The New You – Version 2.0

By archnehas in Experiences
Updated 21:14 IST Jul 24, 2017

Views » 1038 | 10 min read

Quite a weird title! But it seems apt at the moment. This story is about every girl & women who has been through a sabbatical at normal life or work or studies or any activity that was her agenda. The many reasons for sabbatical could be – shifting to a new city, a maternity leave, to take care for some family member who is sick, choosing the wrong path for academics, acute health issue, etc.

The purpose of writing this is, I have experienced a sabbatical from my profession and am now in a way getting back to the thing that keeps me going – My Work ! Though not in a “conventional job” but in way that suits me, works well for my family and personal space.

In today’s competitive world – there have evolved lot many “apparent” parameters that constantly decide your rating in the Society like - Job, Profile, Package, Bonus. Moving onto your personal life “How healthy is your life on Social media”, fan following at Facebook - Instagram, where do you dine, how hard you party, how many virtual friends you have, your recent achievements and then how you celebrate it with cocktails and continental “fancy bites” at a expensive hep new Restaurant? None of the parameters are to understand what kind of person you are, how you are looking at your life and what you are achieving from it? Are you Happy in real sense? Nobody has any time or tolerance for this, these criteria’s they say are for looser’s coz achievers are all out there making big bucks, doing all the right things, clubbing hard and vacationing abroad, putting up a perfect picture everywhere – on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram ! Jeopardising “the sanity” of “the aam junta” & their concepts of life.

I believe quite a few of them are actually out there carving out a niche for themselves silently and not boasting about anything, a majority of them are trying hard to put up a “perfect image” and other half are all finding or rather loosing themselves in the struggle to match up the “standards” laid across by the so called cool guys & gals. The whole world is busy upgrading themselves to find a better place in the ranking of “The Go-getters” and meanwhile counting how many millions were made last year by whom, who moved up the ladder, who fell down, pamper their egos by gossiping about how bad your senior’s child is faring, how  some colleague is not really working on their marriage and dating another associate.

My introduction makes me sound like a total “uncool & pessimist”, chanting the curses at society. Or someone who is not at all a social media savvy. But the fact is I am witnessing around more cases of depression through social media instead of inspirational or knowledgeable gains. I highly appreciate and admire all the level-headed, hardworking guys and gals and look upto them. Also am amazed at people's abilities to multitask and put up all updates on the net simultaneously. I am not here to be judgemental. Just that I have accepted that I am not out there to achieve and be the best at everything and neither I look forward to the "likes". Probably I am in the mood of enjoying the journey by myself.

I am writing this to possibly motivate some people who have stopped believing in themselves coz they are not standing in the Highfliers chart especially all the women who have to live with certain dictums and conditions which are not the most favourable or their choice in first place.

Let us not be too tough on ourselves gals ! We all learn the hard way. But please let us appreciate who we are, what we have built for ourselves and our family. Not everybody and everything can be summed up in Annual Packages, Size of your apartment, Lifestyle and Bank balance. Nothing new in what I am saying. But the difference is I am writing from my own belief and experience.

A while ago I was too struggling hard to relate and accept wholeheartedly my fresh role of “a new mother & homemaker”. From a successful working professional, independent women to this new found maternity and domesticated status, which was a mixed ride of joy and frustrations alike. Joy of being a mother, having started my own family & frustration of just being at home taking care of my child, preparing meals and doing household chores and no professional work. I was struggling to find a “strong identity”, I was afraid was the “original me” lost? Except me, The whole world seemed to be moving ahead with full vigour and soaring to new heights and I stood still unaware of where to start and how will I make up for the lost time. My domestic & personal life was in the best phase with the cheerful laughter and cute cries of my baby but in my head things were falling apart viz a vie my career! That is what achievement is all about commonly, right ?

“3.5 years is not a sabbatical”, people told me. You are “out of business, you better be a home maker all your life and find your achievements in your child". There was a set of people who second me for taking break to give time to my child and there was the other halves who were like, “Which era do you reside? Kids grow up; you don’t have to ruin your career for that”.Life isn't about career and Career isn't life. There is more to life beyond work !

Work or no work is a very common concern. I observed with my friends who were working as well as who recently took long maternity breaks. We all were struggling in our own ways and trying to make the whole family happy but ourselves. Some got back to work but they started experiencing a different set of guilt of not being able to spend time with their tender kids. One common factor –there was something that was not quite right in the mind set, and only the mother was struggling on some front or the other trying to tie up all ends.

Of course family and my dear ones never rubbed me off.This wasn’t a decision that I took under some pressure or burden, and it was a self-made and thoughtfully planned break. But when you start unbelieving it’s these people and negative remarks that make you distrust yourself. It’s all in the mind, believe me you ! This is the time to think and find the “Path to bliss”. Don’t worry, I am not going to start a sermon, there are many a capable spiritual Gurus for this purpose. But I will just brief you the path breaking but simple steps that made me absolutely comfortable in my headspace and life !

Of course you can read & attend many a motivational speakers, but something from someone like you might be more relatable.

So, it all started with typical questions – will I be able to pursue a career again with the old spirit ? How will I make it for the lost opportunity? What the world thinks of me? Have I put myself in the wrong place etc.etc.

I am extremely fortunate that I am blessed with a super loving immediate family and few close friends who stood with me like rock and who helped me come over these “baseless” fears and never let me feel that I have gone astray .Yes, now I term them as baseless fears. I closely witnessed many a young mothers both who took a sabbatical and those who didn’t. That too helped me understand and gain some clarity.

It was the third year of my sabbatical, after all the frustrations and sleepless nights, I decided to start thinking clearly and in a rational way rather than just worrying. I started asking myself - in what way would I like to get back to work? Full time / Part time / Freelancing ? What is my priority – family, baby, money or career? How I want my day to be like?

The moment I started finding answers, half of my inhibitions vanished in thin air. Other half when I actually put my plan in execution. I would choose not to disclose what my schedule is now or what did I choose coz I realised that is not important. What is important is what you feel is best for you and your family ! Yes, very clichéd and controversial suggestion, but believe me, I have been there and this is really the most comforting factor.

Nothing is right or wrong. We all have been trained to think alike - draw inferences and chalk out things as “good & bad”. Come what may, choose what you want to, there will always be a set of people who will find it wrong and few who will feel it is right. It is their perception; please don’t see yourselves through other people’s eyes. You are the best judge, Coz nobody knows You like You. Trust your instincts and pursue your dreams in the way your present situation allows you to.Please do not be in a hurry to tag the dreams and limit them to the superficial criteria’s of years and monetary compensations. Nothing is definite. Live life, breathe and move ahead at your own pace. Take a charge of your own life. There will always be somebody who is better than you at everything. Doesn’t matter. You just pursue and do what you like and believe in it. Plan your life as a whole, don’t just make career aspirations but also plan for better health, improve your skills at personal and professional level, spend time with your loved ones and make time for your besties.

It is not excelling in one thing that will make your life feel great, it is bringing a discipline and doing lot many things on various front that will give you a better frame of mind and a sense of joy in real terms. We all start running in the direction of work to feel good about ourselves. Of course achieving heights in your loved field is a high but let’s put ourselves in a more holistic approach. Develop hobbies, read, learn new art forms, indulge in cooking in a interesting way, world is at your disposal. Don’t let the social media or anybody else dampen your spirit or judge you.

Love yourself, value those people’s opinion that really matter to you and who in turn genuinely bother for you. The whole world is not the right audience. Don’t try and make one and all happy, it’s a utopian concept. “Let’s agree to disagree”. Be realistic and stop comparing. Keep a track of your cheerful moments, plan weekend activities apart from collecting groceries and laundry. Stop analysing, start living.

Sabbatical takes a toll on you in a very weird way. One becomes lazy, you end up finding more excuses to not doing something and you try hiding away from your achiever friends coz you don’t know what to answer when people ask “What are you up to these days?” Learn to face the world with pride, not working doesn’t mean you are not doing anything. Earning money is not the only certification of your intelligence or growth.

My earnest request to all who are in this phase is – Always believe in what you did, where you came from and where you have to go. Look at the bigger picture, there are lot many years to come and you have enough time to achieve everything. It is not the end of the world. It is how we choose to look at the situation and how gracefully we accept life and try and make most of it. Find your highs and lows in your achievements at everyday activities. Bring in a solidity to your schedule, be conscious in the way you talk, behave, organise, dress. Start chalking targets on all fronts professional, personal, health and extra-curricular. Spend on yourself, take newer experiences, exercise, meditate, pamper your body and mind alike ! Celebrate small breakthroughs. Applaud all positive, small but significant changes.

You are the best person to help yourself. Don’t rely on anybody to do this for you. You have the power and you can, it’s just a matter of figuring it out. Give yourself enough time and enough credit ! Be thankful for the family, friends and loved ones you have. Count your blessings! Find the real, confident, guilt free women in you. It is all about how you feel and be truly content coz that happiness will reflect in everything you do at work , for family and and most important on your face.

I have initiated and started working on the new developed Me-Version 2.0.It is a very simple process and no rocket science. Time for you to unleash the “New You”.

A very thoughtful line by the very inspiring Ms.Priya Kumar in her bestselling book “I Am Another You”-“If I can, so can You”.

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Sunanda Kesavadas 27-Jul-2017 15:41

Thank you so much for this. I am on a sabbatical from the work I was doing four years ago. I decided to devote time to my children and my husband. I found this article reflecting most of my feelings.

archnehas 07-Aug-2017 22:12

@Sunanda Kesavadas- Thank you. I am glad that you could correlate.Cheers.Wish you loads of happiness..

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