Lessons Learned from My Ten-year-old

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Mornings in my household are always a rush like any other house. Getting two kids and a husband out of the house on to school and office respectively takes a lot of juggling and preparation. A hurried shower and a cursory glance in the mirror makes up my ‘My time’. During which, my mind is racing ahead with thoughts about the day and tasks to be accomplished in my own small business.

Over the years, the time I spent on myself, decreased steadily. The jump from the corporate world to the entrepreneurial bandwagon was anything but smooth. The demands on my time were more and the multi- tasking between personal and professional commitments were always a mind-boggling process. Somewhere my drive and dreams changed not by conscious effort. My aspirations and desires for my dreams vaporized.

In my house I had a teenager with raging hormones and an eight year old with endless questions. Between music, drawing, sailing and dance classes time for myself, became a distant second. Mother had forewarned me, on this phase of life and how it was necessary for me to take a step behind and pay attention to myself.

As they say, life happens, when you are busy making plans. Years have rolled by and my teenager has blossomed into a confident young woman heading out to forge her own path in the world. With one out of the nest, suddenly time hangs, and I started noticing the changes in me. I could not recognize myself. I have morphed into this middle aged, overweight grey haired and dark circled woman that I cannot connect with. But this cannot be me. Who is this stranger looking at me?

One such morning, I stood in front of my mirror, a million similar thoughts and questions floating and gently colliding giving rise to more questions than answers. Where is that ‘I want to make a difference in the world’ person gone? What happened? Where have I left my identity behind? My eight year old, now ten, silently watching me studying my reflection, gives me a hug and says ‘ Mum you are the most beautiful and kind girl ever. I would never ever trade you for anyone else mom. You always understand when I want you to. No matter how much I get angry with you I wouldn’t want to trade you.’

In his eyes, I see the wonderment and awe. He sees beauty, love and compassion in my lines and aged body. To him, it does not matter that I have a double chin or I walk at a slower and more measured pace.

So how can the same reflection invoke two different and diversely opposite views. I realized that I was looking at myself the wrong way. My ten years old has taught me that what matters is, I am there when my kids need me the most. I have enabled them to grow and internalize characters that are inherent in being human, Kindness, attentiveness, active listening with a non- judgmental approach. This then, is my identity.

My two children are a reflection of who I have become, happy and well adjusted. Shaking my head and promising myself some of that ‘Me’ time soon I look at my son and say ‘Let’s catch that movie we both wanted to see’.

The goal post in our lives for success, dreams and ambitions are ever changing and shifting. The idea then, is to keep aiming and shooting new goals.

About Radha Srinivasan

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Radha Srinivasan

I am a mom, entrepreneur, experiential marketer, brand communication consultant, amateur photographer, reader, writer and above all a compulsive dreamer. Literature and poetry features in all that I endeavor to do.

In my mind I have traversed the globe through the books I read. I have lived in Delhi, Bangalore and Lucknow. I now call Chennai my home. I majored in Literature, Psychology and Journalism for my BA degree.  I have a post graduate degree from NIFT. Avid interest in theater and performing arts though now time does not permit.

I am eternally curious. I am passionate about appreciation of arts and arts related such. In short I am your average Indian woman.