Anyhow, I just wanted to blog about what happened today.
In my line of work, I do meet up with my customers at least 50% of my time at work, at times more. And the people I deal with under my portfolio ranges from all sorts level, to the end-users of the services my company provides to the middle management as well.
And the interesting thing that can happen when I do meet with these people is when our conversations can digress to a personal level. Perhaps it has to do with my personality in that I am a friendly person and one of my strengths (and I admit at times can be a weakness too) is that when you do talk to me, I’ll somehow give you this vibe that I can be trusted. I have turned some very difficult clients into friendly ones in that they will become my friend instead (I’ve been invited to their personal events, etc which is why I dare say this!)
Don’t get me wrong, they will still give me a hard time if we fail to meet up to their expectations but after them throwing their frustrations to me and all, they will soften up and say that it’s nothing personal and it’s work. And I have totally accepted this as part of my working life.
Anyway, today, I met up with this just retired man whom I have met several times before but never gotten into a those discussions that touched our personal lives. After we discussed what needs to be discussed about work, I asked him some questions about the industry his company is in and somehow, we ended up talking about our personal lives.
In that conversation, I learnt that his only son and the youngest out of his 3 children passed away at the age of 10 about 5 years back. He didn’t want to tell me what his son died of but he mentioned that his son needed treatment towards the end of his life. His son was born healthy and achieved many things in his short span of his life that I ever did when I was 10. He was a Grade 5 piano player and a red belt tae kwon do player too. So when his son fell ill at around 9 years old, it was a huge shock to him and his family.
He had an advice for me as a mother with two young kids other than the fact that to always monitor closely whenever the kids have fever (as this was how it started with his son), is that to never ever take those close to you for granted. He said that after his son passed away, he realizes that it happens to everyone around you and it is a very common thing. We spent so much time at work or doing the things that you want that you tend to neglect the people right in front of your own eyes.
This advice is nothing new to me. We are all aware of this in one way or another but somehow, it gets forgotten especially when we are so busy trying to live our lives. It is when you lose someone or when you come across someone who has grieved so much that you are once again reminded of how you should be treating your loved ones.
My colleague whom I’ve known for 10 years, lost her husband last Monday at the age of 44 to a heart attack. They have 2 young kids at the age of 14 and 10. I was so disturbed by the fact that I could not sleep one of the nights and I cannot imagine how she is feeling. And because of this, I’m also once again reminded of how precious life can be and we should not be worrying ourselves to death about the things that we cannot control but on what we can actually do about it.
Life is short – do what you want out of your life but do not forget your loved ones and also yourself!