When the Sun sets today, this will be the last of 2016. From behind the clouds, the rays will kiss the sky goodbye only to be woken up tomorrow. On the first day of 2017. As I sit and write this gratitude list for 2016 and my year in review, my mind is blank. I’m looking at my pictures and I really cannot believe that we are on the 366th day of this year.
I love how we all think that the year in question has passed by quicker than the rest. Science says that the pace is always the same. It’s just our perception. 2016 was a mixed bag for me. I remember disappointments, health issues, and misunderstandings but I am grateful for experiences, love, support and those moments of successes. It was a year that balanced itself well in the end and I think that’s what matters.
I traveled, wrote on this blog, edited Wikipedia, read books and clicked pictures to my heart’s content. I also tried my hands at crochet, baking and a bit of cooking. Some experiments failed and some were successful. Some criticism made me stronger and some left me hurt. It’s all a part of the game called life. I believe in enjoying the journey and I am glad I was able to see it happen.
Talking about the journey, let me take you through my last twelve months.
January: Leaving Hong Kong was hard and I wanted to stay back. Even almost a year later, I want to go back and settle somewhere on The Peak. Dreams, I tell you. The best part was the experiences VT and I gathered. We welcomed the brand new 2016 with fireworks at the Victoria Harbour, our long walks in the cold, and then packing to leave for India. These are memories I don’t want to let go.
I am grateful that MS introduced me to Kannada classes in January and four of us from work joined a three-month course on Sundays. It was so much fun learning a new language. I am still practicing and I enjoy my conversations with people around. It’s fun when people help me fix a verb here and the accent there. I am determined to improve and speak fluently. High on the note, I ended January by meeting my favorite bloggers. We chatted and had a lovely time.
I am grateful for friends I have made through blogging. They are always around to lend an ear, encourage and support me when I feel low.
February: Checking off places to travel from the bucket list is always a joy. Isn’t it? During February, we traveled to Hampi and loved our time there. VT and I have found a common interest in exploring ruins and knowing the history. Hampi fitted the bill perfectly. It was our only road trip of the year and we made the most of our time in the city.
On one of the weekends, Bangalore’s MG Road hosted an open street festival and I had a great time with my office friends. Imagine walking on a road free of traffic and getting a flavor of the culture.
I am grateful that the month kept me high on experiences.
March: Back home we celebrate Holi in March. While I do not play with colors, I love that like all Indian festivals, this one also comes with food. I took a day off from work, made some gujhiyas and celebrated with my friends. Amidst work and calls, just a day to do something that brings back joys from the past is happiness. I never let such opportunities slip away.
VT and I also made a quick trip to Delhi for my cousin’s engagement and were showered with love. Mehendi, music and masti like I say in abundance.
I am grateful for a lovely family and friends who are family.
April: April is now synonymous with the A to Z challenge. This challenge brings bloggers from all over the world together to blog for 26 days of the month. Like 2015, I chose to write on women and most readers loved the positive topics . Researching, writing and then reading others was the highlight. Though I was prepared, the month was technology heavy. When at home, I was found with the laptop or the phone – writing, reading or commenting.
I am grateful to realize that sometimes when we stretch ourselves, we learn to become more resilient.
May: May always brings those mushy feelings and I go all out to express what I feel. VT and I met in the month of May and this year we completed a decade of love. Sometimes I think what if I hadn’t met him. My life has changed for good since we have been together. He brings out a better version of me. The one that’s a bit rational. We argue and are two different people but we are also each other’s pillar of support.
I am grateful for love in my life and for the guy who loves me the way I am. A nut who is now allergic to nuts.
June – September: These months were all about writing, rains, and a lot of work. Work kept me busy but I also made progress in the kitchen. My experiments included chicken soup from scratch and some healthy wheat cookies. Sometimes all we need is a change and a chance to learn something new. Cooking was one such change though the interest did not last long.
When I hear about Wikipedia edit-a-thons, I can’t let the opportunity go. This July, I attended the Women In science edit-a-thon and created biographical profiles for a couple of women scientists who hadn’t found an online presence. Small steps lead to a big change and every little effort matters are two things I strongly believe in. I also had my little moment of fame when The Hindu quoted me.
August was also a bummer when I figured out I am down with food allergies. Looking at the positive side, my diet came under scanner and I feel much better cos I know what I eat. And when I don’t, the allergy rings a bell.
I am grateful that I was able to find time for myself and stay calm in the middle of health issues. When work pressures mount, all one needs is a bit of peace and a piece of cake.
October: And that’s how we enter the festival season in India. With food and more food. As expected October was fabulous. I visited home this year after a long time and it was a memorable trip. My four days at home were relaxing and very refreshing. I visited my school and also traveled to the city I was born in. My grandparents are no more but that home means a lot to me and my best childhood memories are from there.
I also got an Annual Award at work and it firmed my belief that you get what you deserve. Sooner or later.
I am grateful for my job and that it helps me earn my daily bread and my kindle.
November: The birthday month and how can it not be the best of the season? My heart fills with excitement every year and I love counting my lessons. So this year I published them for readers too. November was also a month to try our luck at the ATMs and all that drama around demonetization. Bangalore allowed us to use plastic money and I started using PayTM and Ola Money. My heart still goes out to people who are not able to manage the cash crunch.
We explored new places to eat and Vidyarthi Bhawan experience was wonderful.
I am grateful that we were able to pay our help on time and in the currency that is still a legal tender.
December: The highlight of December was checking off another destination from my bucket list – Andamans. The six days we spent in the islands were the best of this year. There was no data connectivity and in a way it was a blessing in disguise. No social media to disturb or forwards on WhatsApp groups. Just our date with beautiful nature. Holidays like this bring out the best in us.
There was another surprise when BBC World Have Your Say contacted me to speak on a radio show about what happiness means to me. Being paired with an author and a talk show host was a big thing. I felt like a celebrity and yes, I was on air.
I am grateful that I was able to wrap our year on a reflective note and that we need to celebrate what we have.
I had tough days and low moments. December is not over yet and there are things that need to be taken care of. As always, I am choosing to count my blessings. I hope that 2017 takes away the pain and uncertainty 2016 gave all of us. I wish that our loved ones remain healthy. Our personal and career goals reach new heights. I hope that we all become better versions of ourselves and the new year kicks off on a happy note.
Thank you readers for your love and support! Wishing you all a great start to 2017! May happiness and food fill your life 🙂