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We often resent the chaos in our lives and wonder, when that day would come when our children would be all grown up. But, when that day arrives, we miss it all. So, enjoy it till it lasts, says the author.
Today Arunima was retiring from the bank after having served with the organisation for nearly two and a half decades. She had joined as a probationary officer, and was retiring today as the AGM. In her words, the journey had been a “roller coaster ride”.
There were the highs, lows, celebrations and periods when everything remained static and became eerily monotonous. But at the end of the day, it had been fruitful and fulfilling.
As she sat on the stage listening to her colleagues speak beautiful words about her contribution to the bank and their lives, and how much they would miss her, she was feeling a lot calmer than usual. As she stood at the podium to thank everyone, the closing words of her speech resonated her mind. She said “Today as I step into another phase of life, I feel so much calmer. Finally, I will get to lead my life at my pace, sans a schedule and without having to run a race with time throughout the day. Though I will miss you all and the bank, I am looking forward to this new phase in my life.”
That evening she went for a quiet dinner with her husband to celebrate the beginning of her retired life.
One month later, Arunima was sitting by the window, with her cup of coffee cuddled in her hands. She could see the school buses arriving, parents rushing with their children to make it to the bus stop on time and there were those rushing to work. Suddenly, she was lost in a pool of nostalgia.
She remembered the time when her children were small. At the end of each day, she would feel she had just completed running a marathon. She would be rushing through the morning getting them ready for school while managing the kitchen and the other household chores all at once and before she knew it would be time to rush to work. The evenings would be equally chaotic with her rushing back home, tending to the dinner preparation and helping the kids complete their homework and listening to their happenings of the day.
There were days, at the end of which she felt she had just returned from a long battle. Years went by, with her husband and her complaining about how they had no time for each other. But, the smile of the children and their welcoming hugs used to infuse her with new energy.
As she tucked them into bed at night, she would often tell herself, “You are going to miss all this one day.” How correct she had been.
She had often shouted at her children for keeping the house messy or for irritating her with their antics. But now, looking at the orderly house and everyone behaving in an orderly manner around her, she longed for those times. Back in those days, she would dream of a day when she could spend a Monday morning quietly by herself, leisurely sipping on to her coffee.
Today that day had finally arrived, but it did not hold that charm for her any longer. Now that she and her husband had all the time in the day for themselves and each other, they longed to go back to the time when their life was hectic and chaotic.
The ringing of her phone broke Arunima’s reverie. It was her daughter on the line. As soon as she heard Arunima’s voice, she launched into a tirade of what a tough morning it had been, and how troublesome and naughty her son was becoming. Arunima smiled as she said, “Enjoy it while it lasts, you are going to miss this someday.”
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