You guessed right! This is my year in review and yes this is all about how I went through this year despite the pandemic and the uncertainty it brought upon. While this year is new to all of us, we all have our own stories to tell, with each one is as important as the next. The fact that I’ve written this and you’re reading this post, means we’ve survived the past months, the height of it and how it somehow eases – and so it goes to a new year. Thankful and blessed if I’m to put it in a few words. I’m already doing my annual Say Good Night blog posts, so sharing my highs and lows for the year is not new to me, it is my own way of looking back at my achievements, my growth, and my many learnings from opportunities.
Imma start with By The Numbers but as I recount the activities I had this year, it reminded me how different was my agenda and errands this year as compared to the previous years. No fashion runways to attend to, no beach getaways, no Fun Runs, no stage performance gig, and many more. All of them were replaced by multiple virtual meetings, hours and hours spent inside the bedroom, limited to no trips outside the city I reside in, and a lot more, should I say new habits.
An Old Normal
This seems like years ago already, we don’t mind being next to each other, dine together, we can go wherever as we please, meet people, and not wear any protective gear on the face. Taal’s volcanic eruption last January gave us a taste of panic and a challenge on crisis management and response. It was around this time that wearing a face mask as a necessity was introduced to the community, not yet from the virus, but from ash particles. It was indeed our first stroke of bad luck as winds at the time of eruption and afterwards was blowing northwards, straight to the metro and ashfall affected us for almost a week. Come February my team had a buffet Eat Out, who would knew that’ll be our last Team Building activity for the year. The contagion scare grew steadily as March approached, and before we knew it, we were already placed on a strict quarantine.
Working From Home
The uncertainties were peaking – the government, local community protocols, and even work business continuity plans were put into test following the placement of strict community quarantines on all areas to help control the COVID-19 breakout. In two weeks time, some of our team mates were tapped to do the inital Work From Home setup, all of our meetings and work activities were all then turned to virtual. Coaching, employee engagement activities, trainings – almost everything are done online, thru Zoom, Microsoft systems, Facebook, and corporate networks.
A much pain in the ass, nope I’m not gonna use “were”, are the system issues, and yes we are still encountering them everyday, it is something the needs to get used to, and the problems are of all sorts, troubleshooting and escalating here and there. As our employee engagement activities turned into digital activities, my editing skills were pushed to the limits, and that’s saying something as I’m occasionally doing layouts and contents for the blog, in IG, and other creative ventures. Thankfully, my muse never fails me and yah my team was able to win some entries.
My colleagues and I had a couple of opportunities to meet up, work-related reasons of course, as we get to purchase engagement activity prizes around September onwards at the time when community quarantine started to ease. I ain’t gonna lie, I look forward to this trips as they were a perefect excuse to get out, go to the mall, and have a change of scenery.
Alas, my birthday this year fell on an Enhanced Community Quarantine period and I’m forced to celebrate it indoors but friends and my team was able to surprised me with a meet-up to deliver their gift, which is an AC, on a live Messenger video call, how generous and thoughtful of them. It took me a few months after to have the AC installed though, sorry!
Fitness Part Two and So On
So where’s the Part One? Part One was a stintI participated in around July and it is called a 30-day Fitness Challenge where we are to do a 10-minute video blog on basically how to be fit for 30 days with an end goal of physical transformation and improvement on overall fitness. The fitness part was easily doable as I’ve already laid down my weekly goals and home exercise program including the progress. The vlog content part? Oh dear heavens, I dunno where to begin. Videoing myself is one thing, stitching a month’s worth of videos into less than 10 minutes is another thing. That’s the part I have little experience with and as predicted I had so much struggle with prior submitting the final edit. I didn’t lose a lot weight but I was able to take back five months worth of endurance and strength. I managed to snatch 3rd place with the hopes of being able to sustain the 2-3x a wek exercise but, no sir, I stopped exercising again, urgh!
But hey the exciting part is that by around end of September I finally got to pull myself, wake up early during my day off and do some cardio running. It was an amazing feat for myself. I guess it is the combination of wanting to go out, the need to breathe fresh air, and wanting to improve my cardio. And I am so glad I succeeded on that, until now I still have the drive to run at least once a week, I feel my endurance improved, I maintained my weight, I feel good, I got to get out(ooops!), and the cherry on top of it is that I get to participate to Virtual Run Challenges, now I’m already done with two legs!
Advocacy and Personal Development
One of the awesome things of being stucked at home is that I was able to attune myself and have a lot of me-time to think about personal development and at the same time tocus my interest to what I need to support. I got to propose and co-lead awareness campaigns at my workplace’s Pride group such as on important days like IDAHOBIT, Bisexuality+ Day, and Transgender Day of Remembrance. As I represent my company on a local inter-industry Pride group, I got to attend numerous webinars and Pride Summits that talked about the current and future state of Pride on a local and international scene. There were so much notes and learnings from them that I got to find time to finalize them and share.
One of the sad effects of the lockdowns is it’s impact on a number of industries such as fashion and retail. Once a necessity has became a non-essential in a matter of months and its hardest hit fell on individuals who strive to live day by day through their job. But with the job gone, how would they jump back? The call to support local shops and goods has never been this apparent as it spreads from one local industry to another. Buying local products and promoting them helps, which was the least that I can do.
On personal development, I felt it is important to continue looking for inspiration and knowing who you are and understanding your value.
Here’s To Hoping For Better
As community quarantines ease up a bit this last quarter of 2020, our long wait to meet and catch up with each other, although preferably discouraged, finally came true. Of course with precautionary measures such as physical distancing, wearing face masks, and sanitizing must be observed still, meeting up people after so many months of lockdown felt like a reward or something.
I know I’m being one-sided, and might be even insensitive or a bit irresponsible. But I am that percentage of the society who isn’t part of the frontliners or military, I am a regular citizen, and not yet a senior citizen. One of my main role is to stay at home as much as possible but someone can’t deny the need to get out. Mind you, I am looking after my health and immune system. Didn’t I mention? I take two capsules of Vitamin C, twice a day whenever I go out. I even requested for vitamins for our Christmas gift and also give them out as presents. Yet another least that I can do thingy.
What happens next, I guess no one can predict exactly. Will the vaccine work, will the virus continue to mutate, or will it somehow vanish?
The year of 2020 may have been good to some businesses, but it is generally a bad one for everyone. Yet one can always choose to hope for the better.
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