Everyone does it, but this is something that I’ve done for years. I remember distinctly sitting on the couch in my elementary school years, writing in my pink My Melody secret diary. It was New Years Eve, and I told myself that I would always remember what I did in the year, what I learned and what I wanted for the New Year. That’s pretty crazy for someone that young, but I always felt like it was something to keep doing.
In the last 10 years (aside from motherhood), my life was comfortable and fairly predictable. I had the same job and a lot of the same things. Things were consistent. When life challenges arose, they weren’t extremely difficult or things that would completely change me. They were hurdles to overcome and move on from. Obviously, motherhood put me through some life-changing experiences, but I grew from them.
At end of 2018, I thought that I had finally found my footing. I was finally feeling good about motherhood, I felt like I had a good plan on what we wanted in our lives (a new home, meaningful experiences, family bonding), and I decided to really start focusing on self-care and get my own identity in place.
Then, at the beginning of 2019, it all changed. Everything that had felt stable, suddenly fell apart and disappeared. For the first time in my life, I had loss my job. Despite all the feelings and the stress that come with job loss, I realized that it was actually the best thing that could have happened to me.
Losing my job meant changes. It was the beginning of the year, so why not? I was forced to reflect on so many things – my priorities, my finances, my needs vs wants, and how I interacted with people. The thing is, I was stuck in the same type of routine for 10 years. I am very much a creature of habit. While it was secure and very much a comfortable position to be in, I did not try to evolve. I didn’t think about ways to move forward. I definitely didn’t put as much effort in fostering my relationships.
Once this all hit, I had nothing to do but focus on my self-improvement. On the job front, I treated my job search like it was an actual job. In doing this, I reignited skill sets that I had long forgotten. It forced me to realize my capabilities, and in the end, brought about a confidence in myself that I had long stowed away.
When I was hired at my new job, I felt an immense sense of pride and relief. For so long, I had doubted my own abilities. The new job confirmed that I was indeed, more than capable in my industry. The new salary was definitely a relief, as it meant that I could continue with the goals that I had set not too long ago.
Personally, I was able to really work on my relationships with family and friends. I received so much support from them. This in turn made me realize how much I had neglected / forgotten what I had. I began to engage with them more often. In time, I was able to heal. It’s amazing what a good chat or hangout with your close ones can do.
In regards to self-care, I was able to finally come back to things that I’ve wanted. While I was unemployed, I was able to refocus on my hobby, online reselling. At the latter part of this year, I chose to make some changes to my business model, and I’ve seen great improvements because of it. It also lead me to new friends, as well as an enriching community.
I’ve also started going back to my old boxing gym. It’s an important step that I’m taking to regaining my health. I’ve been suffering for too long under the mental and physical effects of being overweight. I’ve always wanted to take action against it, but haven’t had the chance. At the end of this year, I signed up with my old gym and slowing getting back to Boxing and Kickboxing. Perhaps one day, I’ll come back to Muay Thai.
The single most important thing that I’ve gotten this year is time. Despite all the challenges, I am most thankful that this year gave me more time with my son. Being unemployed meant more time with him – I attended his therapy appointments. We went on various outings. We had play dates. It was the precious time that I had been craving ever since I had come back from maternity leave. Since my new job is remote, I’m still able to be with my son during the day. At his young age, it is more that I could have ever hoped for.
Although 2019 didn’t start off so well, in the end, it became such an evolving year. I am happier now than when I was in 2018. I am thankful for all that has happened and the changes that have come about. I’m excited for the year to come. I know that there’s so much work to be done, but I’m glad that I’ve set such a great foundation.
I hope you all had a great 2019, and wish you the best for 2020!