This week was a good week, at least in my books.

Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash

I’ve had a lot of good runs in the past. I’ve had months where I’m able to get a consistent workout going. Months, where I’ve been learning a lot to get me through to the next stages of my career. Months where I get to practice something I’m really passionate about beyond what my day-to-day responsibilities require. But with the pandemic disrupting everything, with increasing responsibilities piling on, with a lot of external factors needing to be considered and affecting my mentality, the past few months have been a lot less than ideal.

Being the younger of two siblings, I’ve always told myself that I’ll be taking care of my parents as they grow old. No one really put that responsibility on me (not even them, to which I’m extremely grateful). I just thought it was the right thing to do after they’ve sacrificed so much to support us as we were growing up. This was put to the test this year when my dad got diagnosed with a difficult condition. When that happened I took it upon myself to see this through until he gets better. That involved a lot of hospital visits, procedures, an operation, and quite a number of follow ups. It didn’t help that the healthcare system was difficult to deal with here. Every step involved some sort of waiting game that just piled on and on to your stress (gotta admit, watching medical dramas didn’t help here, as I thought doctors would spring into action upon detecting such conditions. But with the pandemic and all, they’re most likely already overwhelmed).

The ordeal affected my day-to-day life. It disrupted what small balance I managed to build. Eventually I got trapped into having this victim-mindset: That I was a victim of the situation, and I couldn’t get out of it until everything is over. I wasn’t gonna get anything going in my life.

But during one of my walks, an activity I do to escape briefly, I stumbled on an article that described how we could achieve more in a year than what others would in a lifetime. It sparked hope that maybe I’m not as doomed as how I thought I’d be. Maybe I can turn my life around and achieve more than what my current self would if I stayed in this direction. Last weekend, I spent a good amount of time digesting that article and following it’s recommendations. I haven’t completed everything yet, it’s not a fool-proof plan. But at least I got to design the next stage of my life.

I was able to look back at what aspects of my life I’m missing and most frustrated at, how I react to certain situations (like the one I’m currently at) and how those affect me negatively. With those realizations, I was able to at least create a schedule where I’m less likely to get affected, while still giving ample time for my responsibilities and desires. I was also made aware that yep, at times I do make these excuses for myself, and now I get to catch me when I do them, and remind myself this isn’t the time for those excuses. Basically, this was the first time I could say I’m in control of what I’m doing. Not my emotions, not the situation I’m in, it was all me. I get to decide whether I power through, or step back. I get to evaluate clearly and see better paths to move forward. I was out of my victim mindset.

And that to me is a big win. It may not be close to my most productive weeks output-wise, but I’m confident if I take this one week at a time, I would eventually get back on track, and be where I want to be.

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Marvin Almanzor

Marvin Almanzor

SW Engineer with a lot of random thoughts.