Life has come to a juncture when years merge from one to another and keep rolling. It’s kind of late now to talk about beginning of a year but that’s fine. Life seems to continue from one year to another but I do make effort to have some bullet points for each year whether in personal, or professional or social life, whether in the form of goals achieved or lessons learnt. I do prefer to take last few days of the calender off to rewind, reunite with extended families, travel or just stay at home. More appropriately try to get some time to think about life.
Also this is the time to re-emphasize some thoughts from not just last year but in last many years when this phase of my life started, in India, in corporate etc.
Only hard work is in our hands: Life brings many situations to us, and we need to accept those, and keep moving to the next moment, next day and next phase of our lives. Those situations could be a result of many factors. Of all the factors only hard work and ability to learn are in our hands, every thing else like luck or to be at right place in right time are not in our control. So I have learned to work hard and learn fast so that even if I get 30% of that as a result I shall be able to be at peace.
Strategy, planning, networking, flexibility, warm behavior, firmness are synergistic to hard work: Although we cannot control our luck according to our plan, but taking calculated risks, having a plan B (or C even), ability to take decisions and live with it, flexibility to accept a new situation thrown onto us, patience for listening to others and giving respect to others do help along with the hard work. Similarly being confident about our decisions, assertive, and firmness to some of your requirements are also respected in life.
Consistency helps too: There are times when we get demotivated and uninspired for so many reasons and start taking things casually. It might be okay for a short period of time but it is essential to recoil and rebound as soon as possible and keep working consistently at all aspects of our life including relationships. There are times when this becomes the most challenging thing to do but we need to keep reminding ourselves that this shall also pass.
Know your money: It is vital to acknowledge the money we earn. Most of the happy moments cannot be bought with money but it is a critical factor to check our lives. We need to learn to value it and value the source it is coming from. We need to learn to invest it. It is very important to be aware of the price our skills and qualifications can bring to us. We should know where it is all going through are cards. It is also required to acknowledge that there will be time in life when we will take decisions considering other priorities of our life and not money.
Breathers: I have identified the need of breather to continue living. It is easy to take leave from office physically. But it takes some effort not to think about work for a day or two. I find I am so used of thinking about work at any time frame. Even more difficult is to get breather from home. Again it is easy to ignore the chores and let them pile on, but it is so difficult not to listen to J or to ignore the husband who keeps a watch that I am little off and start poking immediately. So my small breathers are some strict ‘me times’ to contemplate, to stare the TV screen, to sleep without counting hours and sitting with a blank state of mind. For me and my entangled thoughts this helps. There are times when I announce that I am going to have 'me time' and others accommodate.
Community: This is a very important learning that I cannot solve things or go on in life without support and discussion with other people. Indian women are conditioned to keep mum regarding issues or situations in their life and are trained to bring an ever smiling calm picture to others. I believed in this for a long time. I learned slowly that I need to speak out, bring out my problem out there to other women and men as well. It is okay some people will be judgmental and that is lesson learnt but there will be some who will agree to me too.
Identify an issue and it will be handled eventually: This is a wisdom I learned from my PhD supervisor that if we are going through a process or situation or performing an experiment, it is very important that we can identify, or categorize the question or issue and once that is done we will eventually find ways to solve this or make peace with them. Sometimes we keep revolving with same situation without real analysis of the reason. It is necessary to be objective and approach the situation through different angles. Objective root cause analysis for anything that is bothering us is helpful.
Break it small: Many activities and duties posses a daunting image in front of us. For any new parent, children bring a lot of changes in their life. In India new parents also get to listen many judgmental comments from people around them. When both parents are working the art of parenting becomes even more daunting. This result into strained relationships, chronic health issues etc. Breaking the entire task, situation into smaller portions and concentrating on that portion at a time can be helpful. Breaking a big task in smaller portions keep our sanity and we can observe the improvements while working as a team.
Have your own parameters: Life is full of goals that can be achieved, as young kids we did not hear many people going abroad for studies or working but now that is a norm. There were not many who had imported cars but now it is not a big deal. So now if we fall into that comparative mode where we find everyone else is doing better than us and happier than us then life will be so miserable. We might see people going for foreign trips every year, we might see people investing in property every year, we might have parents or relatives constantly inquiring about our professional and financial well-being, but we need to set our parameters on our priorities. It is okay to gauge success as per world’s convention but that should not be the only way of defining our lives. We need to have our own parameters to live our life our own progress chart and metrics. Going to a nearby park with a picnic bag can be of immense fun, try this at least once.
Health is important too: Of all the stress and hurried activities we go through on daily basis. It is important to take a step back and analyse whether taking all of them is necessary. Some urgency is created by us and can be dealt with later or never. Some milestones can be avoided and some gaps can be ignored. We need to walk more, move more, give more, eat mindfully, and laugh more to live a life which we are craving for.