It is a norm to do a bit of introspection every now and then. A year passing by is a great opportunity for all to look back and reflect upon things we have done and words we have said.
With a new year starting today, I take a moment to not regret few things I did or didn't do but to learn a few lessons from them.
This post would be a reminiscence of some of the great teachings I have gained from 2012 that also completed 31 years of my life!
1. Either do what you love or love what you do. This is the best lesson I have learnt in the year that went by. If you love the work that you do which ordinarily consumes more than half of your day and consequently would take up more than half of your life, you are sure that a major part of your life is being spent happily.
I know it is easier said than done. I was stuck in a kind of job for more than 4 years. When I worked in IT industry I loathed my job like anything but could not quit it for the most obvious reasons. There are times when we can't do what we love but that is when the other option comes to rescue. If we can't do what we love, we can still love what we do!
The key lies in making yourself understand that this job gives you things that are very important to you. For eg. money, independence, confidence etc. Keep these in mind and focus. Try to make small changes at work that you may enjoy. I did the same when I worked with IBM. Initially, I hated it but then I got in touch with a senior executive and with the help of my TL I started picking up tasks that I enjoyed the most.
The same applies to blogging. I started a travel blog 'Know Andamans' and lost it mid way. I couldn't find the motivation to keep writing on it but I also couldn't chuck it completely. I knew it was foolish to start another blog on a different theme so I devised ways to keep myself engaged on Know Andamans. I created a new ebook, picked up new topics to write about, developed a new tone of writing and the result is that not only the blog is doing very well but I enjoy it a lot.
2. It is not only important but also wise to say NO at times.
YES. In this world of fast and ever ready service, YES seems to be the word. But I emphasize on the importance of saying NO as I age. I have been a yes woman myself. Till some time ago I could not recall even a single time I said NO to someone. And of course that did not always do me good.
I have countless examples when I went out of my ways to help people just because I had said 'yes' to them and while it did good to the other person, it harmed me in some way. We often associate a 'no' with selfishness. Atleast that is what I used to think that if I say no to someone, I was being selfish. Only slowly I learnt that it is not being selfish, it is being kind to yourself and honest with the other person.
Over the years, and particularly in 2012, I learnt that it is wise to say NO to some people at some situations. And it has only helped me so far.
3. Speak out; don't expect others to read your mind incl. your spouse.
This is such a beautiful lesson that I got to know in 2012.
All these 3 years I expected Sanjay to read my mind. If something bothered me, I would not tell him clearly, instead I would just sit with a swollen face. He would ask me what was bothering me and the more he asked, the more it irked me as I thought 'he is my husband and he does not even know what is bothering me?'
But that is what it is. How would he know? 2012 made me realize that it is foolishness on my part to assume that he would know my silence. He understands and follows my words and that in itself is such a great gift and gesture from him. He is not a mind reader and above all, he is not a woman!
Men are different than women and just the way I never understand why he gets so upset when some political turmoil happens or India loses by more than 5 wickets, he would not understand some of my mood swings as well. So, now I have decided that I am going to speak up. I have done it in the past and it has only brought more peace in my family.
4. Happiness lies all around on the way and not in the destination.
I am someone who enjoys little pleasures that life has to offer. But I was startled when I moved to Mayabunder as I couldn't like this place. This was such a sad and dead place! It still is.
When I moved here I was bewildered for more than a month. I was not even interested in unpacking my stuff and organizing the house. Sanjay was also upset with me as he always saw me with a sulky face. I couldn't believe that I was behaving that ways as I was of the impression that I enjoyed every place on this earth and Mayabunder does have its own share of goods.
After a bit of settling down, my head told my heart that this is not how it would go. And henceforth, my heart learnt to like Mayabunder. I visited quite a few islands, beaches nearby and I took upto photography. Below is a picture that I clicked on a random day.
5. If you genuinely want to be in touch with someone, you will make efforts be in touch and vice-versa.
When I had just moved to Andamans in 2011, I went out of touch with many of my close friends. One, I got so overwhelmed with the new major change of my life - 6 months old baby, moved to 'my' house (no parents, no in-laws), a remote area and much more.
I would not make efforts to call up my friends and thus the contact from their end also started diminishing. Result - out of a huge circle, I just had very few friends who I was in regular touch with.
Come 2012 and I decided to make efforts to keep in touch with my friends. The efforts paid off very well. I have been able to get in touch with many of my friends and I enjoy their telephonic/internet company.
This also taught me that not everybody would make efforts to keep in touch with you and same holds true for you too. Pick your best friends and stay in touch, no matter what!