Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Time slipping through my hands like sand

It's nearing the end of Feb. Soon it'll be March and it'll be another quarter of 2015 gone. Just like that.

It's crazy when you sit back and observe the flow of time. It's slowest when you have nothing to do and you keep looking at your watch, urging with all your mental strength for the minutes to tick by faster. It's fastest when you're the busiest, secretly wishing that time will slow down for you to do that little bit more. Since I felt that time passes without me noticing, I must have been busy.

Work-wise, I don't recall having been this busy in this usually quiet first few months of the year. If I didn't control, I would have been head to toes in work by Feb, which is highly unusual. Am I complaining? Yes and no. Yes because I felt that I had not fully rested. I've been running into this year since last year. No, because my salary increases with more work hours. I'm busier hence I earn more. In terms of my saving goals, I've a few more months to earn before the traditionally drier seasons, so it's highly likely that my savings goals will be reached, and likely sooner.

My ideal kind of retreat

That should have been a happy occasion, worthy of celebration. But I stand here, slightly ambivalent about the achievement. What's happening to me? No longer a money whore? No longer pursuing financial freedom dreams? Not that, it's just that these days, I'm more aware of the cost of reaching any goals. And I'm slightly weary of it. At the back of my mind, this question keeps lingering on my mind - "so what?". So what if you achieved the savings target? It'll be like that the next year and the next year and the next year until a bigger target is achieved. And then what?

Is there a stop to all these? I think there is, but it's far far away. And in the meantime, I better do something to prevent myself from burning out. It's a long journey ahead, and I'm determined to finish happy. Perhaps this long CNY break, which prevents me from working, is making me slightly depressed. I know how ludicrous I sound, but my work is a savior to me in multiple ways. For one, it tempers my mood and usually during my off peak season, I almost always feel slightly moody.

In terms of health, I managed to do 3 clean chin ups. Still working on it, and doing it every other day with my wife at the pull up bar. She's getting stronger too, but still can't clear that important hurdle from zero to 1. Will be switching to palms facing outwards soon (technically a pull up) and fully expecting a drop in the number of counts.

I also managed to finish 10 books and I'm into my 11th book now. 1 book a week means I should have done 9 books, so I'm slightly ahead, but not too far. I'm reading slower because I've to prepare for some new modules to teach, and that takes up some time from me. I'm actually quite happy to stick to my reading schedule. Usually I will read more during my off peak seasons, but I'm trying to see if I can stick to a more regular kind of reading schedule, which means I can probably read more than 52 books a year. That would be amazing! Imagine the incremental knowledge that I will have by reading just more books that others. I'm not a scholar by appointment, but I think I'm one by habit.

I started this article feeling down but finished it feeling a little more upbeat. I think it's great counting our blessings!

21 comments : said...

Hi AK,

Your post sounds like a continuation of SMOL 辛福是什么。I believed you have already walked out of your own darkness.

Since your drier months are here, lets meet up for a cup of good old kopi and enjoy the taste of '辛福'。

Singapore Man of Leisure said...


Must give you a big kick!

Don't you ever do this with a girl!!!


It's LP, not AK ;)

A Freudian slip again. You have man-crush on AK or what

Singapore Man of Leisure said...


I find it nice having to work during weekends.

If every day is Sunday, then Sunday soon loses its meaning.

Like tuning guitar strings, there's standard, alternative, and special tunings ;)

The sound we produce reflects how we feel at a particular moment.

Investopenly said...

LP : I guess that's life, regardless of our financial status and success, we do occasionally feeling down (for one reason or the other, some unexplainable). The key is to consciously try to make such moment as short as possible and move on from there.

Keep going, keep smiling ;-)

darren said...


If you feel a bit depressed because you are not able to work, it means you have a good job! Not many people can boast that.

As Richard pointed out, there's a problem if someone is constantly down, but otherwise it's normal to have some "down"-time.

Congrats on the chin ups too!

Rolf Suey said...

Hi SMOL (Hahhaa...) LP I mean,

Great to hear that you are feeling more upbeat towards the end of writing. This is mixing hardwork (not nec in work but in blogging) and passion producing happiness.

I am like you, had extremely busy start of year. But unlike you, I prefer to rest more! :-)

Then I remember someone said this... in life you crawl crawl.. walk walk.. jog jog.. run run..... walk walk...or may even stop stop.. then run run even faster..different stages, different pace... but remember to pace yourself!

Btw, it's fantastic to hear u managed 3 Chin ups! No kicking of legs please.. haha.. just kidding.

la papillion said...

Hi derek,

The things that I like to do are important emotionally for me. When I was in serious depression (not those emo type but the jump down suicidal type), I think work is the thing that saves me. It gives me a lot of purpose and meaning. I might be upset and depressed but my duty to my students overrides that, so it saves me. I'm still grateful for it.

Will arrange with you for Kopi ;)

la papillion said...


Totally agree. It's always always during my down moments that I'm at the height of my creativity. It just takes different forms to express itself - sometimes it could be on a form of an art piece, could be a blog post, could be a new way of solving a particlar problem, a new way to blog out my thoughts etc etc.

I think as long as it's not taken to extremes, the little depressed mood is good for me.

Love the guitar strings examples!

la papillion said...

Hi Richard,

Agree with you :) you might be a newbie in blogging and finance, but you're certainly not a newbie of life :)

la papillion said...

Hi rt,

Thanks! I really love my work, though not the intensity. My big plan is to give myself one day off once I hit a certain portfolio target that can generate a certain amt of passive income. That will be a big step towards my mental health and work/life balance.

3 chin ups! Yes! I've exceeded my target to hit 1 chin up by cny :)

la papillion said...

Hi rolf,

You keep going overseas until you xian right? Lol.. My only break happens spontaneously when my scheduled lessons got cancelled by students due to various reasons. Other than that, it's work from Mon to sun :/

My chin up is proper and clean! No kicking, no jerking! Simply because I don't have to pass my IPPT now, my standards are going to be higher lol!

The Independent Abecedarian said...

Personally, I have my targets, my goals that I really want before I set my path towards Financially Free. Because most of the things I want, costs money.
Financial security might be one but I crave more than that.

With my targets set out, I then plan how I should go about it.
With this way, I am always walking towards my goals, even when I become financially free.

I believe every one must dream big so they can keep on going, keep on living and not stop. Because we all only life once.

- TheIA

B said...


The first two months somehow always feel like it's passing us too quickly, I think the short month of Feb and CNY play a big part on it. From March onwards, I'm sure we'll see a pretty draggy long year ahead.

Look up on the bright side and I am definitely looking forward to meeting you guys again for our second round this time.

la papillion said...


Thanks for sharing your goals :) I also have many milestone targets to reach, but sometimes I wonder what's the point of it all. But like you, I'll go on fighting - there's no other way for me but to go on!

la papillion said...

Hi B,

You're right..Feb is a pretty short month with a long break of CNY included. I might actually be looking forward to Mar cos there's a planned holiday for me (my wife can't take it too, she needs to get out of here for a while).

Will meet again ;)

Sillyinvestor said...

Hi LP,

Fatigue or hectic schedule followed by a long break that off your engine is always the recipe for feeling blue.

I always feel like that towards the end of a long holiday. Dun feel like working etc. But once in the thick of actions, it gets better...

More work means more money. My pay is fixed, maybe I should chill more on the areas that I am not passionate about LOl

la papillion said...

Hi SI,

Hey, I think you're right...I didn't see it this way. It's like a heated wok suddenly plunge into cold water and now it is to be heated up from scratch again! That's exactly how I felt.

Not everything is about money ;) You know it already, so work on the areas that brings you most joy ;)

Jes said...

Hi LP,

I think you need a cigar. You deserve a break anyway and you have got an upcoming overseas trip to look forward to so cheer up!

SMK said...

Chin up bro.
don't think of end goal daily.
just focus on achieving your yearly goal

la papillion said...

Hi Jes,

Haha, I think I do! I'm much better now, thanks for the encouragement!

la papillion said...


Never think about it daily lah, will go crazy haha! I try to focus on my work and it'll help me get through the lowest point of my mood swings :)