Work Till Death Do Us Part

By Yohanna Abdullah
I am alone in my room. My bapak is in the living room watching a boxing match (he was a former boxer in his prime), my mak is praying Ishak in her room as she gets ready to go to Johor Bahru with her friends and sister.
I am drinking the last dregs of coffee from my extra large Kit Kat mug (with reindeers and flowers) and am waiting for my son to come, if he comes home tonight. Otherwise, he will come home tomorrow to accompany his Atok while I will be at work.
I had an early dinner at 4.30 pm, so greedy I was to eat Mak’s delicious cooking of pan fried fish with soya sauce and green chilli and onion dip, chilli prawns and white radish in coconut milk gravy. It was super delicious but I am making a conscious choice not to eat again tonight. Tomorrow I have to be out by 8.10 am to catch a cab to the Singapore Expo for a social media summit.
I worked for most  of today doing some translations and had a  short enervating nap in the afternoon. My body was aching from prolonged sitting in front of my laptop the whole of yesterday till today.
Today, I thought about work, why it is called work as we really have to shed sweat to have the outcome or fruits of our labour.  It doesn’t always come easy, even if you have been doing the same type of work for decades. Even repetitive work which supposedly one can do with the eyes closed is not that easy, if you take into factor, your mood, health and motivation for the day. Anyways, mostly there will be new challenges and struggles to keep us on our toes, for me, usually of the digital kind. At the end of the day, there is the satisfaction of an honest work done and of course the financial reward unless we do it purely as voluntary work.
Work is also a form of self-expression and reflects our creativity, strengths and values. Work is play when it is fun and  allows you to be yourself. For me, working freelance from home offering writing, editing and translating services has always had its perks and I enjoy tapping away on my lappie while I just woke up in my jammies. It also allows me to combine housework and work-work in the same comfortable setting.
Yet, I enjoy going to the office twice a week to be with my  peers at Club HEAL, sharing my writing experience and imparting skills through poems, lyrics, profiles, drama and more while expressing our innermost thoughts and feelings through discussing a whole myriad of topics. As a part-time rehab executive, I play a role in the healing and recovery of people like me who are also facing  their own mental health challenges. I cannot describe the immense satisfaction when I see that I do make a difference in their journeys.
At this age of 52, I have different priorities and want to have the life of my dreams which involves balancing my mental, physical, spiritual and financial goals with a healthy work-family life anchor. Being there for my newly adult children and for my aged parents and the rest of my beloved family is very important, even more than being there for my friends, who I love dearly too.
As my hair greys more each day, I know that I am a day closer to my parting from this world and I will meet my Maker soon. This is my main priority actually, knowing and loving Allah who has created me perfectly for me in all my imperfections. Death may be scary for most, and I cannot say I completely have no fear of it, but I know that if death involves some form of pain, I can bear it patiently, welcoming my union and return to Him from whom I came into this world, also with a degree of pain.
Thank you for listening to my meanderings and hope you have a good night, my friends. Yes, all will be well, Inshaallah (God willing).
May peace be upon you.

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