Thursday, 19 January 2012

miso interviews mf

I have been waking up in the middle of the night. Sometimes I'll doze off. But I'll wake again. And I'll lie there watching the sky turn bright.

Had some thoughts during those sleepless hours in the past week. I'll organise these thoughts with the help of miso..

Years back, I said that I wanted to be a stay-at-home mum. But after all these months of being a housewife, I think maybe I cannot stay at home. There are only so many dramas I can watch! It's quite a chore trying to think of things to cook. And in Singapore, I don't really need to cook. I'll be more bored! But maybe it's because baby is not in my arms yet - less things to do... Anyway, I figure that to keep myself occupied - and for practical financial reasons of course - I should get my ass back into the workforce.

miso: So, what is your motivation for work?

Our kids. I want our kids to have a better life than I ever had as a kid. And when they grow up, they should be able to have their own life without worrying about their parents' financial needs. Having an income additional to Sito's is a means of doing that.

miso: So will you be looking for some high-paying jobs?

Money is just a means of providing for our kids; it's not everything. So I must balance income level and time. Sito may be travelling lots. So I must be around for our kids. I'm hopeful *fingers crossed* that my old department with its increased strength will be less hectic than before. After all, my unit has been split into three!

miso: So... You're motivated by a desire for public service too?

Um, not really.. Maybe when I was younger.... I know that the work can have a positive impact on the country, on many people. Unfortunately, no matter what we do, it's never enough, and/or there will always be people who are unhappy. And unhappy people tend to be louder. There is just too little positive feedback for public service to be a motivator. It can only be a cause to believe in. Motivator, no.

Besides, I don't earn hundreds of thousands :) Which lead me to a thought on the ongoing debate over political salaries - it reminded me of that GP discussion in JC1 on the meaning of life. It was such a long and pointless discussion! No one was satisfied with any answer. Yet we all went on living, didn't we?! I'm being practical - there are more pressing matters than frivolous discussions on philosophical ideals and principles.

miso: Earlier, you mentioned a better life for your kids. So you believe in social mobility?

When I am a product of positive social mobility, of course! My parents were hardly educated; among the three of us kids now, we have two degrees and two poly diplomas. We went from under the 10th percentile of household income to about the 40th percentile when MZ and I started work. My current household was doing even better before we left our jobs in 2010.

But I had a little discussion with a friend lately. Social mobility, especially economic mobility, can be easily wiped out in an instant say if old parents with no CPF and little savings succumb to any major illness. That's why we must work hard to also ensure that we do not burden our kids in future. The whole 养儿防老 thing is bullshit. I must make sure that I'm the last generation in my family to fear its repercussions.

And, social mobility varies from generation to generation. My generation has gone much further than my parents' generation because they started at a low base. We can help our kids go the furthest they can, but realistically, I cannot expect them to achieve another quantum leap in standard of living. Well, unless they work on Wall Street or become amazing entrepreneurs or something along those lines. I can hold only such aspirations for them but not such expectations.

miso: What if your kids are not smart?

Then I hope they're willing to work very hard! 就算扫地也要扫到最干净!That's what we said when we talked about this a while ago.

But I had a little rethink this week. My little girl from the tutoring programme came back from winter break unable to tell "no" from "on"! Now I'm seriously wondering if she is dyslexic... I could hardly communicate in English at that age but I could actually read a story book. Maybe she isn't making enough effort..

So, the bigger question for me is whether I can be patient with kids who are not like me, be it in terms of um, intellect (I believe I do have some smarts!) or willingness to work hard. I guess I won't know until it happens.

*** some days later ***

miso: You idiot! You forgot to publish this!!


I eventually clicked "Publish" on 27 Feb 2012, when I was trying to make a reference to this post but couldn't find it... Guess my smarts are limited *.*

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