CS Jaya Sharma
A lot gets discussed every year on women empowerment, legal and social dimensions and knowledgeable topics from the various leading female professionals who have carved their niche in their respective industries and professions.
I chose the topic work-life balance as I could relate and connect to the said topic as a working MoM.
Don’t confuse your career with having a life-Hilary Clinton
6 am: It was a Monday morning after spending the wonderful weekend, here comes Monday blues. On waking up I tried to be positive and drive away the blues. Started the day with a small prayer to the almighty.
Sipping the coffee which is one of the most important time of the day and while I was trying to clear my head and plan the rest of the day in order of priorities, I get a call from my domestic help cum cook at 7 am in the morning stating that “Bhabhi, aaj main nahi aaegi.” These five words pressed the inbuilt panic mode and seems as if I didn’t do enough of the compliances with the home company. The team always takes the leave when they are needed the most.
8 am: Entered the kitchen, imagined myself with ten hands to do the multi-tasking for the entire day. While preparing the breakfast, my brain was planning the entire day for me and setting all the timers along with the priority list for today which would be attending my son’s PTM (parent teacher meeting) and the Board of directors meeting. Opps, almost forgot the video call at 11 am to be attended by me.
Wore the apron with the knife and karchi and seemed like a warrior who is prepared for the war against time and entered the battlefield. Set the timer on the phone and here it goes…. Finally, after a two-hour race against time, won this war and here comes the tiffinwala. How come he is early today. I asked him to wait for five minutes and the stare he gave me !! Sounded as if I asked him to pay a penalty of Rs. 100 per minute till the time he waits.
Finally, the tiffinwala left and his race to the Mumbai local trains begins. Thanks to the Mumbai dabbawallas and their time management. An employee may or may not reach his office on time, but his Dabba will definitely reach on time.
Better three hours too soon, than one minute too late-William Shakespeare
10 am: Kitchen war over. My brain ticked off from to do list from my today’s checklist. Next comes waking up my son. Good morning Sonu beta, wake up, it’s a lovely morning!! (it’s a lovely morning, my brain responded, yes, it’s a lovely morning indeed). I have been waking him up for the last 20 minutes, why can’t I just sentence in the phone recorder and play it Finally, after my son woke up, gave him a glass of milk and told him to finish it off quickly. But I guess the word ‘Jaldi’ or ‘quickly ‘doesn’t even find a place in the kids dictionary.
11 am: Was about to settle for the video call with the Directors, and from the bathroom I hear this noise; “Mamma poo poo”. Ughh, seems as if have been asked to add one undecided agenda point to the meeting last minute. At that point it struck me why the government is insisting on self development skills and self employment.
After overcoming the poo poo war, stepped for the video call .whereby the directors were physically present at the registered office of the Company. Seemed like they were doing the compliance of latest e form ACTIVE whereby one of the directors would be physically present at the registered office of the Company. Anyway, held the horses of my imagination going haywire and asked my brain to bring my thought process on track. The video call went for almost an hour which mainly comprised of the recent amendments and immediate compliances to be done by the directors and their companies along with my son giving cameo appearance in the background.
1pm: Reminder message rang on my phone for my son’s PTA. Technology makes you slave at times and your schedule entirely depends on the phone reminders. Seems as if I had more reminders and timers set on my phone rather that the basic usage of the phone which is mainly for calls and sms.
Reached at the PTA and met one of the students father who himself is a Company Secretary in employment with one of the listed entities and its group companies. Was discussing the recent amendments and how everyone is on their toes to make sure the compliances and submissions are done within the deadline., and heard a loud voice of one of the student’s mom who interrupted my thought process mid way. Hi Sonu’s mom, we all mommies are going to the mall for a luncheon after the PTA, would you join us? I wish I can, but I have meeting scheduled. I replied. After the PTA, as I walked towards the parking lot, all the mommies started the ritual of selfie activity and its posting on the social media. While my eyes were looking at their enthusiasm, my brain was busy calculating the time I would take to drive to the meeting’s venue. Thanks to the ongoing constructions on roads, I need to ride my horse…oops my two wheeler at a decent speed in order to avoid the office rush which would start in a while.
One of the most important lessons I have learned is to drop the guilt and be present in the moment, whether it’s at work or at home. Let’s prioritize quality time with our family and colleagues. Being present in those wonderful moments rather than in the selfie moment. As a leader let’s try setting the example of making eye contact, actively listening, and participating in every interaction. Let’s appreciate the small things and the moments of true connection, whether at work or at home.
4 pm: Reached the meeting venue bang on time. Was about to enter the meeting room and mother in law calls up saying that some unexpected guests are expected tonight for dinner, need to pick up some groceries and especially the emphasis on paneer, as if I was required to order some gold or diamond jewellery. Reminder set and thanks to the online grocery app, really a blessing in disguise, otherwise we all would have been dressed in the yellow color post it/sticky notes for the reminders and to do list. My brain brought the thoughts back on track and focus on the meeting agenda.
During the discussion, one of the directors asked if we really need to upload the photo of the registered office along with one of the Director / KMP being present in the picture?? He jokingly said that there are bright chances in the near future that the government may ask to upload the photos of the director along with their relatives in order to have a more strengthened evidence for the matters of related party transactions before any director is inducted on the board of the Company.
6.30 pm: Race against time. It reminds me of the very famous lines of the song ýeh hai Mumbai meri jaan, we all love to crib and complaint about the traffic and the daily problems but still nobody wants to leave aamchi Mumbai. Humming the very lines of this song I drove across the peak hour traffic. One of the silver lining of peak hour traffic is that even the traffic police thinks twice before getting hold of any individual if they have jumped the signal. Thanks to the technology and the concept of e challans which have made the life a bit easier for the traffic police while the camera and the computers does the brilliant job of uploading the e challan along with the photo as evidence for violation details. No more lying to your parents or spouses, e challan is here!!
8 pm: There is not much difference between a board meeting room and a kitchen. All eyes on you when you enter the Board room or the kitchen. Both are about time management and being crisp in the content and to point. Addition of any wrong ingredient will land the company and the directors in soup and so will addition of wrong ingredient in the food items would start another Mahabharat on the dinner table. As I entered the kitchen, my son’s imagination like all other kids he imagined me with ten hands holding different weapons in the form of kitchen utensils and about to attack every person i.e. every ingredient in the kitchen. Gosh…. kid’s imagination can be bizarre at times, but that’s how they do so much creative things and come out with unexpected results. Anyway, without further diverting my mind, I tried to focus on the paneer which I had ordered through the online grocery app. The plain white paneer who was staring at me seemed like a section of the Companies Act 2013 and would be appealable and likeable only when added and mixed with the right flavors of rules read with the amendments. Interpretation in the form of mixture of the right ingredients in the right amounts is the mantra for today’s survival. Wait a minute…. Why I am reciting all this? My brain brought me back from my overflowing thoughts and my over professional approach on preparing the paneer. Watching the late night series of MasterChef Asia series was taking a toll on my thinking process.
10.30 pm: Finally, after a real hectic but balanced day got the opportunity to lie down in bed and empty the negative thoughts in the trash and control alt delete to the un-necessary files in my mind. Was about to sleep, and here comes my son with a story book in his hand.He was off late smitten by the story of Manikarnika – the Queen of Jhansi, especially the famous war cry dialogue -Har Har Mahadev said by one of the leading actress in the film commercials based on the fearless warrior Rani Laxmibai and was curious to read her story. As promised to him, I completed reading the story book, waiting for his questions or feedback. After having the intense look on his face, he says, Mama you are also like Rani Laxmibai, fearless, intense and who faces the challenges without running away from them.
Work is just a part of our Life, not vice versa. So Live life full time, work work, part time.
Before kissing me goodnight, my son said – You know Mama, our teacher told us that today is International Women’s Day…. Happy women’s day Mama.
Let’s not just focus on happy or balanced life. though it may be happy life but a good life with a worthy purpose and uplifting to others too would content our soul!
We women fight our daily battles without any complains and without any fear whether it’s our work field or home field. We are on our toes 24*7*365 with an amazing smile on our face without revealing our emotions no matter what state they are in. But at times a compliment from our loved ones makes us realise our true worth, making our soul smile.
Work-Life balance would be interpreted by different women in thousand different ways, but I guess, we can’t have one size fits all mantra. No training programs or short-term courses can teach us work-life balance. Mother nature has built a very efficient system in us… our sixth sense… our intuition…
Balance is not better time management, but better boundary management. Balance means making choices and enjoying those choices – Betsy Jacobson
Rather than focusing on Perfection…. perfect body, perfect job, perfect family, perfect life……lets love our imperfections… lets just accept and learn to love our self.
On this note I wish all the women and all the men who have supported us and being our strength a happy women’s day.
Enjoy the very journey rather than waiting for the destination to arrive, make the journey memorable…. As these memories are the ones we all will cherish when we arrive at the destination.
When we are gone, what we would like to have on our gravestone…. she never missed a meeting or…. She was a good human being!!!Time to unplug and think.