solitude aloneI got married when I was 26 years old and I have never looked back since. I was lucky enough to meet my wife when I was 22 years of age and we formed a family of two relatively early by today’s standard. Apart from getting a spouse, Moon made herself the manager of my life. I have since lost track of all my bank statements, credit card bills, cash, etc.. (sounds familiar to some guys out there?)

I sometime can’t even find my socks without her help – I always find the left sock and she always gets me the ‘right’ one. She, of course, has been great company in life too. She is such a trooper who has little fear. She strides on from strength to strength throughout the years.

We had just returned from a trip on Monday and my wife reminded me that she, the two girls and our domestic helper would be going to Kuala Lumpur to see her mom, my greatest mom-in-law of all time. (I could not have asked for more in my mom-in-law and father-in-law.) I panicked when I heard that I would be home alone for almost a week. I consoled myself that I had work during the day and would have some outings at night. However, I had decided to keep my life simple, real simple and treasure some home alone time all by myself.

The very first time I had this type of ‘lifestyle’ was the time when I moved to Chicago to do my first post-graduate residency at Northwestern University in Chicago. That was the first time ever in my life that I was on my own and I had to figure out many things by myself. Being stuck in my 329 square feet apartment was no fun even though I had my microwave and TV. I got rid of my TV in a heartbeat as I found that there were simply too many good programs to watch – Saturday NCAA football, Sunday NFL, and then Monday night football. I knew I would have my post-graduate work go down the drain if I kept that little box with me.  So I decided to pass that bad luck to a junior dental student in the school.

This time in Singapore, being so called on my own was great.  I even managed to NOT talk to myself! Yes, I did try to carry a conversation with myself when I was in Chicago and then subsequently in UCLA. However, I figured out that may not be healthy to myself and decided it may be better to stay at the school laboratory longest possible instead. After that I was officially “cured”. (I guess I was right. Was I right buddy? Ansgar, what do you think? Buddy, I know that was better.) That was how I keep me, myself and Ansgar happy in those days.

Nowadays I have a little bit of a life outside of dentistry and I have a rather full life at work. Being home alone was a nice change. Mind you, I have two tanks of fish (guppies) with me at home and they do answer me when I ask them questions. Some of the guppies are older and they are mature enough to carry a meaningful conversation short of politics but I hate it when they change the TV channel that I am watching…

Do I like solitude? A resounding YES! But I would much rather see my girls at home running around fighting with each other.

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