Twenty Twenty-One

How do we summarize the year 2021? It is quite complicated as it seems, especially who works as a nurse in the middle of the pandemic. However, I will attempt to summarize into three parts: work, personal and general reflection. This will be the focus of this blogpost.

TWENTY highlights of my work situation.

1. Alpha variant. The year started with long bout with Corona virus at work. 
2. Beta variant. Yes we were hit the British variant as well. 
3. Delta variant. It was very sporadic, but nevertheless, I felt less the brunt of the delta variant at work. But from time to time, some of my colleagues are affected.
4. Omicron variant. Well, as of this writing, we are hearing some cases at work. Hopefully, the situation will not get worse.
5. End. Yes, I ceased to work at a nursing home where I had a tenured part-time work.
6. Start. I started anew with night shift tenured work in one of Oslo's most modern health facility.
7. Reduced. Given that I began anew at one public nursing home, so I decided to reduced my working hours on a private nursing home.
8. Three workplaces. Yes, I managed to joggle those three workplaces despite the pandemic.
9. Repeated tests. As a consequence, I needed to test more than forty times, just to ensure I am risk-free to do my job.
10. Almost no vacation. Yes, I only had 1 week vacation outside Oslo. Whereelse would I travel? Nowhere. 
11. Busiest. This year, I can say I had the busiest shifts I had since I lived in Norway. 
12. Getting used to. Despite the tremendous effort required I am actually getting used to such tempo. In my mind, well that is the choice I made as a nurse. 
13. Missing colleagues. I actually miss some of my colleagues who I worked with before I ended my tenured contract. 
14. Gaining new colleagues. Well, I gained new colleagues at new workplace. Quite interesting mix of personalities. 
15. Full-time night duty nurse. With all those changes combined, I have a full-time tenured night shift work.
16. Extra work. But I still work AM and PM shifts, when I want. I wanted to do this, so my circadian rhythm will not be dependent to being awake at night.
17. New leaders. I have to be acquainted with new faces, who has the authority and supervision on me. Well, I think I am not just a "passive all-yes" employee. 😄
18. New tasks. Given that I work at one of the most modern health facility, I get to be accustomed with the use of technology in health care. This is something I find exciting honestly.
19. More independent. Since I work at night, it comes with my job to be extremely independent. I do take crucial and sometimes complex decisions alone for thr best of my patients.
20. More confident. I think I have gained a lot of confidence recently. I think it comes naturally with varied experience.

TWENTY events characterizing my personal life.

1. Facial mask. I think this year, I have spent time outside almost everytime with facial mask. Well, I mean it serious, even when I am in the resting  room, I still have my facial mask on. As a nurse, I have learned not to touch the facial mask when it is on, so I just wear it throughout then.
2. Living today. Some people I am very serious and structured. Well, those people who know me in that way really do not know me at all. I can say, when I work, I work hard. When I play, I play hard, as well. 😄
3. Moving on. This year I learned to move forward. I don't know how but suddenly, I was actually moving forward. People around me noticed that as well. 
4. Looking back. In contrast, I am still looking back. I mean it literally. 😝 I still make mistakes. The road towards moving on is rough and windy. 😅
5. Memorable vacation. I visited my sister and brother-in-law in Northern Norway. Strange to see them after two years in person, with my 1-year old niece. They eventually visited me in Oslo few weeks after. That was memorable.
6. Almost there. 2021 was also a year when I was in my second year of masters degree. All lectures were conducted online. I really do not know how I passed exams with me being the ultimate absentee-student.
7. Goal unmet. I was supposed to buy an apartment this year. I realized it was so early for me to jump on this venture.
8. Changed address. Nevertheless, I needed to continue renting, but my rent contract expired. So I transferred. I did it almost alone in the middle of the pandemic with full-time job at night. So imagined triple degree of stress. I survived!
9. Gaining control. I admit I really need to have some control like on my finances. I keep a budget for 2 years that is quite detailed.
10. Letting go. For things that is out of my control, I just let go. This is something difficult before, but now I am quite good at this.
11. Adjusting goals. After I was not able to meet my goal of buying an apartment, so I adjusted my goal, and made the plan more specific but flexible. Let us see what happens next.
12. Evaluating what works. I realized one should not waste time with things that does not work. This applies to work, or even in my personal life.
13. Still fasting. I am still doing intermittent fasting almost everyday, a minimum of 14 hours daily.
14. Learning to cook. Well, I am quite experimental. That hidden chemist-physicist in me wants to try new things in the kitchen. 
15. Expanding horizon. After changing address, I was able to see the other side of the city. Working in the eastern part of city made me realized a lot of things.
16. Being open. I have learned to be more open about my feelings, especially when I feel down. There is no shame in feeling sad.
17. Being private. Well, I have learned to keep some important things to myself. Private things will remain private.
18. Taking risks. I have made extreme changes in my work situation in the middle of the pandemic. That was quite risky, I must admit. 
19. Still the same. Many aspects have changed but I can still say I am still the same person - that Filipino with ambition and grit personality.
20. Better one. Yes, I strive to become the better version of myself. And yes, I am still single but I am still okay with that. 😝

ONE word to summarize year 2021: Endurance

2021 was like running several marathons with overlapping start and ends. I just needed to endure from January to December. My personal goals made the year more complicated, but I can say, I survived the year. I survived the countless sleepless nights, and perhaps "days without sleep." I just moved from one thing to another to accomplish what is needed to be done. I have learned my lessons pretty well. Sometimes, I wonder why I needed to go through the same challenges, even though I have already recognized the main lesson, and eventually learned. I was really required to endure. I think I did. I endured.

Lastly, the last 365 days went paradoxically both slow and fast. Slowly, when I have to endured those physical challenges, as well as social restrictions brought about by the pandemic. The year went relatively fast with all the changes that happened this year. It went fast, that most of the days were almost the same: work, test, quarantene, little time outside, then work again. I do not complain though, I can say I was still productive. I learned a lot, and I became better generally as a person. 🥰


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