Life is short

As the hot water from the shower washed over me, shrieks of laughter trickled in from the bedroom where Ammani and Pattani ran around dodging their Appa. It is Sunday I realized wistfully. Where did the weekend go?

As I walked out I was greeted by smiles and hugs like I had been away a long time. Basking in the joy that is daily life, I toweled my hair dry. Out of the blue something I did at work the past week crossed my mind. It makes a lot of sense I thought. I had been working on my Individual Development Plan. I filled out four questionnaires. One focussed on how I perceived myself and how I thought others perceived me. Another talked about what I was good at, what I wanted to be good at and how I saw myself bridging the gap. Another sheet focussed on a longer term asking probing questions. Then was a mission statement.

I took my time writing out answers. Some were instinctive. The pen flew across the paper even before I realized perhaps I ought to have given it more thought. Some had me wondering if I was meant to focus just on my professional side or if it meant me as a person. When I was done, the composite picture I had drawn of myself startled me.

All of my focus was on people and how I wanted to be perceived by the folks who were close to me. My mission statement at the end read simply – When I die, I want my life to be celebrated. I want the people around me to say they knew I loved them and I told them so. I want the people around me to feel like they were heard and understood. My biggest legacy will be the memories we would have created together.

What threw me off was the complete absence of anything material. No fancy titles, no aspirations for the corner office, no illusions of dying a wealthy woman.

I folded the sheets carefully and tucked them away in a corner feeling pleasantly surprised by the outcome. A tiny voice inside me whispered that I had my priorities right. At least for the time being. That I did not want my future to be filled with regrets of not spending time being the tickle monster or the human trampoline to my babies. That my children will grow up knowing how a pomegranate seed looks like and believe that breakfast comes from a pan and not a box. That evenings mean shared work and dinner at the table. That weekends mean time for movies and ice cream.

I open the door to my closet and reach for a tee-shirt. My eyes fall on the beautifully framed business degree. A sigh escapes my lips knowing it will probably stay tucked away out of sight. I realize my next masters will come from learning with my children. Learning to live life with abandon. To chase after butterflies and hold wriggling worms on my hand. To play pretend and believe that I am as pretty as my children believe me to be.

Somewhere a garage door opens and I snap back to the present. I open up my blog and write it all down. For this is part of the legacy I want to leave behind.

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