There has been no new post on this blog for the past week. Reason being my wife and I went for a trip to Seminyak (Bali) for a few days with our good friends and their almost 2 year old daughter. We stayed in a 2 bedroom villa and had a great time brunching, wining & dining at different cafes & restaurants every day. The local food scene in Seminyak never ceases to amaze me and it is essentially a culinary hotspot with some of the best places to eat at in the region. We did some shopping and even got to take half a day trip to Ubud (Bali).
This break couldn’t have come at a better time. We had a bad time at work last week as some of our respective project deadlines were due and we had to wrap up quite a bit of stuff before going off on our holiday. We flew back to Singapore yesterday afternoon and it was our first day back in the office today. It sucks to be at work again after having such a nice time being away. But we are feeling better, more relaxed & recharged.
I’m not sure what inspired this post. Probably the difference in how I was feeling on a Wed night one week ago before the trip and one week later today after the trip. I can still remember how stressed out both of us were, how little we were talking to each other and how much we were arguing. This is what happens when things get very busy and shit hits the fan at work for both parties of a couple at the same time. You fight about more stuff (especially the little things), don’t communicate as much and your relationship suffers as a result.
It’s good to be honest about stuff like that. Too many couples don’t talk about the price they pay when both sides take on full-time jobs. It’s easy to focus on the financial and non-financial benefits such as dual salary income, higher spending power, higher savings & investments rate and wider professional & social networks. We don’t discuss the toll it takes on our relationship. My wife and I are particularly sensitive about this because it has always been about the two of us against the world. Each of our move from Melbourne, Sydney to Singapore required us to break down and rebuild aspects of our relationship, jobs and friendships.
It only worked because we had each other and we knew what we have is far more valuable than anything else. The key was always to protect our relationship first and everything else would somehow fall into place as long as we don’t give up. This is why it is important for us to know when to take a break. From the demands of the people around us and of ourselves. Whether they are the outstanding tasks assigned to us by our bosses & colleagues, the time & attention we devote to care for our families and the pressure we put on ourselves to meet our financial goals.
It allows us to reconnect and remember what is the point of all of this. It also brings some level of clarity to the direction we are headed in. The realisation that we cannot keep up at this pace for a long time. Eventually, we will have to slow down to avoid burning out. We have worked hard to put ourselves in a position financially and in our careers where we can consider not chasing for the next promotion or higher paying job and not having to take significant investment risks to grow our portfolio. Maybe it’s time to stop planning for the next thing and let nature take its course. At least for a while.