It’s the end of January and the whole month of 2024 is done.
I’ve missed doing my reflections at the end of the month and sharing my lessons learnt with you. From this month onward, I’ll resume these reflections closer to month’s end.
I’m back in Australia after 6 weeks of being away. What a whirlwind of a trip it has been. I saw palaces, stayed on a boat in the Kerala backwaters and even got a photoshoot done.
I’m a creature of habits, cherishing comfort. I am a homebody and can stay indoors for long periods of time. Stepping outside my chosen routine has always been a challenge. Yet, as I’ve grown older (and wiser), I’ve learnt to embrace change, however hard it might be. I realised that impermanence is the only truth and the quicker I embraced it, the smoother life flowed.
When we booked our trip, I was apprehensive to take a long break. Being self-employed, holidays often blend with work, posing a juggling act. This time, however, I embraced relaxation, informing clients about my holiday break—something rare in the past decade.
I know that after COVID, most people really appreciate spending time with family. So, perhaps I’m more relaxed this time around.
Through spiritual practices, I worked on my mindset and decided that the one thing I need to embrace is ‘going with the flow’. It meant accepting events as they happen and not being flustered about last minute change of plans or things not going my way (even if it was for work).
I am normally reliant on routine and punctuality, but holidays offer a different rhythm. Some days I planned to get some work done but we ended up meeting friends or relatives or going out for dinner. This, particularly, posed a challenge. I’m the type to push through plans, even at personal inconvenience. Over Christmas, I grappled with letting go and simply being present.
In those moments, I recalled my own advice: ‘What memories would I cherish from this holiday?’ Would I like memories of having enjoyed it with people and experiences or would I rather remember it as being away and having worked all the time? Opting for experiences and connections, I shifted priorities.
Of course, this choice came with consequences. It meant that I have to be okay with delaying some of the things I wanted to do in business. I had to think far ahead and know that when I was back in Australia at the end of January and when I saw other business owners already well into their 2024, I had to be okay with just starting my ‘working’ 2024.
I made peace with this decision. Memories of cherished moments with loved ones prevailed over business agendas. Because who knew when I would be back in India again or who will still be there (everyone is getting old!)
Work will persist until we decide to retire. We will always have a never-ending list of ‘to-dos’. Our priorities, however, evolve at different stages of our lives. Recognizing these shifting priorities and finding joy in them is vital.
Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t (or can’t) abandon work entirely. It’s not like I didn’t work at all. I still woke up at 6 am most mornings and jumped on my laptop to get work done. Rather than being a workaholic all day long, I found pockets of time for work and spent more time with family.
If there is one important lesson I learnt, it was for me to recognise my priorities in life and be congruent with it in my actions.
I hope your January was to your liking.
I’m excited about bringing a lot of new offerings in 2024. Stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted.