Someone asked me how I have a whole bunch of things to list in my gratitude posts. Well—here’s my secret. My gratitude journal. I write in it on a daily basis and it becomes a record of happy/grateful times. All I have to do to write a post is the manual version of control+c and control+v.
Of course, I am also glad that I have a camera and love taking pictures—this helps me capture memories. Just as well, considering that as I grow older, I need mnemonics to GPS me down nostalgia lane, which is one of my all-time favorite destinations.
To say that 2017 has been tumultuous, exciting, traumatic, busy—all at once—would be an understatement. But I guess each one of us has her own version of this. After all, that’s what life is all about. Sometimes the ups and downs balance each other, sometimes they take longer. In the end, they do.
So, onward to the last Gratitude Circle post for this year
For 2018, I’ve got this super-jazzy journal that looks almost edible and too good to use. But I will enjoy writing in it. I’ll probably use a pencil, you know, so I can erase any typos. Also, have a huge stationery fetish. Enough of that.
Like last year, when I looked back to move forward, I am going to pick special moments from each month’s gratitude circle post this year, since my posts are practically monthly roundups.
January began, smiling in gratitude
I started the year determined to focus on the good stuff and that, to me, meant minimizing time spent online. I took time to stand and stare. I started the year with travel, just as I’ll be doing this weekend. Don’t laugh, but I found the cutest pair of coffee pants. Jan was also the month when I won the Orange Flower Award 2017 for the Wellness Writing category. So wonderful. I spent the month purging all my extras—still on the job. What takes years to accumulate does not disappear overnight, you know.
February, that short but crazy month had my gratitude journal overflowing
We celebrated our wedding anniversary, a day now tinged with a wee bit of sadness, as the day before is my mom’s death anniversary. We miss her all the time.
In Feb, I was invited to cover the Global Investors Summit at Ranchi, Jharkhand and got featured on TV and in the newspaper. Fabulous trip. I connected with an old classmate for the first time after 1979. What a feeling. Even as my cup runneth over, I received a print copy of the book I contributed a chapter to, followed by an email with a princely royalty of $45.
Eventful and exciting! Also got featured in the Top Parenting Blogs That Rock the Web – always nice to be noticed!
March brought a rude wakeup call in the form of a massive shocker
Lightning struck, literally, taking my system, my backup hard disks that were connected to it at the time, and my router. In short, I lost all my data, including the backups. Long story short, I had to start from scratch with a new system, a new router. I just couldn’t come to terms with the fact that I lost all my work. All my photos. That was the moment when gratitude came to my rescue. I focused on what I had, rather than what I had lost—which is a heck of a lot compared to millions of others on this planet. As if that wasn’t enough, I had problems with PayPal which eventually got resolved. Because what goes down bounces back up. I promised myself that I would stay cool, be mindful. And grateful!
The mind is like tofu. It tastes like whatever you marinate it in.
April was all about what really matters
I struggled to piece my work back together. The month’s highlights were some travel, doctors’ visits, participating in the A to Z Challenge, and the usual routine stuff. I focused on the little things with gratitude. Life does go on, no matter what, eh? I also started a new project: Project Inner Peace. Try it. You’ll love it.
May put me back in touch with my soul
After all, summer was starting and my son was going to do his summer project from home. I still didn’t have a computer to work with and was managing with my rather slow laptop—but I concentrated on spending time with my son, cooking, enjoying outings and generally being happy. I was thrilled that The Diabetes Council reached out to me to collaborate on a post that involved answering a few questions in relation to blogging about diabetes, along with 34 bloggers. Here is the post. May is also the month when our dental visit saga began. It goes on still. Just grateful we can afford treatment. Each day may bring its share of crazy, but life is definitely better when we focus on the good stuff.
June was all about Gratitude and Service Therapy
My version of the newly-introduced GST. It was a month spending time with family, the joy of having my son home for the summer, good news, sad news, bad news, girlfriend dates, watching movies, reading, working, cooking, book launches, repairs galore…and so on. I also blogged less here, although I was writing daily. Six blogs, ya know. Then, I was featured in an interview here. That was fun!
Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it can. And just when you think it can’t get any better, it can.
So in July, I tried to make my own normal
We followed by family tradition by taking turns to fall sick, thanks to the heavy rains. We also managed to have a good time—that’s easy when we’re together. We cooked a lot, binge-watched TV, and the end of the month got busy with Income tax filing. We managed to take a short trip together to Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh. We spent wonderful times with friends. Also, this blog turned 14! Can you imagine? My heart is filled with gratitude.
In August, I was Zentenced to Gratitude
It was a very pleasant place to be. My son started his third year of college and we slowly got back into our routines. I sincerely practice the AEIOU process I’ve written about earlier. The month also saw heavy floods across various parts of the country, including where my son lives and we worried like crazy as they were confined to their campus for more than a week. In August, I was invited for the Women Writers Fest as part of the blogging and social media panel and spent an enjoyable morning interacting with interesting people. The month wasn’t without its downs, but I love how, in the long run, I prefer to remember the good times.
September, my birthday month
I couldn’t help thinking for the nth time that gratitude is my magic potion. My son wrote me a beautiful poem, as did Sreeja, my friend. I also reconnected with a college friend after 30 years! The rest of the month was crowded with hospital visits and catching up with work whenever we could. Hospitals are major time-sucks—but you already know that. But I’ve learned to enjoy catching up on my reading there since there’s no network or signal in the building. I’ve learned to feel grateful for the forced rest.
October found me basking in the cozy warmth of gratitude
Although, a major part of the month seemed to go by in a blur. I had the ‘flu, and as a result watched a bunch of movies, lounging on the sofa. There were hospital visits. It was also the month of Navratri, a blogger meet, Twitter lockouts, being offline a lot, and repair work. I was grateful for hot water, soup, working from home and oh, time. Lots of it. My son was home for a week and that made everything alright! I felt intensely grateful for my angel Vanita Cyril, who, while I was sleeping, installed the SSL certificates on all my six blogs and moved them to https, then took care of all the related stuff that needed to be done and ensured that all my blogs are now secure with https addresses.
November. Present Perfect
And big month! My son turned 20. No matter how many times I say it, it is still taking getting used to! Grateful that he is kind and compassionate and proud that he chose to celebrate by giving his hostel workers a treat. I was also thrilled to make a trip to my favorite city to attend the 5th National Health Writer’s Convention, which was a great experience, as usual. Things were good on the work front, with two of the books I had been editing going to print. I gained a new client and I am so looking forward to sustained work from them. Oh yes, the month has been interspersed with hospital visits. I tip my hat to my husband who is cheerful through it all even if I rant occasionally. Our internet has been iffy, motivating me to get on with housework. I painted half my kitchen and hope to complete the other half next month. Thanks to being disconnected, I was more connected with the things I enjoy—reading, TV, writing. November is National Novel Writing Month and I validated at 103K words around my manuscript “Let’s show diabetes who’s boss—for diabetics, by a diabetic.”
December. Grateful by design and grateful by default
My son has been home for three weeks, which means the sun shines brighter, and I am happy no matter what. We had a lovely trip to Tirupati last week—about which I’ll write later. Twice a week, his music teacher drops by to teach him. I am amazed at her attitude as always. Of course, she loves her student and is determined that he should learn a particular raga during this visit. Those evenings are filled with music and it is a treat to hear them sing.
Another highlight this month is the publication of a book to which I contributed a chapter: The Life-Changing Power of Gratitude by Laura Tong.
Of course, we’ve had our usual internet woes and a bunch of other issues. One day I tripped and fell, spilling boiling milk on my hand and bruised my elbow and knee and twisted my ankle. Still recovering, but I’ve learned to stay cool and enjoy what I have. You know what they say about worrying being like a rocking chair–something to do but gets you nowhere.
Ah, I am a wee bit sobby as we’re busy packing for my son to return to college the day after tomorrow. Sigh. Still, grateful for the technology that keeps us in touch.
All in all, a great year, just like every year!
On the writing front, I was published in two books and contributed to several round-up posts
On the work front, the inflow has been steady. I am proud I have the confidence to say no sometimes.
On the health front, I am cruising over the ups and downs and not stressing over it.
On the home front, the two-year-old repairs issue with the neighbors upstairs has now ended with them moving out and repairs almost done.
The pigeons still sneak into our balcony, regardless of the net. I am no longer bothered by it.
My ISP continues to conspire to keep me offline and that’s a-okay.
And oh, made some great trips this year.
I am so grateful to my family and friends who help me hold my life together.
And of course, special mention of Vanita, who does it on a daily basis. Every. Single. Day. Love her!
I am looking ahead at an amazing 2018 with a grateful heart.
I have miles to go before I sleep.
I’d love to know how your year/December went.
Do share in the comments.
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