Food for thought Self Management

Your Place in Life Now

Eleventh birthday of my eldest daughter Nataliya, in Badaber, Peshawar. You see her youngest baby sister next to her, along with Nadiya, her middle sister. This defines their places at that time. Now, of course, life has moved on, and they are in other places in their respective lives. You see them as influencers on Instagram, lately.

As life goes on, new aspects of it expose themselves to you. Recently, I’m so intrigued by this vital aspect in life. Your place in life now. My place now is so different from what it was ten years ago. I’m sure it is the same for you too. Life changes, circumstances change, and you have to change with it, or it wouldn’t be ‘normal’.

So, your ‘normal’ also changes with your situation. For instance, once Dr. Muwadat Rana (he is one of Pakistan’s top most psychiatrist) he said, supposing a snake enters this room. Then your ‘normal’ would be to jump on to the table, or run out of the room if you can. In that case, this would be the ‘normal’ – not sitting calmly – as before. So, it depends on your situation and place in life, how you behave.

The other day, my daughter Nadiya who had met me after two years, said, ‘you have changed!’ I told her that my circumstances have changed, and this is why I’ve changed too. As a mother of a toddler, she too has changed like anything. We all change with our changing times. This is what we need to understand about each other.

Here is Nadiya sitting in -7 degrees temperatures, taking a break during a walk, in Halifax. We are having a video chat. Another change of place!
At different ages and stages in our lives, each of us has different challenges in front of us.

We need to realize that, just as we are adapting to our own changing situations, in the same way others are also evolving according to their changing circumstances. Now, it is up to you to observe the changes, and see how well the person is adapting to the changes in their circumstances.

No one can remain the same or it wouldn’t make any sense.

Just make sure the change of place is along with integrity, kindness, and understanding. The basic principles remain the same. But the nitty gritty details keep changing with situation and circumstances.

Age-wise changes:

As my daughter Waliya got married two years ago, we both were to look forward to totally different places in our respective lives.
Here we are at a dinner at Waliya’s home.

Naturally, we all have changed with our ages. Some of it was pushed on by others, and some of it, by ourselves. Some were done consciously; other changes just happen unconsciously with our changing bodies. As teenagers, we keep switching from behaving like the kids we were, to the adults we want to become (depending on what suits us, in a situation!)

 In our twenties, at the prime of our lives, we feel different with each passing year. A lot is happening; starting with completion of our education, making different career options, and choice of life partner too. Usually, marriage, children happen in this decade, bringing on drastic changes of all types.

Now with changing times, these milestones are spilling over into the thirties too.   Now-a-days,  due to breakages in marriages, changes in careers and changing times, we find these above mentioned situations occurring in the forties and fifties too.

Bold choices:

People are making bold choices and making successes in unique situations now, in new places in their lives. In this process the places are changing and success is happening in all the unexpected places. For instance, the marriage of Samina Ahmed with Munzar Sehbai recently, during Covid-19 times.

Samina Ahmed and Munzar Sehbai finding happiness, after they got married in their later lives, recently. The big question is ‘so what?’ Actually, this is great.

Emotional changes:

Sad places in life:

There are things we are going through from an emotional point of view too. There are times of great tragedy when we face the loss of a loved one through death, or his or her moving away. Naturally, this kind of thing will make deep changes within us. Some emotional traumas are personal and private. While others visible to all within our lives. In both cases, we are at a sad place in our lives.

Happy places in life:

Its not just tragedy but the happy moments like finding success in career. Finding the right life partner. Or, in having a baby.

Then, in later life, there is great happiness in seeing your children happily placed in their lives; having wonderful life partners and being in satisfying careers in their lives. This is happiness of another level. Feels great. Being healthy and finding happiness within your life. Having great friends to talk to, is wonderful. Not being alone during bad times has a happiness of its’ own. 🙂

Circumstantial changes:

Before I got married, I was daughter of a Brigadier in army, after I got married, I was wife of the junior most officer in air force, a Flight Lieutenant. So, I needed to realize the change of place. Now, as junior officer’s wife, I needed to be conscious of not having those benefits or facilities which are there for senior officers. So, being realistic is important. If you know your place, you will be fine.

We in the forces, kept getting posted every year or two. Moving to another city would mean having to accept the new challenges and fit into the new environment of the new place. It would be sometimes moving into a big city like Karachi, or a small town like Mianwali. Each place having its own set of requirements. Having to suddenly adjust to a new environment would keep us fully engrossed for the first six months or so.

In my case, I’d have to employ new staff, and learn the locations of different things, settling the kids in the new school. Usually, getting a job in the school, as a teacher. Usually, it would be a new class, with its own little challenges. Every institution has its own atmosphere and written and unwritten rules and regulations.

So why am I saying all these things?

Avoid being judgmental, understand place in life instead:

This was the zoom chat during wedding of Waliya, when her sisters couldn’t attend her wedding due to Covid19 when flights had closed. So, it was another scenario which needed us to be in other places in our lives. Here you see the family together in spirit if not in actual life. (Thank God for the technology which made this possible!) The different ages and stages of each family member is also visible here.

So that is why I’m mentioning all the above points, to give you an idea of all the things that affect one’s place in life. This is why when you are about to judge others, just step back and consider that person’s place in life. Perhaps they are just being what they need to be at that place in their life. That is why they are behaving as they are. If it is a place in life, that you have also experienced, then you should know better.

In the case where it is a place in life, which you haven’t yet experienced, hold your opinion till you too can be at that place in life; or you can observe another person comparative to that one, with similar place in life. Perhaps, this is why teenagers are usually the worst at it. They hate the people in their lives, who are older – usually the parents, or elder siblings – whom they fail to understand why they are behaving a certain way.

Actually, teenagers are themselves not in a place in life, to understand others, as they’ve not yet experienced much. So, their perception is still limited.

Parents, on the other hand, cannot understand their own teenagers, though they had experienced it themselves. One point here, is that when they were teenagers, it was another time, and another place. This is why there is that divide. If both sides realize the differences, they would understand each other better.

Medium of expression in place of life:

Thanks to video chats, it is possible to ‘meet’ each other more often and be able to express and exchange your ideas almost on a daily basis.

Interesting nuances:

As I write about this topic, interesting nuances are becoming apparent about it. The fact that each phase or place in life gains more understanding from others, if they have as much medium of expression as possible. For instance, now in these times, teenagers are having more sources of expression with Instagram, tik tok and Facebook. Luckily the older age-group folks have also joined in with Facebook. This is important.

So, the more kinds of expression are allowed to the persons in different places of their lives, the more understanding it receives.

Unexpected places in life:

So, in previous times, the older persons were given a greater place in life. More respect and more power. Now, only some of the older folks receive that respect and place in their lives. In the West, (and in some cases in the East too), most elderly are placed in old people’s homes, and forgotten.  

Recently, I discovered another fun aspect of being at my place in life; a place when your children have moved on. Now, you have your home to yourself. Most fun thing is that you don’t have to follow your own rules too. They don’t apply any longer, as many of those rules were made for the children in your home. Ha ha, now its just you, so you can be on the phone far longer! Hence my activity on Instagram, which keeps me involved.

I’ve shifted our ‘family time’ to later at night and we have it online, (since every one is in different continents so we have to consider the time zones!) 🙂 Otherwise, I’m free.

Free to go on a drive at eleven at night with my friend. 😉 So, it helps to find a few like-minded friends too.

later decades of life:

During later decades of life, as long as a person is having an active place in their lives, they are fine. Especially, if they are the president of a company or country. 😉 Just kidding, I mean it happens, but rarely. But. You are the CEO of your own home and life, don’t forget that.

Having a life of purpose and being active is what gives one value at every place in one’s life. Just remember that Col. Kentucky was 65 years old when he started his Kentucky Chicken business. You can do something exciting too, at that age.

The best situation for any place in life:

So whatever age, or situation place, it gets good when you are having a strong medium of expression, a purpose of life and lots of activity. This is what keeps one happy and successful at every place in one’s life.

Love conquers all places:

One thing I’d like to add here, everything said and done. It is finally love that conquers all. With love you can build bridges of understanding and find solutions to any situation. Without love, nothing is possible.

In a nutshell:

So, no matter what place you are in your life, these points will help you:

  1. Acknowledge, and get familiar with your current place in life.
  2. Have a purpose in life congruent with your place in life.
  3. Be aware of the good and bad points in this place in your life now.
  4. Enjoy the good parts of your life now.
  5. Get to know, how to deal with the difficult or ‘bad’ parts of your life now.
  6. Do something to challenge yourself. Once achieved, it will give you more confidence.
  7. Always take great care of yourself: diet, exercise, sleep.
  8. Take special care of all your close relationships. Manage them well.
  9. Remember that love needs time. So, put your loved ones in your ‘to do’ list also.
  10. Focus your life on making use of all benefits of your current place in life.

Stay blessed and protected, my dear Readers. ?

Always being grateful for everything in your life, at this place in your life.

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  1. Ghana says:

    Love Reading your blogs ?

    1. Shireen Gheba Najib says:

      I’m so glad! 🙂 Your feedback means the world to me.

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