Second day of the new year, still a holiday!
My parents and I went to have dinner at Hougang One foodcourt last evening, and somehow, they started chatting with two of the cleaners.
Generally, the cleaners are a huge source of pessimism and negativity. The ones I’ve come across often talk about how life is hard, how they are actually unwilling to work in their old age but how they have to because they are helpless. Some of them will blame the government, their family, their health, their less-than-ideal childhood.
But the three cleaning ladies we met yesterday were SO inspirational.
They are close to their 80’s but still working. The first auntie told us that working is fun. She is working because there’s nothing else to do anyway.
The second lady came along, and shared little happy moments she had in the past few days.
The third lady was rather shy, and approached us from the other side, listening to what the two were saying. Until the two ladies asked us,
“hey can you guys guess how old SHE is?”
Turns out, she was the oldest of the trio!
They were some of the most positive and optimistic elderly people I’ve ever met. Like me, they believed in independence, staying occupied and appreciating the little perks of life.
Even at their age, even as just a cleaner, they take great care of appearance. Their uniforms are clean and ironed out, they are decently accessorized, have a neat hairdo and a huge smile on their faces, topped with a glimmer in their eyes.
“See these MRT lines below my eyes? Cannot hide one!”
And when we told them that they look really young, the first auntie said,
“Aiyoh! For real? I can be happy for the WHOLE~ day~ lei!”
I think they embody the true Singaporean spirit – taking charge of their own lives and being grateful for the good that come their way. They take pride in their work, and feel a sense of empowerment rather than victimized (ie.: “Who would want to work if they can just chill at home? I have a hard life!”)
Goes to show that living life with gratitude, optimism and a sense of purpose will make you a great delight to be with, even at the age of 70!