My Point of Heu
While this year overall has been a really challenging one, there are some bright spots that have appeared. I recall earlier this year I went to Boston and this was right at the onset of COVID in the U.S.. But at this time they said it was nothing major and just another cold. On my flight back passengers (including myself) were wearing face masks and it was the roughest most turbulent flight I have ever been on. Since then we've all be home with numerous stay at home orders and reduction of gathering efforts in effect. While some are suffering and households are out of work, I do consider myself to be very lucky as I am working everyday and my husband is considered essential too.
Something that you might be surprised to hear is... I've been dropping clients. Yes. I have been terminating contracts with paying clients. Let me tell you why. During these "challenging times" I have learned a lot and the people you are surrounded by, clients included, really make an impact on your life. At the onset, anyone in marketing will tell you we were working overtime. I was often up at 4am and working until past midnight every day. Much of what was happening was trying to figure out what was going on, who was open, services changing, menus adapting and everything else needs to be constantly changed, updated, the word spread and information shared.
With an MA in communication this is what I do, I take information and share it. What I found was... if you don't tell me, then how will I know? Some clients stepped-up and others made my job even more stressful. So, as time went on I decided if you were not part of my life's mission, if you were not conducive to my quality of life and I struggled to communicate with you - then you were getting dropped. A magical thing happened as a result when this new approach to doing work revealed itself to me...I closed these doors and new ones opened.
When you make a conscious decision to better your life and happiness... you open yourself up to more opportunities to do what it is you want to do and what makes you successful. With quality of life being my top priority (along with less stress and overall joy and happiness) eliminating the negative allowed for the positive to flow in. Some might say during a pandemic the last thing you wanna do is lose work and money, but was it really worth it, was I able to offer my 100%, were they giving me what I needed to do my job efficiently? If the answer is no, then find something else to say yes to.
Meanwhile, many inquiries for new very exciting work have come through and I've picked up some amazing projects to work on. I am thrilled by my decision to do what's best for me, my family, my business and my overall happiness. Don't forget it is ok to allow for opening yourself up to new, better and fresh beginnings.
Pre-Travel Testing allows visitors to avoid quarantine
So you may have heard... October 15th marks the day transpacific travel to the islands of Hawaii opens back up, with pre-travel testing. What does that mean? Well in a nutshell if you can prove that you have tested negative for COVID within 72 hours of your departure flight to Hawaii you don't have to quarantine for 14 days after arrival.
Here are the exact details of the program:
The pre-travel testing for transpacific travel program includes:
If a traveler’s COVID-19 test comes back negative, they will be exempt from quarantine. If the results haven’t come in yet, the traveler will be required to quarantine at their place of lodging until results come back. If the result comes back positive for COVID-19, the traveler and close contacts will be mandated to isolation for 14 days. Gov. Ige also announced that Kauaʻi and Maui will be participating in the pre-travel testing program for inter-island travel.
Currently the neighbor islands have their own rules for this program:
To be completely honest, I am excited and both concerned about this. Firstly, I am excited to have money coming into our economy, to have people go back to work and to have hotels, stores and restaurants reopen. But, I am concerned because even-though these precautions are being taken this will eventually lead to an increase in sickness being introduced to our island home. I know our economy is hurting and I know local families are struggling so it is a bit of a double-edged sword. But perhaps we need to move on and continue to live our life as best we can. I am still avoiding hugs and physically distancing myself from others, I wash and sanitize my hands after every touch in public and I am mindful of wearing my mask. The truth is we can't be on lockdown forever and just need to adapt and do our best to remain safe.
April marked one year since my mastectomy... it also was a painful reminder that one year prior to that my mother lost her fight against metastatic breast cancer. Since "going public" with my story last July, I have heard the words brave, inspiring and courageous. I never thought these words would resonate with others, based simply on the fact that I was sharing my breast cancer prevention story and journey; essentially just doing what I think was the best decision for me and prolonging my life. Granted, as I continue to move forward and (hopefully) encourage both men and women to be proactive about their health and self care... some may learn something, be more aware and make conscious decisions to improve their quality of life.
Moving forward... I have encountered some really amazing people and women along this journey. Engaging with other "previvors" and hearing their stories of survival have been very rewarding and encouraging. At first, I thought I was somewhat unique and perhaps unlike anyone else out there. Then as I realized I wasn't alone it was comforting to know there were so many other women just like me.
As I prepared for my journey, I spoke with many mastectomy survivors, most of whom actually had cancer. It was rare to find someone who had done what I did prophylactic-wise. And it was also hard to find others who had the surgery and just opted to go flat without any reconstruction... fast forward and I have started to notice this "Angelina Jolie Effect" as some might call it is starting to make me feel uncomfortable.
I started following the #previvor hashtag on Instagram so I could see other courageous women similar to me around the world... there are a few that I respect and share similar stories. But each day I am reminded of these women who appear to be desperate for attention, tactless and some not even aware with the cause and just selfish. There is something going around now (as we prepare for breast cancer awareness month) called "Pinkwashing" aimed at corporate, businesses and other types of organizations that falsely showcase support of breast cancer awareness in an effort to gain attention and make a profit. Most of the time these types of pinkwashing examples are made by companies attempting to sell products to raise money for breast cancer research, when in fact they are just pocketing the cash. In general I also feel people use pinkwashing techniques to jump on the awareness bandwagon to falsely gain gratification and attention for something that makes them feel liked and popular.
Many women are posting multiple images of themselves going into surgery with tubes in and out of the body, shots in their hospital bed and staged imagery to showcase the night before or the day of surgery posts. Seriously, when I was in the hospital prepping for a major surgery I was not on my phone taking photos. My husband was with me hoping I would come out safe and wake up ok. We were not consumed with trying to showcase how dramatic the entire process was. Honestly, it was scary and I was so nervous! I do recall taking one photo the day afterwards in my recovery room with a bouquet of flowers that a friend sent to me (who lives hundreds of miles away). I simply wanted to share the photo so she could see I appreciated it.
Anyhow, I un-followed this hashtag as I see so many women who appear to be frantic, frivolous, fame-seeking and attention-seeking for all the wrong reasons. Instead I would rather be inspired, moved, motivated and informed.
These impressions from all these women has really changed my perspective on others motivations. I have had many chats online with desperate women seeking to have this surgery immediately. Most of whom don't have a clear reason to have it. If your uncle had prostate cancer, your aunt had lung cancer or your cousin had a brain tumor -- that doesn't mean you need to run out and get a mastectomy.
Talk to your doctor, assess the risk, decipher the percentage rate of chance that you could get breast cancer, have you been on a high detection plan, what have you done to bring down the risk and have you done generic testing? Additionally, ways to reduce the likelihood of cancer in your lifetime are: healthy diet, keeping your weight down, exercising regularly, feeling happy consistently, body awareness, mammograms, regular visits to the doctor, getting adequate sleep and consuming the right nutrition for your body (i.e. not eating fast food, preservatives, chemicals, candy and etc).
My main goal was to save my life, live a long life with my husband, be happy and encourage others to do the same. I refrain from making all my posts about my surgery because there really isn't anything else to say. It's done, I am healed and I don't regret it. I will continue to keep doing what I am doing and don't have any selfish reasons behind it. This is my life as I choose to live it and I hope that if I inspired or educated someone along the way, then that was all worth it.
On the eve of the day my pup will go to the vet to get her last round of shots... I am so happy and excited with enthusiasm. I am hoping that she will like walking in the park, going to the beach and swimming in the water - like me! But I am also learning a lot as I have never raised a dog before. There are some things that I was really stressed out about and wanted to share so new puppy mamas can also learn too.
1. Puppy vaginitis
Since she is a rescue and we don't know too much about her medical history or her history at all... what I do know is she was spayed at the Humane Society and then we were able to adopt her a few days later. A few weeks later so became extremely fatigued, lethargic and not her usual puppy self. We noticed a bit of a light green milky discharge from her vulva area but thought it would perhaps just clear-up. But then when her personality and energy levels plummeted I was so worried.
Upon taking her back to the humane society for a check-up they said it appeared as though so had Puppy Vaginitis. What?! The doctor said it is a result of spaying a pup before her first heat. Sometimes the vagina becomes inflamed because she did not yet go through her first heat cycle or puberty yet. He said he could give her antibiotics but that could have major effects on her down the road and mess up her stomach and other issues. He advised to let it run it course and in a few days it would clear up and she would resolve it on her own by just letting it go. I can't tell you how hard this was. Roxy would just lay there with no energy and literally in pain and to some degree of lethargy suffering. BUT, one thing to note is she never lost her appetite and was still having normal poops and pees. Fast forward 4 days and all of the sudden she was back to her normal self. It was the craziest and hardest few days I have ever had. I felt so bad for her and laid down with her to comfort her. Thankfully the doctor was right and she was fine. I am glad we didn't put her on meds or do anything else to eventually harm her down the road. But it was a rough few days for me for sure.
2. Baby Teeth Fall out
I started to notice in some areas she would have double teeth. I was like whoa no wonder people are afraid of pit bulls, but it was actually her baby teeth being replaced with permanent teeth and then the baby teeth start to literally fall out of her mouth. I also saw some blood and her chew toys with blood on it and then realized she had bloody gums from the teeth coming out and in. This was kind of alarming but not too bad as a little research shows it is normal for pups to go through a teething stage and their adult teeth should come in around 16 weeks. Roxy was right on time at 3 months she started losing her first set of teeth, then the molars and etc will start to grow from 4 months on.
From as soon as we brought her home we started to notice a red rash forming on her chin, mouth, snout, tummy and ears. We were not sure what it was and thought it may have been the grass at our house or even the dishes we used to feed her. (Plastic isn't good because it is porous and can trap bacteria). Any how, when we left the Humane Society they gave us sample bags of Science Diet puppy food and were feeding to her, then when we brought her to the vet they also gave us Science Diet bags of food. Daniel, did a lot of research on the best food to feed her and I did everything I could to keep her off the grass and we got metal bowls for her food and water, washing frequently. The vet also gave us some natural rash remedies along with giving her some benadryl type drugs to help with the rash. Long story short, we changed her food to Bully Max which is a high performance, high protein food (no corn, wheat or soy) - not chock full of fillers and junk. And guess what? Yes, the rash went away immediately when we changed her food. Phew, mystery solved.
4. Woofs down food
So for whatever reason this dog can eat her food in a matter of seconds. Now this isn't anything new, but it can have some major effects down the road like gastric dilation volvulus - stomach fills with gas. While some might only feed their dog twice a day, it is better to feed this kind of dog smaller meals multiple times a day. I also found that if I put a biscuit in with her food it slows her down a moment to chew and try to gnaw on the biscuit instead of inhaling all her food in under 30 seconds.
So for as long as I can remember, I have always been an animal lover. I especially love animals that are furry or fluffy. I remember the first time my mom said we could have a cat and then over the years one cat turned into 5. Not long afterwards I moved away for college and had one cat with me since. I have always wanted a dog, but my schedule didn't allow for it...looking back in March I thought we should get a dog now... but the timing wasn't exactly right. Anyhow, after a short trip to Kauai and then the travel quarantine in place again, I thought now is the time to get a puppy! We put in the word and get a call that a brindle pit bull mix pup was going to be available at the Humane Society but she had what was believed to be a neurological condition called nystagmus. We didn't care and wanted to meet her anyway. Long story short her eyes move around and shake and her heads wobbles like a bobble head but we loved her and took her home.
Roxy is believed to be born on our wedding anniversary May 24th, she is a blue brindle with grey eyes and she is so sweet and very smart. The vet said they think she may be blind to some degree and we know she doesn't see 20/20 but we do know she can see somethings and some times. Her conditions don't impact her at all, her quality of life is impeccable and she is an extremely loving dog. Sometimes she tends to bump into things, but her sense of hearing and smell is impeccable. She is able to chase and get a ball, brings it back and runs to me, and she watches us like a hawk from afar. She's such a beauty and brings so much joy into our life!
You might be wondering about the cat? Well at first Rico was pretty upset and would just sit in the corner and pout. Roxy is outside so inside is still his domain, but about a week or two later he warmed up again. They have met face to face a few times, but I am uncertain if she can see him. She can smell him and I know she wants to bite him as she is a puppy and wants to bite everything. But they aren't friends are anything just yet. He seems to tolerate her and she seems very intrigued and playful as usual. Lucky for me Rico and I have our cuddle time when the puppy is sleeping and he is back to himself again.
The last time I went anywhere... was February 2020, a quick trip to Boston for the first time would be my last trip for 5 months. COVID-19 emerged and a global pandemic stunned the world. After inter-island travel opened back up again in June I was hesitant, but after an invitation to visit my home island of Kauai from Koloa Landing Resort, I jumped at the chance to enjoy a short getaway.
I am sure like many others you're wondering what it was like traveling in a post-COVID era. Here's what my experience was like.
Prior to departure
Booking and checking in is still the same, the state requires you fill out an inter-island travel form. (Please note this is for Hawaii residents only and if you are a visitor from out of state you are still required to quarantine for 14 days after arrival). The form can be found here: https://health.hawaii.gov/travel/
You can fill out the form online up to 24 hours prior to your departure, or fill out the paper and bring it with you prior to TSA. I printed it and brought it with us. Some have said doing it online is way easier and faster.
At the airport
Once at the airport, which is a ghost town and with just a few travelers in and around the terminals, you proceed to a hospitality desk prior to TSA. Present your ID, boarding pass and travel form. There they (National Guard) will first take your temperature, (hospitality workers) look everything over and confirm your information. If the form is filled out completely and you don't have a fever you can proceed to TSA.
Getting through TSA is a breeze since it's empty. If you are looking for something to eat and drink that may be a deadzone, as only Burger King and Starbucks were open, in Kauai nothing was open, not even a snack shop. I highly recommend bringing a bottle to fill with water and snacks/food.
Once at the gate it is encouraged to social distance. People were seated with a chair or 2 for separation and in clusters. No one is there to tell you what to do, but overall everyone was respectful and wearing their masks. I removed my mask to eat a sandwich and felt weird about it cause everyone else had their masks on the entire time.
The airline starts boarding and instructs people to board from the back of the plane to the front and only walk to the entrance of the gate once your row is called. This helps to keep everyone distanced and orderly. All the flight attendants had masks and gloves on and gave us a sanitizing wipe upon entry. Seating is spaced with a chair to separate you and those who booked together are seated together. The plane was full including the empty distancing seats.
Once you touchdown and taxi, the flight attendant made an announcement to remain seated until the row in front of you has started to exit the plane, but it was inaudible and you could barely hear it. Some people did the same old thing of jumping up and standing there anxious to get off. Most stayed seated and refrained from lining up. It's hit or miss with the social distancing on arrival if you wanna stay away from others just remain in your seat. If you're in an aisle like me, I moved to the middle seat so people standing in the aisle were not so close to me.
After disembarking there was a long line and no was distanced. This was the arrival screening line to confirm where you are from and where you are headed, you will need your boarding pass so they can confirm. In Lihue they gave us a placard to give to our rental car that said we were authorized to leave the airport. I caught the shuttle to the car rental, which had a limit of 6 passengers at one time and left the rest of our family at the airport so I could pick them up later. I highly recommend doing this as you will wait a while to get on a shuttle where everyone can get on, we were a party of 4 and there were similar sized parties waiting to get on the shuttle.
I proceeded to the car rental, gave them the placard, drove back to the terminal and picked up the crew.
Overall it was easy, no stress and felt safe.
My last reminders would be:
Have your form filled out ahead of time.
Bring a water bottle and snacks.
You have to wear your mask all the time and bring 2 in case you lose one.
Save your boarding pass.
Have only one person go get the rental car.
Have fun, be safe, don't touch anything and apply hand sanitizer or wash your hands often.
UPDATE: Effective 8/11/20 there is a 14 day quarantine in effect for all inter-island travel.
I don’t believe in women empowerment.
Let me tell you why.
First of all, I can only count 2 women my entire life who have wholeheartedly and unconditionally supported and empowered me through any and all trials, tribulations, challenges, the peaks and valleys of life and etc. When I look back at any and all women in power, management and hierarchy I’ve never felt welcome, uplifted or empowered - not by a single one. Even now as I run my business and as I reflect on past experiences, clients and previous employment I am reminded of the feelings of discrimination, uncomfortableness, competitiveness, demotion, manipulation and jealousy that I endured silently at the hands of other women. Women who can be treacherous, critical, spiteful and malicious.
So you might say, “change it and be the leader to empower other women and do away with this nonsense.” Yes, that could be an option. But instead I am more focused on people empowerment, education for all, human transformation and guidance. Supporting others and being there for them no matter the gender. I am an advocate for women’s rights, gender rights, equal pay, gender equality and freedom… why can’t all people be treated equally, with respect and with kindness and unwavering love and support?
As this social media “Challenge Accepted” trend began to take shape on Sunday with women copying and pasting a message with instructions to post a black and white photo of yourself, then tagging the women who nominated you, and sending it to 50 other women privately to encourage them to love each other --- this is so self centered and superficial to me. In it the message says “I think you are so badass and amazing and I was careful to choose who I think will meet the challenge.” This makes it seem that this is an exclusive special challenge that only specific people can take part in, thereby excluding the dozens of other women you might know who weren’t as “beautiful, strong or incredible” enough to be included.
As we continue to embark in the world of post-black lives matter, trans-lives matter and etc… I appreciate and empathize with those who have been discriminated against for any reason. I am a minority and a woman… I also come from a single-parent home, my mother was a minority, I was a bastard child, went to public school and with no savings in the bank to pay for a college education… but that didn’t stop me from pursuing my dreams. Instead I remained dedicated, driven, determined and despite the challenges have created this life for myself and sense of purpose to lift others up, provide inspiration, support and empowerment for all. Challenge accepted - empower PEOPLE!
July 8th marks one year since I completely healed from my bilateral simple prophylactic mastectomy - which in simple english means I had both of my breasts surgically removed to prevent breast cancer. Bilateral means two, simple means they did not attempt to save my nipples, prophylactic means preventative and I also opted not to have reconstruction, which means I went flat with no implants and no other surgeries. After a strong family history of breast cancer and a genetic predisposition to the disease I felt the best chance of preventing breast cancer was to have this surgery which reduces my chances by over 90+%.
I've been taking this recovery in stages... first going public about my decision one year ago after I was all healed, then sharing bits and pieces about life, this process and experience. Everyone has been so supportive and 100% positive which has been very uplifting and kind. Being recognized by those in community who say words like "brave" and "strong" made me really think about my decision and how it was impacting others.
I've had countless women reach out to me... a broad range from breast cancer survivors, women on the verge of diagnosis, women who were amongst the first to have this type of surgery done and women who are running high with emotions because they fear the C word. I've spent many hours answering questions, speaking in public and sharing my story. It wasn't until recently that I started to realize I am ready to share my videos of the process and recovery.
When I was researching how this would happen and what to expect I watched all the mastectomy videos I could and spoke to as many survivors as I could find from all walks of life. I realized there is no one like me and I am very unique. I do have a special story to share and I think no matter how it is perceived or viewed it would be helpful to share these videos with others. It is surprising to me how many women out there are full with emotion and angst. I've noticed women who have had breast pain, burning, lumps and bumps and don't want to seek help or treatment. I've heard from women who don't have cancer, are pre-cancer their relative had cancer and they feel extremely motivated to do what I did. For me it was a way to evaluated the numbers - here is my risk and here is the best way to reduce the risk. I thought the decision I made was the best and most effective for me. I encourage others to speak with their doctors and also work on getting even a second or third opinion, because there isn't a magic bullet and despite what you think might be the right choice for you - you need to do your research.
Yes, I was perfectly healthy and did not have cancer. My journey is about me doing something some might say is extreme with the hopes of saving or prolonging my life. Since 1% of the people on social media are confused and seem to think I had cancer, even though I've made it very clear that I did not have any cancer cells and this was all preventative to prevent cancer... I am not going to post these videos on Facebook or Instagram. I am going to post them on YouTube with the comments turned off simply as a resource for others to see, watch and learn. I think because this is a new concept some can't seem to wrap their head around what I did or why i did it, so I think it's best to just upload it out there and those who seek it out and want to learn more can.
My YouTube channel name is Olena Heu.
Feel free to like and/or subscribe - I will begin uploading the journey videos in the next few days and put them all in order from the day before surgery to fully healed.
So... I am slightly mildly maybe embarrassed, which is why I was hesitant to blog about this... but I feel that those who take the time to read this may be saved or helped by my experience. I will ruin the ending for you right now and let you know I ordered products and did in fact receive them, but I have extremely high suspicions that this would not be the case for 90% of the other people who make the same mistake that I did.
Last month, I saw one of those ads online advertising apparel and "Looking for Brand Ambassadors," I had seen it so many times that it was just like white noise to me. Then something caught my eye, 'that is a cute shirt'. So I went to their page and it seemed very authentic, actual regular women posting empowering photos, quotes, empassionned posts, inspiration and etc. I thought 'this is pretty cool'. Then I browsed their website and saw that it looked legit. So I messaged them. I immediately got a reply... here's how it went:
May 22: Hello, I am messaging to learn more about your ambassador program.
2 min later: Hey! I am Megan, thanks for the message how are you?
Olena: I am great, doing well. I am an entrepreneur who started a digital marketing firm 6 years ago.
Megan: Awesome, so happy you reached out. Have you heard of us before?
Megan: I started the company last year, Our mission is spread empowerment to women and 25% of our profits go to organizations globally to empower women globally.
Olena: That's amazing and awesome, I fully support that.
Megan: Take a look at our website let me know what your favorite piece is.You can check the link in our bio for our collection on the site.
Olena: Ok awesome.
Megan: We would love to collaborate with you as an ambassador and share a discount with you for everything on the site. Once you receive your order, posts photos and we will share on our website and instagram and would be happy to tag your account or any other account that you have.
Olena: Awesome, I believe in your mission. Props you are very responsive.
Megan: I just made you a discount code for you, your family, friends and followers. When it arrives feel free to tag us or send it here an you can share in your story too if you want.
Olena: Ok, sounds good. Thank you. I will go shopping now and get some gifts for my friends as well.
Megan: If you let me know your order number I will be sure to throw in an extra secret gift for being an ambassador.
Olena: I think my order number is xyz
Megan: Perfect, so excited.
Olena: Thank you so much, I am looking forward to sharing.
So here's where it gets interesting... I placed my order. They sent a confirmation that it was ready for USPS pickup on May 26. When you go to the USPS link and input your tracking number -- it says the item was never shipped. They also have a disclaimer that even though someone says they are shipping a box, that doesn't mean it actually is making it's way to them as USPS is waiting for it to be dropped off.
June 1st, I wait one week and the item still hasn't shipped. I send a message to the insanely responsive Megan who claims to have started this company in Boston.
Olena: Hi, just checking in. USPS says the item was called for shipment but wasn't shipped yet.
I start cyber stalking their social media pages and notice amongst their hundreds of comments there are a handful that say "I am waiting for my order" "never got my order" "you wont ever get your order" "they delete all the negative comments and you won't get your order."
Ugh, I never saw this before... so I message one of the girls that said she ordered a month ago and it never came. She replies that yes, she never got it and never heard from them again. She also posted the same email confirmation that I got saying the order was shipped with the USPS tracking info, but just like me the order was never shipped.
I immediately call my credit card to contest the charge. I reported that I ordered the item, they never shipped it and have been unresponsive. Then magically 10 days later, they pop up in my DMs.
"Hey babe, we apologize for the wait, as current events in the world are significantly impacting us, and we are finding new ways to do our part. The good news is I see your order is in transit and should be at your front door soon. We thank you for your support and continue to spread kindness."
In the midst of all this... I was concerned that my credit card information was potentially compromised, so I canceled it and had a replacement card with a new number sent to me.
Yes, the package eventually came on June 12, 21 days after my order was placed. Was there a special additional gift inside, no. Was it everything I ordered, yes. Did it come from Boston, no. Was I happy with it, meh...it was just ok. Would I order again, no way!
So, I recently saw the ads popping up again and went to scroll through... I noticed a bunch of gals saying they ordered and couldn't wait for their shirts. There were a handful of replies under their posts that were deleted, I am guessing the ones that said "you won't ever get it." I personally do think it is some sort of scam to get your money, but since I had contested the charge once they were contacted by my credit card company they realized they better send it. I won't be sharing the discount code with anyone as I don't want others to fall victim to the thieves because I endorsed it and gave them a shopping code. I thought I was thorough, I even researched their website, other sites, pages and watched a few YouTube videos about these kind of scams, but this one was different and very convincing in a very personal way. I have seen ones where you have to pay for shipping or pay for the costs and they claim to send you all this stuff, or it is a pyramid scheme of sorts. But this one seemed like a great cause, they offered a swell discount and were very responsive until I placed the order.
Word to the wise, make purchases from a trusted source, do your research and be sure to use a method of payment that is insured or has your back. Avoid debit cards or anything that is connected to your bank accounts. I also used my P.O. Box as my address because I was hesitant to give them my home address and as it turns out your subconscious is usually right. So in the end I quite possibly almost maybe could've potentially gotten scammed.
I have no doubt this era that we are living in is a double edged sword. While I try to maintain a positive attitude and share inspiration, hope and joy... We are human and it does take a toll on your mental health to encounter all of these challenges, changes and the new normal of life.
On The Bright Side
1. I've enjoyed all of this quality time at home with my husband. I feel our relationship has only grown stronger and better with each passing day. We have and will always compliment each other and balance one another -- and that is perhaps the most gratifying experience I can share so far since March. As a life partner who has loved unconditionally this only intensifies these feelings of deep love, appreciation and support.
2. Tele-Work - I've been working remotely and from home for 6 years now... so nothing is new for me, but many others have discovered how great it can be to be just a productive from the comforts of home. It can still be rewarding, productive and efficient if you do it correctly. At home projects all got done and all this downtime was a great way to reconnect on all levels. I am also extremely grateful to still have work!
3. Takeout and Delivery - at it's peak when we all feared going out in public and were ordered to stay in our homes, the joy of home delivery and restaurant food for takeout was a pleasant experience. perhaps it was seeing other humans, encountering other people, seeing something new and trying something new that helped bring a spark to your day. From that we discovered a few gems and also learned to really appreciate our small businesses who are working so hard to stay afloat, always adapting and pivoting to stay alive.
4. Communication is Key - with the advent of FaceTime, Zoom, video conferencing, text messaging, direct messaging, group chats and etc... keeping in touch, sharing a message and just engaging with others really helped to uplift and inspire. I tried to keep in touch with close friends regularly and hoped that my messages and frequent check-ins also kept their spirits up.
5. Mother Nature Reset - the water is clearer, the oceans are cleaner, life is rejuvenated and wildlife found some restoration. I first heard about it when dolphins were swimming in Venice, the fish returned to parts of Waikiki and coral started to grow again. Our reduced impact on the environment really helped mother nature experience a rebirth or sorts.
On The Down Side
1. After one month in isolation, the lack of social encounters and in-person engagements led me to a somber place. I felt frustrated, defeated and emotionally lost. I believe the unknown and fear created these feelings of angst and fright. There were so many questions about this new virus, sickness, death, hospitalization and more. Obviously, there are still a series of unknowns but Hawaii has emerged as one of the lowest regions of infection and has done very well keeping the health and safety of our residents in tact. Being cooped up at home isn't the best and most ideal choice but I am grateful to be safe, healthy and virus free.
2. Too much social media - while I manage social media for others as it is part of my business, also for Da Best Hawaii and my own personal pages this, as you can imagine, is somewhat cumbersome. Posting for my clients is fun, exciting and inspires me... but keeping up with Da Best Hawaii and maintaining posts for myself leaves me weary. I worked tirelessly to help my clients as best I could, doing 5Xs the amount of expected work and often fielding, calls, meetings, texts, emails and etc from 5am-12am daily. When the work started to taper off I found myself frustrated by others on social media who opted to unfollow, block or disengage with me personally. I think when you are living your daily life you wouldn't notice these things, but since all we had was time at home and on the internet, being social, it lead to some common frustrations. For me, I feel social media is a place to entertain, educate and inspire others. For others I think social media is a game... It's a place where they can create a facade, find false affirmations of themselves and investigate what others are doing and how they are living without them noticing. To put it in it's simplest terms much of what we see is fake, fake altered posts, fake followers, fake likes and fake friends. Now don't get me wrong this is just speaking from a personal perspective, this isn't related to marketing or business reach at all. This is mainly an observation regarding the cognitive behaviors of humans on social media. For some they are seeking validation through "likes" and "followers" and thus begins this cycle of inauthentic relationships, engagements and unvalued worth. So what does this all mean? We will never know because each person is unique in their motivations and desires through social and it depends on how authentic and true they actually are.
3. I think I definitely gained weight - I don't have a scale and I am uncertain how much I weighed in February but I am pretty sure my waistline has seen better days LOL. A combination of inactivity, gym closures and lots of snacking has led to my realization. My husband did a great job of cooking for me and we ate everything that made us happy and content. I find a great sense of happiness and joy because of good food and I don't regret it, but it may take some extra time making my fitness goals again.
In the end
You can see the benefits outweighed the negatives. I do believe we will make it through and the world may in fact become a better place, I hope. Moving forward it'll be a world that is more cognizant of the way we interact, the way we treat each other and the decisions we make. I can only hope that we can always consider what is best for the soul, for others and for the planet.