Betty Lam


Exploring your dreams in retirement is a kind of blessing.

When is the right time to dream? My answer is: after your retirement.


Retirement might mean the end of a regular income, or the lowering curtains of your talent show at workplace. Yet from another perspective, retirement allows one to be truly in charge of his/her time. It is when the pursuit of personal interests and growth start. To be stuck at the status quo or to move forward? It all depends on whether you have the courage and will to take action and start a new life. If you are lucky, like me, to have crossed path with TWGHs E Major Ensemble, your retired life would be even more fruitful. In the ensemble I meet peers who are at the same stage of life as I am; together we move forward and build a new life. The pursuit of dreams is no privilege of the young.


I once heard a famous saying: retirement is a kind of blessing in life. As true as the saying goes, not everyone gets to enjoy such blessing. My mother, for instance, unfortunately passed away at an early age. My father, on the other hand, lived a private, solitude life after he retired. Both did not have the chance to taste the blessed colorful, special retired life. I served in the government's disciplined service for more than half of my life, which putting on my uniform and living a routine life became habitual. As my retirement approached and my children grown into independent adults, I started asking myself in a serious manner: What do I desire most? I was determined to plan for a wonderful retired life and to embrace the blessings that are about to come.

I wish, first and foremost, to contribute to the society with my past experiences. My life as a civil servant allowed me to be in contact with people from different sectors in society, equipped me with the abilities to manage crises and uncover potentials. Before retirement, I applied to become a tutor of the Capacity Building Mileage Programme (CBMP). Through hosting classes related to mental health, women and society, I hoped to share my precious experience from work with students of different backgrounds. The society nurtured me to become who I am, I should repay it with all my heart.


On the other hand, learning and growing is another big part of my retired life. I disagree the belief that old age leaves no room for improvement. In fact, people of any age should and can improve themselves. Moreover, learning is the source of happiness and satisfaction. I have always been fond of music. Medical researches also prove that music help ease aging problems. I therefore took the percussion courses organized by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. As I have acquired the basic skills of percussion, last year I came across the news that the E Major Ensemble happened to have a percussionist vacancy, so I took my chance for the position. Despite my preliminary level, the ensemble welcomed me into the team. The plan of my retired life was not only carried out smoothly, but even more fruitful than expected.


Learning to play a musical instrument alone and learning it in a group is a completely different story. To master an instrument is not easy, it is bounded to come with failures and obstacles. I am grateful to have my percussion peers and teacher by my side, with whom I can learn from and with, support each other and persist through challenges. Every time I overcome an obstacle, I acquire new skills or experience which I can in turn apply back into the orchestra. The harmoniously melody played together not alone makes me happy, but also spread the joy to the audience via enjoyable music. This adds another level of meaning to personal growth. The coordinators of E Major Ensemble are genuine and passionate. And thanks to the sponsorship of Wu Kwan Lai Chun Charity Fund, the scheme unites different parties in creating a platform that allows retired people to grow and rejoice together. Such unity and happiness is for sure priceless.


I still remember the day when I broke the news to my family that I applied to E Major Ensemble. My son burst into laughters. I certainly won't mind their teasing. It is essential to differentiate noises from the voice of your heart. Focus solely on what your heart tells you, don't be disturbed by nuances, don't hesitate to take actions, only in this way can you control your future. I believe there is a reason I am endowed with certain abilities, and I am willing to utilize them in every possible way. Retirement is the best time for you and me to once again explore our dreams. It is a kind of blessing to be able to do so.