Making up for lost time


Every morning I wake up, I would be in a flurry. Get myself dressed, charge my phone, swing my arms about to tick the box of doing some exercise, go through the calendar for the day, and get the baby up. Once she is done with breakfast, we head off to some playgroup for the mornings.

By lunch time, I hand her over to the helper and off I go for lunch meetings, do some work to establish my consultancy business, get my facials, or run errands and finish home admin.

5pmish, Riviane wakes up from her nap and we go for a swim or go down to play. Then dinner with her a few nights a week, playtime, bath, play, change into pjs, milk, story time, kiss goodnight.

8pm, I collapse on the sofa and relax by scrolling through my friends’ WeChat moments, buy groceries online, order new pairs of shorts because Rivie has outgrown the ones I bought 3 weeks ago again, finish off some petty admin work, play Words with Friends, and get ready for bed by 10 or 11pm.

Other nights, we head out for dinners with friends or I go play basketball.

Sometimes feels like my life was balanced and well-planned: a bit of baby time, a bit of couple time, a bit of work time, a bit of me-time.

Yet, emotionally, I feel rushed. I try to fit as much in as possible. I feel an urge to maximize my output in minimal time, as if I was making up for the time lost.

Even though I know it was a journey in itself with lots of life lessons learnt, I admit I feel that I have wasted my time during the years of illness, popping anti-depressants, painkillers, searching for doctors who would curse away migraines, backaches, chest pains, dizzy spells.

Just as I felt better, I got pregnant and my body went out of control and I felt uncomfortable everyday, being unable to predict when I would fall asleep due to the fatigue.

Then the baby came – and I hated it. I resented her and was disgusted when she latched onto me. I did not want her around but I was worried that all the other people helping would not do things the way I wanted and she would end up with habits I did not prefer, such as being held to sleep. Yet, I was physically and emotional drained to do much myself. Plus, I was trying to sort out my identity and my own way.

Feeling like I had stalled for the last 5 years, I am consumed with an urgency to make something of myself again.

I want to do everything at the same time.

But I can’t. No one can. I have to be contented that I can do something, and that each day is an experience.

In this period of re-emergence, I must be aware of when I get looped into the trap of being an overachiever, of when my body needs revitalizing, of when my brain needs a snooze, and of when, I could just sit and be.

Time is not lost; it is merely a medium of compartmentalizing our lives for experiences and learning.

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour

~Auguries of Innocence, William Blake~

about Noch Noch

Enoch Li, (pen name: Noch Noch) was born and raised in Hong Kong and Australia. She has also studied / worked / lived in the US, France, UK, Japan, The Netherlands, China, and has travelled to more than 40 countries. She loves travelling and her curiosity in foreign cultures and languages has led her to enjoy her life as an international executive in the banking & finance industry. However, she was forced to take time off work in 2010 due to her illnesses and after spending time in recovery, cooking, practising Chinese calligraphy, reading and writing – in short, learning to take care of herself and letting out the residual work stress, she has transitioned into a Social Entrepreneur and founded BEARAPY to help corporates make workplaces mentally healthy, and support executives to become more resilient.