Sunday, February 05, 2017


It’s that time of the year again. The time when you take stock of the previous year, and figure out your goals for the upcoming 11 or so months. At least that’s how January always makes me feel. And the fact that I’m writing this in February should be a good indicator of how January 2017 has gone for me. 

In many ways, it feels as though I’ve been in a state of flux since I got married, probably so much happened that year. I changed my role within my company, my company restructured (and is still restructuring, I should say), people started asking me about our plans to have a family, and I suddenly felt as if there was a ticking clock in front of all these lofty goals I’d set for myself when I was in my early 20s. 

Adding to that is of course the turbulence of all the macro events which took place last year, the repercussions and consequences of which are only just beginning to be felt.

Do we want to have children? I suppose, on some level, yes. It’s not an outright no on my part, although I will also confess a part of me feels that I need to have children because my brother is still single and I’d like for my parents to be able to feel that our family will continue to grow, at least for another generation. 

Do I want to continue having a demanding career? Well, yes. Even though last year was mad crazy on the work front, I really did enjoy it, despite making errors which constantly go up to senior management – simply because nothing I work on in my new-ish role is small. At a time of flux in my company and industry, I’m also loath to take a break when the need to gain sufficient experience so that there are other roles for me to move into is still so important. 

Do I want to continue enjoying my hobbies? Hell, yes. I enjoy being able to dance, even if sometimes it stresses me out, and, other times, I wonder why I’m bothering with expensive intensives when perhaps I’m just not good enough.

Do I want to continue living in the UK? Yes, I think. I love my life here in London. But the flat is too small for us, much less for a family. And with the impending departure from the EU and the resultant reduction in the growth prospects of the UK, I’m not sure this is a great place to be for work. And as the pound falls, this place is only going to get more expensive, while my savings will be worth less in foreign currency turns. Lastly, and most importantly, our parents are getting older, as is everyone else. What happens if one day they fall seriously ill? I’m sure I’ll regret not spending enough time with them when they were still fully functioning. To be honest, I’m sure I’ll always think I didn’t spend enough time with time no matter how much time I end up doing so. 

And if we are planning to move, why should we bother looking for a new, larger place in the UK? But if we don’t get a bigger place, can we really think about starting a family? In which case, does that mean we should make the decision to move sooner than we think? And can I indeed move back to Singapore and not be resentful of what I’d have to give up? I’m 99% certain that moving home will mean that I will end up working longer hours, my quality of life will drop (availability of domestic help notwithstanding) and I’ll just feel a little trapped.
So many questions, so many worries.  For the moment, I’m trying to go all-out this year, learning more advanced dance routines, putting myself more out there in terms of work, and working hard on enhancing our savings and planning for the future. 

I’m also trying not to think about the bigger questions. Yes, the ostrich approach. That’s always worked well, hasn’t it?

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