January Update

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. πŸ˜€ 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. πŸ˜€

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. πŸ˜€

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.

My Goals for 2023

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:

  1. Less Phone Addiction: Its already 19th of January and I don’t think my progress is worth noting in this department. πŸ˜€
  2. 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.
  3. Reading: I won’t say that I improved drastically in Jan, from my lull in the last 3 months of ’22, but I am off to a good start. Read more about my reading goals here.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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.
  7. 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?

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Happy New Year 2023

Ringing in the new year with best wishes for all of us. Here’s to a happy, healthy and fulfilling new year 2023 for all of us!

Meanwhile, there are some 2022 roundup posts that I’ll be bringing in the new year! See you on the other side ❀️

My Regrets of 2022

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.

Wishing a happy new year 2023 for all of us!

How is my December going?

December is usually that time of the year when I get extra finnicky about completely more books, writing more blog posts etc. This December is no different, albeit a lot has ensued that made things unplanned and left me with less opportunity for such slow living activities. I am going to talk about those and then also mention about what activities I would like to do more in the 10 days remaining.

First of all, my nani (maternal grandmother) passed away, ever so suddenly. She was old and not keeping well, but those were typical old age problems and we certainly didn’t foresee any such thing. She had a cardiac arrest at her home, after which she was hospitalized and was on ventilator for couple of days before she took her last breath. In my view, she led a full life, except that her old age was not as good as it should be for someone of her candor. What I mean is that her two most important traits – saying anything at any time and being a super hardworking person who can never sit still – both got affected as she grew old. Everyone kept sensitizing her about speaking random things (which also becomes common as you age I guess) and due to her health, she wasn’t able to do a lot. What I also feel bad is that she struggled on the ventilator for those last two days, I mean every time that happens with anyone, post death we feel that wish they didn’t have to struggle in the hospital, right? However, what truly hurts is how less I spoke to her on phone in the past years. She had a good relationship with all her grandchildren and I used to meet her often. However, I know she expected phone calls which I didn’t make and the funny thing is I randomly used to think how I should call her more often but just didn’t. One thing I am sure everyone is glad for is that she attended the wedding I spoke about here. It was important for her in more ways than one. I hope she is happy wherever she is. ❀

Secondly, I had another wedding to attend from my husband’s side of the family which was almost at the same time as what I just mentioned. I wasn’t able to enjoy the wedding as much as I had hoped to, however, overall it was good. I’ll soon post a dance video from the wedding on my Instagram, you can follow me there if you would like that. πŸ™‚

Last but not the least, I have some random stuff going on that takes up my time which I didn’t account for. Few examples – some visits from family members, filing my tax proofs, planning for a trip that eventually got cancelled 😦 and, the worst of all, I am yet to file expenses from my last business trip which was almost two months ago. I better get to it if I don’t want to invite trouble.

Things I would want to do more of in December:

  1. Eat better – more winter greens, less carbs, less alcohol πŸ˜€ that’s the motto but it seems like a task not meant for December πŸ˜€
  2. Spend more time in the winter sun
  3. Something that comes naturally to me but these days it isn’t – read more
  4. Most important which would also make #3 happen – reduce phone addiction
  5. Write more blog posts (especially some yearly round up ones)

How is your December going?

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April Favorites

I talked about my impulse to share about some things I am loving here & got some really good suggestions on how I can make it interesting. Hence, I started with this monthly favorites series.

For my previous monthly favorites, go here.

I actually got pretty lazy with keeping a track of my favorites after a couple of months, so I have very few in this post which I managed to draft back in April. :O

Prelude to a Riot: I talk about this book here. Its one of the good books I read this year, albeit too small. Weirdly, not in an I-don’t-want-this-to-end way, but rather that it felt incomplete, I wish there was more to the story. Maybe, there’s one coming soon and the book is strategically named a “Prelude”? (I mean, yes, that name has another meaning in the book but a girl can hope).

Om Sweets Gol Gappe: If you don’t know what are Gol Gappe, what are you doing with your life? Anyhow, specifically Om Sweets Gol Gappe is a pandemic favorite. So, this is an Indian street food and before the pandemic, I used to judge every single person who would even consider making it at home, forget ordering in. However, during the pandemic, a friend ordered it at our place and we made fun of him for the first 5 minutes, but eventually we were hooked. Gol Gappe are just as tasty at home, you guys, and Om Sweets has set the bar high now with convenient packaging and all.

Pencil Case for Kiyan’s Return Gifts: Kiyan is my husband’s nephew and we spent a lot of our pandemic period in Surat at my in-laws place with him. We were there for his 5th birthday which was also a timeline when people were trying to bring back kids birthday parties post the pandemic dry spell. I took the responsibility of being in-charge of return gifts for his birthday party. Since I love kids stationary so much, I ended up loving what I finalized so much that I took one for myself as well. πŸ˜€ Below is a picture. By the way, I had many other cooler ideas in mind for kids birthday party return gifts which didn’t end up working that time, so, if you are looking for any such ideas, do hit me up. πŸ˜€