NO matter how much a person enjoys his work, slogging at it all day can really test his endurance.
To UMW Holdings Bhd group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Dr Abdul Halim Harun, an excellent way to unwind is to go bowling with his family.
Since he is always tied up with non-stop appointments, meetings, entertainment functions and working trips, Halim sees each bowling session as a golden opportunity for him and his family to get together, especially during long public holidays.
Our whole family enjoys the game. How I wish for more quality time with them. I am looking forward to my retirement, said the doting father and grandfather to two girls aged five and one.
Happy moments with the family can actually take away my stress at work.
Having struck a balance between vocation and kin, Halim is apparently happy and more enthusiastic about work.
The bowling family indulges in the sport twice a month now compared with every weekend before his children moved to Perak. It doesn't matter if we are good players or otherwise, what's most important is that the precious time together brings happiness to us. We also teach our granddaughters to play, he laughed.
Halim, 56, is thankful for his understanding wife Datin Noorzaini Abu Bakar, 49, who always plans family outings according to his work schedule.
Their daughter Munirah, 30, followed her lecturer husband to Ipoh while their 20-year-old-son Husaini is studying in Taiping.
Hailing from Kepala Batas, Penang, Halim calls himself a kampung boy. He and Noorzaini studied at SMK Datuk Haji Abdul Kadir and are active in its ex-students' association. Bowling is one way to stay in touch with old schoolmates and we are close to each other's family, he said.
The group would also go on family-oriented activities like picnics and outstation trips over two to three days, Halim said.
Other than outdoor activities, I also take a break in my home which is a relaxing and cosy spot.
The quietness is shattered when his children and granddaughters return home on weekends but Halim would not dream of changing this. It's a joy to see the cheerful kids running around and their laughter would brighten my day, he smiled.
Both grandparents will swim and play with the young ones in their swimming pool and garden. Sometimes Noorzaini would dish up a family favourite.
My wife cooks good laksa that our relatives and friends also love, said the loving husband.
Halim, who has 45 Japanese carp in a little pond at his Shah Alam home, also likes to sit next to the pond to feed them on weekend mornings. I loved fishes since I was young. I even went to the stream to catch fish those days, he recalled.
In the house, the couple has converted a small courtyard garden into a TV room. Although Halim gets home from work quite late, Noorzaini will accompany him to watch news channels or his favourite sports programme.
He said his job entailed a lot of travelling and most weekends would be for golf tournaments or golfing sessions with clients.
Whenever I am not around, my wife will be lonely at home, he said with a tinge of regret. However, Noorzaini said she would have her own programmes like attending religious classes and taking part in activities in their housing area, together with other women.
When travelling, Halim would always bring back new coins for his collection.
It has been my passion since school days and I have collected plenty of coins and currency notes, he said while showing off part of his collection.
Blessed with a green thumb, Halim remembers that when they first moved in to their current residence in 1994, he had more time at home and they did their own gardening.
Look at the thriving palms we planted eight years ago. The philosophy is the same when applied to work. It's worth it if you put the effort into something as you will enjoy the fruit eventually, he said.