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Drawing lessons from IT memory .....

It was Christmas, and we were in Udupi for the holidays. The cold breeze from the beach flew our hair in different directions; and hit our face to make us feel it's presence. Some enjoyed building sand-castles, while others pampered their foot with the gentle kisses from the waves, most were into the water, lost in it. Everybody took delight in their own world. I was in one of my all time favorite places, with the right combination of sun, sand and sea - the beach; yet I was unhappy. (Lesson 1)

A few weeks back I had a decision to make between a personal and a professional promotion. Having chosen personal promotion; I was sitting on the sea shore and thinking how I would get back and rise to the other promotion again, for I knew, I had to start all over again and that would take time. It was a mixed emotion. Above all, I had anger, I was denied my due promotion for personal grudge though reason quoted was 'Management decision'. More than an year's hard work was flushed without even a little consideration. (Lesson 2, 3 and 4). Along with anger, there was forced positivity that I was trying to fill in, for I had to stay happy for the little one within and the young one before me. Added to that was the emerging enthusiasm, to get back to work and prove that victorious proud fellow wrong. There was also this urge to set an example that pregnancy or post delivery does not hinder profession if an individual genuinely wants to. (Lesson 5) . In total, I had completely messed up from within.

My daughter (now the elder), and the rest of the family wanted to go on a boat ride and take pleasure in other water rides. I was in no mood to respond to their eagerness. I sat back on the sand while they went for a ride. The waves within were much stronger than the one before my eyes. The more I tried to calm them, the higher they raised. I had entered the useless thinking zone. Mind you! These zones are capable of gulping your time without your realization. It was only when a small boy came to me and asked "Aunty, what's the time?" (Aunty! A women gets used to it after bearing her first child.), that I knew I was sitting all alone close to an hour.

I looked around to check on my people. I saw my mother from far, walking towards me with 2 other unfamiliar looking faces. I got up and walked towards them. As we approached each other, I recognized one face, and the other was still unknown. "Namaste Uncle!" I greeted. He acknowledged. My mother took the opportunity to pounce on me "Look! at 92, he is so enthusiastic to go on a motor boat ride. This is his sister. He juggles between India and America every 6 months. He is on social service when he is here and with family when he is there." I admitted with a smile. All 4 of us walked along the beach talking about his social service- the educational group that he founded, the imparting of  basic knowledge and life skills to the under privileged, how one could contribute and other stuffs. My mind space was now replaced with his very evident energy. As they planned to part ways, I thanked him and said "Every house should have an inspiration like you." Without even a fraction of delay came the response "Why can't you be one?" with a very radiating smile. His words ringed in my mind like a siren seeking attention. (Lesson 3) 

Its a different story that I went back to work after maternity leave and performed far better than my first and the second innings. But that day, there was quite a shift in my thinking. Instead of thinking what others did to me, I started to think what I could do for myself. I, self learnt car driving during my 2nd maternity leave. I changed from an introvert to a selective extrovert. I became very vocal at office. Yes! that day and that conversation with that man had upgraded me to a great extent. Ofcourse, there were other lessons learnt too:

Lesson 1: It's not the external factors but the contents of the internal space that determine your happiness status.

Lesson 2: Know your HR policies well and plan your maternity better.

Lesson 3: Never ever work to satisfy others. Either do what you love or learn the art of loving what you do.

Lesson 4: Life's toughest lessons come from least expected means.

Lesson 5: Sometimes I have to remind myself that I don't have to do what everyone else is doing.

Now that you have read this, I would like to say, life is an excellent master, but we can always choose to be smart by learning from others' mistakes.


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