301 words by Valerie Speth

It’s Monday 2pm, May 11th, 2020.
Blood all over me. My son’s blood. I hurry into the elevator while ordering Grab, the Uber of Singapore.
Destination: next hospital. I haven’t showered yet. The “community stay home order” allows you to focus on work, not beauty.
My two-year-old has fallen on the chin. I can literally see the bone and I am more than confident he’ll need stitches. In the cab, my phone rings. I decline. It’s my next business call to discuss urgent office
topics. My son stares at me, “aua”.
“Sweety, don’t worry. All will be fine.”
Emergency room check-in requires four COVID registration documents. Carrying the kid, peeling my ID out of my wallet and writing down my contact information is already challenging enough. My phone rings
again. Work. I decline. I see another text. My husband is asking when the six-month old had his last milk.
It’s unusual for me to miss a call or be slow in replying. Then, a worrying skype message from my colleague: “Are you OK?”
At this moment, it feels like everybody is pulling on me. Prioritize Valerie. Stay calm. Honestly, I am not OK, but I guess there is no choice here.

At 11pm, after bringing everyone to bed, I look at hundreds of unread emails, eight missed phone calls and tons of messages. Where did this day go?
I am tired, exhausted. Today, I did a good job. I prioritized, I focused, acted fast and powerful. And my colleagues understood. But now, my body is tired. I stare at my laptop. I pause. I open Youtube. Yoga.

Reserve time. For you and your soul. To stay balanced.
Happy belated mother’s day.

About the author
Valerie has always been different: a networker with a mechanical engineer degree and a PHD in business. She worked in the automotive and energy industry in Europe, US and Asia. Her passion is building up and growing early/ mid-stage companies and investments in renewables & green tech. Located in Singapore and responsible for the APAC region, she is a Board Member of the first women’s NGO in Asia for clean tech. Capital Magazine selected her in 2019 as Top 40 under 40, probably also due to her ugly positive attitude and optimism.


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