Everyone has watched this show before – Frozen. One of the key song inside is “LET IT GO”. It’s a animation, it seems easy and fun to let it go, but in real life this is very difficult. How many people can really really let it go? But in real life, we have let go many things and have to keep let it go! However, it is really really very tough!
Can you remembered how difficult it is to let is go? Let me share snippets in life with you.
- Baby time – can you easily let go of your milk milk and diaper? For those who have kids, you would definitely remember that it very tough for the kid to let go of their diaper. They usually have a period of not willing to give up diaper.
- Sit, walk, run, eat – As parents, do you feel sadness, difficult as they move from each stage of their growing? From learning to eat mushy soft food to eating normal food, from lying down to starting to crawl, flipping over, sit, walk and run…Remembered the first time to let go of their hands to let them walk themselves? Remembered their first time in playground?
- Preschool transition to Primary School – Many kids are worried on the first day of their Primary School. Many kids jitters to leave a place where they are in for more than an working adult is in office daily (I bet many people never realized this). Yes, you didn’t read wrongly. Pre-school opens from 7am to 7pm with no annual leaves, Adult works from 8.30am to 6pm with annual leaves. Did you suddenly realize that your kids have been put into a place daily without annual leaves for the first 6 best years of their live? Careyourpresent please. Back to kids, they can’t let go of the places where they are in for years. As parents, you can’t let go for them to move from pre-school that need your helps for almost everything to semi-independent young kid in Primary school.
- Lower Primary – Primary 1-2 etc is where they need you most. Morning they go school, after class they come home (for those who have this luxury of letting them come home, thanks god for Covid which push the WFH trend). However, there are lots of kids who goes after school care while parents are fighting hard at work. By the time you pick them from after school care and ask them, “How is your day? Do you have anything interesting to share with me?” Most of them will just say no because you already missed the chance for them to share with you unless you asked them this question at 1.30pm after school. The chance to share is only at that moment while it is still fresh in their mind after school. Can the parents let it go for their work and bring them home (example live a lower standard of live with only single income family)?
- If we don’t let it go, how can we expect the kid to let it go of their work/family/friends to come a visit you whenever they are free etc when they are adults while you are aging in your 60-80s? Or they will give the same reasons as what we have given to them now?
- “We put you in childcare because we can’t take care of you as we have to work to earn income for family, especially for you – my dear child.” “We put you in nursing home because we can’t take care of you as have to work to earn income for my family, especially for you – my dear parents.” Remember, they learnt from you through your action.
- Upper Primary onwards – As they grow more busy with school work, CCAs, friends etc. They will have less time with you. If in their earlier years (preschools, lower primary etc), you didn’t spend time with them or open up yourselves to let them be comfortable to share things with you. Do you think they can let it go of their true feelings to share with you now? Do you think they can let it go of their time to do things they like and spend time with you? Once the time is missed, it is gone. But money can be earned back.
- After graduation, starting work – Many of us while we are in schools, we are tired of classes/exams and hope to start work sooner to earn own upkeep. We want to let go of our 20 years of study life. When we start work after a while, many of us actually wanted to go back to study. However, can you let it go of your monthly stable income? The golden handcuff?
- Changing job – Once you are in a job for quite sometime, happy with the leave, medical etc benefits, monthly salary, bonus etc, colleague/boss, environment etc. Are you willing to let it go and leave to spend time with your family or other things that are important to you even if you have earned enough? It’s very difficult to let go of your monthly paycheck, social/company status (especially for those leadership roles such as our manager, director etc role). Can you let it go while your family still need you or you simply need more time for yourselves, quit and spend time with family/yourself when you have enough? Especially those in your 30s 40s 50s etc with millions of networth.
- Deathbed – However, fast forward on your deathbed, will you remember your social status or will you miss the best time of your lives with your families/kids, achieving your goals? Look at the newspapers, there are many stories where the kids of the ultra rich families fighting for inheritance. There are many people sharing their main regrets in live is don’t know how to let go in order to spend their precious time in the things that matters to them most (can be lives, can be families, friends, etc anything, only you know what matter most to you.)
Your life is only how long – if you are lucky, you can live to 80-90 years old. If you are less lucky, maybe 60-70s years old. For those much more unlucky, 30-50 years old. For those really really unlucky, 0-30 years old. Think of your current age now, which stage of live are you in now? Do you belong to the lucky or the unlucky one? How many decades/years that you live for now, how many years are you left with?
Many of you should have heard this before:
While you are young, you have Time and Energy but No Money. When you first started work as adult, you have Time and Energy with Some Money. As your career progress, you have Energy and Money but No Available Time to spend as you want to work on your career. When you are old, you have lots of money, but no Energy and no Time.
Many don’t believe me, but can you still simply run and play hide and seek with your kids when you are in your 70s? Can you still don’t sleep till weed hours to watch TV? Can you play roller coaster? It is Really Really no Time and No Energy and this cannot be reversed.
Now, refer to the picture above. Think of your life as a bucket. You only have limited Time and Energy. However, there are so many things that you want to put into your life – Money, Work, Families, Social Status, Friends, Hobbies, Exercise, Health etc. But life is limited, everyday is limited. You only have 24 hours per day. You can’t put everything inside your bucket. Many people keep trying to squeeze everything into your bucket (Life) but the fact is you can’t. It will overflow one fine day. Hence what can we do?
Learn from Elsa. LET IT GO!
Keep only the important things in your bucket. Let go of the rest. What are important things? Only you will know. Different people have different priorities/goals/objectives in life. Ask yourself what are the most/more important to you. Keep those and discard the rest. Discard now and don’t wait until your deathbed to regret.
For myself, I am in step 3 now. I am planning to Let It Go for work in my life for few years. Why? This is my current schedule and it is unsustainable. I am waiting for the step 4 timing to come.
- 6.15 am – wake myself for the typical brush teeth, prepare for the day etc.
- 6.30 am – wake son in primary school, give him breakfast, wash up etc and then bring him to school.
- 7.15-7.30 am – back home and prepare to bring younger child to preschool.
- 8.30 am to 1.30pm – Work (now I am lucky still some days work from home, but it won’t last long as employer is not supportive). For days not wfh, I take leave or ask spouse to settle
- 1.30pm to 2pm – pick son from school, settle son down and then lunch
- 2 – 6pm – work
- 6pm – bring preschool child home
- 6pm – 10 pm – family time then sleep
- 10~11pm – wake up and do my own things – research on cryptos, companies, reading, blogging etc until 1-2am before sleeping
- and then the cycle repeats.
- For weekends, I would spend one day to bring family out and another day to visit our parents who are also very sick (frequently visiting hospitals).
- Some days I really cannot take it (old already need sleep), I slept at 10pm with the kids.
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