July represents many things for me. For one, many of you are right in the middle of summer, which aligns with the same weather all year round in tropical South East Asia. I’m terrified of cold. I had only seen snow once or twice when I was living in Shanghai. Of course, I was excited and shrieking like a little girl, much to the amusement of my colleagues. I have always strived in the warmth, even opting for turtlenecks long sleeves tops at 32 degrees.
But enough talking about the weather. Why is July a month to face reality? I’m getting old. A year older. It’s my birth month, and yes, I’m a Cancerian. And according to my horoscope article here, the jobs that I’m suitable for are teaching, chefs, bankers, writers and healers. Using MiddleMe as a career guidance platform, I write to spread good workplace practices. I manage to score both teaching and writing at the same time. Yay!
Getting Real in Malaysia
The celebration this year will be toned down like last year due to the heavy lockdown in Malaysia. Many areas in Kuala Lumpur are in Emergency Movement Control Order (EMCO), which means their housing compound is surrounded by barb wires, guarded by the military.
There are strict restrictions on the movement of those living in the compound, while the compound I live in is sectioned as Fully Movement Control Order (FMCO) like the rest of the country. This means that most retail outlets are not allowed to open, F&B outlets can only do takeaway and deliveries, and most of us are encouraged to stay at home with a curfew of 8pm.
Having used to the lockdown on and off for most of 2020 and 2021, it is pretty much the new normal for us. However, the economy is significantly impacted by the continuous lockdown with no end in sight. Many companies I know had closed down or, at least, retrenched the bulk of their employees to keep their operation margins barely above the water. This has caused many low-income families to deplete their savings and seeking help to feed themselves. We can see white flags hanging outside houses or apartments as a call for help to survive the lockdown.
The movement of white flag flying will allow underprivileged households to receive public assistance without the need to ask or beg or face judgement from others. Anyone can leave bags of groceries outside that homes-in-need quietly while observing social distancing. Many communities, including mine, have started to gather resources to distribute food and daily necessities to provide for the needy. I applaud those coming forth and taking the initiative to help others in distressing times.
Taking Stock Like A Farmer
This is also the month that I often take stock of my past years and try to recollect the positive things that happened recently and be grateful and appreciative of all the ongoing stuff happening around me while noting the little negative things.
As much as I always love to advocate positivity in my life and on MiddleMe, bad things do happen for a reason. Whether bad stuff happens to teach us a well-deserving lesson or to remind us to appreciate the good stuff that happens, I am grateful because I remain humbled and grounded. I always believe that when you reached the very bottom, the only way you can go is up.
Counting my blessings and fortune, I have never reached the bottom. Sure, I have plenty of bad experiences, but I have always viewed them as life lessons and epic adventures that I wrote into my life chapters.
Time Is Everything To A Freelancer
The same applies to my work life. I take stock of what happened for the past year, tally up my accounts and checked that I haven’t been complacent. I looked at each client and their projects, evaluating what I could have done better, more efficient, and improving my process to serve my current and future clients better.
With better time management, my productivity will increase, I can take on more clients, which also means I get to spend more time with my family.
I’ll end my monthly ramblings with this:
Smile with every sunrise
Immerse in every experience
Challenge yourself constantly
Learn something new today
Everything you do should worth your time
Everyone you love must worth your care
Make every sunset count