2020 has been the most challenging year for all of us. Many lost their livelihood and businesses, making everything a lot worse for everyone affected by the global pandemic. But for some, 2020 is a year to remember. We’ll find out why.
2020 is my leap of faith year in doing remote jobs. Exactly a year ago, when I tried my luck in writing articles. And the rest was HERstory. I was selected to be one of the contributors to Marketing in Asia Magazine, which opened a lot of doors for me. It also established my credibility as an online writer, gave way to most of the jobs that I had last year and most especially, let me express my provoking thoughts and revealed some of my unknown truthful stories.
The same year also FORCED businesses to pivot and thrive by going digital or online. It was a peak for online marketing and online sellers here in the Philippines. Since people were not allowed to go outside and do their usual routine, most of them tried and explored online selling and online shopping. Yes, the digital economy was flourishing during those hard times.
Most people with knowledge about freelancing/remote works also thrive during the pandemic.
In my case, I was hired to be an Executive Virtual Assistant by one of the best female startup founders here in the Philippines. I was doing email management for her. And eventually, I write for the blogs of the startup. I landed the job because of my Elevate training and volunteering acts before the pandemic happened. I was highly recommended by Mommy MK Bertulfo of Filipina Homebased Moms (FHMoms) and eventually passed the one-on-one interview.
Everything went smooth as days and months went by. I was doing well in my remote job and supported my daughter’s need (I am a solo parent since 2017) and some of my family’s essentials. But a tragic event changed it all. My mom had suffered and almost died because of her health issues. It was an unknown fact for us that she has been suffering too much abdominal pain since the pandemic started. We all thought it was just a urinary tract infection at first(this was sometime in March 2020). It was cured as we thought. Then Mom suffered around September last year, she had yellowish skin thrice during that month. It was the wake-up call for all of us here in the house.
We went to a nearby public hospital turned COVID-19 facility, we had no choice since the pain attacked in the middle of the night. I remember I had to sign a waiver agreeing that I allowed my mom to stay in that facility in spite of the danger of contracting the deadly COVID-19 disease. As a daughter, I had to do that for my mom to receive the first and necessary treatments that she needed at that time. In the wee hours of the next day, we went home since mom has been released from the hospital. In the morning, we went to another hospital because she experienced the same pain in her abdomen. She was given a powerful pain reliever and advised to do a triple CT scan to know more deeply about her underlying condition.
It was already October when we had completed the swab test required by another private hospital, in which my mom had a scheduled consultation. And eventually, she was admitted as an emergency case. It was just a few days after the admission, she had undergone ERCP. And the next day, open cholecystectomy (surgery to remove your gall bladder) was done to her. We had to borrow some amount for the deposit and prerequisites laboratory test before the procedures were done. I had to file my “farm leave” since I am the one who will be there in the hospital at night time. And mom’s case will take months before she can get to do some normal things on her own. Up to now, we are thankful for everyone that extended their help and prayers for our whole family during those difficult time. It was also my birthday month when everything happened.
Right now, mom still needs to go for another ERCP to remove her biliary stent.
During my farm leave, I still managed to got selected as one of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry(DTI) and Thames International’s scholars and earned some management certifications. I took care of my mom and daughter in the morning and take the online/remote classes in the evening or dawn time, depending on my availability.
Recalling those events, this made me think if I had to remember or forget the year 2020. I was crying while encoding this article since it was a roller coaster ride for me and my whole family.
But it also made me realized some realities in life:
- Healthy is the new rich in the world today. Health should always be our priority.
- My parents are ageing and will be senior citizens in a few years. Their health issues will require more attention from this forward.
- It’s a wise decision to invest in healthy living as early as now(I am in my early 30s).
- Necessity and emergencies will eventually make you a disaster or stronger. Your choice of response, adversity quotient(AQ) and attitude towards life, in general, will be the deciding factors.
- It’s not a weakness to seek help especially in those down moments of your life.
- A strong person(like my mom) also needs rest and should prioritize self-care moments.
- You can’t do it all ALONE. I was calling help from the Divine Almighty all throughout the hard times.
- Priorities can be checked timely and should be changed accordingly.
- It’s crucial to take some “leave” if necessary.
- You can always bounce back in work, jobs and other material-related activities.
…but you can never bring back the life of a loved one once it’s gone.
Hoping for the best to come since we all survived the most challenging year that we had so far.
Also Happy International Women’s Month and cheers to all superwomen around the world.