I always look forward to the last quarter of the year. Work is starting to wind down, the holiday atmosphere is starting to be felt, my brother and I will be celebrating our birthdays. This year and the rest will forever be different. It's a painful change I'm forced to embrace. 

In the previous years, work is becoming lighter as the year ends. Then again, changes happened. There is so much expected from me. Not to mention, the past weeks were tough in many ways. I admit, I'm slow with work these days. It didn't help that I have to attend to another colleague refusing to take accountabilities. Family related concerns together with some issues at work, I thought I wouldn't survive. 

Other things lately

1. Done with half of the semester in teaching - Where did time go? It's been two years of implementing online classes. There is always a learning opportunity in this set-up. More than discovering new teaching techniques, I try my best to support my students. What I learned lately, teachers can help by facilitating an environment of "real engagement." More than someone who lectures, I try to provide interaction to my students. If I can't talk to them personally, I ensure that I send them emails to discuss their performance. Whenever they ask questions, I answer them comprehensively and end with some words of encouragement. 

2. Still on support system, I appreciate people who regularly send me messages 

3.  I'm thankful for an elder colleague who has been supporting me ever since I embraced the role of leading our department 

4.  I pray that we find a better caregiver for my PWD brother 

5. I finally had the courage to arrange Dad's medical check up - Dad had minor health issues that was addressed by immediate medication. We are due for a follow up check up this month. Hopefully, everything will turn out fine. My next plan is to look for an ophthalmologist. 

6. I used to subscribe to a local Facebook group of COVID19 survivors. I don't think the group is helping me heal. Reading severe cases frightens me. Learning of successful stories made me question, why my Mom wasn't allowed to be healed? If others can survive, why not my own mother, who was very particular with her health. I left the group for my peace of mind. 

7. I have some supportive cousins in Marikina and Bulacan - Life is so much better with them. 

8. I was able to process my mother's funeral benefit from SSS - It took months, but I'm thankful that everything is done. Next is the processing of the death benefit for my father and PWD brother. I hope everything would turn out well. Also the grueling process of closing my mother's bank account. 

9. The annual meeting I dread was over and surprisingly, everyone was kind that day. 

I look forward for the short holiday break for All Saints Day and All Souls Day. I usually visit the hair salon, which I did this year. On November 1, we usually visit my grandparents in the cemetery. After which, I treat Nanay for a mall date. We stopped this tradition last year.  I felt sad because I'll no longer have this opportunity, even after this pandemic ends. But I guess I have to make new traditions and create happier memories with my Dad instead.  

P.S. I feel that my blog posts will remain sad. I'm not even sure if writing my thoughts will make me feel better. At this stage, I'm trying all means to ease the pain and sadness. I pray that life will get better and lighter over the next days, months to years.