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Having a Happy Family Life is His Greatest Achievement

“I’m a qualified lawyer but am not in practice. For work, I’m a corporate trainer in the areas of project management, law and business skills such as critical thinking and problem solving, presentation skills and business analysis.

I accept that ageing is a part of life and happy to go through it. I notice friends and relatives who seem resistant to getting and seeming older. I don’t feel the same way.

I welcome that ageing will come with new and wonderful experiences, such as seeing my children have careers and perhaps even families of their own. I’d be happy to be a grandparent.

I’m 56 years old, married for 28 years with two daughters aged 23 and 20.

I fear being a burden on my family, my spouse, and my children. I know that ageing often comes with ill health and possibly dementia. I don’t want my family to have to look after me if I’m sick or mentally unable to cope with daily living.

I feel that I have a happy family life. That’s my greatest achievement. I know a lot of it is luck and that I cannot claim all the credit for the happiness I have with my spouse, daughters and extended family. 

Career-wise, I’ve not achieved anything amazing. But I’m happy to have work that I enjoy, as a corporate trainer, I do know not everyone has a job or career they enjoy doing, so I’m lucky. 

That’s an achievement of sorts, I suppose.

My father died when I was three and a half. I suppose that was possibly the greatest obstacle I faced in my life. I had the love and care of my paternal grandmother and my mother. They were both so supportive and nurturing of me when I was growing up.

I don’t have many regrets at this point in life. If I have any, they are for opportunities that were available to me but which I did not take. If I could turn back time, I would take the opportunities that I passed on.

One opportunity was the chance to do an ongoing radio program on a new station at that time, started by NTUC, but I did not take it up. 

Another was the chance to continue in a management associate program at Citibank, but I decided to leave the bank. 

As I said, I don’t really have regrets, so I don’t think too much about these opportunities I did not take, but once in a while they do come to mind.

Time with my wife or either of my daughters individually, or all of us spending time together as a family brings me joy. Also, spending time with good and loyal friends. These things bring me joy.

I am motivated to have a happy family life and to maintain friendships with true friends,” said Soon Meng Tan, 56, independent corporate trainer

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