Human Stories: Elaine Dunstone, Melbourne, Australia



Elaine Dunstone is a Singapore girl living the "Melbourne Life" for the past 17 years. As a Marketeer, it is a job that brings home the bacon and she feels lucky that it is also her personal enjoyment. She creates positive experiences and translate them into engagement currency at work. Being in retailer property management gives her the perks to engage with a whole bunch of people from all walks of life, and it sparks joy for her. Despite the financial, mental and emotional struggle the Covid-19 period brings, her family are alive and well.


This is Elaine's happy story as shared with Affluent Society from Australia:


Living in Melbourne in 2020 has been tough for many families. It feels like it's been one crisis after another, and we’re all mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted. Many homes were lost and animals perished during the bush fires, followed by job losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Add on the financial pain and health issues. Many of us here in Victoria are suffering from “life fatigue”. Yet, I am grateful for what this pandemic brings to my table. Tragedy always strips us back to basics and makes us grateful for the mere existence of life itself.


Yes, I do miss the human connections that carry irreplaceable energy - the laughter and the joy that spreads across the aromatic room of a café or a winery. But I would also be slammed with the daily grind of life where I would otherwise be working away, meticulously counting down the family’s waking hours and compartmentalising them into work, kids, school and chores. And before I know it, life has caught up to me, and I won’t be able to relive this time again.


Everyone around me is waiting for life to go back to normal. I am two minds about it. I don’t want to lose this freedom where life is simple. Where you find that life has no algorithm for you to figure out. And I can find peace within the chaos. I can feel human without having to succumb to doing everything to clockwork and leave nothing to chance. I can sit down and feel vulnerable and no one will judge me.


Now is the time to recognise that life is beautiful, despite the financial, mental and emotional struggle this period brings. We are alive and well. So embrace simple pleasures. Do something that you normally don’t do. I surprise myself so much these days, and I am busier than before making up for lost time and trying to make the home a better one for my family.


Happy moments are in the NOW, and not when pandemic is over. Give up counting the days and take it all in. It's time to press the reset button and contemplate what we really want as an individual. It's cliché but the Covid-19 life has its silver linings. And yes, despite it all, I am still happy! Are you?


About Human Stories:


All of us have a story to share. Some are joyful. Some are teary. Some provide perspectives. Several are downright heartbreaking. Others are simply inspiring.


I've been receiving and exchanging stories of COVID-19 lockdowns with business and government leaders from around the world since June. As the third wave of the pandemic handcuffs some nations and borders, I turn my attention to you - readers and followers of Affluent Society - and your emails and feedback to me these past months. While I continue serving my sentence in Melbourne, I will try my best to tell your story.


This Human Stories Series is a cumulation of stories shared with Affluent Society by its readers and followers from around the world.


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