Life is like a one way street…

At home for my annual Christmas holiday, the desire to recreate childhood memories and turn back the clock is natural. However, I was reminded that as much as I want to recreate the magic of years gone by, it’s new magic that I must seek out. The ritual of opening presents under the Christmas tree opened my eyes to this ‘grown up’ reality. One that I was not entirely prepared for.

Till last year, the “adults” were woken up by the kids eager to open presents together. This year was different. No knocks on the door or wake-up calls. No excited children in sight, in fact not a sound to be heard. The kids are all grown up now, in their rooms now not wanting to be roused. One by one the big people gathered on the veranda with cups of steaming hot coffee or tea. We wished each other and then waited. When it became evident that the kids had no intention of showing up we had to go and wake them and then get down to the important business of opening presents. The magic of Christmas morning perhaps will return when grandchildren arrive. Till then, I guess the business of growing up must continue.

Suddenly the kids are no longer kids. “Life is like a one-way street, there is no going back…” Ms. Marple’s wisdom in the novel At Bertram’s Hotel hit home.

Family games that used to be fun and full of laughter now seem less so. The generation gap is beginning to bulge through. Finding common ground other than food and drinks is not that easy anymore. As I went for my morning walk, wondering about this shift, I thought to myself “I should just be happy with the fact that we are all together under one roof in good health and feeling  happy”.

Maybe that is what my 50s are about. Finding joy in others’ happiness and also finding out more about myself. Many years have been in service of what others wanted of me. I need to figure out what I want and do more of that. When I am happy, others around me seem to be happy too. On that note, I tell myself to make it a happy and healthy 2023. For me and those around me.

There is no turning back the clock. But there is always a way forward. Growth comes from embracing change. Accepting change. And in that journey creating moments of happiness. Sitting in the sun with my wife, mom, and dad and listening to the birds serenade us. Hugging the dogs and admiring each of their personalities. Drinking in the glorious sunsets and trying to preserve them with pictures on Instagram and Facebook. These were a few of my favourite things.

And just like that, I get a glimpse of the magic of life. Work-life too offers the same lessons. The kids (at home and work) are no longer kids, we are all growing and going forward together. I cannot go back to the way things were. I can create new meaning and deliver new value. Growing up is about understanding and embracing this reality and finding ways to enjoy the new. As I turn the corner of another year, the one-way street opens up and 2023 offers me the opportunity to create some new magic for clients and colleagues. There is much I love about the worlds of communication and coaching. There is no going back, but there is the opportunity of giving back. Paying it forward sounds like a fine way to find my way forward. Onwards and upwards.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Nikhil Dey
Nikhil Dey is Executive Director, Adfactors PR.

A trusted coaching and communications professional, Nikhil Dey is a certified life and leadership coach (International Coach Federation - ICF). Nurturing talent and helping clients achieve their goals is what makes him happy. He loves learning from students of communication, teaching courses and guest lecturing at various educational institutions. When he is not working you will find him on the tennis court or out for long walks with his family and four legged friends.

Previously he has held senior leadership positions at Weber Shandwick and Genesis BCW.

He can be reached on twitter @deydreaming

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