I’ve been there and lost it all.
Right now, I feel poor in cash terms, materially worst off than I was a decade ago. I used to be very good with money but I guess when one reaches a certain age and also through changes in livelihood and challenges in life, one’s spending (or saving) habits change.
The Chinese saying that “the size of a gold coin is the size of a bullock cart wheel” no longer ring true for me. This was a saying I picked up from young. An expression used to describe someone who pondered long and hard before parting with his or her money on a meager purchase. I guess every little bit of savings count over time.
Going back to basics, as a child, you sang …………..
Little drops of water,
little grains of sand,
make the mighty ocean
and the beauteous land.
Innocent and young, when you entered the work force, you became an adult, finally self sufficient you worked and saved hard. That was just a process in life. You became a wife (or a husband) and a mother (or father). You raised your family, played your role either as a breadwinner or a supporter to the breadwinner or both. To set you up, some may be lucky like me that your parents (my aunt in this case) bought you a car. Some may be even luckier with parents putting in some money for their first home. Then the other most important thing and a big investment is children’s education.
I’ve been there and done all of that. Sadly my money bag is now empty not just from all these financial commitments but also through some bad spendings, temptations and going through hurdles in life. For the last few years, I had spent and still spending my gold coins casually as “loose change” rather than “bullock cart wheels”. They seemed to go faster than they come in, one hand in, the other hand out.
Thinking back, perhaps I should have continued to climb the corporate ladder and not taken a step back to move country ten years ago. Migration has turned my life around from a career focused woman forever caught in the before and after office traffic to a woman who found relaxation and enjoyed her laid back life, feel the breeze and smell the roses. One can either choose to be trapped in the rat race multiplying your bank balances year after year or enjoy the simple things in life that nature brings.
Another fourteen years to retirement. Do I want to wait that long? Can I stop work now, put my feet up and take it one day at a time? Or should I now go back to the rat race and start saving up for my retirement. A thought that is easier said than done, so simple yet so hard. Once you let go of something, it is hard to return. Let’s just call it quits and let it be.
On the other hand, how nice would it be if only those little ones grow up and not only do they walk the path of a wife or a husband, a mother or a father but also shoulder the responsibility of a grown up child supporting mum and dad. For a poor parent like me, time will tell but at this moment, I may have to start looking at my gold coins as the size of a bullock cart wheels again.
Today I feel poor yet rich at the same time. I had walked the path, laid out for me as a human being. I had brought up and provided for my little ones. I had my fair share of satisfaction and enjoyment of what time and money could buy. Money can be earned and meant to be shared and spent. I wonder if others out there in the same life cycle feel the same way.
YES, I’ve been there but NO I have not lost it all. I had exchanged my gold coins into something invaluable that cannot be measured by the number of digits in my bank statement or the size of a penny or a bullock cart wheel.
Money is meant to be spent. A penny for your thoughts.