It has been three years since I left my job permanently. I made that choice. September month marks the anniversary. I have been thinking. How was it like during this intervening period?
I had three years of no salary and no employer/employee contributions to CPF. I took out a sum of my CPF money annually to cover my personal expenses. As for family expenses, they were covered by my family investment portfolio. I manage this portfolio with my wife, who had also left the workforce.
It is whole new experience for me. I am comfortable with it. To get back to the job market frightens me. It may seem surprising. I am an introvert. Of course, there is nothing wrong being an introvert. I much prefer to keep to myself. I do not relish mingling with a group of people. To stand in front of a group of students to deliver a lesson was not easy. It required preparations and teaching aids. I remembered an incident when I was nervous representing a group to deliver the group’s deliberation to the whole class. I was not good at it. I need not be a spokesman or a PR person, but I am more than happy to follow or to work in the background.
The irony is that in all my work life, I had to lead as a senior member of a team. You had to as you gained experiences and your salary kept going up. The management put you up and paid you to lead. So I did my best and at some point I would hit the end of the road. I was best up to that point. To hope to cross that point was wishful thinking. It would affect my physical health and mental well-being.
I took a step back and was realistic with my expectations. There is no point in challenging my innate qualities to be someone I am not. I learn to be contented and adjust my lifestyle to suit my retired status. I think it is alright three years on.