Wow, what can I say about year 2020. It surprised every single person inhabiting this earth in unimaginable magnitude that I have no words. It shook all of us at our very core and so many changes were happening, we couldn’t barely keep up. The year started with bad news after bad news. There was volcano eruption. There were bushfires in Australia. There were talks of impending war. Then of course, Covid 19 came in and nothing became the same again.
It was hard year for everyone. It tested us. It challenged us. I gave us some serious thinking of what truly matters in our lives. It also allowed us a pause button in our crazy hectic lives. It was coincidental that my word for 2020 was Zen and the year definitely gave me that – a zen-like state to dig deeper inwardly. I feel guilty that I didn’t suffer much of the repercussions of what pandemic caused everyone. I feel very grateful yet feeling undeserving that I still have work amidst the increasing unemployment due to the pandemic and have my family beside me & not separated from them while some are far from their loved-ones without knowing when they will see each other again. My heart aches for those who are losing jobs & businesses and friends who are suffering from homesickness being away from their families. Mental health are crashing down and on & then, we feel the wave of homelessness, anxiety, fear, loneliness and sadness. Yet, I felt somehow we showed our resiliency that we can survived all that and we can look forward for a better new year.
I always do a gratefulness list for the year that past as I look back at the things that happened for the last year. In spite of the pandemic, it is best to look at the silver lining and create a heart of gratitude for all the things that we have been blessed.
Gratefulness List of 2020:
- New hospital with good work system with an amazingly efficient & wonderful leader & boss
I mentioned in my last year’s gratefulness lists that a month before the 2019 ended, I was informed I will be transferred to a new hospital. I had my apprehensions in transferring to a new work environment because my previous one was a wonderful health center with great workmates & nice patients. But I was glad I was transferred to a slightly bigger healthcare institution with more doctors whom I learned from with a great work system in place and an amazing boss who kept the place in tiptop shape in spite the demanding patients and workload. It challenged my skills as doctors and I am happy to be learning everyday.
2. Having a renewed purpose
There were few things that I have let go before the year ended in 2019. But in early January of 2020, my family and I had several discussions about life plans. We seriously considered it so we decided to make plans. I felt a new sense of excitement of what is to come as long as it coincide with God’s plan for us.
3. J passing the driving test and getting our family vehicle
Passing the driver license here in Oman is not a joke. Even experienced drivers fail several times in the driver license test here in Oman. They need to pass the Drum Test and Road Test before they can get their driver license. J passed the Drum Test in 2 tries and the Road Test after 5 tries. We were so happy because having a vehicle of your own here in Oman is a necessity due to the lack of public transport especially in the interior areas.
On the very day J passed his driving license test, we automatically called the car dealer that we will be getting the car we are interested in. We got our beloved Ushr, our grey Toyota Rush after a few days. Our life in Oman got really easy and more comfortable once we got Ushr.
Covid 19 has not ruled it doom & gloom over Oman yet at that time so we were able to have this nice relaxing celebration for Howell’s 4th birthday by getting Day Passes at Shangri-La. ( Read about it here.) It was lovely day. We may one of these day try to do staycation there too.
5. Still earning in spite of Covid and not separated from my family during pandemic
I lumped these two points together because both are related to Covid 19. Like I mentioned earlier, I am so grateful that I still get to keep my job, even with all its risks while others are losing theirs and I have met family beside me while others are indefinitely separated from theirs. I thank God so much for these and I pray for those who has lost their jobs & businesses and those who are aching to be with their loved-ones that the pandemic will end soon so they can be reunited with them.
6. Transferred to a nice villa walking distance to work
Living 30 minutes away from my workplace can be taxing for the whole family. Having no helper, we have to take the kids whenever I go to work and they would fetch me again when I get off work. Sometimes if I am on morning shift, they have to wake up at the break of dawn to tag along with their sleepy eyes to bring me to work and if I have evening duty, they have to fetch me late at night. It disrupts their nap time, sleeping time and even meal times. I was apprehensive to try for driver license and been postponing try to get one. I hate driving and I am too scaredy-cat to drive.
On May, we were happy we were informed that a nice villa was available for rent near my workplace. We liked it and decided to transfer. We were happy with the decision. I don’t need to get a driver license. I can just walk to work and I don’t need to disturb my family.
We are also happy that we got a wonderful Filipino community in the area and the kids are happy to have Titas in the neighborhood that they can visit and spoils them with sweet treats & presents on special occasions. We didn’t feel as isolated as we were in our previous place which was very far from everyone.
7. Online courses, classes and workshops
Due to the pandemic, there was a surge of online classes and courses offered. I was happy to learn about Coursera and EdX that offer great courses and classes online for free. (You will only pay if you want to get a certificate for the course you took.)
I also was happy to do Leslie Ludy’s online workshop. Leslie Ludy is a Christian author and speaker who inspired women of all walks of life to become closer to God. She has helped strengthen my faith with God during the trying times of the pandemic.
8. My sweet boys
My boys are growing up so fast. They are the sweetest little boys. I am amazed at how caring and loving they are growing up to be. They are so funny too. I enjoy their amusing conversations they have with each other & with me and their incredible imagination & innovative ideas. They come up so many wonderful block creations, ideas for new games to keep them busy & entertained and interesting hypothesis on certain thing, it make me laugh so hard until my belly ache. I am blessed to be a mommy to these adorable little men.
9. New friendships
New places always means new friendships. I am grateful to have gained new friends who will accompany me in this adventure here in Oman. I am beyond blessed that I have people who are willing to help me & my family as we navigate this new life in Oman.
10. Visit to Ras Al Hadd Beach
When the lockdown ease up, establishments were slowly opening and public beaches were opened. We drove to Sur and had fun day at Ras Al Hadd Kite Beach. It was a nice change from being always coop inside the house. It was wonderful to enjoy the nature and explore some parts of Oman that we haven’t been to yet.
For my birthday, we got lucky to have found a lovely unit to rent at Jebel Sifah at a very good affordable price. It was lovely way to celebrate my birthday with a relaxing staycation at a luxurious apartment unit with nearby pools, beaches, playground for kids, a bar/restaurant and a wonderful marina view.
My kids loved our stay there so much they said, “Mommy, let us go back to this hotel house again, okay?”
12. Christmas in Muscat
This is our 2nd time celebrating Christmas in Muscat at our go-to accommodation in Somerset Panorama Serviced Apartment. The kids hanged their Christmas socks in the unit’s tall lighting stand and found it full of Santa’s sweet treats with a wrapped gifts beside it in the morning of Christmas. We went around Muscat and was happy to discover new places to go to during our stay.
I am looking forward to what 2021 will bring. I am optimistic that it is going to a good one. It will make up for the shortcomings of 2020. I know that we came out of 2020, strong, resilient, more centred and with more purpose. 2021 will be a great year. We owe it to ourselves to make it a great year. Let us do this!