December is also a period of time where people get informed of their year end bonuses. Generally it's a festive month for them as the hard earned bonuses makes them spend a little on themselves and their families. For me? It's a month of tightening my belt. My income probably become less than 1k during the winter months - not even sufficient to offset my fixed expenses of 3.5k. Usually it's not a problem but this year is bad due to a variety of reasons that I don't wish to explain, hence there's little excess from the good months to tide over the winter months.
|"It's time to tank behind a shield and wait for the harsh months to pass"|
Pic by zgul-osr1113 from deviant art
As I've less work and more time at hand, I usually take the quieter period to think about whether this is the kind of life that I want to be in, or is it time to do something different. Always it's the same few thoughts:
1. Have faith - Think positively and fulfilling work will come your way. So much so that I will have to reject some of them because I don't have time to take them up.
2. Have a break - I've been working hard for the months leading up to my winter months, so relax and give myself a hiatus before cheonging again for the coming new year. I rest now so that I can walk further later.
3. Have a life - Work, though it seems like play to me, is fulfilling but there are other aspects to life as well that can be equally fulfilling. I take this opportunity to experience life, spend more time with loved ones, exercise hard, sleep late, devour tonnes of books and play games that I wouldn't have the time/energy to do in my peak months.
I guess ten years being a full time tutor already allowed me to understand what it is like to be in this business. I voluntarily choose to have no paid leave, no paternity leave (if I have a kid), no bonus, no CPF employers contribution, no medical benefits, no chance to travel overseas, no colleagues, no career track, no company functions, no fanciful resumes and no corporate titles. Instead, what I do have is a lot more free time, a meaningful work that doesn't even feel like work, and a goddamnit will to survive years of seasonal retrenchment and pick myself up again and again.
Time to sit tight in the winter months and wait for the robins to appear.