I just want to share something with you guys...something about what I have learned about life. But there is a caveat to what I want to share with you all. Is is simply this...this is my take on life...me, myself and I...not any one else. It might bear some semblance to what you have experienced in your own life, it might not....it does not matter. Just take what good you can from what I have to say...that is if there is any good to be had....if there is nothing to be had....then que sera sera.
I know that there are others who are better than me in life, better in mind, better in moral and ethics, better in what they have achieved for themselves in their life and better in many many other things that you may care to think of....but better is subjective! You make what you want of it.
This morning I was driving my 1997 Mercedes 200 to Coles (the supermarket) for some groceries nearby. The car has paint peeling on the bonnet...a victim of Australi's harsh summer heat. The tape deck and CD deck has gone kaput. The heater sometimes work, and sometimes it does not.
I was asking myself if I was okay driving a car that is almost 20 years old? Really, really okay? It is an old car but it is still a decent car. It has not broken down on me yet and it is a comfortable mode of transport and a joy to drive. And I was happy in that car! Would I be happier if I was in a better Merc? Possibly.... but I did not need to drive a better car. What I have is enough for my needs.
There I was alone in the car and driving in Collins Street - the K HELL equivalent would be Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman....nobody was around and if I wanted to I could berate myself for not taking the material part of life a bit more seriously. A better car, good clothes....a nice house....but.... I really do not care a damm. It does nothing to me to not have those things in my life. Instead what I have is an OK car, have not bought any new clothes for years and no house : just a rental - a compact (read small) two bedroom apartment that you cannot even swing a cat in without touching the walls.
Right now what I have on is a sarong that someone sent me from K Hell as a gift, the windcheater I have on is a second hand one my son bought for me and my socks (with the obligatory holes in them) are so old that I have forgotten when I bought it. I have not bought any new shoes for over a decade...the last pair I bought new was in KL...and I have been away from KL for close to eight years now. The last time I bought a pair of spectacles was in Bangsar...again almost a decade ago. All my shoes are second hand.....about the only things I bought new (well I did not buy them, my son did) are my underwears.
But I tell you this....I can live the way I am living now because the life I have chosen to live allows me to do so. I have absolutely no peer pressure. Nobody to impress, nobody who would want to know how I live my life here in Melbourne, nobody to live my life by and the only thing that matters in my life is to first take care of my wife, my son and then me. Without peer pressure you live your life the way you want to.... or maybe the better way to say it would be, you live according to your means.
These are not the twilight of my life.
I wish I have been able to learn to live like this many many years ago...many decades ago when I was still living in K Hell...and when my parents were still around to share my life with me.
No regrets .....but if I had, it would have meant that maybe I would have been a better person to my parents and to my family.....better in the way that they perceive "better" to be. That thought that I was not the person "others" would want me to be does make me think if we should live our life for others....in the expectation of others....but in all sincerity, I think not because in the final analysis, you have to live with yourself.
This is the time of my life when I can reflect not only about the past, the current and the future...but I can do so without peer pressure. Try it.....and if you can put on socks with holes in them, wear second hand shoes that does not fit you as good as you would like them to fit, have trousers on you that needs a belt to hold it up, baggy shirts that does not really fit you but are comfortable....and drive a 20 year old car with paint peeling of the bonnet without worrying that you might meet someone you know at the traffic lights and get that "is that your car?" look from the guy...then you know in your hearts of heart that life is good. It is for me.