Motherhood Tales: 10 things I'm thankful for in 2020

by - 9:22 PM

2020 came with a lot of pain.

I remember sitting in the bus, not even two weeks into the new year, when we were shaken (yes, the bus), by a loud explosion. I was woken up from my sleep and my husband described that moment as a big gust of dust hitting us head on.

Taal erupted.

We were not even anywhere near Taal. We were in San Pablo, Laguna.

When we arrived in my hometown in Quezon, our car was covered in ashes. Not thick. But if you consider that we're over 120km from Taal for the ashes to reach us, it was, for sure, devastating.

We've had earthquakes. We've had typhoons.

And the whole world has covid-19, like an unwanted guest in our house.

With all these, what was there to be thankful for in 2020?

I took my time to reflect on the good things that happened to myself and my family this year. Many didn't come without a challenge but there were silver linings, at least.

  1. I am overcoming anxiety and depression and my husband is winning over trauma. The pandemic has brought a strain on our marriage and I honestly thought we weren't going to make it together this 2021. It was there even before, but being stuck altogether aggravated it. We've always been told not to air dirty laundry, but this was dirty laundry that we keep washing in the hopes that whatever stains were there before will be removed. But we couldn't do it on our own, so we sought help. We are proud that we've made it work and that we are kinder to ourselves and to each other. We're a better couple now. Therapy has worked for us and I hope more people will seek this kind of help over just keeping it in and tolerating wrongs. Like I always say, LOVE IS SUPPOSED TO MAKE US BETTER VERSIONS OF OURSELVES.

  2. We are employed. My husband's company allowed them to do a work-from-home set-up. On the other hand, I've been working from home for 5 years now. We were living with my parents and my grandmother during the entire ECQ and though I've lost some freelance jobs, with teamwork, we were able to stay afloat and help friends and family (and strangers) whenever we can.

  3. We finally moved into our own home. We've been postponing it since the turnover because we had to make some additions, and when we were almost done, the ECQ delayed us even more. Instead of moving last summer, we only managed to do so in June. It might seem like we're having it easy but mind you... We worked hard to build this. It went through a bad time in our life when my husband was suddenly unemployed and I was the only one working with not much to spare. I had to beg our developer for "a way to keep it". I thought we will lose it, but here we are. WE ARRIVED HOME. 

    The view of the sea from our terrace.

  4. I'm thankful to have spent time with my family (my own, including my parents and grandmother). We all used to live separately, but we were able to somehow make things work and find quality time during the entire ECQ. My parents cooked good food all the time. My husband, myself, and my dad took turns in buying groceries (only 1 person was allowed to go out once a week). My grandmother loved helping me out in making snacks. I got to play a lot and do arts and crafts with my son, too. Christmas wasn't as lively and as crowded as when we had a 2019 reunion, but it wasn't any less meaningful. We may all be in each of our homes, but we were alive and well. 
    Insert my sister. :)

  5. Alon came home with us. Alon is a choco labrador. We got him when I was in the middle of my therapy for anxiety and depression. He was my source of comfort.

    Alon, my 5-month-old good boy

  6. There was a lesson in finances. Because the pandemic brought a lot of uncertainties, we learned the value of investing and saving for the rainy days. Also, since our city only allowed once a week buying of essentials and my parents cooked all our meals, we were able to save. Perks of having no access to the mall. I also didn't know how to buy from Shopee and Lazada back then so there was no way for me to buy unnecessary things (true story).

    One of our 2020 investments: A farm!

  7. Popy started homeschooling. I didn't know I could teach. I wanted to put up a nursery before but never in my whole life did I think I'd do well in teaching academics. We did teach Popy for a year before he entered Nursery, but of course, that was mostly learning through play. When the school year started and we took a leap of faith to move him from traditional school to homeschool, I was worried that I won't be able to teach him how to read and how to do Maths. But thank goodness, he's doing well in his classes and exams. It also fits our life, so we're not very pressured with day-to-day schedules. We're able to teach and learn wherever and whenever.

    Learning everywhere :)

  8. The best kind of care is self-care. Now, this was something that I had to learn the hard way. All this time, I thought if I do something for people I love and I'm happy, it was self-care. I'd go to the mall, buy all these things for my husband and son, and go home with nothing for me and I'd think I was happy (and I was), but that wasn't the kind of happy for self-care. I was that kind of person. I gave and gave till I was empty. This year, along with my therapy, I started caring for myself FOR REALS. I even enrolled in a course because I love learning, and that made me really happy, like for myself kind of happy.

    Ang saya ko, di ba?

  9. Because life was still good, we were able to help. I don't have any photos to share for this. I'm not here to boast about it, but there was a time in our lives when we were the ones in the receiving end. I'm thankful for all those who loved us through our ups and even more those who stayed through our downs. I've always prayed that as God blesses us with more, we will also be able to reach out to more, and here it is. Praise God for He allows us to glorify Him through the works of our hands and through the words we speak.

  10. We're in good health. What more can I say? Isn't that the best?

We're still social distancing, using alcohol and sanitizer, washing our hands, wearing face masks and shields. We're taking vitamins, too. I am beyond thankful to make it through 2020 along with my family and friends. It's a new normal and I hope while we want to take care of ourselves in every aspect, we do so responsibly.

I know for some 2020 was harder, but I just want you to know, if you are well and reading this as the year reads 2021 on your mobile or laptop, praise God! If you made it through all the pains of the past year, praise God that you are here.

Sharing this quote from one of my cousins, Krystel:

Marami man akong hiniling na hindi ko natanggap, mas marami Ka namang binigay na di ko hiniling.

May this New Year bring us beautiful things in ways that we need them.


What about you? Is there at least one thing you're thankful for in 2020?

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