How gracefully will you accept that it is time to move on?

When the time comes you will have to hand over the reins. Be it to your junior at work or your child. At times, you’d feel the urge to let go of a position of power for a fresh experience. Sometimes, you’d be keen to take the risk and enter a new phase of life. On other times, you’d be compelled to leave behind a person, a job or an experience. At another time, a close one would walk away from your life or disease would take a loved one way. Or as you get older, you will have to make space for the youth. How gracefully will you accept that it is time to move on? How soon will you gather the strength to let go? Will you be angry or forlorn? These are just a few questions and situations we encounter in life, every day. I’d once read that it is in these times like these that our true nature appears to the fore. Do you believe so?

Seniors, who are nearing retirement, surround me; many of them are fathers of my friends. They’ve served their companies for long and now it's time for them to put their feet up. They deserve this break. I see them bid goodbye to their workplaces with poise. I also see them 'still' managing the work — constantly discussing — with whoever cares to listen — how they would have handled the situation. Of course, it is not easy to wake up one morning and not wear the tie and drive to the office. I watch new mums gathering the courage to return to work. I watch them interviewing nannies and telling themselves it is okay to trust them with their child. I observe them constantly worrying over the rightness and the wrongness of their decision. ‘Maybe, I could have waited a little longer?’ A close friend tied the knot recently, after an ugly divorce, and is now planning to start a family. She is in a happy space, however, she confesses that at times her thoughts get plagued by the past. I watch people getting promoted — they celebrate the moment, but never let go of the fact that they did the job better than the one, who replaced them in the now junior role. They use every opportunity to talk down. Tears run down the face of those dealing with the loss of a friend or family. ‘He went away too soon.’ I witness their struggle in accepting reality. What happens when relationships fall apart over insignificant issues? Do we have it in us to overlook a fight?

I see all of them trying to let go, never knowing whether it is the right time or not. But, sooner or later, we all do find our ways to let go, don’t we? A few of us get ourselves busy with a new activity. Some of us get bitter and engage in unwarranted arguments. Many feel dejected and unwanted. We begin to judge ourselves, soon enough. The smarter ones, of course, accept it as the inevitable change in life. But the truth remains that we hurt others and ourselves in the process —irrespective of how bright the future. We grow up but always relish the sunsets more than the sunrises. We take time in making space for the new, be it a relationship, a piece of furniture or a work role. Can we help each other here? Yes, we just need to be patient and wait for the other to appreciate the sunrise. Do you have it in you to let go or actually do you have it in you to give someone the time to let go?


This piece was first published in Khaleej Times.


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