Tuesday, 26 February 2008

In illness and in health

One of my friends just came out of an operation. She is doing fine, there are no long term damages and all she needs is a few weeks off to recover and be fit as a fiddle again. She has her friends, boyfriend and family around her to help go through this tough time.
Talking to her made me realise the importance of being surrounded by people you love and people who love you. It made me wonder if I was setting my priorities straight and worrying about the right issues.
I spend a lot of my time agonising over my break up with Le Poulet, who was the worst person in the world to count on. One day I was in my kitchen in London and had a minor domestic accident, I basically burnt my arm with some boiling water. The burn was quite bad so given its size and the pain I decided to go to see a pharmacist asap. At no point in time I thought of calling Le Poulet. I don't know why. Maybe because I knew I would be disappointed.
When I moved here I have left quite a few friends behind in Europe and even though with the internet it's easy to keep in touch it's still not the same. I am meeting a ton of new people here in Hong Kong but it will take time to make deep meaningful friendships.
My family has always been another long story, we are not exactly connected closely most of the time. I know I can count on them in case of need but they are not part of my daily life and it's never something that I gave much thought before.
I still love my life here, and am not complaining (well most of the time). I needed to change many things in my last environment and Hong Kong offers a lot of the things I was looking for, including a challenging and exciting job. Even though making very precise plans in life is a bit useless, I am starting to realise I should be careful about not letting the important things slip by. Like someone said "On your deathbed no-one will remember you for the hours put in in the office".


Charles said...

Hmmm... well you do have us. We're here for you!?

Okay, apart from that... what you write about has been a constant theme for me and Tess in Hong Kong. In my twelve years here I have had many elderly friends (well, friends of my parents) and family pass away in Canada. It's hard being here.

One thing I have done is reached out to those in HK who I have thought "would become close in time" and made a pact with them early in the game... that we'll be there for each other in the event of an emergency in HK. This has been a very successful strategy and worked well... again, though, it's not a perfect solution.

I have caught myself in the cycle of "just a few more years, then I'll go home." I have also met people in HK caught in the same cycle who have been here 25 - 30 years and ask themselves, "where did the years go?" So, Tess and I are trying to figure this puzzle out in hopes we can not look back and fret about the moments spent away from closer friends and family. It's not an easy game.

Cosima said...

I think it is a common concern for people living abroad. You leave very dear friends and family members behind, and at times it is very hard to have them not close by.

I worry about my parents, who are in their seventies. I am their only child. For the moment though, we enjoy each others visits, and if other arrangements need to be made, we will find a solution as well.

I don't think you are someone who will let the important things slip by. When I first came here, I worked long hours in the office as well, but I also made wonderful trips and met people that I will never forget. It was definitely not wasted time.

Evie said...

Thanks to both for your kind words. Good to hear it's a general sort of HKMoveLifeThoughtProcess.. Maybe the key is in defining a time frame to the adventure. I think we all come here looking for something, because the grass is greener etc. And then we get here and are not sure what it is we are looking for anymore..

Cinn said...

Sounds like you had a little eye opener (and not the alcoholic beverage). That ending quote is so true ...