallen cyclists, promoting road safety for cyclists and forging camaraderie with fellow cyclists during the annual Ride of Silence.
24th - 27th May 2012:
A short, impromptu trip to the historical and kitschy-touristy yet utterly swaggalicious city of Siem Reap, Cambodia, with my parents.
15th - 17th June 2012:
Endau-Rompin National Park and its rich biodiversity first captured my imagination in the mid-80s when I watched a local documentary (Majalah 3) on it. I relieved my childhood dream a second time in June when I stayed at the Lubuk Tapah Base Camp and trekked to Takah Berangin and Takah Pandan with our motley group of nature lovers.
7th July 2012:
Aravind and I made a short trip to Putrajaya, since we were in the area. This event is officially known as the Putrajaya Flower and Garden Festival 2012 but there's a good bit of mindless sloganeering and political propaganda as well. Plus the glaring omission of entries from Selangor, Penang and Kelantan -- the Opposition-led states.
My resolutions for 2013:
1. Be an early riser. To manage my time better so I have more time to rest, and to reprogramme my biological clock to rise with the sun.
2. Use words to heal, not to hurt. To hold my tongue (and keyboard) before resorting to sarcasm.
3. Be a better and more patient listener. To stop interrupting when I am excited or flustered.
4. Spruce up my wardrobe. Stop buying more football jerseys, and get new jeans to replace my threadbare, 15-year-old ones.
5. Be more punctual. Manage my time better. Demonstrate respect for other people's time. Plan ahead and start journeys early.
6. Take my parents to Turkey this summer (despite swearing myself blue in the face last year that I won't travel with my parents again after the Cambodia trip last year).
7. Organise and coordinate another 2 sessions of the Turtle Volunteer Programme.
8. Be credit-card balance free by the end of June.
9. Have a zero work backlog by the end of March.
10. Commence postgrad studies in March.
11. Be a more relaxed and easygoing girlfriend to Aravind. Stop trying to persuade him to accompany me on all my sporting events, outdoor activities and adventures.
12. Move out of the bachelor pad to a place of our own by the end of the year.
13. Do the Ride of Silence again, and participate in other bike rides for a cause.
14. Finally get around to completing a fostering and volunteer manual for the SPCA.
15. Invite or recruit friends for my volunteer activities.
16. Organise and coordinate another Eco Kids Day Camp this year.
17. Turn off and put away my smartphone when I am with friends or family (except when I want to take pictures). Learn to leave my phone off or at home and feel secure and comfortable about that decision.
18. Leave the office by 7 p.m. at least one workday a week, without bringing more work home or coming back later in the night to "clear some files".
19. Balance hands-on volunteering work with more outreach and advocacy work.
20. Get another 6-10 letters to the editor published on environmental, community or animal rights/welfare issues.
21. Volunteer with at least 5 new organisation/projects this year (apart from the SPCA, Malaysian Nature Society, Bentong Farm Sanctuary, Hawksbill EcoClub, Legal Aid Centre or MYCAT, I mean).
22. Donate blood another 3-4 times.
23. Set aside 5% of my salary each month for my community animal vaccination, medical treatment and TNR (trap-neuter-release) project.
24. Do the No Impact Week Experiment again this year.
25. Do the 100 Thing Challenge this year . (The one where you get rid of 100 items you no longer love or need, not the one where you get rid of all but 100)
Happy New Year, everyone!
May 2013 be a year of growth, understanding, compassion, healing and reconciliation in this troubled world of ours.
May we continue to do the best we can for our Planet and community.
May we look back on our various successes and blessings in 2012 and give thanks for how far we've come.
Thank you, dear friends and family, for having enriched my life so much in the past year.