BY ANNE QUINTOS
When we were kids, my sisters and I would share a 500ml bottle of soda that was then way too big for us. As the eldest, I would line up four empty glasses, and my excited sisters would signal "Tama na!" when the sugar-filled liquid reaches a quarter inch below the glass rim. After much anticipation, all of us would enjoy our drinks for the rest of the afternoon.
I find the idea of being cheered by my little sisters very compelling right now that I'm already a grown-up and working abroad for more than two years. I imagined myself still pouring and waiting for the glass to be equally filled. But my question is: Until when? Three...five...ten...twenty years?
This, I believe, is one of the most important questions we should ask ourselves regularly. When do we stop? Of course, all of us have an idea of how long.
"Pag makapagpatayo na ako ng bahay sa pamilya ko."
"Pag mayaman na ako."
"Pag napa-graduate ko na ang mga anak ko."
But these things can be like watching wild horses run in the fields. We all need to find a way to be on our horse before it starts running and we should direct it where to run. Sure, pegging it on our dreams is a good start.
Personally, my husband and I want to go back home when we have enough to start a business, build a house, and raise our future kids. And we have defined what's enough with a five-year plan of saving it. We have doodled on our dream book our yearly milestones, saving strategies, prospective investments. We felt that we had to do it because there will always be another reason (be it a new gadget or a shopping rush) that will wiggle its way through our expense list. And for most of the OFWs I know, they would have started to save if only their contract hasn't ended. Or a family emergency didn't happen. Or the company didn't retrench workers.
Let's all be our own little voices cheering ourselves "Malapit na!" or "Tama na!" because we exactly know when we'll stop. And most importantly, let's make sure that we're not spilling anything outside our glasses.
Food for thought: "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars."