Aishwarya standing on a grassy hill. What a time to be alive! We’ve come a long way since the pandemic began in early 2020, and there have been several unforeseen changes in recent times – both personally and professionally. While these (almost) two years have undoubtedly been difficult, we’ve done our best to persevere as we continue to overcome this period in our lives. Amidst all the uncertainty, however, I’ve found comfort in remembering to appreciate the little things that life has to offer – many of which may have previously been taken for granted.

With the holidays now upon us, I wanted to spend a few moments reflecting on those takeaways, so we can begin the new year filled with gratitude and positivity.

1. Prioritize Your Health

Heading into 2022, I know that nothing is more important than my health. The pandemic brought to light the importance of good health, and during the hustle and bustle of life, we can often overlook it. Now, with this topic in the spotlight, a true focus has been put on a person’s overall well-being.

Cisco has always been a company that encourages its employees to take care of their health, and they’ve shown this in multiple ways – sometimes by providing us with mental health days (also known as a “Day for Me”) to help prevent burnout as much as possible, or even through some of our other benefits such as the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which enables us to seek additional assistance from professionals.

2. Spread More Love

Compassion and empathy are rooted in the culture across Cisco, and I’ve personally witnessed it many times, most recently as part of the AppDynamics team. As an employee, being part of a team where each member genuinely looks out for you and cares about you is an underrated blessing which can be found amongst the people at this company.

During these times, I’ve also found a new appreciation for being able to spend more time with my family. The level of quality time we’ve had in recent years is truly a gift and being able to lean on loved ones during tough times has been a silver lining to what we are enduring. From cooking meals together to bonding over family game nights, I truly appreciate the moments we get to spend together.

3. Never Stop Growing

Aishwarya standing in front of a fountain

Nature has also been a healing force during this phase, old hobbies have been revived, and new hobbies have been discovered. Technology helped us stay connected, and we found that simple things such as laughter, kindness, and time with loved ones are what bring us the most happiness. Like Cisco, I love these moments of connecting and re-connecting with friends, family, hobbies, and passions.

Still, it is okay to feel overwhelmed and uncertain at times. The important thing is that we are working through these challenging times together. It is encouraging to know that we are not alone, and I’m thankful to work at a company with individuals who care more about each other than simply the work at hand. We are stronger together, and that has become even more apparent over the last two years.

One thing I’ve learned through all of this is that sometimes you just need to accept things for what they are and move on. Certain things are out of our control, and letting go is really the key to being happy. Change can be immensely difficult, but with time, it often turns into something unexpectedly amazing. That’s the beauty of life – tough times don’t last forever, and the darkest storms are what bring us the brightest rainbows. We will soon be ringing in a new year, and together we will step forward with new perspectives from all the growth we’ve had recently. 2022 will certainly present us with some extra love and warmth.

The best is yet to come, and I wish you all a happy, safe, and healthy new year!


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Aishwarya Pasupunatla

Program Manager

Customer Experience