The Lesson of the Five Balls

Imagine life is a game in which you are juggling five balls. The balls are called work, family, health, friends and integrity. And you’re keeping all of them in the air. But one day, you finally come to understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls – family, health, friends and integrity – are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered. And once you truly understand the lesson of the five balls, you will have the beginnings of balance in your life.

– From Suzzane’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson

When I decided to request an early release from my temporary job as a childcare teacher early last week, I knew I would have nothing to lose. The A levels are beyond over and university life is in sight. My reasons for leaving early although my actual last day is next Friday may be impulsive, but they are not irrational.

One of my key values in life is professionalism. I learnt not to let my personal life interfere with work or school and vice versa. I maintain my calmness even when I’m angry during meetings or when instructions are being conveyed to me in the most immature manner. I am used to one on one meetings to clarify doubts, uncertainty as well as the occasional ‘lecture’. Even if I have done something terribly wrong, an employer should never ever raise her voice to me – especially over the phone.

Screaming into the telephone to get what you want is not the best way to get it, let me assure you on that. And that final straw brought me to tears so much that I could not bear to come to work the next day. I must admit, I took matters into my hands but it was for the greater good. I could not allow someone bully others who are so vulnerable and timid that they cannot speak for themselves. I was not brought up that way. It is not backstabbing when I have not known you enough to exploit you.

So I have dropped that rubber ball labelled ‘work’ and I’m pretty sure it will bounce back up again when I start teaching at the alma mater. For now, I am contented with being a domestic goddess cooking, baking, cleaning and sewing to let time pass by. Tomorrow, I will be attending a meeting – the first since being unemployed – with a clear and sound mind not needing to worry about work on Monday.

Isn’t life wonderful?

Departures

Last Sunday, I catched Okurubito (Departures) with Kak Aishah at GV Tampines. The film won an Oscar in the Best Foreign Film category, and I agree with the panel of judges.

080313_okuribito_main

This extremely heart-wrenching story of a cellist who lost his job in an orchestra will bring you through an emotional roller coaster ride. Some scenes will make you laugh, but by the next scene, you’ll be crying your hearts out.

Watch this film if you can.