Fear and Freedom

Some time ago I wrote on Facebook: 

I stayed in a bed and breakfast once where the husband of the owner had dementia. She warned me when I booked in. Apparently this causes a high proportion of people to change their minds. It did not change mine.  All my life I have followed the philosophy of “feel the fear and do it anyway”, even before I heard that sentence articulated. When I realised I had a fear of heights, I climbed down the face of Lion Rock at Piha. I overcame my fear of confined spaces by going into caves – underwater. (I still hate tight sleeping bags). I beat my fear of speaking in public, despite my spooch impodiment. 

My greatest fear is dementia. Ever since I first encountered it. My fear is not of those who have dementia but of having it myself. 

I had a great time with the old chap at the B&B. But having dementia is the one fear I have not overcome. I don’t expect I ever shall. It scares the shit out of me.

I have just been reminded of another unconquered fear. The taxman. I still hate doing tax returns. I pay someone to do them for me now. I had a couple of bad experiences in NZ, first with a rental property, then with my “tax-free” diplomatic income in Fiji. It cost me dearly – tens of thousands – both times and left me with a new phobia. Not that I really need fear him any more. Those unpleasant and expensive encounters before taught me to be careful and scrupulous in tax matters. In fact the Australian tax people have been very good to me. My age and where I now live give me some worthwhile tax advantages. Nevertheless just the thought of a tax return, even thinking the word “tax” albeit this far away from tax time, raises my blood pressure and makes me apprehensive. 

The reason this is relevant to me right now is that I have just completed a year-long log of the mileage done in my work car, documenting the distances covered for work and for private purposes. I handed it in today. This is used to set the level of fringe benefit tax I shall pay for the next five years, if I last here that long. It will be minimal. I have not done a high percentage of personal kilometres.

No need to keep a log now for five years.  


Author: Uisce úr

Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done, The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.

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