When we all started this amazing year of 2020 to kick off a new decade, no one saw what was coming but now that I look back over the past 8 months, I have learned a lot about the work environment I thrive and self reflection about myself and my family. I learned what really matters and need to be better at taking care of my health and embrace uncertainty at all times.
The pandemic and unrest in the world has shown us perspectives on how people respond and care for each other. It’s easy for us to focus on the numbers and conclude that things don’t seem to be going right. But at the same time, there may be things that are moving in the right direction that we just didn’t take the time to notice – we are more empathetic and caring.
Here are a few of the things that I learned this year that I will keep forever:
- Self-care is important no matter where we are and what we do as we go into 2021.
- Balancing schedules and prioritizing everything that needs to be done is an art and science that needs to discipline and mindfulness.
- It’s easy for us to get used to our daily routine and norm until a change comes and disrupts it. Always ask why we do what we do and the answers will open new perspectives.
- There is always time to connect with family and friends, we just need to prioritize and make the time. Video conferencing has made it easier to stay in touch with family and friends and also make new connections with Lunch club and other communities.
- Long walks listening to podcasts or audiobooks have become a part of a balanced day to nourish my mind and live by my continuous learning mindset.
- Avoiding social media distractions with stay focused chrome plugin was the lifesaver. A true digital detox was much needed in the world of information overload. Now I have more time to read than I had before.
Discovering the inner purpose
This time to pause was helpful to better understand and reflect on the past decade. I knew I wanted to do something more to help and serve others and I found a new passion in mentoring. When I adapted the career GROW model and personal OKRs, it was to help my team and now I’m able to help aspiring product marketers through the PMA community. It has been rewarding to say the least and I have found my inner purpose.
Embracing uncertainty comes with positives and negatives. If we all take the time to accept the negatives and appreciate the positives, our lives will be much better and we will be grateful for every moment that we have today.
I recently embarked on mindfulness and meditation and has given me a new perspective to embracing uncertainty. The fearless training program is about embracing uncertainty and that got me to join the community on my birthday to rediscover me. There are days where I have my doubts and it’s hard to get through the day, but then with mindfulness I am learning to live in the moment and appreciate everything around me. It’s easy for us to look at big milestones and get lost in chasing the next big thing but today, I am grateful for every little thing and every moment.
Uncertainty at my doorstep
I had traveled to India on March 6th, not knowing what the months of March to May was going to look like. I am fortunate to have had the time to spend with my parents and just be with them without being busy or other distractions. I got to learn more about my parents than in my entire life and I’m grateful for the time together. We bonded over the good times and they shared their lifetime experiences which I am humbled by every day – always hardworking and helping others in need.
Little did I know when I landed in that I was not going to step outside my home for two and a half months. I was just as scared as everyone was afraid of an international traveler. India went on complete lockdown and I didn’t know how/when/if I could come back home to the US. After multiple attempts, the third time was the charm and I was able to get on a 36-hour train to delhi and then a 16 hour repatriation flight and finally made it back to San Francisco. I’m grateful that I reached home safely and thankful for every moment that I got to spend with my parents.
You realize how much you love freedom when it’s taken away from you. The lockdown gave me a new perspective on life and how to appreciate every day.
Uncertainty and scams of 2020
It’s easy for us to get caught up in the day to day and not realize how much it impacts us. 2020 has been my year of scams. Starting with the airlines to get refunds took over 3 months after multiple calls to the airlines and my bank / credit card.
Then it was the moving company when we moved cross country. Apparently they thought it’s a great idea to take advantage of the fact that we didn’t have options on the day of the pickup and charged us double the negotiated rate and took over 40 days to deliver our furniture and boxes.
And the last was in an education where I took a 4week free trial and was not aware that they took my credit card information at sign up through Google pay and then I got charged on my credit card after the trial expiry. After contacting them over email and phone for a month and having read all the scam messages online, I filed a credit card dispute.
In all these three scenarios, I’m grateful for having a credit card and a bank that helped to dispute on my behalf. I don’t think I would have got my money back if I didn’t have that option. Uncertainty comes in different ways and always teaches you a lesson or two: I learned to be more vigilant and do my due diligence at every opportunity ahead. Now before I join any new service: if I don’t have personal experience, I will check the BBB rating and not just rely on the company to be honest and expect an understanding customer service team. Trust and credibility goes a long way. It’s easy to build trust but once it’s broken then it’s hard to mend for a long time.
There’s always a silver lining and I look for the rainbow at the end. I will appreciate everything that I have and I realize that I don’t need the things that I don’t have to live joyfully and peacefully.
I’m grateful for my friends and family and the new friends that I connected with this year because those are the memories I will cherish forever.