My conversations with myself have reduced considerably over the past few years, but I remember reassuring and reminding myself of the good things on many-a-walks to and from the tube this year. It is safe to say that 2017 has been about resurrecting, protecting and boosting my confidence across every aspect of life.
It was a somewhat slow year though, with no events and milestones comparable to the past few years’. But maybe that is what I needed to be able to reflect, work on the confidence and think about the future. I had given up on future-planning in 2007. And again in 2010. And again in 2014. Let’s see if 2018 can be different. But we’ll come back to that another time. Let’s first drive through 2017 and tell me if you see a trend through it.
It is hard to remember the highlights given the poor performance of this journal this year. But here’s what we have…
# In January, I returned from a holiday in India to my first maternity photo shoot on a biting cold day. It was fun and resulted in another assignment within weeks, which was already an improvement over the previous one.
# I also did a baby shoot and enjoyed myself more than I expected to.
# I missed a wedding in Goa that I’d have liked to attend, not least for the fact that the teetotaller C had champagne there and I would have liked to enjoy his company in that light-headed state too.
# I gave running a serious go for the first time. I prepared for and ran a 10k in the spring. It was hard work. I didn’t credit myself enough for it knowing that I could have done a lot better and that there are much bigger milestones to achieve in that space. I did realise the value of it immediately (less fat and better health) but it was much later (when I tried to resume running after a few months) that I realised what I had managed was also considerable. I closed the year with a 5k on yet another crazily cold day before I went off for a final holiday with the family in India.
# C was the biggest support through this business of running. I don’t know if I would have been able to do what he did, or if I had even been able to do what I did, without him.
# I started the process of getting a driver’s license AGAIN. If I hit my death bed before getting this document, I might just classify it as the biggest bummer of my life.
# We travelled differently this year. Instead of many small trips, we did two long ones (Greece and Italy) and a few domestic ones.
# Greece was special because there I trekked 16 kilometres through one of Europe’s longest gorges, Samaria. #personalbest and all that. And it had lovely beaches. And some amazing drives. Plus good food with feta cheese in everything. And the world’s best oranges.
# My tablet got stolen in that country too!
# But what do you know, my new phone got stolen in London!
# We bought a used car, a Mini, and made a few special trips to the English countryside – New Forest, Bath, Castle Comb, Epping Forest and Wotton.
# We also realised that we got conned with that car and so we sold it after several painful and costly attempts at its upkeep.
# I personally don’t regret it because not only did it teach us a thing or two about cars, but I got to explore and experience places in a manner that was otherwise impossible.
# I discovered rapeseed fields in the UK which are exactly like our sarson ke khet!
# I drove past sarson ke khet in Rajasthan!
# I hope you realise sarson ke khet is an I-love-DDLJ-and-am-a-romantic special!
# I bought my first bikini.
# And I bought a pair of boots that I had been looking for, for three years – black, leather (not suede), knee-length, flat and comfortable.
# I bought more Batman memorabilia – from cufflinks to doormat – for the mister.
# I experienced heavy snowfall for the first time during one of many work trips to Oslo.
# I had a massive fall in the snow. It was effing painful but hilarious given that I was walking with a funny bunch of colleagues who laughed at me like teenagers do in such situations.
# One of the Norway work trips had an overnight meeting in a cabin in the mountains three hours from Oslo. That venue may just top my list of take-aways from this job.
# I had a mini crush on a dashing and absurdly handsome colleague. It was several months ago but I still cannot believe my eyes every time I see him. Maybe I am still crushing.
# I received the most articulate and pointedly negative criticism of my career. This was followed up by a rather embellished appreciation by the same man the morning after. And then a large bottle of alcohol for good work a few weeks later. Corporate joys.
# Birthday was a surprise trip to the mountains in Scotland! This included C writing to my manager and getting a holiday approved without my knowledge. Thank goodness it went well.
# Priyam sent me a hand-written card.
# The mom-dad duo visited London!
# During that trip, I discovered some new things about my dad and my relationship with him.
# Mom could not get over the floral delight of London’s fake summer and I am so glad she could experience it.
# I did another trek – between two coastal villages in Cinque Terre, Italy – on a day so hot that C took his shirt off during the trek. The views were spectacular but I wasn’t wearing the right shoes.
# Tuscany was a dream and I cannot believe I used to judge people who picked Italy when given a choice to travel to one country in Europe from India.
# I visited limestone caves and saw stalactites and stalagmites 15 years after I first learned about them in Chemistry class.
# C also tried a local wine in Tuscany which he loved so much that we went fine-dining to the only restaurant in London that served it and later ordered an entire case of that red for home!
# Went on board the London Eye.
# Awkwardly accessed free food and drinks at an airline lounge for the first time.
# Too many people announced pregnancies while I still interrogate the purpose of having a child.
# I took my first staycation and I think should plan more of those for the next year.
# Sahil and I met after over three years.
# I tried resuming Zumba but I just cannot seem to find the right instructor and class. The one in Abu Dhabi has been hard to match.
# Ruhi moved to London!
# Avan came to spend a night with me and we spoke all night! It felt as though a year’s worth of burden came off my mind.
# I saw a gorgeous sunset in Udaipur.
# I started taking 1:1 coaching for professional development.
# I watched the goddess, Abida Parveen live! Sigh, the goosebumps!
# I also watched Aditi Mittal live (ahem) and admitted to being a connoisseur of toilet humour.
# I got excessively bothered by the actions and existence of someone I dislike.
# Suvvir finally seemed to start thinking beyond cars.
# And I luckily managed to make it to his 5th birthday party.
# I got gifted a tiger ornament from someone at work who believes that it is my spirit animal. It is hard to describe the feeling it gave to my battered heart.
# I took a trip with family to Jaipur. The last time we all travelled together was in 2013.
# I was diagnosed with restless legs syndrome. Meh.
# I had another root canal.
# I thought about starting something of my own.
# I let the mane grow to its longest length yet, and the recent haircut was the cheapest of the last five years (because it was boring). It is ironic that fashionable London has made my hair boring – all thanks to its humidity!
# My sugar addiction got worse. I’m open to help you might have to offer.
# I got a new manager at work. I resisted working with him (an Indian male) when I first heard about him. But I am thankful for his influence on my mind.
# I had to give up on yet another relationship. I can’t believe this keeps happening every year. Now waiting for a damn steady state.
# 31 is a very boring number.
# I have decided to learn python in the new year.
# I met one of the super-bosses from the past and was surprised by how warm and forthcoming he was!
# I spoke with one of the other bosses I used to admire, and was disappointed by his manner.
# I went to the Suraj Kund Mela for the first time. What an over-hyped and underwhelming carnival!
# 2.5 years down, and I am still struggling to withdraw my provident fund!
# New Year’s Eve was quiet last year, and I have a feeling it will be even quieter this year.