Monday, January 14, 2013
Resilience In Times, Training Throughout Life
For the past two years, I have been going to Helen for my monthly massage. Helen is in her mid-fifties. She is a divorcee with 3 grown up sons. Her eldest son has a congenital heart disease and does only odd jobs. Her second son is also a divorcee and works as a salesman. Her youngest son is serving his National Service.
Ten years ago, Helen was a rich tai-tai of a building contractor. She lived in a spacious condominium and had a maid to take care of household chores. She drove a luxurious continental car,spending her time playing mah-jong, meeting other tai-tais for meals or shopping.
One day her less well=off sister-in-law pulled her along to sign up for a masseuse training course supported by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA). Helen went through the course to keep her sister-in-law company. Never did she know she would depend on this skill for her livelihood.
When her husband left her for a younger woman, Helen found herself with a totally different life. Suddenly she was the breadwinner. She bought a HDB flat and worked as a masseuse in Holland Road. Her monthly salary was only S$1500 which was not enough to feed her kids. Her ex-husband was also not prompt in his maintenance payments. She signed up for advanced training and found a better paying job at another spa.
Helen is very hardworking and eager to learn. Her company has sent her for several upgrading courses. She is popular amongst her customers and sometimes has massage sessions booked back to back. Although she is busy, she derives much satisfaction from her job as she gets to meet interesting people and lose weight. She has lost 16 kg since she started working in this spa.
I am fortunate to have Helen as my masseuse. She responses to my breathing and sounds and is methodical in the way she massages. She does not short-change me by skipping any parts of my body or shortening the session. She usually asks me which part of my body needs massaging before she recommends a suitable massage. I feel totally relaxed after her pampering.
Against all odds, Helen has remained resilience and taken charge of her own life.