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Renewal (Writers Island 2)

The prompt for Writers Island this week, is "Renewal". Here is what I have to say on it.

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Renewal

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They say you have to reinvent yourself every seven years, in order to not stagnate, and in order to grow—emotionally and psychologically.

Whether we like it or not, we all grow older, as each second ticks by. As children, we are constantly discovering things. We are growing –both physically and mentally. There is so much to learn and so much to do.

As adults, we seem to have seen it all and done it all. Very often, we define ourselves by our work identities. “I am John and I am a senior Vice president at Microsoft” or “I am Lina, and I head HR at Glaxo.” Somehow I feel, this work identity seems hollow—simply because you do not get to know the person underneath. Also, if your identity is your job, it is frightening to think what happens if you get laid off or retire.

I know of many mothers who gave up corporate jobs to be stay-at-home-moms and then sank into depression, as they felt they were ‘doing nothing’. The present day society places so much of emphasis on being productive—and ‘Being productive’ here, is equated to whether or not the activity generates income. I have met many women, especially in my country, who apologetically confess to being ‘just a housewife’. Their identities seem to be “Wife of so and so, and mother of so and so.” I cannot understand why they feel apologetic. The work they are doing cannot be measured in terms of money. They are running a home and raising a child. What an enormous responsibility, that by itself is! Hats off to these women who have the courage to be what they are and do not juggle a career, home and kids , just to ‘prove’ that they are not ‘mere housewives.’ (Somehow I hate the word ‘housewife’. “Home maker” would be more appropriate.”)

Why should we reinvent ourselves if we are content to be who we are? I say, it is because you do not know what lies on the other side, till you spread your wings and look. We have to shake ourselves out of our comfort zones and push ourselves, to discover what we are capable of.

They don’t have to be big things. You could make a start, by renewing a hobby that you gave up when you started working. You could renew old friendships that somehow took a back seat when you got busy or moved to a different town.

I would say even something like completely changing the way you dress,(try wearing fiery red, if you have always worn pastel shades) or getting a new hairstyle (if you have had the same one for years) would be a good start.

Have you reinvented yourself in the last few years? Have you done something completely different? I would love to hear what you have done.

As for me, I was completely different 10 years back, from what I am today.(and I am happy about the change). I’ll tell you about myself, but after I hear yours!

And if you haven’t done anything what are YOU going to renew? (and please don't tell me you are going to renew that library book or your club membership! You know that's not what I mean!!) :-)

Comments

  1. Most of the people I've known in life, resist changes. That's strange to me bcoz I like changes - good or bad. Changes give me a new outlook and a new cause - I bcum stagnant without changes for long. wthr it is a new aim, a new loss, a new routine, a new bedsheet, a new phrase, a new haircut or a new hope.
    I like changes. I love reinventing myself. :)
    Great post.

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  2. Adi:So true--I get bored quickly and like changes.But hey--you did not tell me what you did! :-)

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  3. What did I do? I changed my house recently :-)
    I'm sporting a new oh-so-chic haircut as well - that was last month but anyways - another change.
    And I am reading Ashok Banker's "The King of Ayodhya" to get an insight on religion - something I've never attempted! :P

    I love this template man, I want to get one too!!!

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  4. Adi:yep--i knew the first one.(i just visited your blog and left a comment!)A friend of mine has been urging me to read ashok banker's ramayan.I finished his "vertigo" a few weeks back--and I too cut my hair short(very short!) a few weeks back.Talk about similarities!!

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  5. Wowie! I think we are interesting people, and nice too *wink*

    Will soon write a blog with pics of my new house. :)
    Take care!

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  6. So well said...never understood those " I don't do anything, i'm a housewife" kind of women....When I quit working to spend time with my kids, I didnt think i'd achieve more in the span of time..I completed many course, some which I had been dying to do...and then a post grad also...I learnt to live a freer life, sans inhibitions , networked with friends, worked with kids and activities for them...and it has been a beautiful journey. No regrets!

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  7. well, 12 yrs ago i was a druggie , who had a nervous breakdown and hit rock bottom..today iam running a business, trying to be a gud husband and a great dad...the only thing iam thnkful for is that i have never been bitter abt life...u tend to appreciate things tht u come close to losing...i hve been really lucky, i know...i love this life..i hve never had any regrets , even abt my past...i wish i was able to be empathetic but iam not and i still wear black...guess somethings are meant to stay.. :)

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  8. Nice post.

    I hope one day I can identify myself as "Hi, I am Vijay and I am rich" ;-))

    You are right about reinventing oneself. Tough job though...

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  9. I had been stagnant for 24 years, and just in 10 months the changes that happened changed me all together, the outlook, the acceptance to change, my interests and my belief.
    I sometimes can't believe what the year of 25 did to me.

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  10. I changed the decoration in my room and I'm dying my hair red.

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  11. Prats:I can relate to that perfectly.

    Tys:You blew me away completely..Are you joking or seriuos?

    Rambler:Amazing how one thing can change us,right?

    Devilmood:WOW!!!!

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  12. 18 months ago I was a Residential childrens Social Worker...now I'm a full time Artist!my wife was a Seniour Occupational Therapist for 18 years, left, went to university, got a first class honours degree in creative writting and theatre studies and is now a full time actress! A year ago I started blogging..and now I know you!!..Vive la revolution!

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  13. I too hate the word house wife:-( It somehow makes me feel that housewives dont have a indetity for themselves.U r right,home-maker is a much better word.Afterall all they are doing for family and kids is something dat cannot be measured in ters of money and they should not be identified as someone without an indenity.

    About reinvntion...well,,,theres something i would like to share.
    I did my graduation from DU,which meant i had to leave my home just after my 12th.From the protective environment i got at home o facing thw wrold myself at a small age brought lots of changes in me.It gave me a sense of being independent...a sense of being on my own when most of my school frnds were still living in a pampered environment.And an added responsibility to take care of myself and not disappoint my parents at anything,Afterall it was coz of them that i had this big chance in life.
    Being independent changed me from a slightly introvert and shy person to someone i am today.And i m really thankful to my parents for the decision they took..its really made my life much better.

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  14. Renewal is really imp in life. Great post here PS!

    The most recent renewal in my life is my attitude to life n ppl. Im completely free now..I dun let anyone get to me..I dun get angry as much as I used to...I just let my instincts guide me.

    Keshi.

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  15. I have "renewed" a lot in last 7 years :) New Hair cut, new look, took up dance classes and now i am slowly looking out for fulfilling the small desires within me which i nurtured for not sure how many years.

    I was tired of the "OLD ME" and decided to go for it.

    I am happy that I am changing. Though I am really scared of changes. But I guess the only thing that thing thats permanent is "CHANGE"

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  16. I strive constantly for renewal. I wish to see how much I can develop in this lifetime. Fearlessly marching into the future.
    I am proud to say I am a mother of two, it is the most important job of them all. I never tell people my job, it is totally irrelevant.
    xo
    Blue

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  17. Thought-provoking post! I dyed my hair bright red- a good decision. somehow the color changed my personality as well. :)

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  18. in my case... i would have to say the last few years have provided me with a full lunar eclipse... black to white.. and i am begining to go a little gray now......

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  19. amazing it is, how we can change without even getting to know about it, and I always thought I could never change..

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  20. Fantastic post here.

    I hear that the other name for a homemaker is domestic engineer.:)

    As for renewals. Alot of them have been happening in my life as of late. Family, friendships, dating & person etc. To name a couple of renewals will be the colours of my clothes and hair styles!

    I love the part when you talk about pushing yourself out of the comfort zone. A present ongoing challenge for myself.

    Cheers PS! :D

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  21. I seem to change careers, cities, jobs more often then I ever planned. Maybe it is restlessness, or just a desire to embrace new surroundings and experiences. Perhaps it is a rootlessness than always has me seeking out change.

    Very thought provoking piece.

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  22. nice post - and did you draw that???

    I'm always renewing myself, reinventing, changing growing... and just had another baby so I'm about as newborn as I can get... having said that the sun over the equinox always gives a burst of energy that I enjoy... roll on southern hemisphere summer :)

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  23. Niall:The fact that you and Jan had that courage always amazes me.

    Akanksha:Living on your own does bring a so much personal growth--dont you agree?

    Keshi:I'm trying hard to do what you have done.It is difficult to be neutral many a time.

    Me:but I'm sure it has helped you grow as a person.

    Gillian:But its strange how we define ourselves and how others see us.Whenever i mention you to a friend i always refer to you as the lady who runs the spa even though you are so much more than that!

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  24. Slygly:wow!!I always admire people who have the guts to do that!!

    Paisley:Cryptic--but i get the gist.

    Rambler:very true--even i never thought i'd change.

    Herb urban:Me too--all my lif i have never stayed in a place for more than 4 years on an average--again unplanned.

    Danae:No--i found it on photobucket--but i loved the pic.
    Congrats on your new baby.Amazed you get the time to blog,depsite it!

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  25. Sweetsticky:yes--we all tend to get cozy in our own zones--right?

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  26. yes u r right..being on your own is something that changes u completely!

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  27. you're a woman of my heart. Yes I'll try to re invent myself. I want to be a writer. But I cherish the mums and I do have a high corporate brother and except for his money and success I do think his life is hollow.

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  28. Everyday is a new day, hence renewal for me. We re-invent ourselves each day, each momnt. I am I before I am anything else. That assertion is renewal.

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  29. Well said. I hate the term 'housewife' too. I also hate the way woman always seem to be someone's wife, daughter, girlfriend or anything else rather then simply 'Bob-kat' or whatever their name is. In the same way that our job should not simply define us I do not think our relationship (I am not referring to the emotional side of things here, simply the way we are related to someone) should either. Men never refer to temselves as 'so-and-so's husband'. I beleive we are all defined by who we are: our relationships (emotional), what we do (work and hobbies), our passions and our beliefs. Over time all of this changes so ultimately we change and grow too. It is a wonderful thing.

    I don't re-invent myself as such, but I certainly evolve, because as you say we are always learning new things. Learning is not just for children but is a life-long journey :)

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  30. Marja:I too have a corporate brother!! And my views seem to match yours!

    Gautami:Thats fantastic.Here I try hard to make each day different--but somehow slip into the same rut.

    Bob-kat:I agree 100%.i really wish i had met you!!

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  31. Hi,PS,let me say,I must blogroll you...I find such interesting reading matter here,everytime I visit.

    I'm totally with you when you say that identifying oneself with a work identity seems to be a hollow way to introduce oneself,since you do not get to know the person underneath. To me,it seems like the opposite person is trying to overwhelm you by telling you his or her designation.(Incidentally,I always avoid this-I just say 'I manage...'..grin).

    Have I reinvented myself in the last few years?Ohhhh,of course...in fact,thanks for a lovely idea for a post.:)Will tell you there-and,no,it did not involve renewing a library book or my club membership.

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  32. I too gave up my artistic life to be
    a stay at home Mom. My little boys grew into such beautiful flowers, men. God gives us and allows to hold-mold and shape their hearts-minds. They are our renewal, our gifts to the world.
    Well said.

    love-bd

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  33. Nice post and the sketch is great! An interesting renewal read, for sure!

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  34. Thanks :) I really wish I had met you too. I really was very unwell. Perhaps another opportunity will present itself sometime :)

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  35. We do all change with life. It has it's way with us, it sometimes seems, and I had to chuckle at the last two sentences.

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  36. loove the drawing!! its amazing...im trying to renew myself...in the process of trying to be more confident n independant...been dependant on parents for so long that it takes time to get out of the rut...
    slow and steady...doing n internship in a bank...looking for a job next...soon i shall be a corporate girl! :)

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  37. I liked your post so much - always stretch our boundaries - never stop growing-loving-singing and on and on, i recently met an 85 year old man with such light in his eyes- he danced with me, had great conversation with my huband and I and wee discovered he was taking a beginners watercolor class at the Jr. College (and he's never done art of any kind)I told my husband we needed to aspire to be like him when we grew up!

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  38. reinvent yourself every 7 years... hmm... i do that every 3 months. Not a good thing at times :)

    how true.. these days apparently a "work" title is considered to be part of your name.
    I am Harshal and I am THE PROCRASTINATOR!

    i never did understand the fact of moms who stay at home...how can you do nothing? there are tons of things that can be done from home...painting, writing, pottery, cooking.. each having monetary value if you work for it.

    and..ofcourse being a housewife, or a "home maker" is nothing to feel bad about.. its probably the most tedious job in the world...especially when you have 3 kids(husband included)

    I should not be reading this part...renewing a hobby is the last thing i need to do right now...
    I have to kill my soul for a while, not follow my heart, crush my dreams...and study.

    What have I done in the last 7 years? hmm... I think I just found the title to my next post... give me a day to write it up.

    nice sketch btw...love the whole tree>snake>birds>flowers scenario...
    ever considered joining deviantart? You should.. its the biggest art site on the planet.

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  39. P,like u i too hate the word Housewife. As for changes, im doing a healing course, i have made very good friends online n happy wid it. Tho i dont go for much changes in appearance, i did try having short hair, but dint liek it much. You r right, we do need changes, n im glad i came online n got u here :)

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  40. well... I have renewed my outlook towards life. And trust me, it feels great!

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  41. Renewal.. there's no need to make a conscious effort I suppose, life changes people. Renews them.. makes them into totally different people.

    For good.. for bad.

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  42. Most of my life I have run my own companies - some small, some quite large. 2 years ago I was running a succesful pub. Life was one big boozey party, day and night.In Feb 2005 I had a stroke. My liver was shot, my kidneys a mess. I was totally exhausted and my doctor told me that if I didn't have a total change of lifestyle, I would not see Christmas. That was all the incentive I needed. Everything changed!

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  43. ver well written..you couldn't have said it any better..i feel we are great at multi-tasking!!!I've followed my hubby here to a new land, did feel extremely threatened but made up my mind that hey...lets make use of this break...and perhaps its time to for me to learn salsa...what do you say?

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  44. where r ya?

    Keshi.

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  45. i think everyone changes... or reinvents if you will.. especially in their formative years.. dont how it goes down with old folk :P
    but i guess it comes from learning.. and the willingness to change (for the better )

    cheers!

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  46. Very nice blog. I appreciate it.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Amit:Thank you! Will hop over for sure.

    Beloved dreamer:Ypu voiced my sentiments exactly.Wishing you and your family lots of good times,health and peace.

    Tumblewords:Thanks!

    Bob-kat:yes--another time.

    Mary Timme:It is amazing how some people REFUSE to change,despite life!

    Sunshine:wishing you lots of luck.

    Kimberley:amazing person!I too know a man like that.I had blogged about him in a post titled "age and prejudice"

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  48. Hershey: three months?! Hee hee.The point is that stay at home moms should NOT feel worthless OR complelled to 'earn' just to prove a point.

    Pai:Oh yes--i am so gald to have got you too!!

    Pointblank:Good luck--and you are right--changing one's outlook surely changes the world.

    Whats in a name:Thanks!

    J:sometimes, some people resist changing.

    Keith:Oh my god!That was a total turnaround.I am happy that you are leading a healthier life now.

    Thinking aloud:You must!! (i too took salsa classes just before moving to this city.Felt great about that)

    Keshi:Laptop had gone away--see my latest post.Will ctach up with you soon.

    Ankit:I agree with you.Did you know I mateched your movie tastes and mine on facebook--and they tallied a lot.

    Tintin:Thanks!!

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  49. Bob Dylan wrote on this topic:

    He not busy being born is busy dying.

    It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)

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  50. You're getting better with age ol' girl... :P

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  51. I totally agree with the corporate identity. I have quit my job a month back, after working non-stop for 5 years, every new job, designation became my identity. It was eating me up, but when i quit, i felt a vaccum, as if my identity was lost, but once i resumed my studies, started doing what i really wanted for years, i was no more appollogetic. However, it sometimes gets difficult to explain to people why i have quit a perfect career to study. Well, guess some people will never understand, that there is certain fun in maddness, in taking up the risk. Thanks for the blogpost, very inspiring.

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  52. beautifully written and i love that picture!

    re-invent... u need to do that on all planes... all the time... be it in ur profession, personal, financial, spiritual ... whatever plane you choose... you need to be re-inventing ... ALWAYS! :)

    about home makers, i think they do a great job - sometimes i find it more stressful to help my wife than to write a business proposal! wonder how home-makers do all the work all 365 days :)

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  53. hey,have been redaing your post for past few weeks...your blog is a great read....agreed change is the only constant, have chnaged myself a lot during past 7-8 years, from a hardcore pessimist to a smiling happy fun person..nd believe me, this whole new outlook twrds life has chnaged many things.....Life seems good now!!..:)..inspired by yoyr blog..even i have started a blog...:))...hope wil soon start posting also...:),,cheers
    !!

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  54. hi.. i hav resolved to come out of my comfort zone this year.. rather never to get into one.. starting from not sticking to the same elliptical machine at the gym.. to buying new clothes, to changing the way i think abt others.. i think i hav started.. and proud of teh direction i am going towards..

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  55. I'm always renewing myself...i love change n experimenting with life...i keep changing my wardrobe, my hairstyle, accessories, even my blog template :D

    ReplyDelete

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