When I started this blog a few months ago, I intended to write at least once a month. It’s an outlet for me to keep my sanity, to channel my thoughts whilst we are traveling and also as a way to help me shape my way for my sharing and teaching.
I had to stop writing in August and Sept as I fell pregnant. I was rather sick, thanks to the “all-day sickness” that made me look green every day. I could barely move, let alone do any thinking or write something half decent. The pregnancy caught us by surprise and we didn’t know what to do with the news initially. I am feeling a lot better now although one of the luxuries of being pregnant, ie tiredness, seems to be taking over more and more.
My husband went with the flow in his life earlier in the year. After many months of physical, mental and emotional agony, he finally decided to quit his profession. He had wanted to quit for a long time. I think that decision was one of the hardest things he has ever done. Being a man, a husband and a father, he always wants to provide the best for the family.
With our daughter being so young, with him not knowing what he really wants to do next in his life, feeling that he may be too old to start something anew and no company would want to hire someone his age, with only a bit of saving in the bank to see us through for a little while until we find our next thing, us not being the usual 20s or 30s something parents, with at least 20 years of school fees to be paid, he was caught in a rather unpleasant dilemma.
What should he pick – providing for his family and sacrificing his health and own happiness or choosing to provide less and bear a potential long-term uncertainty financially but be happier? For me, it’s a no-brainer to go for the latter but then again I am not the one who has to pay the bills at the end of each month, not just yet anyway.
As his wife, a partner and a friend, it was extremely painful to watch him going through that entire process again and again. He wanted to quit but was worried about our future. He didn’t know if he should put the right foot forward first or the left foot. The loop kept going round and round in his head. All I could do, and did, was to be there to support him in all aspects that I could whilst seeing him deteriorating in his health, his mindset and his whole being. He was no longer the man I chose to marry and yet I couldn\’t help him other than being his cheerleader.
I do believe that whatever we need to go through as part of personal growth, development or revelation, we have to go through that process ourselves no matter how painful it is. We can get love, support and advice from people but the bottom line is we are still in it ourselves. Revelation, change, rebirth, whatever the term is, only comes when we dig deep. Digging deep often means hardship and pain. However, without going deep, we will never commit, we will never learn and we will never complete the required cycle to get us to the next step, whatever that may be.
Other than being my husband’s cheerleader, I did tell him many times that his well-being was far more important than anything else. We don’t need a big house, we don’t need a nice car and we don’t need any fancy meals. All that is an idea planted into our heads by society. They are nice to have but don’t come with any guaranteed happiness, and certainly aren’t worth losing one’s happiness or health for. All we need is a simple roof over our heads and that we are all happy doing something fulfilling together as well as individually. If he is ok, we are ok. If he is not ok, we are not ok. He has to be happy doing what he does, personally and professionally, and the same goes for me. I don’t believe in “sacrifice”, trading one’s well-being and happiness for the sake of providing for someone else. What’s the point of having a great house and a Bentley but an unhappy husband, wife or partner? We all have to be well and happy as individuals in order to make any relationship work, let alone to have a family together.
When my husband finally decided to quit his profession and take a leap of faith, I was truly happy for him. I applauded him for going through that gruesome process. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for him, trying to find a new balance between providing for his family and finding his own life again. He had to reprogramme and re-wire everything that was planted in his mindset and to ensure that his new mindset won’t waver easily in the future. One big task if I may say. He is a much happier man now and he is on his way to finding something new. With that, we decided to do a long trip last summer to Europe, with the idea to move to Italy to live for a few years as I speak Italian and my husband wants to be somewhere near the French Alps.
As much as it was a holiday, we were hoping that the trip would give us better ideas in terms of what we would and could do next in our lives. We had a wonderful start in Italy, touring the Northwest region, as we knew we wanted to be in that area if we were to move to Italy. However, life seemed to have a different plan for us.
I found out I was pregnant as soon as we returned to the UK where we based ourselves. At the beginning, I was in semi denial and didn’t know what to do. I had a horrible pregnancy with my daughter and had to resort to a wheelchair halfway through my pregnancy. All that memories were still fresh and it’s only recently that I felt better being myself again so I had very little desire to go through it again.
It took us, or me to be more precise, some time to accept the reality of having another child, especially in the midst of our yet another transition and relocation in life. In fact, I threatened my husband a couple of times, in the middle of the night, that I would go for an abortion. I simply was not ready for the whole 9 months again which come with all the pre and post-natal stuff.
We decided to let faith decide as we couldn’t accept the idea of abortion unless nature decided the baby wasn\’t meant to be. Meanwhile, we agreed that the new baby shouldn’t stop us from doing what we planned to do.
After some careful thoughts, or more like going through an elimination process of options available, we decided to postpone our move to Europe as I want to give birth in Asia, with all the Asian comfort at my disposal.
Being back in Asia, we had to choose exactly where to put our feet down for the arrival of the baby. We have picked Singapore simply because we have a good doctor who looked after me well in my last problematic pregnancy and the residential rental is a lot cheaper than that of Hong Kong. Bangkok was another option but it had too many technical issues to deal with. Right now, we plan to be in Singapore only for a short term but one can never be sure. Indeed, we have to and are hoping to, find out more in terms of what we would like and can do in our lives as we continue to move onward and forwards.
I know it all sounds a bit positive and easy. It is and it isn’t. It has taken us quite a lot of thought to get to where we are. From the moment to decide to pack up and go for a new life, then a 180-degree change in direction with the news of pregnancy, to choosing somewhere to “park” short term, it was enough to make our heads spin and spin. I can also tell you that my husband’s mind has started spinning at night again. As calm as we feel, there are still a lot of currents going on underneath the calm surface. I do hope that we will get to a less unknown place before my husband chews all his 10 fingers’ nails!
What we are doing is not a brave thing. It’s only brave if people want to do the same but don’t want to at the same time, for whatever the reason is. We are not more courageous than anyone else. We just feel that it’s the right thing to do. It doesn’t mean that it is easy, it simply means it’s easier to take the plunge and go with the unknown than continue doing something which has no meaning to us, something that doesn’t work for us anymore.
The flow in life is with us. We can choose either to go with it even though it looks daunting and the direction seems to keep changing, or we choose to go against the flow and wait for the moment to be drowned eventually. The choice is always ours, and the perspectives are always ours. We want to choose our lives as much as let life choose us. The Yin and Yang are not static. Rather, it’s a dynamic duo. We need to find the stillness in the dynamics and the dynamics in the stillness.
It sounds very Zen but I can tell you that when the days are going well, I feel we are moving with the universe. But when things don’t work out, I feel the universe is just crapping on us!
We still have a lot to deal with before our move to Singapore. As much as our next physical step is clear, I feel we are actually walking into a bigger unknown than ever. We are trusting this moment, we are trusting our decision. We can plan and worry as much as we want to but all we have is now and all we can do is in this moment. With the courage that comes with trust, we move forward day by day, keeping our focus and vision somewhere out there on the horizon.
With my husband continuing to bear the financial responsibility, he has also started to try out new things. I feel somewhat useless at times but that’s because I like doing things and being productive. At the moment, I need my rest days and my role is to get to next year for the arrival of our 2nd child. As much as I would like to do more sharing and teaching, I just feel that it’s not quite my time. So this blog is my outlet whilst I take a “back seat” in life for the time being. I do hope though one day, with the right timing, I would be able to fulfill this vision in my head and be in a position to reciprocate the support and space that my husband is giving me now. Hopefully, when I get to that day, he will have by then achieved his next thing in life.
As I said, my intention is to blog at least once a month, I am doing my best to keep it going. In the next few months, if not a year, I may be somewhat busier. Please do come back and check for updates.
With trust in the flow of life.