The year 2020 was a mess for everyone, including me. There were some major and minor changes even in my life but I am happy that today on the last day of 2020, I am extremly happy.
The first month of January 2020, began with getting settled down in our new house and with my brother’s Engagement. WE enjoyed the same thoroughly, and one of the last events that I attended with my family before the upcoming lockdown. This year on 26th January, we attended the function with our new society friends. The kids were really happy because now they had a garden in our society itself.
The month of January and February, went by quickly, with our cycle rides and going down for walks in pram. The word Covid was something that we had heard about only in the newschannels. We were carefree and happy and never thought that the same would affect us. We had also finished half of our Bridal shopping and making plans on the dances to be choreographed for the wedding and also on the colour theme.
It was almost mid March, we were planning on the shopping for the upcoming wedding. It was also going to be my daughter’s first birthday. Even though we were not going to celebrate it in the hotel though we had not booked any hotel for the same, we were planning to celebrate the same at home. Me and my friend, were discussing whether we should send our children to school, will they wear masks? One day, the school sent a notification that we need to send hand sanitizers with our children to school. Luckily a couple of months ago, I had been to a brand launch for hand santizers so we had a couple of bottles at home for safety. The bloggers, had already started uploading videos on how to make Sanitizers at home.
Around March 15, 2020, the school sent a notification that the Schools will be shut down until further notification. My husband had travelled out of station and he was the last person to stay in the hotel. He came back on Wednesday and on the same day, the Government announced on news that the offices, which can permit employees to work from home should do so. My Brother was in Banglore, even though his Company had permitted him to work from Home, for some reason, we did not expect the lockdown to go on for so long. Around the last week of March, the Prime Minister announced the 21 days Lockdown. The new set of challenges were yet to begin.
Travel was something very difficult and our rare trips to were limited only to Big Bazaar at Infinity Mall. I would go down daily morning at the vegetable market and just buy, whatever I could get. No bargaining, no selection of fruits and vegetables at luxury. or slowly, everything had to be done in a hurry. I really felt bad for the children, they were like caged animals suddenly. Initially, it was difficult to explain my elder son, why he could not go down to play and why there were no friends to play but slowly he did manage to understand.
On the bright sidem my Daughter turned a year old and she started walking without support. With no bakeries open we managed a jugaad cake.
I completed my first A-Z Challenge with Blogchatter. My theme was Indian Media through the eyes of a 90’s kid. A topic that was very close to my heart. I already had the outline for the content just had to execute the same. I am glad that I could take atleast one step towards an unfulfilled desire.
Lockdown was on and we had no clue, when things would resume back. Summer was at its peak and we were happy inside our homes. May 3rd, was the scheduled date of my brother’s wedding. He was still in Banglore. Flights had not yet resumed and we did not know, how he could manage to come back. My parents were at their teethers. I had my own set of challenges. Controlling screentime of my elder son. A habit, that unfortunately he developed. Hiding my cell phone was the only option. It was tough and challenging, mentally and emotionally draining for me.
On May 25, the flights resumed and my brother reached Mumbai taking the first available flight from Banglore. So that reduced the stress for us.
Admist the chaos, I completed a two day Fellowship training from Youth Ki Awaaz on Menstrual Health Awareness. I am finally glad that I underwent a training and met similar minded people. I presented my project on PCOD Awareness and the same is still live on my website. This training sessions were meant to be conducted in a Physical mode in the month of April. If the same was conducted in physical mode, I would have been unable to attend. I attended the two day workshop and training by switching off the camera keeping mike on mute and attending the needs of my children. I would close the room and spread all the toys in the room and keep snacks handy.
The biggest challenge and tragedy happened. First my specks broke and then my Laptop. Somehow in this year, I have written the maximum, may be that is the reason, I ended up changing my spectacles twice and had to repair my laptop twice. The hot debate right now was should the online schools re-open for small children, should we pay full school fees. My son is in Snr.Kg and his school had announced that they would start school by June 17, which later became June 22. Suddenly, a day before that the Government announced that Pre-primary school students need not take online classes.
School had already started sending online videos but it was tough to make children sit and understand the videos and to watch them. Finally the month of June came to an end.
The biggest pending task, that is my brother’s wedding. Finally it happened on July 2, 2020. That was the same date, when complete lockdown was announced in Thane. With the limitation of 50 people, we decided to go ahead with the wedding. The mini bus, which had a capacity of 20 people had only 5 people from the Groom’s party. Admist all the chaos, we finally managed to go ahead with the wedding. Rumours and misunderstanding rained more during those days, than the actual july rains. From the next day onwards, heavy rains started pouring in.
Finally online school started for my son, he would become extremly sad because he could not physically meet his friends and had to be satisfied with whatever he saw online. It was mentally draining for the parents and children and the most for the teachers. Children were emotionally overwhelmed the most. We had a small Flag Hoisting ceremony in our building, where I took down my children wearing a mask. The children were very happy seeing others, though my daughter cried her lungs out because she saw human beings other than her family members.
Lockdown was also taxing for senior citizens, my Father-in-law, who was extremly active person, suffered from a stroke. The reason being his physical activity was almost zero in the last few months due to lockdown. Luckily we got a physiotherapist, who came home everyday and nursed him back to health at the right time. Due to Corona, even Doctor’s visit was online. We just stepped out for MRI Test. The day before we were to go for MRI Test, we were franatically searching for a stick and a walker. Unfortunately due to Corona, it was difficult for us to get either of it at such a short time.
We were using my daughter’s pram at home as a temporary measure. Touchwood now he can walk on his own.
We also had a small lockdown eco-friendly Ganapati Celebration at home.
I felt that blogging was not enough. It was high time that I need to expand my blog and turn it into a magazine. I realised I could not do it alone. I always wanted to be a changemaker. What better way than to do it through my magazine. I took the first step of hiring interns. It was a bit overwhelming for me to select the candidates. Somehow, I decided to take the first step towards expanding my team. My Husband helped me with the same. Fianlly I overcame, my biggest fear. Working all alone since last few years, I was somewhat comfortable in my tiny little world. Hiring Interns, helped me to open up my mind.
Online classes, Work from Home and Navratri consumed my September.
Another important milestone in my life was getting selected for the Women Enterpreneurship Program conducted by IIM Banglore and sponsored by Goldman Sacch Bank. It was one of the best experiences of my life. Weekly classes and assignments, took me back to my college days. I got a better outlook for my website. I learnt how to attract investors for the same. I learnt how to be confident about my Business Idea. Meeting Women Enterpreneurs around the World was an eye opener. Different Business ideas and challenges, only inspired and taught me to look beyond the obivious.
The best take away from the program was, stay simple, be consistent. A lot of businesses fail because they give up too easily. I fulfilled my lifelong dream to study from a prestigious University. Even though it happened late, I am glad I got selected for this course.
Another milestone as, me and my son, we both turned a year old. It was again a quarantine birthday. WE got a small Fish Bowl as additional members of our family. New Inters had become a part of our team. Even I was confused on how to instruct them. Articles came in late, sometimes too many, it was getting difficult to check how many articles I could upload in a day. Finally by the end of the month, I got a tentative idea.
A New routine followed, I started doing Facebook live for a group called Parenting Point. Finally after all the hesitation of all these months. I came in front of the camera again. I felt at home, when I did those live sessions, interviewing people. I am not comfortable having one to one session with people, but I love reading people like a book. That is what drives me to write.
New routines, increased school timings, more curriculam for my son, yet by now life was all pretty cool with this new normal. I uploaded upto 76 articles in the month of November and got about 5000 + views for my website. This was a new achievement for me. I finally managed to stay more consistent.
Last month of the year. Planned a new schedule for the upcoming year. Did two online panel discussions for WICCI on Cyber laws and Human Rights. The best part, I ended up my year by doing more live sessions and panel discussions.
I started my first campaign for my website, “Glorifying overwork”
2020 was full of challenges for me. But I have become a much better and more confident and focussed person as compared to the person I was in January 2020. I believe that I want to grow each day.
My plans for 2021
To be more prepared for unpredictable life. To count on my blessings. To love my near and dear ones more than I ever did. To love and respect my dreams and work towards making them a success. Wish you all a very Happy 2021.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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