I signed up for Bloganuary sometime ago, not knowing how the prompts are going to be so much about questioning your existence. Haha! This is why I avoided writing a post on Bloganuary prompts until now, but here’s one that’s quite tangible while also being subjective.
Who doesn’t love watching sunsets? I am no different, but I should also mention that I am no chaser of it. Hence, I won’t say that I have a list of best sunsets, but I would like to dedicate this post to all the sunsets that I have been blessed to witness. 🙂
I would mention a few that I can think of from the top of my mind.
Starting with the National Capital Region of Delhi, where I live (well, Gurgaon), albeit its a pollution laden one I cannot help but find romance in the Delhi evenings. There are a lot of greens around and in a city with so much busyness, it still is a relatively calm time if you are not stuck in traffic, of course. If you are part of the office traffic, then f*ck your life. Sorry, but no sunset can make that day better. 😀
Focusing on different sunsets that I have witnessed, I am reminiscing about sunsets from the beaches of Goa, nothing comes close to how beautiful beach sunsets are. Funnily, I am a mountain person and I can’t recall a mountain sunset as a standout. I am not sure why that is and I feel like a fraud (like I have ditched mountains or something). Just for the record, I have also been to the Andamans, but the beach sunsets standing out for me are still from Goa. Maybe, I wasn’t at a beach during sunset in the Andamans.
I also want to mention those “sunset points” in tourist places like from the forts in Rajasthan. They might not be serene like beach sunsets, but they are picture perfect beautiful.
Typing about this made me remember that Kutch Rann sunset, I mean, can you imagine a white desert all around you and a sun setting there? Linking my post here on my visit to the white desert of Kutch.
A special shoutout to another “sunset point” since its from a special trip. Rahul and I started our wedding prep with a mindset that we are not going to plan a honeymoon since a) we were too involved in our wedding prep so didn’t want to take up an additional planning activity (its quite common for people in India to leave wedding prep to their families), b) we had taken multiple trips together already, a whole lot of Europe covered together already :). However, as the wedding drew closer, we decided to plan a getaway to Seychelles and right before booking the tickets, our travel agent made us notice that Rahul’s passport was expiring. 🙂 Hence, we changed that plan to a small (really tiny actually) hill station in Gujarat, Saputara. It was a very regular chill place to be, nothing out of this world, but since it was technically our honeymoon, I think the “sunset point” we hiked to deserves a mention. 🙂
What are some of the gorgeous sunsets you have seen?
It has been a month of too much on my plate. Mainly because there were almost 3 trips that I took, thus, leaving no weekend for just being. I am sure all of you have seen those memes about ‘this is the fastest January ever’ and right now, I am feeling exactly that.
So, where did I travel to?
Before 2022 ended, Rahul and I took a quick trip to Rishikesh with two of our friends. It was quite impromptu as Rishikesh is only 6 hours drive away from where we all live and Rahul & I were anyway visiting my parents, who live even closer to Rishikesh. Our friends decided to pick us up on their way and it was a very smooth and chill trip. I’ll write about it in a blog post and link back here.
After that, my friend and I took a much awaited trip to Banaras, the ancient, holy city in India. I don’t remember properly but I am very likely to believe that she and I have been thinking about making this trip since 2016 and so glad that we finally made it. Again, a post is due.
Then, this weekend that just passed us by, Rahul and I went to Jim Corbett National Park with my parents. I would probably not dedicate an entire post to it as it has very limited things to do, so let me just get to it here. Basically, its a national park where you can be one with the nature – flora and fauna both. The place is famous for tigers and there are regular forest safaris arranged for tiger spotting. I have been here once more before with my engineering friends and there used to be only early morning safaris back then. This time, there were afternoon safaris as well, which is what we opted for to avoid the early morning cold. Literally no one I know has ever spotted a tiger in the Corbett Safaris and so was the case this time for us. 😀 There are very less tigers in the entire national park region anyway. We did, however, spot tiger paw marks. My trip highlight was the Kosi river that flows from this place. When I had been to Corbett the last time, I didn’t know about the river, neither was my resort situated near it. My husband researched and told me about the river and that there are resorts next to it. Hence, I spent time looking at the river from my room’s balcony and we also went to sit there. It was really peaceful and calming.
I am then taking cue from Lyssy’s post here to take stock of my month, she calls it “What’s Up Posts”, it was started by her blogger friend Shay 8 years ago it seems!! Let’s see if I manage to do it every month.
I am going to answer all the questions in the below card for the post then.
What We’re Eating?
I mentioned here how I am trying to eat healthy in my daily routine. The only thing is that this month didn’t have a lot of routine days, but that also means I loved so many things during my trips. Banaras trip was exceptionally good when it comes to food. I have written all about my Banaras food expeditions on my Instagram here, in case you would like to know.
What I’m Reminiscing about?
I am in general someone who reminisces a lot, so its difficult to keep a track of this. 😀
What I’m Loving?
Absolutely loving my rhythm and carving a routine for myself in all the chaos. I should also mention here even though I hadn’t considered it while writing out this post that I am thankful for the chaotic but fun travel opportunities.
What we’ve been up to?
Work, travel and finding moments for myself and even for me and my husband.
What I’m dreading?
I am going to meet a lot of a particular side of my extended family in the upcoming days, dreading is too strong a word, but I am cautious of it getting too overwhelming.
What I’m working on?
Snail’s pace but I am trying to work on this. Trying being the keyword, haha!
What I’m Excited about?
Even though I mentioned I am worried about getting overwhelmed about meeting the said side of my extended family, I am looking forward to enjoy in the wedding this is for. I love Indian weddings more than anything!
What I’m Watching/Reading?
I just completed my first read of the year – The Hindu Way by Shashi Tharoor. It was a roll over from 2022, now I am onto my second one – The Accidental Prime Minister by Sanjay Baru, I have never read a book on politics and, surprisingly I am quite enjoying it.
I am watching ‘The Crown’ every now and then, mostly with my meals. I am not able to binge watch it because a) I cannot play it as background music while working since it requires attention the first time, b) my husband does not enjoy it, and a couple of hours at night is the only time we have in common apart from breakfast so I don’t want to watch such a long series during that time.
I recently concluded ‘Emily in Paris’ and man do I love it! I never expected to enjoy it so much. I might do a post on it, you know.
I am also watching the Indian version of Shark Tank, not enjoying it as much as the Season 1.
I may have re-watched a lot of stuff, and I am also looking forward to watch SRK’s latest movie Pathaan after 4 years in a movie hall. Although I don’t have a lot of hope from the story, but just for the heck of watching SRK on big screen.
What I’m Listening to?
Oh, this is a good one for me. So, I may have mentioned that I am not into any specific music, mostly anything nostalgic Bollywood or any famous Punjabi songs float my boat. Every now and then I listen to random podcasts but I haven’t found one that I love and its very random and also very infrequent. However, very recently, I have kind of started building my podcast listening habit to avoid looking at my phone in mornings and right before bed. I am liking it not only to avoid screen time but also because I am leaning to informative stuff. I won’t share which ones I am listening to because I don’t have a strong opinion yet on this. 😀
What I’m Wearing?
I am sad that I didn’t use a lot of my winter stuff on my trips, but kind of repeated the same things. I just wanted to be super comfortable and not try at all. I am also sad that my two boots that I love have started to chip, because I definitely wanted to use them more. I’ll probably check with a shoemaker who sits outside my house if something can be done.
What I’m doing this weekend?
The coming weekend, i.e. Feb first week, would be the weekend I would want to chill completely. Let’s see how that goes, although knowing some upcoming things, I think it would be busy again.
What I’m looking forward to next month?
The said wedding fun.
Planning for more travels, especially a big one, fingers crossed.
Most importantly, improving some things about my work.
What else is new?
I had to think hard for this, so I am just sharing a silly thing that came up in my mind – I am soon going to try a fun takeout and planning to convert it to date night. Let’s see how that goes.
Still counting it as the right time to be posting this. I am scared to call these goals. Goals is a) very definitive, if I don’t achieve this, I feel there would be a scorecard at the end of 2023 and I don’t want to end up feeling bad, b) very tangible, while as you move along this post, the things that I am mentioning are not super tangible.
Here we go:
Less Phone Addiction: Its already 19th of January and I don’t think my progress is worth noting in this department. 😀
Health & Workout: Pretty consistent in this department. So, I would break it further into three areas:
Healthy Food: I think I improved a lot in eating salads along with my regular meals, ever since I asked my domestic worker for chopping vegetables. It has made hell of a difference instead of cooking everything from scratch. The only problem is that I am still not completely over my unhealthy snacking, however, I am on a good path.
Workout: I mentioned here that I have been quite consistent with my workouts, but not able to improve their durations. This area is still the same largely, but I am happy to continue my streak. This is going to be my year for consistency!
My Supplements: I have been prescribed some basic Vit D and B12 kind of tablets but I haven’t taken them since more than 4 months or so! Not even now in Jan, I am going to fix this right after writing this post.
Writing: Every year, I have this goal to dedicate more time to my blog and every year I fail. Let’s see how this goes.
Work: I mentioned here how 2022 was not the year of growth for me in multiple aspects, work being one of them. I also mentioned how that was intentional. I’ll tell you what I mean by that – I do my work sincerely and I like my line of work more or less but I am in a zone where I want to bring more balance to work and my life outside work. This is something difficult to achieve in the line that I am in, so I consciously try to do my work sincerely but not go overboard. As it happens in India (in consulting all over the world actually), work life balance and growth kind of stay at loggerheads. I do look forward to growth, but I am not sure how far I want to go to achieve that. Here’s to growing without losing oneself!
Save more: This should be hardly a goal for me, since I am not an impulsive spender and, by God’s grace, I make enough money to not worry about anything I want to spend on honestly. However, I have recently made a big investment with my husband, so we need to be conscious of saving. I think the main lifestyle impact due to this would be on our traveling, since we are not going to cut down on day to day expenses, we would need to plan travels consciously, while earlier, it was just deciding on the whim.
Personal Goal: This is something I am not comfortable sharing but I’ll work towards it with intent.
What does your 2023 vision board look like?
If you liked this, check out more of my latest posts:
At least, since the past 8 years or so. It was a year of all time lows when it comes to reading. Remember how i mentioned here that this was the year of not growing? I think that is also reflected in my reading.
The primary reason for reading less is obviously phone addiction but I think it was stimulated majorly by entering a reading slump sometime around October because of a book I wasn’t enjoying. I might have mentioned this before, but I have a hard time DNF-ing books. I understand life is too short to read books you are not enjoying etc etc, but when I have picked a book, there’s usually some reason associated to it and I can’t let go. Funnily, that book is now getting interesting for me.
So, in what terms was the year bad for reading?
I read less. I finished only 13 books this year, I know my last book opinion mentions 14 but that’s because I didn’t realise until now that I had left my 10th book midway. I only realised while randomly passing time on Goodreads.
Also, Goodreads tells me that I only read an average of 143 pages per book. Honestly, since the past few years, I haven’t read huge books but this is specifically low I guess and it brings me to my next point.
3 out of the 13 books were essentially short stories. I have talked about them here.
What am i essentially doing to change things this year?
I purposely stay away from annual book challenges because i have participated a couple of times and I get too caught up without actually enjoying the book. Therefore, i am going to take certain approaches that work for me:
I am a slow reader and a forgetful one, so I am going to give my books enough time to savor them. Things that motivate me to read more are not going to be numbers but something else:
1. first of all, I’ll try to read at least 5 physical books that I have purchased since 2018. So, I have bought a lot of physical copies since 2018 (because I remember a particular book bought at that time). i hardly have read any of them since i mostly read on my Kindle, so this is one challenge that i am giving myself.
2. as last year and last-to-last one, I am going to read more books out of my comfort zone. I don’t want to put a count to this and get intimidated but this would be my number one goal books wise.
3. I’ll read with more intention. If you scroll through my book opinions from 2022, you will realise that I picked a lot of books randomly while browsing Kindle or Netgalley. While there’s nothing wrong with that and spontaneity in this department is good, I’ll intentionally do less of that this year. The reason is very basic actually – I want to read a lot of things and do not end up reading them. So, i shall plan a bit. Of course, spontaneity will be welcome when I pick up pace.
4. Most needed and most difficult – Spend less time on phone.
Kind of a sad post, and probably not the best timing but I just wanted to let it out.
I thought hard for this post, kind of introspected why I am feeling that 2022 was blah and I kind of know why.
What I am feeling is that it was not the year of growth for me. There are some personal goals that I didn’t even care about, professionally I became more complacent, albeit knowingly. I am getting a feeling that becoming complacent even knowingly was not the best for growth.
I could improve my routine heavily because of my husband and I finally getting to live at our place which led to some small wins in consistency, however, there also I struggled with growth. One, I became more consistent with working out, but lacked in improving their duration or quality. Second, I became more consistent with eating healthier but didn’t manage to give up on snacking as much as I should have.
These are the things that are now affecting me and since I am usually one to go with the flow, I am worried that I might get too caught up in 2023 towards fulfilling these goals. I really hope that I don’t get too caught up but manage to do things at my own pace which also satisfies and keeps me and people who matter happy.