“Connection is why we’re here. We are hardwired to connect with others, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and without it there is suffering.” – Daring Greatly Brene Brown

January

I was hiking along Macritchie with 2 girl friends – J & J. They were talking about their upcoming Taiwan trip. They asked me to join and because I was inspired by Yes, Man book – I said, yes of course. haha It was the time when Coronavirus was spreading – I was travelling. When I came back to work, I was sharing my life changing bubble milk tea to my colleagues when I received an email announcing that all travelers from Taipei would be quarantined for 14 days! I packed all my things and hurriedly came back home. It was funny but at the same time I was stressed too. I didn’t know the implication of this illness yet. I called my brother, told him I wanted to go back to the Philippines because when you’re under a lot of stress, you always think of home. After an hour, I received an email again – they retracted the announcement and only those who traveled from China was required to undergo quarantine. I was relieved. 🙂

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or exhales

February 2020

While I was grabbing my Chinese noodle dumpling soup (I order that almost everyday) haha from my favorite hawker stall in Telok Ayer for lunch. Right after I conquered Mt. Kinabalu. Auntie, who owned the place asked me how I was and what I can say about Covid-19. I answered, “it doesn’t bother me that much”. Well, that’s a lie. Never thought it could create connection confinement.

March 2020

It was my brother’s birthday (L). I wanted to surprise him as a gift but thought of laying out the plan because I might be more surprised if he was not in Manila haha. I went back to the Philippines to celebrate. I was happy to see him, I always make sure to visit him thrice a year. On my side trip I decided to be Moana and went to Boracay for 3 days- it was my solo trip. I wanted to stay for a couple of days before I go back to work and thank goodness I went back to Singapore because 1 week after my vacation, they announced circuit breaker measures.

April 2020

There were so much limitations of what I can do. I was losing my mind. I fear for my family’s safety and my own. This pandemic is real and affecting everyone I care for. Staying home almost everyday was crazy! I was having cabin fever. This was also the time when the nearest McDonald’s in Aljunied had 1 confirmed case and I bought cheeseburger, chicken and coffee during that time! – Yes, the food were all mine haha. I was scared. Thankfully, I did not get sick and continued on.

I had to incorporate new things in my daily life without the distraction of the outside world. I cleaned my room every weekend, I felt great! 🙂 I was lucky that I also have my housemates with me at least I can talk to human beings. I also have books to read and I have work. These things make me sane. Thank god for technology, I can connect to my loved ones who are far from me. I also bought toys with me 😉 in times of need haha. My friend also bought Wii U and piano, so glad he did that! His name is Diamond. hahaha

During circuit breaker, I have used a lot of social media. I wasn’t doing that much before. I started my Tiktok channel.It was really fun! I tried a lot of Tiktok challenges. 🙂

Although I liked the validation of using social media, I needed to do something else. I switched to reading a lot. I had finished 2 books in a month (Sapiens and Ikigai) but I have more books to read.

I also cooked a lot. I missed doing that. Cooking for someone you care is an amazing feeling. Doing something for them and making them happy are the best feeling. I was actually planning to vlog about food and new recipes soon, maybe in the next few months.

I believe I have been more creative during this month. I have my own Archie coloring book and cross stitch. I bought an advanced cross stitch – it was hard I have not done it yet haha.

“I’m not afraid of death. I’m an old physicist. I’m afraid of time”. – Dr. Brand Interstellar

May 2020

One of the famous quotes from Interstellar movie – “I’m not afraid of death. I’m an old physicist. I’m afraid of time”. I always carry that quote everyday. I know I cannot go back in time. I don’t want to waste it. I live as if I haven’t done anything before. We should always be afraid of time wasted. The quarantine should not be a hindrance for growth and resilience.

This is the month that I get more creative – read more books, cook more food, play piano (I’m almost done with my musical piece Minuet in G) and I can start doing more new musical pieces. I have also started blogging, bought my collection of board and card games. I felt good! 🙂

I am also clutter clearing. I am getting control of my physical surrounding. I also go back to taking care of myself by eating right and working out.

I have done diet experiments – I did juice cleanse this month and I felt so energized afterwards! Looking to run 5km without stopping and tone up.

It is a really good opportunity to save and invest too. Invest not only in Mutual Funds or Stock Market but to yourself.

People are always quick to talk about their dedication to the physical side of their lives and yet they forget to nurture the cerebral part of it too. I believe it’s more interesting when you combine both. Although, I am guilty of procrastination but will meet my goal if not this month, the following month. I want to pass the Cloud Practitioner exam and it could be quite challenging – I have never done any exams since 2008 after I passed the Nursing Board Examinations. Luckily , I have a community who is very helpful in achieving that goal.

I will focus more on blogging and vlogging soon.And of course, I will still do Tiktok once in a while. With new content each week haha

I will also enroll in Masterclass – to be honest I am really quite interested in the wine appreciation class there! haha and thinking of learning a new language – Mandarin. And will try vegan diet. Doing something new makes me happy. Novelty and challenge make me happy. I will continuously grow in the safety of my home. 🙂

I have also reached out to old friends during quarantine season. I am always reaching out to family and constant friendship everyday. My ex boyfriend even messaged me – it was really an unusual time! haha. I don’t know why I said this but it’s just funny so I would say it in this blog anyway. haha You know what they say, your ex will always come back. haha

I’m a bit sad though that for almost 4 months, I haven’t visited one of my favorite hawker stalls at Telok Ayer but I wish auntie and her husband are well. I even told her when I return from vacation, I will try to speak Mandarin because it was my plan to study the language – and hopefully soon when this is over we can converse in Mandarin.

I miss my family everyday, hanging out with my friends, drinking outside, chasing a lot of interviewers in the office to accept the interview invites haha, dining out, teasing, flirting- connection mostly.

But, I always remind myself that every cloud has a silver lining. I can’t wait to hug people after all this is over.

I hope everyone is keeping safe and let us all be kind to each other. Not everyone is coping the way we are coping. Let us show empathy and be vulnerable. These are still the best way to connect with people even at the safety of our home.

Love,

Maria, sometimes Niskie

  • cabin fever – refers to the distressing claustrophobic irritability or restlessness experienced when a person, or group, is stuck at an isolated location or in confined quarters for an extended period of time. 
  • quarantine – a state, period, or place of isolation in which people or animals that have arrived from elsewhere or been exposed to infectious or contagious disease are placed.