‘Be independent, no matter what’ – This is what my mom once told me and it has stayed with me since then. I know there’s now no novelty in this piece of advice but the first time that someone hears and absorbs it, it registers as important.
She belongs to another generation where women did not have the freedom they have today. Not many were educated and most were confined to their homes and activities of cooking, cleaning ,sewing etc. My mom chose to work after her marriage to my dad. My dad also had humble beginnings but what characterizes him is his broad-mindedness. His determination to build a better life for himself and others. I know my mother’s income also helped things move along at home, but that wasn’t the reason she worked. She worked because she didn’t want to be dependent on others for anything. Be it on my dad for finances to run the house, or to buy that piece of jewellery she liked or go out somewhere or organise transportation or anything for that matter. She told me a story of how once she waited for my dad to send the car to her for an errand she had to make. The car didn’t come on time and she got delayed, frustrated that the work wasn’t done and that lead to her taking a pledge of being independent no matter what. She ventured out more and more – took buses and trains, travelled on her own, bought what she liked (sensibly of course) and things were so much better. Not just for her but for my dad as well.
I wish all women understand this. That somewhere love becomes tinged with contrary emotions if we do not have the capability to fend for ourselves. We feel tied down (physically & emotionally) and possibly let down if we are not independent.
Make life happy by living freely and by giving yourself that freedom – Become independent.
Learning is Life
Summer vacations are on in India & as usual parents (including myself) have a long list of the things/skills we want our children to accomplish in the short window of 2 months. There’s Swimming, Cycling, Skating, Drawing, Robotics (the ever-growing list of skills) to be learnt. But what disturbs me is that parents who want their children to learn so as to live creative fulfilling satisfying lives, do not spare a thought about their own life or growth. For a lot of us, our learning stopped with us becoming adults (and more so post parenthood for we had another life to be responsible towards).
Learning comes with the requirements of taking time out, moving out of your comfort zone, facing your fears and dealing with new situations and people. Some of us can’t even bear the thought of trying out something new 🙂 When I suggested to a friend of mine to take up cycling recently, she was appalled and said “Pagal hai kya! Nai re baba, I’m happy watching my serials at night and sleeping peacefully. Who wants any change?”Anything new is viewed with fear, suspicion and even ridicule. I’ve often heard comments ” You suffering a mid-life crisis? ” 🙂 So we want no risk, just happy to be left alone to continue leading that predictable life.
But that’s not life. What about living life to the fullest? Isn’t to Live – actually to Learn & Grow throughout? Isn’t it important to continue our evolution? Learn new skills, New matter, Feel New emotions, Meet New people?
Try and remember that thrill when you first learnt to balance on that bicycle or swim without that float. Wasn’t it exhilarating? Wasn’t it something you just kept doing over and over again till you were exhausted? Get that zest back in life (for time is short)-pick up a new hobby like photography or music. Or take up trekking or some new form of fitness. Or join some new art/ yoga group to meet new people. Learn driving now if you haven’t so far – same goes for cycling or swimming or even skating. I know that a lot of us do some new things once in a while & change our routine but I mean Doing something that tests & challenges you again and again & makes you feel young and new.
Every learning still gives that thrill – you just need to sign up for life again.