Staying Positive During CB: A Chat With Sharon Ismail
As the Singapore government puts into place measures such as the CB, millions of people are now staying indoors and working at home.
In the following weeks, we will be interviewing some of our customers to find out what they are doing now and how they are coping with the daily stress during this CB.
To kick off this 6 part series, we have Sharon and Jumari, parents to two lovely daughters, to share with us what life is like now.
You most likely know Sharon Ismail from her many shows on Channel 5 and Suria. Despite being busy and having two children, Sharon is a multi-hyphenate who does it all — she acts, writes, and even trains young adults for media professions at Ngee Ann Polytechnic.
Her husband, Jumari Mohd Osman also affectionately referred to by Sharon as Jo, is an avid golfer and Sales Director at AutoInc. The couple is one of the warmest and caring people we’ve ever met.
So how has her life changed since CB and what keeps her grounded and sane in a time like now?
Can you tell us how a typical day is different now with CB in place?
We all get to sleep in a little later because there’s no travel time involved to get to school or work – that’s great! The girls head straight into their Home-based Learning after breakfast and I get cracking on the laptop or e-meetings. Jo’s work is more flexible so he’s taken over helping our younger daughter navigate her online lesson platforms. He’s been great at making sure the girls keep up with their schedules, as even tuition has gone online now.
Outside of this, we work on little experiments in the kitchen for treats, like trying baking recipes from youtube, making Thai milk tea with boba, or chicken nuggets and McDonalds-style curry sauce from scratch.
Somewhere in the day, Jo and I will do a yoga or strength training workout. The girls either watch, follow or cringe, in equal measures.
We now have more time for family games like Taboo, complete projects like build the miniature greenhouse set from a year ago, finish building the Lego Millennium Falcon from Jo’s birthday, and watch K-dramas. Jo seems quite taken by Song Hye Kyo (Lol).
We also spend the evening on our rooftop for some fresh air and watch the sunset. That’s an amazing perk – we never got home in time from work before to enjoy this part of our home like this.
How are you coping with the outbreak? What are some of the challenges that you’re facing in a time like this?
The most important thing we remind ourselves every day is the fact we’re healthy, and so are our loved ones who don’t live with us. With that perspective, everything else that doesn’t quite go the way we want is easier to accept. It’s a bit disorienting when work and home life have blurred lines, and productivity isn’t what it used to be. Meeting colleagues online for meetings and navigating various platforms to help the kids with their Home-based Learning also takes a bit of getting used to.
A challenge we couldn’t overcome ourselves was when wifi was down, and we all had lessons or meetings that we needed to attend. So we got inventive using our mobile phones when we had to. I dread finding out how much mobile data we used.
But really, compared to what healthcare workers and front-liners face, what we’re coping with is nothing. Inconveniences, at best.
Can you tell us what has been 1 positive thing that you’ve noticed during this outbreak?
There have been so many silver linings in this outbreak. It’s an enforced reset button to self reflect on our habits, mindsets and pre-occupations. Suddenly, we notice people around us more, we notice how kind Singaporeans can be. The converse is true too – we get clarity to decide how we want to respond to ugliness as well.
On the home front, we see how the girls cope with the changes in routines. It’s teaching them discipline, independence, flexibility and gratitude. They argue a bit more, for sure, but Jo and I know we’re blessed to be home with them at a time like this.
With the CB in place, many have to change the way they work and live. Can you share with us what are the 2 positive new norms that you’ve developed during this period?
We keep a family journal that we pass around and add things to – it may be a doodle, recipes we want to try, even a list of the movies / series we’ve watched on TV & Netflix. It’s a fun way to remember what a remarkable time we’re living in right now, and the normalcy we attempted to keep despite it all. For good or bad, we got to choose our response to the days past, as unsettling and unpredictable as things got. And we were together as a family.
Living in active wear is a bonus – it’s a reminder for us to keep active everyday, yoga or Zumba, or the girls trying to get us boomers to Tik Tok.
What else keeps you going in a tough time like now? Any advice to share with others on how to stay positive during this tough period?
We really have nothing to complain about – we’re very fortunate that our jobs allow us to work from home and take care of our household. We see our front-liners and those working in essential services take the hit for us, risking their lives, working extra long hours and miss taking care of their own households every day that we’ve had our way of life turned topsy turvy due to the outbreak.
The gratitude we have for them is immense. So the least we can do is stay home, keep hygiene levels up, keep well and not get in their way. We focus on what we’re grateful for every day, and we talk about this often as a family. It helps us keep faith that this challenge will end one day.
As you have bought our sheets before, can you describe Weavve sheets in one sentence
Weave sheets are soft and luxurious, everything you look forward to for a good snuggle in bed. Husband sold separately.
Featured in this photo with Sharon is our Tencel Bed Sheet Set in Midnight.