Home Mindful Living Taking A Step Back To Move Forward

Taking A Step Back To Move Forward

by Vidya Sury June 29, 2014 32 comments
Vidya Sury Love laughter and happily ever after

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about life, it is that setbacks happen so we can step back to move forward. I’ve learned to embrace situations that don’t work out as expected.

Last week started of great and continued to be, but I had my dark moments, thanks to my blogs and other stuff. First, the email alerts for comments stopped coming. Which meant that I had to visit a post to see if there were comments. Of course, I could see them on the dashboard. Which meant I had to stay logged in.

On investigation, I found that all the mail delivery system notifications were cozily sitting in spam. Between my hosting company and Gmail, they just assumed I was sending out spam and simply stopped doing their jobs – to protect me. So considerate.

I decided to smile and carry on – after all, not such a big deal visiting my own blog to see comments – nice element of surprise and all that.

And, responding to a gut feeling I just backed up my blogs.

But no sooner than I settled down to the status quo than the next mad thing happened. Which was – two of my blogs became inaccessible. This one and Coffee With Mi. My first inkling of this was when I went to comment on the Blogging Betties latest post  (you will love it) and found that CommentLuv couldn’t find a feed for my blog. Thinking it was a temporary hitch – you know how technology is – I tried commenting with Coffee With Mi. That didn’t work either. So I ditched both and commented sans the CommentLuv.

Then later, when I tried to load my blogs, nothing happened. I got an error message, the dreaded error 500. Often, this is a server side error and can be temporary. I didn’t stress over it.

But hours later, when both blogs continued to be down, I turned the matter over to the expert Vanita. Long story short – she efficiently diagnosed and solved it, and we were up again.

Then, there was no internet.

And other things added up, the details of which I won’t bore you with!

As the week wore on, I was beginning to feel worn out!

I won’t lie and say I didn’t worry, because I did. But strangely, I didn’t lose sleep over it. Must be the happy people rule!

One thing I’ve learned over the years is this: when there’s a problem and you don’t have the expertise to solve it, call the experts and that’s what I did.

step back to move forward

What about the waiting bit? I took the opportunity to…

…step back to move forward

I got busy with other stuff. I focused on work deadlines.

Then I went out and took care of some chores I’d been putting off for a long time. While I am on the up and up about most things, there are certain chores I keep on putting off until the good old zeigarnik effect sets in and I get to it before I die of guilt. Of course, these days all I have to do is tell my folks and they’ll chew my brain until I finish it. So supportive.

I spent all of yesterday offline – and just chilled with my family enjoying a couple of movies back to back. We just segued into the slow afternoon after lunch together and simply decided to laze around. For those of you curious to know which movies, it was two Hindi films Amar Prem and Yaadon Ki Baarat. Amar Prem is one of our all-time favorites and a classic.

I finished a book.

I also spent time introspecting and I am on the verge of deciding to blog every day in July. July is a special month for me and has been for years now. Most of my new beginnings have been in July – job changes, the start of my career in freelance writing and editing and plenty more. Why, I started this blog in July 2003! Cue applause!

What is funny is, last week I was chatting with Vanita and telling her I planned to post every day, if not 5-6 times a week instead of the usual 3 times and then because of the hassles I described above, ended up not posting! But I’ve been busy cooking up drafts.

In short, I am generally trying to revamp my blogging habits. Slowing down needn’t mean slacking off. It only involves better time management and focusing on the things that matter.

As I took a step back to move forward I could

  • breathe
  • take stock, review and refocus
  • see the big picture
  • recharge myself
  • generate new ideas
  • feel motivated
  • think about changes
  • make a fresh plan of action
  • appreciate what I have
  • take time to smell the flowers

As I allowed myself to step back to move forward, I opened the doors, and windows to possibilities.

I feel good!

Setbacks can be a boon, you know.

And at the end of the day, all is well that ends well.

Now, let me show you a part of the campus at the College of Fine Arts where they had the crafts fair a few days ago.


I am linking up with the awesome Unknown Mami for Sundays In My City – she sponsors world travel and I love it.

Unknown Mami

By the way…

A big group hug to those of you who’ve appreciated my “did you smile today” question when you comment. I cringe to ask you to confirm that you are not a spammer.

You will no longer see that message because I’ve stopped using the G.A.S.P. plugin. I use something else to fight off spam now.

I WILL ask you the question at the end of every post, though. So think about…

What made you smile today?

Tell me in the comments.

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Pratibha June 29, 2014 at 11:42 pm

Yes I did smile today 🙂 Often rather than getting hassled with no Internet connection I have begun to choose to enjoy my time. Sitting out in the balcony and enjoying the cool breeze is more fun than dwelling on a post 🙂
Pratibha recently posted…DIY Eye Soothers {Skin Care}

Vidya Sury June 29, 2014 at 11:45 pm

Best way to deal with it, Pratibha! 😀 What is this life, if full of care…we have no time to stand and stare? Thank you for coming by!

Pratibha (@Myepica) July 6, 2014 at 5:06 pm

I stopped by the post again today to re-read it. It just gave me the positivity I wanted. Thanks so much for just being there Vidya.
Pratibha (@Myepica) recently posted…Omved – Pure Natural Living {Brand Focus}

Leovi June 30, 2014 at 12:03 am

Yes, it is wise to rectify in time! Nice photos!
Leovi recently posted…Foto Abstracta 3085 ¿De dónde vienes tú? – Where do you come from?

Mary Stephenson June 30, 2014 at 1:34 am

Ugh the dreaded “error”, how very stressing. Breathe yes!
What made me smile today…my little cat Molly rolling around in the sun. With all the worries and stress we have, she just is feeling all’s right with the world she lives in. How happy that makes me feel, when I can see her enjoy her life. How much simpler it is to be an indoor only cat with people to fuss over you.

Birgit June 30, 2014 at 2:12 am

It is so true what you wrote. Once we reel back and o der what to do we realize all the other wonderful options out there. A few years ago there was a major power outage from the U.S. (where is started) to much of our area and Toronto. People could not use the internet, many did not have phones, no lights, no ovens. Everything was at a stand still. Our power was out for over 24 hrs. I remember sitting on the veranda with my mom, a candle (or 2) lit and we talked. Outside was quiet except for all the other people on their porch talking and laughing. My mom and I both thought this was actually one of the best things to happen. people were talking and laughing. Of course I had to cook up everything in my freezer but that was ok. We all took a step back and it is a fond memory of mine and always will be. Thankfully this was not in winter. Today I spoke to my friend from Vancouver and made him cringe from something I saw at the long term care facility my mom is in. That made me smile-hahahahaha. We have a great relationship. My animals made me smile as they do every day
Birgit recently posted…For the Men

Romi June 30, 2014 at 5:31 am

I have stepped back, and started moving forward very slowly…

The art works looks interesting, and I like the peacock the best.
Romi recently posted…Summer: 30 Days Through My Eyes — Day 10: Sweet Summer Oranges

Sandra Pawula June 30, 2014 at 7:47 am

I”m so impressed that you’ve learned to embrace setbacks! I love every bit of this story as each part contains a special tip on how to work around adverse conditions.

I can hardly believe that you’ve been blogging for more than 10 years! That’s amazing. I hope you write a post about why you’ve decide to blog daily.
Sandra Pawula recently posted…22 Books Worth Reading Twice

Shailaja V June 30, 2014 at 9:26 am

Oh, I am smiling today, all right. I am going gung-ho on a personal challenge and moderating a new parenting group which has some incredible souls. Just speaking to them makes me feel wonderful, every single day. After streamlining my two blogs, I find blogging easier now. I try to maintain my regular features, but those take a beating on some days, due to unexpected guests or other committments. So glad to know that you resolved the issue well, Vidya. Congrats on the upcoming blog anniversary 🙂 Well done! And the more I grow (as a person), the more I realise that every single thing that happens to me is helping me evolve. Kind of similar to what you mention. Here’s hoping I am always open to such experiences.
Shailaja V recently posted…The Broken Promise- #55words #Drabbleweek

Vidya Sury June 30, 2014 at 9:35 am

Thank you Shailaja! You know, life will always bring something or other. We have no control over it. Fortunately we do have control over how we react, and that determines our happiness level. Glad you’re enjoying what you’re doing! It is the best state to be in! Good luck with your challenge.

Vidya Sury June 30, 2014 at 11:20 pm


Beloo Mehra June 30, 2014 at 9:54 am

So that’s why you ask the question – Did you smile today? 🙂 Only a happy, super-smiling person like you can think of this great question! Beautiful photographs of the college of fine arts. I love spending time at such places. And that quote about not all change is a forward movement is so good! Perfect, almost. And did I ever tell you, Amar Prem is one of my most, most favourite movies. I cry watching it every time, and I have watched it innumerable times (the other one in this category is Guide). Sharmila Tagore is so great in Amar Prem. No words to describe her beauty and grace and superb acting in this film. You did very well with your stepping back time, dear Vidya! This was a great post, and a very helpful reminder. Thank you 🙂
Beloo Mehra recently posted…Music, Fast or Slow

Vidya Sury June 30, 2014 at 10:06 am

Thank you, Beloo! Oh, I cried buckets this time and always will 🙂 Same with Dosti and Do aankhen baarah haath. It is a long list of favorites!

Roshan R June 30, 2014 at 10:21 am

2003!!! I thought I was the oldest person in the blogosphere 🙂 And ya, you have a point – after all these years, I too occasionally take longer breaks to write than earlier: I don’t want to write just for the sake of having a mandatory post a week. It should be something that I wish to express.

Also, thanks… I better go back up by blog. If it disappears on me, I may go postal and you will find me on the 6 o clock news !!!
Roshan R recently posted…Snoopy – A Dogyear later

BLOGitse June 30, 2014 at 11:36 am

I smile every day! 🙂
Blogging can be stressful if you do it as it should – interactive, give and get. If you post often and visit other blogs it takes a lot of time…
Another thing. I try not to sit as much as used to…sitting is not good for us! 🙂
Time to move on, have a good week ahead!
BLOGitse recently posted…Nuuksio National Park part 2.

PhenoMenon June 30, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Yep never fear to step back a bit… Even a bull backs a bit before charging 😀

PhenoMenon recently posted…Man’s Insignificance

Rajlakshmi June 30, 2014 at 2:44 pm

I agree, setbacks are just a way of moving us to a different direction. Once the initial phase of disappointment is controlled, we can achieve a lot even after setbacks. Very inspiring post 🙂
Rajlakshmi recently posted…Turn up the Radio!!

Sebastian Aiden Daniels June 30, 2014 at 7:24 pm

First off, I visited your website and saw those errors and figured that your web hosting was down. I hoped that all would be okay and that you had not been hacked.

Second, I just backed up my account.

This post made me smile. I have found that I usually take two steps backwards, one step forward, two steps back, then five forward, then two backwards. You progress through making mistakes and learning and struggling : D.
Sebastian Aiden Daniels recently posted…Tips to Help You Wean Off of a Drug

Kathy Combs June 30, 2014 at 7:33 pm

Lately I have been taking more steps back than forward with my writing. I may be losing my desire to write at all. Just not sure. Like you, instead of letting it get me down I have focused my energies elsewhere…into my art, reading, cooking, being with my kids. Not sure what my deal is, but working through it the best I can. You always make me smile Vidya…always.
Kathy Combs recently posted…The Mermaid Elixir

Susan Scott June 30, 2014 at 8:30 pm

I listened and watched a bunch of very elderly people bopping and singing to a song … i laughed out loud.
Thanks Vidya ..
Susan Scott recently posted…The Approach of the Winter Solstice

Vidya Sury June 30, 2014 at 10:12 pm

Thank you, Susan! That sounds so delightful! We have a group that gathers near our place to go through their laughter therapy and it is hilarious to see them enjoying themselves. They start off laughing because they have to, but then get into the mood and can’t stop!

gilu June 30, 2014 at 10:31 pm

We have been buried till neck with some family health issue the whole day today and I didn’t have time or convenience to check mail, do any work sit queitly or even to smile…Somehow, a tiny smile appeared on my face (the only one in the whole day) when I read your write up and especially the end question – What made you smile today…
gilu recently posted…Waning patience…

Eli July 1, 2014 at 1:01 am

Oh dear Vidya, I could so relate to your post today. I had some OFFLINE DAYS lately, and they turned out to be some of my best days in a long time… And I smile now just thinking about them … but then yes, I do smile every day:-) Lovely post that I really enjoyed:-)
Eli recently posted…A summer stroll in Oslo

simple girl July 1, 2014 at 10:20 am

learning from you to look at the good in the bad moments..:)
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Joy July 1, 2014 at 11:29 am

Oh, dear, Vidya – I had a week like yours! I wrote something like “I didn’t buy into Mercury Retrograde energy, even though I understood it” and then – boom, the internet went down, the hot water heater broke, my cell phone SIM card friend itself and my phone -ha! I took a few steps back, reluctantly, and then I began to enjoy it. So, I “like” the synchronicity, but I ‘don’t’ because I wouldn’t want you to have experienced what you did. Here is to a Happy July (on of my favorite months, too!).
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Suzy July 1, 2014 at 2:24 pm

Your post among other things made me smile today. Glad your blogs were just “hiding” and not wiped out.
Suzy recently posted…UBC Jul 1 – Life is Transitory

Jayanta Tewari July 2, 2014 at 12:09 am

You blog inspired me not to take any further steps back, now need to move forward. have to increase the frequency :-).
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Michelle Liew July 2, 2014 at 7:36 pm

We have to take a few steps back to go forward.
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Cathy Graham July 2, 2014 at 9:05 pm

Your post made me smile, Vidya. I always find them so reassuring and informative.

What a good way to look at setbacks. I must remember that and not wallow in self pity like I often do when things aren’t going well.
Cathy Graham recently posted…UBC Day 2 We Deserve Love and Affection

Nita July 3, 2014 at 4:25 am

Your post title gave me a big smile, as I always seem to be taking one step forward and two steps back….lol
Great post though, I am glad you got the blogs figured out. Your day with the family sounds wonderful, it is nice to unplug from all the tech stuff and spend precious time with our loved ones. Great photos of the craft fair.
Nita recently posted…Bad Day Survival Kit

Claudya July 4, 2014 at 11:06 pm

I love the images of the campus, but I love your outlook even more. Your post made me smile.

Proactive Indian July 6, 2014 at 3:08 pm

I was travelling for a week, but had pre-published the posts for those days, just had time to log in to approve comments. Now, I’m neck-deep in office work, so I still can’t visit other blogs. No complaints, but I wasn’t smiling. 🙁 I knew the best way to bring a smile on my face now was to read a couple of your posts. It worked on the first one! 🙂 🙂
Proactive Indian recently posted…Can I really make a difference?


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