Birthday Reflections, Better at 45

A lot of things happened this year. The whole world was shocked with the news before the first quarter ended when most communities in different parts of the world were locked down. It was scary. The fear of the unknown. Our lives drastically changed before our eyes. Yet, we learned to adapt.

I lost my job during this pandemic. I lost my job together with the 14 managers that I am working with from the creation of the department. While I was busy making strategic plans for my department’s operation to recover and remedy foreseen problems, I received the news of termination due to redundancy last July 14.  Nobody was prepared nor expected the thing to happen. Even though we were aware that a lot of businesses were closed due to lockdown and were eventually closed due to bankruptcy, it was totally unexpected because the whole department management team was busy in doing what we have to do to prevent further operational damages due to the pandemic. While the company followed the mandatory labor rules on redundancy when it comes to compensating affected staff, there was no human resource intervention to prepare the affected staff mentally and emotionally, both those who will be terminated and the rank and file that will be left behind. The rank and file (around 80 in count) felt insecure about their job tenure as well. They felt threatened when all the immediate supervisors will be taken out of the picture. It was such an unforgettable experience because while I was going through the pain of losing my own job that I worked hard for from scratch for almost 4 years, I was also concerned about my 14 managers and their families. We have to go through a number of debriefing meetings and counselling. Yes, it was me who conducted that. Ironic? But it was helpful for me. When you think about others more and less about yourself, you become more confident, optimistic and focused. The circumstances led to faster healing and to forge ahead. Also, the deed created a ripple effect. The managers who will lose their job counseled and guided the rank and file that will be left behind. They tell them to value their jobs while they still have it and do the job that they were thought to do. It was sad news but it was a beautiful story. Genuine concern, respect and trust was manifested in the surrounding fear, distrust and insecurities. Now, we are all striving and slowly thriving. We lost a job but we gained true friends, life lessons and discernment. I was truly inspired by this event. I came to realize the most important things in life. And who I really want to be. When your mind is preoccupied with a job, you forget your dreams. With the gift of time, I was able to do some things I only with then because “I was busy”. I learned new ideas and strategies, connected with old friends, met new ones and spent more time with my family. I validated who my genuine friends are. Those who are there through thick and thin. A simple message of “How are you?” means a lot. It reconfirms my principles and values. It made me look deeper on what I really wanted in life. 

At first, it seems that there are a number of possible things to do. And slowly, I realized what really matters to me. What really creates sparks in your heart. It was a good time to pause and smell the flowers.

Yes, my 2020 was challenging. It is flawed but imperfectly beautiful. There is so much to be thankful for at 45.