This year is a particular year. After 3 years of the pandemic, we finally visited our relatives on the first day of the lunar new year. We went out and took the bus. My mom’s shoe sole dropped off. We need to wait for her to change to a new shoe. Then by the time we walked to the bus stop, the bus just left. We took an hour and still have not gotten to the bus stop. We have 5 family members on the bus.
When we finally hop onto the bus, it started to rain. We missed our bus stop and overshot by 1 stop as it was raining and the bus driver was driving fast, coupled with the bus stops being empty. We need to hold our umbrellas; I was pushing the baby stroller while my wife is carrying the toddler. My mom was holding my elder child’s hand, covering him with the umbrella.
We walked a 500 m distance in the rain, the wind was not helping as well. Then we finally crossed over to the junction at the traffic light, the wind was getting strong. My wife’s umbrella was blown off, the toddler was soaked in the rain. I need to recover the umbrella. It was pathetic.
During the Lunar New Year or any festival season, I feel the importance of having a car. My last car was scrapped in 2016. My balls shrunk when I drove my friend home recently as he was drunk. That’s my level of driving competency now. I took 5 minutes for reverse parking. During Lunar New Year, it is difficult to get a Grab car or Comfort taxi. Especially when we have 5 people, the toddler needs to be seated on the lap, we are at the mercy of whether the driver wants to take us. Grab has the 6-seater option but guess the price during Lunar New Year. I am willing to pay $26 for a 4.4 km ride but not for $38.
I felt miserable at the traffic junction when everyone is drenched and low-spirited.
My wife asked why we need to be so pitiful.
We need a 2nd hand vehicle. It is about striking a balance.
We finally reached our uncle’s place. We were drenched and looked pathetic. I have 2 cousins, 1 is a successful lawyer and the other has a husband who runs a family office. Both stay in landed properties worth 3m and 7m respectively. The younger cousin carries a Picotin Hermes bag while the elder sister carries a Birkin Hermes bag. I have 1 younger cousin who is an influencer, she wanted to find out about investing in property. She preferred to ask the more “successful-looking” cousins. Looks matter. I look too humble with my Casio watch, my wife’s Lindy Hermes is at home. It will be wet if we bring it. Or maybe proven track record matters? I stay in HDB. I am proud of it.
I asked my wife I think in terms of net worth, we are probably in the range of SGD 3.5 – 3.7m. I don’t think net worth-wise; we are not too far from my cousins. Ok maybe quite far, as I last heard the 7m property can be sold for 11m now. That’s Fuck U money. Just the capital gain is worth more than our entire net worth. The different platform creates different results. I need to remind ourselves that we are quite comfortable with our own rights.
It is how competitive we want to be.
Do we need to compare and win over others? Do we need to keep up with the Joneses?
I explained to my wife we are different, and we want to pursue FIRE. We live our own lives. We want to have the option to choose our own adventure. Ok, probably we need to have a vehicle. Do we? I am working from home. The elder child can take the school bus. My wife works in town. We only need a vehicle during the weekend to go places. We need a vehicle during the festival. We should have booked the car a month in advance using Tribecar, Getgo, or another car-sharing platform.
Maybe that’s why I don’t like to go to the Lunar New Year gatherings. When you don’t meet others, you don’t need to compare. Ok, we are going to move to Malaysia. Out of sight, out of mind. I am an introvert at times.
In conclusion, we are confident in ourselves. We don’t need to prove this to anyone. It is about self-worth and not net worth.
Updated on 24th January 2023 Lunar New Year Day 3
Today I brought the family to watch the movie Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. There are some good life lessons that I thought are good reminders.
Death is the equalizer in life – The Big Bad Wolf
We all know that cats have nine lives. Puss is left with his last life. Puss faces death, death is portrayed by The Big Bad Wolf. Everyone thinks they are the hero until they are facing death. Death brings the realization that life is fragile and you cannot bring anything with you. Neither fame, glory nor wealth. We all will meet death one day, live your life well before we meet again. I learn that one life is enough, and this life is worth fighting for, we may not always win but we need to face it.
Treasure your love – Puss & Kitty
It is important to love yourself first before loving others. Puss feels remorseful as he chooses himself instead of his true love. He ran away on his wedding day, leaving Kitty without an explanation. He lived his life in regret. The reality sinks in when we reached our endpoint. What are your greatest regrets? Have you told your loved ones that you love them?
What Goldilocks taught me?
Goldilocks was pursuing a wish. She wishes for a normal family. She was adopted by the Three Bears. There was a scene that mentioned, “Sometimes what you wish for is already in front of you”.
We need to practice gratitude and appreciate what we already have.
Goldilocks has already found her family, it is a special bond with the Three Bears. They can count on one another and share a special bond in good and bad times.
My family is always there for me during good and bad times.
Little Jack Horner
He was snubbed when he was young. He was compared to Pinocchio who was more popular. He has a strong desire to show the world that he has made it by becoming the most powerful magician.
I can relate to Jack in a way when we are snubbed when I was young. It is a different form of inferiority complex. I grew up poor and was teased for being poor as a kid.
Poise of Roses
Perrito shows Puss and Kitty the way to overcome the poise of roses is to slow down and smell the roses. Sometimes it is important to take a pause and appreciate life. It is pointless to live a fast and furious life but you don’t remember anything good out of it. Living in the moment creates happiness.