We have all changed this year. The emergence of the pandemic has tested us and profoundly affected our lives all around the globe. We have felt and seen its effect – death, isolation, economic cessation, school suspension, rise of unemployment rate, and travel and contact restrictions – to name a few. It seems that the world has essentially shutdown and it seems to me like it is not real.
This time out from the regular life enabled me to reexamine my values, lifestyles and relationships. Personally, this experience, as painful and as difficult as it is, have made me re-learned some of life’s most profound lessons:
“There is nothing certain but the uncertain”. Life is unpredictable and, in a split second, everything can change. Who would have thought that what we are currently experiencing right now will actually happen? Prior to the pandemic, some businesses were at its peak, some had stable jobs, and some got to travel a lot but it all changed for many during the pandemic – businesses closed, employees laid off and travels were restricted at some point.
These uncertainties can push us outside of our “comfort zones” and prevent us from doing our “usual,” but sometimes this is where we grow. Currently, no one can predict what the future holds for humanity. Life is indeed uncertain and, as cliché as it may sound, we have to love hard and live life to the fullest, because you never know what tomorrow will bring.
“Life goes on.” All of us, at some point, go through rough times especially now during this pandemic. Lockdowns and community quarantines somehow had me stressed out and felt a pang of despair. I have wondered many times if we are able to get through this. But then, days and months went by, and I realized I have somehow adjusted to this thing we called “new normal”. I think most of us are thriving and adapting to this new way of life. Although, we cannot remove the fact that many have been greatly affected and are still in a trying circumstance right now. The most important thing is that we are able to embrace acceptance and bounce back. Acceptance does not mean resignation and stagnation. It means that something is what it is and that there will be a way through it. You just have the courage to bear it. Even though you are facing challenges or difficulties, one should never feel hopeless, because every cloud has a silver lining.
“We can be vulnerable.” I believe that it is “okay not to feel okay” sometimes. The important thing is to have an outlet for these negative thoughts and emotions. Cry, scream, and lock yourself out when you need to but, afterwards, pick yourself up and start all over. It is also important to seek support from family and friends. Do not be afraid to ask for help. I have received plenty of help and encouragement from my loved ones, and these made my struggles especially during these times more bearable.
“Learn to appreciate even the little things.” Suddenly, our daily routine or activities, such as dining out with family, friends or loved one at a restaurant, watching movies at the cinema, shopping at crowded mall, physical huddle meetings at the office are things we no longer do on a “normal” way. These are just examples of some of the little things that we had in the past that we may have taken for granted. Hence, appreciate the things you can do, the things that you have, and the people around you. Make sure you practice gratitude, especially to your loved ones and be vocal about it.
No one or nothing could have us prepared for this year and this is something we can all agree on. The pandemic continues, but so must we. We just need to try to be more resilient and courageous.
Meg Punay is a Senior Manager of the Audit and Assurance Division of P&A Grant Thornton, Davao Branch. P&A Grant Thornton is one of the leading audit, tax, advisory and outsourcing firms in the Philippines with 24 partners and more than 900 staff members. We’d like to hear from you! Tweet us: @GrantThorntonPH; “like” us on Facebook: P&A Grant Thornton; and email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. For more information, visit www.grantthornton.com.ph.
As published in Mindanao Times, dated 16 October 2020