As time goes by and your kids begin to leave the nest, you begin to think about “what’s next” in your golden years. In the past, children are expected to take care of their parents under the same roof. But we have to give up many of these ideas as our society changes and as our country progresses into the first world. Dreaming about the old “kampong days” is just nostalgia – and it is gone forever.
The most noticeable change affecting family life is how the nature of work has evolved. In the past, many jobs existed that kept families together in the same city or country. Such work are now scarce and if you have aspirations to climb the corporate ladder, you have to leave the comforts of home. If you choose not to, then it may hurt your chances for that promotion – or worse, you may not be needed as the organization changes. Many families today have kids living thousands of miles apart from their parents. The kampong setting where families can gather easily for weekend meals will not be possible.
But that does not immediately spell the demise of the extended family where you never get to see your kids again. You begin by getting use to the idea that the world has changed and you need to change along with the world:
- Take advantage of budget airlines and off peak fares that many airline offers to bring family together. If your kids are busy to come home, get on a plane to spend time with them. If you wait for them to come back, you may have to wait a long time.
- Learn and keep up with technology. FACEBOOK and WHATSAPP are great tools that can keep families engaged. If you are too old to learn, you will be left out of the conversation. Then there is also SKYPE and FACETIME that offers virtually free videoconferencing from anywhere to anywhere.
- Keep traditions such as New Year eve reunion dinners alive. Make it an event that everyone wants to come to no because they have to, but because it is fun. One way to do that is change location or have different people hosts the event.
Our society and family norms will continue to evolve with technology, and clinging on to the old kampong nostalgia may not do you any good. Just get with the flow.