Home Gratitude Looking Back Moving Forward In Gratitude #GratitudeCircle

Looking Back Moving Forward In Gratitude #GratitudeCircle

by Vidya Sury December 29, 2016 17 comments
Looking Back Moving Forward in Gratitude Vidya Sury

The last week of December is a nice time for reflection. We recall all the memorable times, both good and the not so good. It is human to carry the burden of regret and sadness—both are a part of life. I hope you’re making note of all the good moments, because those are the ones that make us smile. It is much better to learn from those tough times, and move on. We cannot turn the clock back, but we can certainly make every present moment count.

I’ve had my share of sh*t-happens, let downs, and moments of fury. But I’ve learned not to harbor those feelings in me—simply because I prefer to be healthy, grateful and happy, rather than sulky and miserable.

I’ve learned not to put the key to my happiness, in someone else’s pocket. A very long time ago, my aunt wrote me a letter, and she wrote in it: “Nobody owes you anything. Not your parents, not anyone” and somehow, that line has stayed with me, always fresh. When we accept this, life gets easier and expectations are fewer.

On that note, I am all set to savor some of 2016’s grateful moments.


The year began with a quick trip north, followed by all of us showing solidarity by falling sick and recovering. It meant a lot of TV, stepping back from being busy and enjoying some well-earned rest. The laughter was so welcome. I binged on a lot of trashy movies that didn’t make it to the box office, but found their way into my heart. Also got featured in the top 10 personal development blogs 2016 by Wisdom Times.


Vidya Sury Feb Gratitude Circle

We had a quiet wedding anniversary. 20 years. Nice round number and so grateful for a fabulous life partner. I also realized the joy of an unexpected date – one well worth repeating. I did. We also had the elevators in our apartment complex replaced and are now enjoying not getting stuck between floors. Ironically I stopped using it and prefer to take the stairs–every little cardio helps, eh?


I took time to smell the flowers. Gratitude Circle. Vidya Sury

Lovely short trip to son’s campus followed by some fab digital detox. I had a proud moment when I hit inbox zero. Short-lived, nevertheless proved possible! I saw baby peacocks (peachicks?) for the first time – over 15 of them huddled in the middle of the basketball court. Sweet!

A joyous virtual meeting with Laura and Mark of positivelyhappy.me – and an interview–meant to be 30 minutes but ran into almost an hour–because we laughed so much. You can listen in here.


Gratitude Rocks Vidya Sury

I usually enjoy April for the AtoZChallenge, and ambitiously signed up with four blogs, but managed to reach the finish line only on two on time, and almost, on the other two. Normally this would have stressed me out, but this time, I didn’t allow it to. I had too much going on offline and simply focused there. I also made an unexpected trip to Shanghai, and what an experience that was! I also tearfully wrote a 57 things I learned from Prince, after the legend decided to entertain those who’ve let go of their life on earth. Sigh. I also fondly remembered my meeting with The Dalai Lama in April last year and wrote about it.


Savoring each moment in gratitude Vidya Sury

So thrilled son did his summer project in our city, and of course, silently hoping next year is the same! Can’t keep a Mommy down, ya see! May went in a haze of mixed happenings. I changed my name on social media from Vidya Sury to Vidya Devi Sury after a campaign around Giving Mom What’s #Righ


June 2016 Gratitude Circle Vidya Sury

I was excited to started working with a publisher to edit author manuscripts. I love the work! I also enrolled at the gym to keep fit and it has been fun!

With my son home, I was totally tuned in to the positive. I spent some wonderful moments at the campus where my son was doing his summer project, catching up on reading, meeting old friends and writing in my journal and sketching. And thus was my food blog born. I found myself posting so many food pictures on Instagram, and receive so many recipe requests, that I thought I may as well record it all on a blog and thus, Cooking with Mi was born. Food, stories, tips, conversations, recipes, humor, laughter, all served with a heavy dose of love. The header for CookingWithMi.com evolved from a random sketch I made and I fine-tuned it. Look:

Gratitude Circle Vidya Sury

One day, while walking on the terrace with my family we saw a double rainbow.  It is wonderful when there are no wires attached, yet we feel connected.


Gratitude unlocks happiness vidya sury

A pleasant month that brought close interaction with my son’s music teacher, who is a great inspiration. I also connected with a classmate after 30 years and it felt wonderful. And of no small significance is the fact that I covered my balcony with a net for freedom from pigeon poop. That the wily ones have found alternate ways to annoy me is a different matter. Still, gratitude unlocks happiness, and I discovered that in many ways.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” – Melody Beattle


Good Vibes Only Vidya Sury Gratitude Circle

August brought a lot of good vibes in the form of impromptu trips, lovely emails from blog readers, I also printed my business cards and felt super-delighted.  I spent a lot of time going through old notebooks and my legendary cupboard that simply refuses to get decluttered. But the joy of  the process? Super!



Gratitude Circle Vidya Sury

I celebrated my birthday. I had the scare of my life, a harrowing experience that ended in safety. However, I managed to enjoy a much-needed soul cuddle fest. I became a grand-aunt, again. I went into declutter overdrive and felt grateful to find recipients.


Vidya Sury Gratitude Circle October

After battling with it for nearly two years, son’s passport got renewed. Everything that could possibly go wrong, did. Patience paid off. We celebrated. There were plenty of issues to tackle, and I did what smart people do: when the going gets tough, the tough take a coffee break! Because I know that all problems are temporary.


Practising Gratitude Vidya Sury #GratitudeCircle

November found me practising gratitude steadily, because life is always better when I do! It is the only way to deal with deaths, sickness and other troubles like demonetization. And I was once again sad that we were not with our son on his birthday. I focused on the good stuff. I was also proud about the launch of my book “Winding Road to Freedom” where 15 entrepreneurs share their journey to financial freedom. November was also the NaNoWriMo month and I wrote like a demon, clocking in at 102,803 words.


December has been a happy month in many ways, mainly with our son’s visit for his end-semester break. We’ve been busy with friends, outings, cooking and generally having a pleasant time. So grateful for life.  Sure we’ve had some not so great moments, but when we see them in perspective, we know they’ll fade and we’ll only remember the good stuff.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, because each day brings joy in myriad forms. Yes, I am sad for the loved ones we lost in 2016 – family and well-loved celebrities, but I am grateful we knew them.

I am especially grateful for …

  • My offline friends that are like family
  • Being featured on various blogs across the web via round-up posts or top 100/50 lists
  • My work and loyal clients
  • My growing library of books
  • You—all my readers, and all those who participate in the Gratitude Circle blog hop every month.

In 2017 . . .

I am looking forward to more travel, more reading, more sketching, painting, staying healthy via a new regimen, more connecting with friends offline, and more writing, naturally. Also, more baking. Overall, enjoying every moment.

I have a long to-do list (but, of course) that I am looking forward to enjoying doing. This includes publishing those books I worked on during November’s NaNoWriMo. I am also looking forward to growing my food blog in the coming years. I am also working on a couple of new projects with my friend that will keep the pressure going, in a good way.

The decluttering saga at home goes on. Grateful to all those who happily receive what I give away. But I know 2017 will be the year I’ll successfully reach my decluttering goals, such as they are. Both in life, and with people, and things.

I am embracing the lessons learned in 2016, and am all set to make 2017 meaningful and happy.

What about you? How would you describe your 2016? What are you looking forward to, in 2017?

“Happiness is itself a kind of gratitude.” — Joseph Wood Krutch

Five gratitude quotes to live by, in 2017

“Find the good and praise it.” — Alex Haley

“Gratitude is like a flashlight. If you go out in your yard at night and turn on a flashlight, you suddenly can see what’s there. It was always there, but you couldn’t see it in the dark.” Dawna Markova

“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.” Meister Eckhart

 “We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” John F. Kennedy

“Every day, tell at least one person something you like, admire, or appreciate about them.” Richard Carlson

Gratitude Circle Vidya Sury promobox

Join me for the December 2016 Gratitude Circle blog hop with your own posts. Show off the Gratitude Circle badge in your post. Add your post link to the linky below.

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Nabanita Dhar December 30, 2016 at 9:25 am

Wish you a wonderful 2017 , Vidya. Looking forward to more of your posts which always leave me with a warm feeling 🙂
Nabanita Dhar recently posted…2016 | A Year In Review

Uma December 30, 2016 at 10:32 am

You’ve certainly had an action-packed and memorable 2016, Vidya. It was lovely to read about the moments that brought you so much joy. Meeting the Dalai Lama and working as an editor on author manuscripts is truly “wow”!!! Wish you a fabulous 2017!
Uma recently posted…5 aspects of my life that top the gratitude chart in 2016

Amrita Basu (Misra) December 30, 2016 at 1:09 pm

I have to read your book winding road to freedom.It sounds amazing.As you mentioned life is easier and better when we practice gratitude. It’s a difficult journey but a worthy one.Looking forward to more news about your book’s .Have a wonderful 2017
Amrita Basu (Misra) recently posted…The Year that was

upasna December 30, 2016 at 3:15 pm

Its a delight. Happy to read your year review. As always, this post if full of positive vibes and I feel like getting up and have a cup of coffee to enjoy the Life more. Thanks for sharing those uplifting words.
upasna recently posted…How having less money is leading me to Minimalism

Rajagopal December 30, 2016 at 5:48 pm

Gladdening progression in gratitude yours is, Vidya, right through the past twelve month period. May it enable a more gratifying and fulfilling ride all through 2017.

Parul Thakur December 30, 2016 at 11:34 pm

I am grateful that I met you this year too. My journey with gratitude began with you and I am grateful that through you, it has become such an integral part of my life.
Vidya, here is wishing you lots of happiness, love, healthy food, beautiful pictures throughout 2017 and always.
Also, teach me some of your graphics tricks. I loved that header for ‘Cooking with Mi’. How did you work on that? 🙂
Parul Thakur recently posted…Andaman adventures – some facts and a glimpse

susan scott December 31, 2016 at 12:22 am

A lovely trip down memory lane Vidya! Thank you for the person you are, always shining your bright light, bringing joy and comfort to not only those within your immediate orbit! May 2017 bring you joy and peace, may good health and love be your companions, to you and your family and friends – actually to everyone 🙂

Deepa December 31, 2016 at 12:49 am

I like writing Gratitude post at the end of every month and its even better when I link it up here on your page of gratitude. Your website has a very positive vibe to it. Keep inspiring and keep writing Vidya. 🙂
Deepa recently posted…The year gone by- My Gratitude list 2016

Rajlakshmi December 31, 2016 at 7:19 am

It had been quite a journey Vidya … and with your positive spirit and smile, you conquered all the roadblocks 🙂 This is such a beautiful gratitude post. I wish you a very happy new year 😀 More love, adventure and happiness.
Rajlakshmi recently posted…6 New Things Before the Year Ends

Birgit January 2, 2017 at 7:50 am

I love this recap! It gives me an idea to mark things down at the end of each month because I now have no idea what happened last January but I know it was fun in some ways. Funny that we can easily remember the bad things but not so much the good. I love how you concentrated on the good despite some bad coming in. Happy New Year Vidya and may peace, happiness and good health follow you and your family.
Birgit recently posted…Happy New Year….2016….Remembrances

Kaddu January 2, 2017 at 11:00 am

How do you guys remember what happened in January last year? I saw a similar post on Sanch’s blog too!
2016 was weird for me. I just wanna get back into regular blogging now. Hopefully, I will remember to participate in link-ups too this year!
Have a great 2017, Vidya! A very Happy New Year to you!
Kaddu recently posted…2016: The Year That Was #FridayReflections #BlogChatter

Carol Cameleon January 3, 2017 at 12:17 am

Great idea, and what a lovely roundup from you! I will be joining in January, thanks.

Beloo Mehra January 3, 2017 at 5:02 pm

“I’ve learned not to put the key to my happiness, in someone else’s pocket.” – I absolutely loved this line, Vidya! Thank you for saying it in this way – simple and profound at the same time! It was a joy to read this post, a look back at some of the great moments which made you experience fully the feeling of gratitude and savour the joy that comes from gratitude. Thank you for being a joyful inspiration throughout the year with your gratitude circle posts. Here’s wishing you many more moments of love, light and gratitude.

PS – 20 years! Congratulations once again!
Beloo Mehra recently posted…Prayer in Pictures

Asha January 3, 2017 at 7:38 pm

Loved these lines ” I’ve learned not to put the key to my happiness, in someone else’s pocket” ! Lovely recap of the year. Lots of positivity and great to read 🙂
Asha recently posted…Jaisalmer – The Fort City

NEHA JAIN January 4, 2017 at 6:09 pm

Although I am not a regular reader of your blog but whenever I feel low I visit your site and read one or two posts and instantly my mind fills with positivity. There’s something unique about you and this blog. Here I am connecting my first gratitude post of the year.

Obsessivemom January 5, 2017 at 8:34 am

First, a big thank you to you Vidya for this blog hop. I may not join in every time but it does make me think each time and sometimes I manage to join in. Hoping to be more regular this year. What a mixed bag of a year you had and yet I see more positive than negative, perhaps because I’m seeing it through your eyes. Hope 2017 is ever as wonderful for you and your family.

Lisa Pomerantz January 7, 2017 at 8:38 am

As you can see my friend, I am catching up on my reading from the madness and mayhem of the holidays. Another brilliant post from you. I am struck by that line your Aunt gave you, and you then passed to me. “Nobody owes you anything. Not your parents, not anyone” So very true. And I want to thank you for sharing that. A few decades back, a dear friend shared one with me, “You need to know who owns the problem.” That truly resonated for me and was as helpful as years of therapy. I am smiling and pensive dear Vidya as I type this note to you. M’wah!
Lisa Pomerantz recently posted…Presence vs. Presents: A wordless Wednesday


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