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Change & Renewal

Jan/08/2023 / by Seema Kumar

I love this time of the year. As I write this blog, it’s New Year’s Day and I am on board a plane reflecting on the past year. Thanks, Apple, for sending me highlights from my iPhone photo gallery. As I look out the window at the blue sky and the puffs of clouds, I am also wondering what the new year will bring and how I can set my agenda and goals for 2023 and actively shape it. Call it New Year’s resolutions or goal-setting, but something about a fresh start motivates change and offers hope of a better tomorrow, even if one’s goals are seeming trivialities, like losing weight or being more organized.

I thought 2020 was unprecedented. By Jove, it was. But was I unprepared for the new normal of 2022?! Massive changes in work, life and home have taught us many lessons including that adversity can be an avenue for personal and professional growth.

I began the year interviewing Indra Nooyi about the great resignation brought about by the pandemic and how most workers, and women in particular, were leaving the workforce in droves. Many didn’t want to come to work in person full time and were no longer willing to work long hours for a pittance.

The priorities had changed. No wonder then that “Return to Work” was a challenge. Neither carrots nor sticks could bring people back as they had grown accustomed to a new work-life balance. Some were seeking stability and others were looking for change, whether they knew it or not, awakening from the deep slumber of the pandemic – tired of inertia, and ready for something different.

Many people changed jobs, including me. Although I was firmly ensconced in a job and had closed the door to new opportunities, the ennui of the status quo got to me. So when an unexpected and wholly new opportunity came, and I took the leap and became the CEO of an exciting new healthcare business.

COVID has, of course, been an unwanted but loyal companion to us this entire time, always rearing its ugly head to remind us that it is far from over. After two years of avoiding the virus, many of us, including me, finally succumbed to it, but thanks to vaccinations and boosters, the symptoms have been mild for many, making it more of an annoying disruption rather than the sheer terror it was in 2020.

Life is full of silver linings, and science and healthcare provided one.

Many of us also lost loved ones this year, including pets. We lost our beloved Popcorn, an integral family member of more than 14 years. Our home feels empty without his presence. The other day I had to shoo off a herd of brazen deer eating the plants on our kitchen patio. Popcorn would have barked his head off and scared them away, and shown them up for trespassing on his property.

Then there is SEEMA! She, too, has been through an unprecedented 2022, marked by change and growth. She is trying to up her game, gain share and grow, with a new and diverse team composition, an updated website, and a newly redesigned magazine – which I hope you will enjoy!

Reinvention is not easy, nor is growth. Behind the scenes we have gone through many growing pains, but we have toiled through the messy process of sausage-making to produce a hot diggity dog. And we are proud of it!

I hope you enjoy the new energy and vibe of this magazine, both the content, which reflects our desire to give you a combination of snack-able and meaty pieces, and the design tjat is updated and modern, reflecting the changing face of the South Asian woman of the diaspora. The sausage-making continues behind the scenes, and it’s not pretty. But we have a first version of a tasty product, and are we are striving to develop it into an even more delectable brand! Welcome to 2023 and a reinvented SEEMA!

Seema

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