By Jyotsna Balasubramanian
Chartered Accountant, New Delhi
Foreword by Venkat
Certainty and uncertainty seem to go always hand in hand not just in action but in thought as well. And not just in extent but in degree as well. An attacking (firm in mind) soccer front runner has more opponents tracking him or her. Being too certain or fixed in views carries the risk of being too fragile to last. It is hard to be sure if our choices are completely from our free will. Yet like soccer, life must go on regardless of the in-progress goal score. Some decisions may be great and some otherwise but the key is to keep playing the game.
Jyotsna shares glimpses from her personal experience of the various turning points in her life in career and as a mother with the lovely lessons they brought. Grateful to her kindness in sharing a wonderful perspective and thoughts to muse over.
Reflect on your decisions and the experiences they brought through this wonderful article to answer the deeply provocative questions on perspective, dependency and choice.
A Chartered Accountant by profession, working mother of two children, finding peace in balancing – being a true Libran (Sun Sign), I enjoy the routine, singing and chanting and when time permits, like travelling around and learning about new cultures and languages.
It was a euphoric moment. There ended my struggles from burdening myself with exam pressures. My parents’ eyes gleamed with pride. I was now officially a certified professional. With my academic qualification now coming through, achieving financial independence became seemingly effortless. I earned, I saved, I spent and life went on…until there came a time when I decided to get married.
The first couple of years were not much difficult as we were supported by my in-laws. Me and my husband just had to go to work, earn and focus on our lives. The dream of independence that I had, was getting stronger and life went on. There were turbulences in settling into a new house, sharing things, getting used to a new set of parents, so on and so forth which everyone faces when newly married. Mine was no less. But the majority of times, things were smooth and we found immense happiness in each other’s company and marriage was a bliss.
Then came a baby. Along with her birth came the news of my husband’s transfer into a foreign land. Getting used to the baby in itself was a new thing for a first time mother. Going to another country was a huge expedition. With so many firsts, came my huge decision of quitting my job. The lavish dreams, the big aspirations, the independence etc., all came to a sudden halt.
The alien land made me independent in another way – cooking food by self, doing laundry by self, cleaning house, driving all by oneself – basically things which were done by others, in the home country. I slowly learnt that I was dependent all along – on money. Money brought help for all my work which I did myself in the new place.
Years went by. I had another baby and my life got busier. I was by now a full time mother. I regretted and was longing to get back to my neglected career. I felt guilty of having under-utilized all my professional qualifications. Whenever I sat down to write a CV or think of searching for a job, the children would need me more. Two more years passed by and my husband got transferred back to India. With enough support of my in-laws, I decided to get back to work. The children now were bigger and needed lesser attention for routine chores.
When I sit back and think through, quitting my job back then, made me spend time with the kids during their growing years. I savored every little pleasure that a mother could ask for – the first smile, the first crawl, the first walk – those firsts which will never come again. A tough but a very valid decision to have taken a break at the right time. Now at work, I still miss being around my kids all the time but we have learnt to give each other our space. We pounce on each other to share and care when we meet at the end of a tiring day.
With these choices, the lesson is that there is no such thing called good or bad, there is no right choice or wrong. Everything is just a perspective. When I took a break from my career, I felt so guilty and longed to get back to work. Now when I was back to work, I relish the time that I spent with my kids and enjoyed the singing and dancing sessions we had together. Having said it all, dependency is just a state of mind. You are always dependent on one thing or the other. At one point of time, you depend on people and at some other point, you depend on money.
Grass isn’t greener on the other side – it is greener where you water it 😊
By Jyotsna Balasubramanian