What good is wealth without health?

At this very moment, I’m lying on my bed blissfully as I try my best… to reflect on the past year.

And with a weak smile I attempt to delude myself that I haven’t had any regrets in this year.

Let’s just say… 2013 has been a very bad year thus far. Indeed, I’ve had my good experiences, ISCEP, HQ activities, successful Red House initiatives, picking up a musical instrument after a long period of contemplation. But the year hasn’t bode as well as I expected.

Firstly, my results. For the entire year, my grades have been constantly fluctuating. I worry every single time the teachers go through the papers. I worry every single time I receive a test script to undesirable results. I worry every single time my progress report comes back. I worry every single time I face the threat of having to drop my 4H2s. I worry every time I fail to grasp a new concept in lectures and tutorials. I worry every single time I see my peers having consultations with tutors while I have absolutely no idea what to ask. I worry. Every single time. Society has molded me so much, into a person who is dictated by her grades. To a person whose intellect will be judged by her report card. To a person who has to constantly compare with others to know where she stands in the academic world. To a person whose future depends on that one piece of paper. To a person who has conceded defeat to this cruel education system, helplessly clinging on to the mad race to secure a bright future.

Secondly (and more significantly), health. It frightens me how hospital visits have become… ordinary. Just a few months ago, it was my Dad. And now, it’s my Mom. No, I don’t require any form of pity. I’m fine, they’re fine too. But I just hate how I have to worry for their health, perhaps because of age? My brother is 27, and at 17 I am the youngest child of my family. In a bid to grow up quickly, to be able to do everything my siblings can (that I still can’t), I have seemingly forgotten that they’re also aging along with me. Really quickly.

I guess early retirement is the catalyst to a sedentary lifestyle. Since childhood, I have been painted a rosy picture of retirement. Something to look forward to when you get old, to enjoy the golden years of your life with all the retirement payouts.

But why does it seem to be posing so many problems now?

I have started to take many things for granted too. In the past, we hardly went out as a family, and a simple trip to USS would take weeks of planning and loads of preparations to inform customers because my parents never took time off work. Never. 7 days a week, 8am to 11pm. My parents were so exhausted after each day I never dared bother them much, every moment spent together during the Chinese New Year holiday and selective public holidays were extremely precious. Now, we don’t even bother to spend time out together as a family anymore. Perhaps we do, but who really cares about going out together when you see one another at home every single day?

I don’t know why I’m having these late-night musings, let’s just treat this as a reflection I very much needed. I probably got inspired by Tuesdays with Morrie anyway, really happy that I managed to pick it up at the library a few days ago. Reading and watching dramas makes me feel so alive.

And for the next half of the year, may my entire family be in good health. Please.

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