Lay Ean and Grandma

Being busy is not an excuse! 

It is about setting your priorities in life and what is important to you!

This is my beautiful grandmother – this photo was taken a few years ago, before she passed away later at the age of 100.

I have always been very close to my grandmother. When I left for Australia, she wrote to me often; we talked on the phone… and after I started a family in Melbourne, she would visit us and dote on my two children.

Very often my grandmother would ring to ask me to visit her in Penang, reminding me that she was getting on with age and it would be nice to spend more quality time together.She asked would I consider going back for Chinese New Year? With much regret, we did not spend many Chinese New Years with our families in Malaysia. There were many reasons and excuses, but my answer to her was “Ah Mah.. I am busy… with work, children…saving for our future…”

You know the usual excuses that we young people tend to give our parents and loved ones… until it is too late!

My grandmother has since passed away. I miss her dearly. Thinking back to those phone calls that my grandmother made, and her desire to spend more quality time with me, was a wakeup call for me to take stock of my life and my priorities.

While writing this article, with tears streaming down my cheek… I was reflecting on my conversations with my grandmother. I just wished I could have spent more precious time with her, taken her for her morning walks, shared our love for food and people…and be sharing her memories…cooking together, laughing on silly things… Those little things brought back so many memories.

However, it served as a valuable lesson for me and my family, as my husband would put it… when you have the time, that person may not have the time for you. So lesson learned! And a very regretful and painful one, I must say!


Another valuable lesson learned – when I said to my grandma – I AM BUSY – I was unconsciously telling her… she is not my priority as I have other more important things in my life than her. How could I be so “mean” and inconsiderate to someone whom I was so close to and loved so dearly, until it was too late.

No doubt it was true that I was really busy with my own life; however, I should have never taken for granted my loved ones would be there waiting for me WHEN I had the time, because I / we would never do, unless being prompted or something actually happened in order for us to take stock of our lives.

For example, people will only be conscious or look at their health seriously when they get very sick, or they will only start connecting with the family when a loved one had passed away, so only when they’ve realised that that person is no longer around.

Don’t take for granted that your loved ones will be around for you. Make the time for your parents and your family, and make to time to set your priorities. Don’t live with regrets. Start connecting and be conscious about how you want your life to be.

Everyone has 24 hours each day. How you set your priorities according to what is important to your life. i.e. family, work, health, dreams, home, friends etc. will determine whether you have lived your life fulfilled.

Being busy is not an excuse!  It is about setting your priorities  in life – What is important to you!