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Covid Made Me Re-think Life

When working from home became a norm in my everyday life, my lifestyle went from being rigid to flexible. If it weren't for the Covid-19 lockdown, I wouldn't have started learning portrait painting on my own.

For over 10 years, I had been working in offices, interacting with different co-workers, socializing at various occasions, and meeting different clients to earn a living. Generally, I only had personal time after 6pm ever since I started working as a full-timer. It was a stable life and income, but with little excitement aside from vacation plans to go overseas.

But when Covid-19 hit the world by storm, like many other office workers, I began working from home and managing my time in a more flexible manner. The pandemic lockdown made me realize that there is much more to life than just a stable job and income. For example, we often forget the most basic skill a person should acquire - cooking. Because of our daily 8 hour office commitment, most of us choose to eat out as an excuse for not having time to cook, and we take long hours of relaxation to compensate for our 8 hours of hard work during the day. But, perhaps it was the affection from my deceased mother, I started cooking almost every day, especially during the lockdown and I appreciate healthy food more than ever.

In addition, I found myself no longer feeling the sense of joy and satisfaction in the company I was working for. If everyone were no longer stuck in their offices (and acting busy), there would definitely be many opportunities to explore life outside of the workplace.

Life Transition

My transition from full-time to part-time to eventually freelance no doubt has caused me some distress. The adaptation was easier on my lifestyle than on my wallet, but that doesn't mean I can be unproductive since my income now solely relies on the number of working hours.

Time management is key - I plan my 24 hours with flexible schedules, and I am aware of every minute I spend to ensure high productivity. I finish my work and I squeeze in time to paint. Additionally, I get to read lots of books by not going out for dinners and movies, or wandering in shopping malls without any purpose. I've also started making my coffee and tea at home, which tastes so good and is relatively cheaper than getting it from a coffee shop.

I continue my painting routine at home because no physical art classes are allowed to be conducted. Luckily, I have been enjoying painting like a child and seeing my progress in 1-2 years.

What changes have you gone through due to this pandemic?

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