Just celebrated our wedding anniversary last weekend. We went out for a Japanese omakase lunch and I brought my wife to go jewellery shopping for her wedding anniversary and Christmas gifts. The last big celebration I had with my wife was for her birthday in the first half of the year. This is a good time for another big celebration in the second half of the year as we wind down and prepare for the new year.
It’s our 4th year back here living and working in Singapore as a couple. I was just thinking about our first 4 years living and working in Australia (Melbourne and Sydney). How time flies and how much our circumstances have changed. From clueless entry-level graduates with little assets and liabilities to more experienced corporate workers with a decent level of savings & investments and a big mortgage.
I also find myself comparing how different we have become from our time in Australia to now in Singapore. We used to be more open, carefree and adaptable as we adjusted from Melbourne to Sydney. Over time, we became more guarded, weighted with responsibilities and set in our ways. I want to say it’s because we are getting older but my guess is age has less to do with it than the fact that we are getting more comfortable with our lifestyle in Singapore.
I had a feeling this was going to happen when we moved back here. Going back to a familiar environment with a stronger emotional and financial support infrastructure while earning higher salary incomes was likely to result in lifestyle inflation and getting too comfortable with life. It’s not surprising this has happened for us as we enjoy and benefit from the stuff we were missing out on while living and working overseas.
We felt deserving of these rewards after going through all the tough learning experiences at a relatively young age while our peers had an easier time at home. Come to think of it, there was probably some level of inferiority complex at play that was driving us to think like that.
I mean, we try to motivate ourselves now by working hard at our jobs, travelling & socializing more and exercising frequently. But stability continues to creep back in once we condition ourselves and I keep wondering whether that is a good or bad thing. I reckon the worst outcome for us is complacency and that has to be one of my biggest fears. I don’t expect us to be continually improving but I would like us to keep trying to be better.
Is it possible to still learn while being in your comfort zone? Or are we just being greedy? That’s probably what we are about to find out.