“Tomorrow is Amma’s birthday. Amma would you go to office? Will we go for dinner? Appa, what did you buy for amma” my daughter was over excited and I smiled. Promising to spend the evening together tomorrow, I sent her to bed. My little toddler was excitedly playing and throwing his toys. Pending kitchen chores invited me and I settled them all.
Tomorrow is Harshu’s first day to school again – I glanced at her things that she neatly put in her bag. I checked her stationery and they were arranged too. “An independent child is she” I smiled. Keeping her uniform on the table, checking if there are enough things for breakfast tomorrow, I retired to bed.
Lightning struck through my window and the thunder roared too. Party pops are these, should I say? The ceiling fan ran without rest and gave away all that she could – the cold breeze to us! Cherry and Zooie shrunk their tails to tell me they were scared of the thunder. A hug to reassure them that everything is fine was all that was needed to calm them down.
Calmness around me wakened me up. 33 years – quite a long journey of life. I turn back to see all colours and emotions. What’s special about this day? What should I do? What should I say? A million thoughts flowing within me!
Kindergarten days – first day to school, excitement of new environment, separation anxiety; primary school – glad for new responsibilities, first cycle, the first fall, the bleeding knee, first pen, ink marks; high school – the first march past, the first guides camp, the first experiments; higher secondary – the first anxiety, the future dreams, the first farewell, the first separation from best pals;
College days – the first stage, the first symposium, the first seminar, the first stay tour, separation; First job – the excitement, the anxiety, the assessment, the first salary, the first proud moment of shopping for parents!
Wedding – the first responsibility, special cooking, the first challenge of balancing home and work; Pregnancy – the first two pink lines, the first morning sickness, office talks, separation from friends for maternity; Baby – the first little fingers, the first feeling of mine, the first cuddle, the first smile; Cycle repeats with the second one!
Work – the first role, role change, team change, job change, company change, manager change, colleagues change, political change, client change, feedback change, challenges change!
I smiled to listen to my heart. “How many appraisals have you completed?” my mind questioned – “12-13” it was a spontaneous answer from my head. “Not efficient – 33 should be!” it was my mind again. I was puzzled.
Birthdays are times to remember that we have run continuously for a year and it’s time to self assess. Company policies ask us to have a mid year assessment and a year end assessment and not many of us do. We just wait for the year end to arrive and complain. Should we do the same mistake in life? Isn’t it important to do a self assessment of ourselves atleast once a year and understand if we have become a better person. “How true is this!” I agreed to my mind.
At 33, I understand there is nothing to get anxious in life. Life moves at its own pace and all that we need to do is do our best always and keep moving.
At 33, I understand that waiting at the traffic is just more time for ourselves to stop running and reflect about our day.
At 33, I learn that the art of being transparent eases out things better- a clear mind and a clear voice is all that is needed to not burden or keep things in our mind!
At 33, I learn that don’t panic for the call of your zone in the flight and watch your watch hundred times. Waiting is not a pain and you will just get your chance – not only in the flight but also in life.
At 33, I learn that it’s not the appraisal or rating that decides who you are, what you are capable of but the smile on your face, satisfaction in your job, a feeling of fulfilment you get the day your salary is credited that you have done a good job to take this money.
At 33, I learn that you cannot have everyone to understand you nor make everyone happy for you. Do your duties honestly and be true and do not worry about the world. You don’t have to explain yourself but just act consciously.
At 33, I learn that being friends doesn’t mean to be an ally and side someone always but being a true friend means you correct him with your open feedback. Never be afraid to tell him what you feel and if you lose him for that, then probably he was never your friend.
At 33, I learn that listening to my own flaws from others and not reacting defensively but taking it openly with a view to correct myself will make me progress as a better person.
At 33, I learn I cannot correct people for their wrong understanding. Even if I try to, it never would work. I can only tell once and if they’re open they’d listen.
At 33, I learn that every little thing around me has something to say. I just need to keep my six senses working to derive my own motivation.
At 33, I learn that nothing in the world is easy. Strive hard, push yourself towards what you want and be adamant to reach your goals. Sometimes it may seem a setback but push yourself and move forward. An inch moved is better than a stagnant immobility.
At 33, I learn that you can still do a good job and stay committed although you may not like your role. It’s the passion to do the best that would keep you running – be it a cleaner job or an executive.
At 33, I learn that you don’t have to wait for the opportunity and say opportunities never come. “Yes, opportunities never come; you need to create them!”. Find your own ways to do what you like and create your own opportunities. Do not worry of the outcome.
At 33, I learn if I want to grow and move, I simply have to do it. I can speak to people, seek mentors, learn from the good things around me. I don’t have to curse myself I’m not growing. If I’m not growing, it’s a serious fault in myself and not the environment or others. Growing doesn’t always refer to fancy job titles or promotion but rather the progress I have made for myself to be a better person.
At 33, I learn that I don’t have to have a title to be a leader or a mentor. I can do my best and if I demonstrate my values, and help people I create my own mentees.
At 33, I learn that I have the monster and angel within me- my negative and my positive mind. Our human mind intends to listen to negativity and move deeply into sad thoughts but we need to listen to the feeble voice of positivity and come out.
At 33, I also learn that you need to learn to detach yourself from people, situation and shortcomings in life. Constant questions of why and how will only eat your brain. Detach from the situation and move on to understand this is life.
At 33, I learn that life need not be a paradise always to stay happy. Happiness is in your heart and you just need to be happy for facing the shortcomings with courage.
At 33, I learn that self motivation is the best motivation. You don’t need a friend or a group to express how you feel. A simple paper and pen are enough to do a mind map and look at the beautiful things in life.
At 33, I learn that I can smile at life’s challenges to say I’m moving.
At 33, I learn that I have million things to learn to make myself a better person.
At 33, I learn, Colourful clothes, fancy dinner, icing on the cake – doesn’t make a birthday; rather birthdays are meant to be special for one reason – to celebrate that you’re reborn every year to be a better person in life.
I smile – at 33, I learn!