The Truly Rich Lady Has 12 Questions About Work-Life Balance


According to a survey done by the household help of my Truly Rich Neighbor, workers want more of this thing called balance: “Ma’am, we want to go on vacation because we are tired. Thank you, Ma’am. Come again.” 

According to my Truly Rich Mother, who is an expert on see-saws, people should work more. “In my day, we would not stop working until our fingers bled or the lights went out! Whichever came first!”  

“…And can you please tell Trina (the household help of our Truly Rich Neighbor) to tell Mrs. Del Valle that the last time they had a party, all the sludge seeped into our garden (our house is situated on the gentle slope of a long street). My roses are dying!” 

I believe My Truly Rich Mother always knows best: “Yes, Mother. You are right. But tell me: What kind of work were you referring to? Weren’t you practically a princess because grandfather owned 1,000 hectares of farmland?”

I have so many questions about this prevailing mood that emphasizes happiness over money or power. The things we hold dearest in the Truly Rich World are now taking a backseat to softer values such as mindfulness, flexibility, passion, inner peace, and rest.

Please tell me what is going on. 

1. What is work? Ha ha ha. I am kidding! Of course, I, the Truly Rich Lady, know what work is. It’s the thing you head to on Mondays. Right? It puts food on the table, or fuels dreams (like a vacation house on a private beach), or feels fulfilling but only if you are lucky enough to find work you actually love to do.


2. Is it a sign of older age when you feel the world is becoming stranger and stranger every day? Forget the phones and apps and Facebook and all that. It’s the people. They are behaving weirdly.

3. For example, when did everyone become a pimply teenager full of angst? Why is everyone so sad? If I see another young man furrow his brows in concern over how his daily avo toast is making him poor or another young lady get nervous because the waiter included a plastic straw in her sugar-free glass of iced tea, I will also get... sad.

4. Why are people complaining so much? I am just so very happy that I am healthy, have a job (that I like), and also have food in my tummy. Isn't that enough? What are they really complaining about? Traffic? (I have a driver.)

5. If a person tells me, in dramatic fashion, that he is taking me-time because he wants a break from life, would it be wrong if I smacked him in the head? Taking a break from life is called being dead.

6. What is self-care? Jesus Christ told us to look outward and care for others. I will not betray Him.

7. Is self-care caring for yourself? If you hire someone to do your self-care, does that count? My TRL Mother has coterie of ladies who perform this for her. Every morning, a lady pins her long hair into a chignon, while another lady does her face with her trademark thin-and-long dragon eyebrows. Still another lady dresses her in a uniform of pajama-like clothes and rare jewels. And another lady massages her neck, shoulders, and back. All these ladies are old ladies, by the way.

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8. What does it mean when people say they value flexibility? I can touch my toes. Do they value me?

9. Okay, what is a co-working space? Don't tell me you can get things done when you have no desk of your own. What about concentration? What about germs? And where will I safely deposit my alligator-skin French bag, my baby, without a personal drawer?

10. No, really. I need a door. I need plants. I need one of those chairs that is also a bike, so I can exercise while I am working. I also need a wall where I can display my collection of vintage post cards. I want the full experience. I cannot work without these things!

11. What? A lot of people actually like these co-working spaces that, in fact, there are so many of these modern offices in Manila? Where can I buy one?

12. Would it reveal my biblical age if I just tell people to stop complaining and work until their fingers bleed and the lights go out—whichever comes first?

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C.C. Coo
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