As the clock ticked past midnight on New Year's Day this year, actor-host Gurmit Singh did something he had not done in the last 20 years - he wished his family "Happy New Year" in person.
It is perks like this that make the 50-year-old local celebrity grateful that he gave up his full-time acting career last November.
He said: "My family and I were on a flight back from Europe, and we wished each other 'Happy New Year'. It was very surreal. I am glad I could do that."
Gurmit, who is married with three children aged two to 18, has been making effort to spend time with each of his kids individually.
He recently went to Bali with his 14-year-old son, where they spent time catching up like friends.
He plans to take his eldest child on a vacation in December after she completes her studies.
For Gurmit, leaving showbiz meant he had to make some financial adjustments, including selling his Lamborghini and downgrading from a bungalow to a three-bedroom condo.
But there is no financial pressure on him as he is still hosting shows on an ad hoc basis.
These days, Gurmit is very selective about his acting gigs, as he wants to make family his priority.
He said "yes" to the role of Mr Boo, a stern and solemn discipline master, in new movie Young & Fabulous, as he had a good working relationship with director Kelvin Sng on local film Taxi! Taxi! (2013).
When asked what his plans are after filming, Gurmit said calmly: "Nothing! That's the good thing as a freelancer - I get to choose what I want to do these days."
This article was first published on April 3, 2015.
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