Self reflection is an important process. December is the right time for self reflection to understand how have we evolved throughout the year to better ourselves, with some creative new year resolutions. As the custom of making new year resolution for 2023, I reflected on my life in 2022 and before. In fact, I have stopped making any new year resolutions since many years. When life throws you curve balls, you have no choice but stop, wait and follow new habits and routines to survive. With time, I have learned to adapt, be flexible and be open to all the gifts my difficult life may offer. As I reflect back, I can take pride in how far I have come and have faith in how far I will be able to go with God's guidance and support. Nevertheless, I am here to enjoy the journey that has taught me the best lesson which universities failed to teach. Here are some of the important lessons I have learned so far:- 1) Take it slow Trust the wait, embrace the uncertainty and be patient for your time to shine. It is better to go slow in the right direction than go fast in the wrong direction. Because there is no need to rush. If something is meant to be yours, it will be yours. It will happen at the right time for the best reason! 2) Don't worry about tomorrow Worrying doesn't take away your trouble. It may sometimes ruin your peace of today. Take life as it comes, one day at a time. Tomorrow will take care of itself! 3) Believe in yourself Believe in your potential. You are far better than what you and the world think about you. The only limitation is what you set upon yourself. Believe, you are enough and you are unstoppable. 4) Prioritize self This is the important lesson I have learnt this year. I was satisfied by being a selfless person so far. I always prioritized others - my family, my kids, my community... and gave so much weight on what others have to think or say about my choices. I was told, it is the nature of a mother to be selfless, and deprioritize her self when it comes to family. This has made me empty in the process. You can't pour from an empty glass. By prioritizing yourself and taking good care of yourself, you can offer so much to the world than what you could do while running on empty. Self love is very important. Learn to dress well, do things that make you happy. Spend on yourself and your wishes. Learn to take care of your body. Listen to your body and soul. Groom yourself, and be presentable all the time. At the same time, accept aging and the way you are looking. Remember, you are unique and there is no one like you! 5) Power management You have no control over what is happening around yourself. But that shouldn't make you vulnerable. When you can't control what's happening, challenge yourself to control your reactions to these happenings. That is where your power is. Remember, no one makes you angry, sad or disappointed. It is you, who decided to use these emotions as a response to their action. Holding on to negative emotions only hurt you, not others. 6) You are not responsible for everyone You are only responsible for yourself, your life and your decisions. You can help others, extend advice and support. But it is them who are responsible for their lives. Be it your spouse, kids or extended family members. Their happiness, their success, their failures and regrets aren't your responsibility. You can do only so much 7) Be realistic and find me-time Woman is expected to multi-task, and believed she is capable of doing everything. But in reality, a woman ages with time, her ability to perform tasks declines as she age. She can do only so much, and often requires help. You can't be a full time working woman and a home-maker all the time. You can't be held responsible for your kid's low grades at school or your in-law's digestive issues if you are working full time and returning home late. It is a pity that woman are expected to resume household chores the moment they return home after office work. They don't even enjoy leave days, and have the freedom to laze in the couch like others. It is sad that women feel guilt for having a reasonable rest/me-time. I have learned to be realistic, and do what I could do to the family. For the rest, I asked for help. There is nothing wrong in asking for help. I asked my mom to make a dish, my husband to take care of the laundry and sought paid help to teach kids, and clean the house on and off. I ordered food from outside. Nothing can beat the service I did personally for my family back then. But, the freedom helps me recover, and find time for myself. I contribute a lot financially, and emotionally as a parent. I think this is all I could do for now, and I am happy for the first time without any guilt. 8) Handling criticism Never bother about others criticism on you/your choices. They never walked on your shoes, and they can never understand you the way you do. Pay no attention to toxic words. What they say may be the reflection of them and not you. But pay attention to constructive criticism. You need a critic to progress in life. Give them a compliment! Just like accepting a compliment, learn to accept criticism as well. It takes both sun and rain for a flower to grow I feel I have evolved so much since the past few years, and it is already reflecting in myself. Life is great the moment I have started living for myself. If you ask me what is the best stage of my life, I would say this is the best stage. At 40, I feel settled, I feel powerful, yet I feel young at heart and body.