read this article on thursday. even though we are not at this stage, i find myself identifying with the last sentence in the article.
truly, sometimes, it just takes a different perspective to change everything.
u know, i am one of those who believed that we should work hard, accumulate $ and assets for our future (future generations). and that financial security is important and i have to work at it to ensure that i am provided for. of course, i was also motivated by the idea that all my hard work will be rewarded whether it's more money, material goods, luxurious holidays or whatever.
alot of focus was on working, working hard and being employed. it was hard to imagine not working and with that, losing the stable income.
i was like in a game u know -- after u cleared one stage, u advance to the next and it gets harder and harder to clear it ;p and it's like never ending. although i think i see the "end", but it's not the end yet ;)
maybe i was the "un-enlightened" one and allowed myself to get caught up in the game. and sadly :
(1) i didn't know how to press the reset button (2) i was not happy to be stucked at a certain level and so continued to work at cracking the next level (3) on top of that, i want to beat the highest score to-date. No-no, low scores are for losers.
seriously, i think i was very "un-enlightened" and allowed myself to be running the rat race. and one aspect of the race was the consumerism.... and in the end i was the one being consumed ;p LOLOL.
am i the only un-enlightened one? (-_-)
even though, i am not one into branded goods, it is the idea that i should be earning enough to afford them IF I WANT TO that drives me. of course, i have my indulgences lah, who doesn't?? and food is one of my indulgence :)
but honestly, i was always feeling poor!!! and i think one of the factors that exacerbated the situation was the housing loan. it stressed me that we have a loan and that should one of us not work, we will be in trouble. and therefore i must work. and even when i didn't really enjoy what i was doing i just continued. no wonder i was so stressed lah.
when the chance came for hubbie to move to hong kong, i was more than ready to go. it presented an opportunity to "re-start". don't ask my why i find it so difficult to restart when i was singapore. maybe it's the comfort zone that i was in. maybe it's just a combination of factors such as expectations, familiarity and so forth.
hong kong enlightened me in a few ways -- the first job i took showed me that heyz, i can actually have work life balance!!! hahah. the second job i took was completely different from my past jobs and gave me the opportunity to experience something new. the idea of working changed.
the european enlightenment was something else. the reason why i was so bored of this place was because in HKG and SG, our key activities were working, shopping, going out to restaurants for meals, hanging out with frens for coffee/tea/drinks etc. and coming here ... oh dear, there's no life!!!
rediscovering the simple joys of taking walks, doing gardening, pottering around the house and enjoying nature is just that -- simple -- life became simplified. and it was no wonder that i found it difficult to adjust coming from the hustle and bustle of city living.
coming back to the article and the "哈租族" -- i am neither for or against the idea but it did set me thinking and it came at the right time --- since we will be going back to Asia soon and asia's consumerism "spirit" is a strong force to reckon with ;p
honestly, i've never been more contented with my state of being, than in my 3+ years here in the netherlands. despite all the "complaints" i have about this place and being here, i can honestly say that i am contented.
somehow, being here, there's no need to strive. and everyone seems contented with their own lot too. as i mentioned above, life's simple. nobody seems to care for the latest gadgets or looking to upgrade their property/cars etc. everybody's so leisurely and seemingly having lots of time to spend with the family and going to the parks and having family outings.
maybe it's just me -- that i'm easily influenced and caught up with the rest of world. maybe you are not like that --you are able to step back and let the world race past without being caught in the fervour of the race. good for you!!
Whatever it is, I hope i will be able to strike a balance and keep my sense of zen when we move back to Asia. :)