The year was 2002. I was laid off. I dropped from the very top of my career due to post dot-com crashes economic down turn. Several months later in Apr l 2003 came SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) the virus hitting Hong Kong causing the whole town to idle.
At the time my daughter was 2 years old. My mother-in-law was supposed to help us to take care of her before I was laid off and before our first maid arrived Hong Kong. Suddenly my mother-in-law was sick and had to stay in hospital for a period of time despite her sickness was not something serious. My wife had to work. I was the only one who can stay home to take care of my daughter. I couldn't go out to interview for jobs. I recall that I was trying to do telephone interview instead but my daughter was pulling my leg trying to play with me while I was on a phone interview. Guess what, the phone interview was not successful cause the potential employer at the time felt my lacking of focus.
It was a tough time. I felt captive and I felt smaller than life!
Today, 9 years from that time, I can still recall the pressure and the guilt I cast onto myself that as a husband I could not provide the financial secure feeling to my family. Fortunately my daughter was only 2 years old and she was a cute one. It was a joy to take care of her. Not many of us guy would have such chance to take care of our child should we were busy at work. In an idling time like back then, I spent my time in rebuilding my web programming skill by diving into books and open source. It was a chance for me to stop and rebuilt my technical foundation to prepare me to be a better manager in the Digital Marketing industry. I had tried out various short job opportunities outside of the IT / dotcom industry as well but non of them turned out solid. Despite of the hardship and worry back then, now in hindsight, it was indeed blessing in disguised. I have gained some much "texture" and "insights" from my various ventures and my re-earned programming skills allowed me a much stronger digital marketing manager in subsequent jobs.
Back then, when I was alone with my daughter, I kept on talking to her and asking her "Is today a good day?". And she would answer back "Today is a good day!". That was an answer I had taught her to reinforce a positive mind to her. Frankly, I needed the mental reinforcement myself so hearing the 2 years old baby telling me that "Today is a good day!" gave me the reason to move forward for one more day positively!
My recent trip to Canada to visit my mom suddenly made the message "Today is a good day!" resurface from my memory. It was so important to me that I though I should rename my blog as "Today is a good day!".
And I want to say that to others as it seems the economic situation today (19 August 2011) may cause many others in challenging situation like my experience back then. So when you feel life is bigger than you, keep on telling yourself that "Today is a good day!".