Workwise I was forced to balance my work and family life a lot more than I had previously. I came to realise that maybe I wasn’t giving enough time to my family as I should have. Because of COVID I had my working hours reduced slightly, which allowed me to focus a lot more on my fatherly duties. It has been good for me to be honest, as it’s allowed me to raise my kids a lot better than before. Even though I may not be earning as much as before, it’s allowed me to be more relaxed and happier. I realised pre lockdown that I wasn’t giving enough attention to my children as I should and working full time was just making me too exhausted to do anything with them or help them through things they needed from me as a father.
I was a single father of 3 children for a while, but in March 2020 — just as COVID hit — I re-married to my new wife who also has 5 children of her own. The most challenging thing was that she lives in Sydney. Through all COVID’s constant lockdowns, we faced many instances where state borders were locked. This stopped us from travelling to see each other — sometimes up to five months at a time. During last year’s long lockdown I found out that my wife was pregnant and that I would be having a new baby girl — 4th child for me and 9 in total if you add all mine and my wife’s children! This was a big surprise and unexpected. Sadly for most of her pregnancy I wasn’t able to see her because of these lockdowns. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise as I missed most of the pregnancy period where my wife was very cranky, and it probably saved me from being yelled at. A lot! Overall, it was a difficult time but we got through it and now we have a new family so everything is good.
As for work-life in lockdown, I learned different ways to use Excel and collect data, which allowed me to create different reports and dashboards for analysing data. I realised that I really enjoy data analysis and have moved to a more data related role at VICSEG. My new role allows me to use my IT strengths as well as do something I really enjoy.
Working from home has been good but it also has its challenges. Sometimes you feel kind of isolated and start missing human interaction. I always enjoy human interaction at the office, and whenever we get the chance to return to the office, I always take advantage of catching up with everyone and seeing their lovely faces.
Once international borders open, I’d like to take the family to Japan so my children can see their heritage and learn their cultural background. I also haven’t been back there for over 10 years now so it will be good to see all my aunties, uncles and cousins there. I also want to go to Disneyland. Don’t tell anyone but to be honest, Disneyland is probably the real reason I want to go there. If I don’t get to go to Japan, then I’d like to go to a nice beach somewhere in Southeast Asia.
To conclude these are biggest lessons I’ve learned in COVID to stay happy and keep a balanced lifestyle:
Gen — Databse and Reporting Analyst