I recently met up with an old friend who asked me why I hadn’t updated my blog the past year. Only one reason: I returned to the corporate world after a 2-year hiatus and the job took up almost all my time and energy. When I am not at work, I am either spending time at mom’s or working at home to catch up on work.
In Feb, I answered an ad for a maternity cover role as Head of Marketing. Within 2 weeks, I was hired. But I had to wait a few more weeks before the offer came through. Why? Because the HR office in Glasgow was snowed in and no one could get to the office to generate the offer letter. I finally signed the offer letter on 7 Mar and started on 8 Mar. Of course, the office wasn’t ready for me, so there was no laptop ready and I had no email address. And the Head of Marketing went on maternity leave before i started because the baby came early, so she didn’t leave me any instructions nor handover notes. The only staff I had started only 1 month earlier, so we were both trying to figure things out as we went along. On top of that, we had a huge event in less than 2 months and we were already way behind on registration. It was a really rough start.
On the home front, mom was not well enough to be left alone. We had applied for a live-in maid but she wasn’t due to arrive for another 2 months. I negotiated to work part-time in the month of March so mom wouldn’t be alone all day. In April, I arranged for day care 3 times a week for 2 weeks so that mom had someone checking in on her and cooking her lunch. It was a huge relief when my older sister arrived from the US to look after mom. I really wouldn’t know how we could have managed without her. It was a great help when the live-in maid arrived in early May, before my sister had to return to the US.
What started as a 6-month maternity cover role became a permanent role when the new mom returned and resigned after a month. I was offered the permanent role having experience in the role for 4 months. It took me a while to accept the offer. Don’t get me wrong, it was good to be back in the corporate world. I was learning new things and making new friends. Earning a monthly salary felt good — even though it was a much smaller package than my previous role. But I missed the flexibility of deciding how each day will turn out. And I really didn’t want to work so hard anymore, not at the age of 53. So why did I accept? I think I felt bad for the team — we were already short of one headcount (recruiting then) and if I didn’t stay, then there would be no one to handover the mantle. I felt responsible for getting the marketing team back to full force and leaving behind a well-functioning team. Perhaps I can achieve this in 3 years’ time, which would be the right time to leave when my sister’s HDB is ready for us to move in (and I can rent out my apartment) and I can withdraw part of my CPF to pay for my living expenses, along with the maturity of some of my investment and saving plans.
So, this sums up where I am right now in my life. I am learning lots because this is indeed a very hands-on role. And I am trying to manage my stress level balancing the never-ending work and meetings, and looking after mom with my sister. In the new year, I hope to be able to keep up with my blog at least once a week. So, watch this space, dear friends, as I continue to share about living and loving life after 50.