Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Giving Back: A Resolution

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I don’t usually make resolutions, but this seems like the moment in time to make this one. It feels like the past 10 years of my life have consisted of giving, giving, and more giving. To my child, for sure, to the rest of my family, to work, to the broader professional community. And I love giving. A lot of Kahlil Gibran’s poetry here resonates:

They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish

Giving is a way of being and I cannot be otherwise.

But I am resolving to remember to give to myself as well. I am not going to withhold from others. I can’t imagine that. But I can put myself on the list of people who can receive from me, too.

Among those things, is to find ways to teach my kid to give me and stop taking me for granted. For 7 years I expected her to learn by example, from my model of giving. Now she needs to learn by practice, by practicing giving herself as well. Live a model of giving and receiving rather than being only one of tthese at a time.

I had put my f2f social life pretty much on hold while my kid was growing up. I now want to find time to spend with my girlfriends. This is not something huge. But something I truly miss. And I want to make time for it every week or so. May be a different friend each time. An hour or two here and there. Something that is not work and is not a playdate. Though occasionally two of these meet.

I want to not deny myself even work that I desire just because it is not someone else’s priority. I thought maturity was learning to follow others’ priorities at work. I decided it does not make me happy, and their satisfaction does not make me happy, so who cares?

So yeah. That’s my resolution. Remember to give back to myself! Let’s see how it goes!

5 Comments

  1. Self-care is something that women, and especially mothers, find very difficult. You are conditioned to it … you deserve to take care of yourself now and then … and doing so is a good model for your daughter. Not only does she need to learn how to give, she also needs to learn that it is ok to receive occasionally too (even as an adult and as a mother). You are such an amazing person, and you give to so many, you deserve to seek out times to do the things that feed you … like going out with girlfriends now and then 🙂
    Hugs – Love you!
    Cheers,
    Becky

  2. Yes to the ”giving back to myself.” That’s what sustained me all these years that I’ve been building my career, raising kids, being wife & mother, & now a PhD student. Reconnecting w/ friends is important too & I’m glad you’re making time for it now. ❤️

  3. I read this, Maha, on a morning when I’m feeling a little given-out, and I think I might need to hop on this resolution too. One of the things I personally struggle with is that the things I give myself often are what’s easy, and not what’s best for me or even what I want most. Maybe we can keep each other on track.

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