We have reached unprecedented times. With everything that’s going on, it’s easy to bask in malcontentment — to look back at our lives pre-COVID-19 and think ‘I’ll only be happy when I finally get to travel/ meet my friends/ order my favourite bubble tea.” Last week, we took to Instagram to ask you guys one silver lining you’ve identified during this Circuit Breaker. Heartened that some good has been uncovered amidst this self-isolation period, I’m here to share some of your answers (and some of mine) today because we are definitely not alone in this.
Quality Time With Family
On a regular weekday, I wake up to an empty house. My parents have gone to work and I, myself would be preparing to leave the house as well. But these days, things are a little different. I wake up to the sound of the television and my Dad asking if I would like breakfast. This might even be the most number of consecutive hours I will ever spend with my parents.
Whether or not you’re living with your parents/spouse/friends, this time is an important reminder to appreciate the people around you and to grab the opportunity to spend some quality time with them.
Other experiences you guys have shared:
I’m thankful for cooking sessions with my grandpa! 🙂 Prior to the circuit breaker, I would only see him for 10 – 15 minutes a day as he works irregular hours. Since the circuit breaker, we have been able to go grocery shopping together. He has been teaching me how to cook dishes like curry, kway chap and chicken rice. We cook together every day for the family and I’m so thankful for the bond we now share.
Zhi Rong, @zeeeeerong
I am grateful for being able to spend quality time with my husband and my little one baking in the tummy before she actually comes in July. As my husband works in the sporting industry, this Circuit Breaker has allowed him to have more time off at home — preparing meals for me and preparing the house for our baby girl’s arrival. Despite not being able to proceed with our babymoon and travel plans, I am really grateful for good health for our little family. Hoping everyone stays safe and healthy during this period!
My parents are based in Indonesia but before all these border control measures got stricter, my siblings and I got them to come over and stay with us because it’s safer here. Though working from home has kind of taken away a lot of quality time with them, I find joy in knowing that they are physically near me — watching television in the living room, playing with their grandchild or video-calling their friends. It’s the little things that make normalcy happen and I’m glad that even in these strange times, I have the company and presence of my parents.
Through this, I got to bond a lot more with my mom by learning how to cook every day! 🙂 I had some real hands-on practice on cooking some of the dishes I’ve always been too lazy to learn. To spread her recipe to my friends, I pinned some of my mum’s cooking on the highlights of my Instagram account to share with their fellow mums. I was really surprised that many of my friends were also interested in the Chinese dishes she cooks!! You know how in GP essays they always ask if technology makes people closer of more distant? I think it certainly did make everyone closer during this trying period of time 🙂
The biggest silver lining would be the ability to spend more time with my 80 year old grandma. I’ve been granted the opportunity to cook her favourite dishes and accompany her through her favourite Teochew opera shows in the afternoons. It’s sad how the roles have switched but I’ve never felt more blessed to be able to do these things without the stress of school/work commitments.
Ability To Work
The pandemic has left workplaces in a whole lot of stress. Whether your workload has skyrocketed or reached an all-time low, trust me when I say, you are not alone and we are in this together. If you are like me and social interactions in the office were a big part of the fabric in your life, or if it’s been hard for you to navigate working from home, let’s try to see past all these inconveniences and be thankful that we still have a job.
Other experiences you guys have shared:
Right about the start of the virus, I received news from my company that I would be assigned to another role, of a completely different job scope. Almost two months have passed with a steep learning curve for me to overcome. However, through all the hustle and bustle, I really enjoy the great camaraderie amongst my new colleagues. We chip in immediately when required and took on other people’s work because of the Circuit Breaker. I witnessed the humility and care of my colleagues — something I wouldn’t experience if the Circuit Breaker didn’t happen. Thankful for new bonds and a new different direction in life, and most importantly, that I am still employed, yay!
Grateful to be part of the essential services which means that I am still employed and there’s still income. In this period of uncertainty, my heart goes out to those who need it more than us but it’s truly heartening to see the Singapore spirit — fundraising and translation services to help our migrant workers. Indeed, in unity, we find the strength to go on 🙂
I am grateful for having a job that allows me to work from home. Despite many saying that they are bored during this Circuit Breaker period, our team is so busy every day and I have no complaints! I’m really grateful for now.
To Slow Down and Recalibrate
Having had 15 consecutive days of solitary evenings thus far, I’ve had the opportunity to gather my thoughts. To explore the idea of cultivating new habits, learn new skills or brush up on existing skills and this is something that I am grateful for. Spending time alone is always important and not gonna lie, it has only been through this circuit breaker that I have come to appreciate the little, quiet moments. Like spending the weekends trying to make a DIY scrunchie or putting on a clay mask as I sit here writing this article. These are things I might never do again after this period brews over, and for that, I am grateful for such moments.
Other experiences you guys have shared:
Kimberly’s drawing of Hatched Cafe
One thing I am grateful for during this Circuit Breaker is having more time to work on my art. The start of the year was a very busy time for me and I was constantly staying late in the office. This period has allowed me to focus more energy on myself and the things I love. I have started to draw more and am even in the midst of developing a website to showcase my works!
Ying Tian, @eyeletskirt
I am thankful for being able to take a step back and reset. Listening to my own needs, wants and heart can sometimes be difficult while handling other things like motherhood and work demands. This is a period where I am able to catch up on some sleep and have more quality time with my family.
For the past 3 years, my life was a rushed modern life — work in the day and school at night. The long commute from home to work to school and back also drains me daily. The implementation of the Circuit Breaker and working from home has allowed me to learn to live life slowly. From how I meal prep, to my time spent on skincare and even being able to pay attention to my surroundings. Temporal slow living — that’s what I am grateful for!”
Xin Tong, @deerstalkrs
Being a graduate fresh out of university, it’s been really tough finding a job under such circumstances. But I’ve decided to use this time to take some online lessons to keep my mind active; I’m working out much more frequently and am finally picking up acrylic painting — something that I’ve been wanting to do for the longest time but haven’t had the time to. I’m actually grateful for this good break before stepping into the workforce!
I’m thankful for the privilege to rest and reflect. To work on personal goals I’ve been putting on the back burner! It’s also perfect timing since I’ve been fighting so hard to carve out time for it. I’m also thankful for a safe and loving home to live in.
Admittedly, it has been hard for me to go about my day without hitting numerous bouts of jadedness and lack of motivation. Previously, going to the office for work and making my way home at night gave my life some semblance of structure. The act of travelling there and back helped me to demarcate the different segments of my day and this was something I never knew I needed. With this new concept of working from home, it has been hard for me to differentiate the time of the day or even the day of the week. (How do I start my day? Do I jump straight out of bed and start working immediately? Does dinner time connote a time to take a break and relax?) — some things I’m still trying to figure out.
Such feelings of uncertainty is understandable. However, I think it would be useful for us to make use of this time to think about how you might want to learn and grow as an individual. I’ve come to find myself talking to my friends more than I did pre-Circuit Breaker and I’m thankful for that. It’s quite a wild season right now but let’s try to notice the nice things that come with this newfound solitude.