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Work vs. Family

“My mother has gone off again”, says this six-year-old girl who is a friend of my younger son. Out of generosity, I pick her up and send her back to and from school as a favor since she lived nearby. “Your father leh?” I asked. “Oh, he doesn’t come home anymore”, she says, nodding sadly. “What-?” “He lives in Singapore because he has to work there”, she explained. I nod but inside, I felt my heart clenching. During those times when this little girl’s mother has to go off on another trip (mostly to China) for work, one of their relatives would have to hold fort. She must have a high-flying position in the company and earn an obscene amount of money but strangely enough, I am not at all envious of her. You see, although the only place I can go in my career is from here to….here (?), I feel that my kids and me are a lucky bunch of people. We are together and we’re just happy that way, we’re stable and we’re just…you know, contented. We have enough dosh to keep us floating but not enough to send us all to Paris on an exotic holiday twice a year. But is that important? I don’t know. Although I think an insane amount of money would be nice, it’s not my life mission. Position and wealth, to me, is secondary in life. I am sure this is not something the parents of the child in question can help. Once they’re in that position, it’s hard to break out of it. Well, they can but I would assume that they would have to give up a whole damn lot of stuff to break out of it…something not a lot of people can or are willing to do. “My mommy don’t want to go but her friend (boss, I think) keep asking her to go”, says the girl sadly. I nod. “Well, work is work, dear”

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