Something happened today that made me, my husband and his siblings all left work early in a mad rush. While at work, hubby called and told me in a shaking voice that his mom had suffered a stroke. Turn out, it was a panic attack (thank goodness). My mother in law was supposed to undergo a cataract removal surgery at a private eye clinic, when she had a panic attack and was sent to the hospital by the eye surgeon, who thought she had a stroke.
Anyway, right after the call from hubby, I immediately went to my superior, told him about the situation, and apologised for having to leave work early to attend to my family. Likewise for my hubby and his siblings, all of them went through the same thing, having to apologise for having to leave work to attend to family needs.
The thing is, why do we have to apologise for something that we are not sorry for? Family and loved ones DO COME FIRST, especially in time of such emergencies. Yes, we do have responsibilities towards our role, our job, our colleagues, and the company we work for. But at times like this, the desire to be freed from having a job we have no control over our working hours is even more acute. It makes even more sense to make good use of our pay-check to redeem our freedom, to do things that do matter, such as having control over how we utilise our time, to have the choice of spending time with people we want to be with. It make sense for me not to be using my salary to buy bags and shoes and beauty products, or dine at expensive restaurants like how I once did. And I can no longer relate to those who are using their hard earned money to splurge on branded goods, a bigger car, or on Italian furnitures. Isn’t having money in our bank account and a seven-figure portfolio more desirable? So that we can retire young and still be full of energy to truly do the things we want, go places we want to visit, and be with people that we want to be with.
My mother in law is still in the hospital as she has to undergo more scans and tests, and we are unsure if she will be discharged tomorrow. It pains me that my hubby and I have to go to work the next day, knowing that our hearts and minds will be with her, and it pains me that I overheard my sister in law calling her boss to apologise (again) that she is applying for urgent leave to accompany her mother tomorrow.
Early retirement. My dream, my goal.