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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Work and Life Balance


Subodh was married to a beautiful dame from the countryside. His dame needed more time than he could devote. His performance and productivity as well as quality of decisions at work was going down and down. His partner was whining all the time for Subodh’s declining level of concentration at work. Neither wife nor partner was happy or satisfied. Subodh was at wits’ end.


All this was telling upon his health. Wife always found that Subodh remained busy in his work and not attention was paid to maintain relatives. Relatives too complained and remarked bitingly “All marry but they don’t ignore the relatives.” Wife wished that all family functions and marriages in the relations must be attended. She also wished that Subodh should sit and talk with her for hours. Subodh should have time to go to Cinema. All these were not being handled by Subodh comfortably. His health deteriorated and his behaviour became irritable.

For wife, it was another problem. Every body in the family was worried. Parents thought some super natural problem was there. They secretly started consulting “Babas” for finding a remedy to Subhodh’s problem. They were of the opinion some “bad soul” has affected their son. But wife was educated and did not believe much in this kind of “faith” or “faith healing”. Out of respect for elders, she used to company her parents-in-law. Many efforts by these “Babas” failed to bring Subodh to his normal behaviour.

As the time passed, the problem persisted and mental peace of the family members also flew. All – Subodh’s parents’-in-law, parents, brother and sister-in-law all were worried. Worry could be judged by just looking at their faces and their reactions to the situations in daily life.

Time passed and Subodh was blessed with a son. Another bond. Subodh was overburden.
He was unable to meet the continuous nagging by his wife for lack of time for her and her son. Subodh was finding himself torn in performing 3 dutites – one at work, 2nd handling wife and third keeping pace with time demands by elderly parents.

One day, he came across a business mentor. After attending the seminar, when he was having a cup of tea with the mentor, he reluctantly opened his heart to the mentor. Her eyes full of tears were telling more than words. Mentor, seasoned and matured person, advised: keep 11 months for work and full one month for home.

Subodh came home and asked his wife to come and sit with him. After settling down properly and making the wife ready to listen, he disclosed in a very polite way. “Today I met a very intelligent, mature and saint like person who had come to give a talk in the seminar.” Wife was listening with an awe. “I told him my problem of time. I told him that I wish to devote time to my family, but my work engagements do not allow me to do so. If I devote time to family, then work suffers and if I devote my time to work, then family suffers. What should I do sir?” Further Subodh confessed, “Very politely that gentleman told me. Your problem is a problem of life and work balancing. This problem is not only with you but with most of the people. You are over stressed between two lives. When you are in the office, you think about the family and when you are at home, you think about your work. Isn’t it?” “Yes, yes, sir” I answered to the mentor. “Sir how can I over come this situation?”

“Very simple.” 1. Be proactive. Using “Things To Do sheet” and planning for the next day at last night i.e. before the working day, you will become proactive.”
2. Work for 11 months and enjoy full 1 month.

“So, my dear, lovely wife, let’s decide from today that for 11 months you will not ask me anything and I will work only. And on 12th month, I will not ask and not go to work and will enjoy fully with you and son and family. No questions. Agree.”

After sometime, the wife nodded affirmatively i.e. yes. Now everyday nagging by wife was replaced with a smile in the hope that my husband will be free in 12th month of the year.

Every family function was attended with great fervour. No regrets, no complain. Always enthusiast wife, ready son and happy parents went and enjoyed the functions in the family circle.

11 months went by. 12th month came. Without anybody’s asking, a week prior to starting of 12 month, Subodh planned for family’s outing on a hill station. For a week, they stayed at the hill station, did hiking, tracking, enjoyed boating and river rafting. After a week when they came back, he had another plan. He and his wife joined a one week dancing classes. They learnt dancing together. Another plan, music and singing plus painting classes. All this made wife so happy that she does not speak a single word and waits patiently for this 12 months.
During the past 4 years, they have visited many hill stations and have known new people and new culture.

His wife one day came and told that she is planning to start Free classes for slum dwellers in teaching dancing and painting. Life is now has a purpose and meaning for the grumbling couple. Their son likes to live with grandparents. Grand parents for him are God. They love, laugh and always take care of him. Grandfather is always seen walking with the grandson. Grandson holding his grandfather’s finger feels as if he is fully safe and secure and nothing can happen to him.

Everyday, while praying to God for grace, Subhod thanks his mentor who with his guidance changed his dull life into really meaningful one.


Image Courtesy: wolfspace.com

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