January 8, 2014
I've been struggling with writing, clearly. There haven't been any posts since August 2013 and I had promised myself that I would write regularly in 2013 - have monthly word-count targets and everything. But it didn't happen and it's sad, for me, obviously. I know I go on a hiatus once every few months and then when I post something it always sounds something like 'I will post regularly henceforth' or some variation of that and it doesn't happen. So I am not even going to bother with that this time. But I am writing now and I'll see how much I manage to get out of me and then we'll see how it goes from there.
2013 | The Year that was...
2013 has been an eventful year and I am shocked that it is already gone. It seems like only yesterday I told myself that I had 45 days to go for my wedding and here I am, married for almost 11 months. Can you believe that? I can't.
It seems like only yesterday I moved into my new home, took a while to settle in, to get used to taking care of myself and my husband, trying to cook more often than we ate out and ensuring that both of us were alive, paying our bills on time, managing my home and my work and suddenly one day we were packing again to move to another house.
As I type this, I am in my second new home, still missing my first home with my husband and hoping that in a few days/weeks, I'll feel about this house the way I did about the previous one. It'll be a while, but I will get there, eventually. But this is not about my new home, it is about 2013.
2013 has taught me independence, it has made me stronger, it has taught me to deal with people the polite, nonabrasive, diplomatic way to drive my point across and make things happen. I've had great ideas, made big plans and had most of them materialize and the ones that didn't, I'm saving them for 2014.
I've loved my husband more, fought with him even more on the tiniest of matters that didn't matter and on huge ones that did. I've appreciated him for who he is and what he does for me and I've wanted to scream at him too. I've shared my secrets with him and my inhibitions, and I've had him agree with, encourage as well as criticize me and I loved and hated it. I've had him support my dreams and had him warn me against dreaming too much. He hasn't complained so I am assuming I have matched up to all that he has been for me and that is satisfactory for the time being. I know that I can be more, but this year has also been a year of self-discovery for me, and I was so overwhelmed that my goal was only to be able to survive, do the necessary stuff and embellish later, as I learned the ways of home-making and gathered more experience.
2013 | Life Lessons
For the first time in my life, I got to dictate (for the most part) what I can and cannot do and when I will do something. I got to decide where a particular piece of furniture would go or what will be the menu for the day and so on. Having the freedom to shape my day and my life any way I wanted to has made me see myself for the person I am, identify my strengths and weaknesses, figure out what works for me and what doesn't. It's not that I was under my parents' control before I got married, it's just that whatever I did or could do was structured around what they found acceptable and around their way of living and routine. A blank slate with no planned schedule and no favourite places to sit in the house or anything like that has helped us shape our life the way we find comfortable, right from waking up when we need to.
Yes, I've made mistakes and it has taken a while for me to get used to a routine what with my haphazard schedule and no fixed sleep time, but it has only been for the better. It has taken a while to get used to the responsibilities of managing the house and realising that the food is not going to cook itself, but I am comfortable in my new role now and I'm starting to cherish the moments when my husband says that he has missed home-cooked food (usually after we have just returned from out-of-town) and it makes me happy.
I never thought that I'd embrace the role of a home-maker although I never wanted to be the woman in the suit who works fourteen hours a day at an office and brings back a seven-digit salary either. I have too much of creativity in me to be stuck in an office bound by rules someone else made for me. So I always knew I'd do something where I could be my own boss and that meant having a career that was in my control, where I'd dictate the terms and the hours that I put in and what needed to be done and how. My idea of the career woman I'd be was completely different. But the work-from-home nature of my career choice has resulted in my role being modified to accommodate a home-maker too (which is different from a house-wife - someone who just cooks and cleans and keeps everyone happy - something I was never comfortable with.)
But the sight of the bed, nicely made with matching cushions and a quilt, making it look like a hotel room or the scent of the potpourri, have changed my outlook and I have started to take pride in my modest and messy but beautiful home and my duty to keep it that way and I cannot imagine someone else doing these things for me and it is simply because it does not make me any lesser of a career woman just because I choose to take care of my home as well. I do it happily and I take pride in that whole concept. Granted, I am lazy and I don't make the bed to look like one from a 5-Star Hotel everyday, but deep inside I really want to and when I do, it looks gorgeous! ;)
2013 | RelationshipsJanuary 9, 2014
It's always hard to accept that a relationship has strained, but like everything else, you learn to make peace with the new status quo and as you appreciate the positives, see the silver lining, you start to think that maybe you are better off, because a strained relationship or one that is a one-sided effort, is nothing but a burden when your life has a new direction, new responsibilities, a lot more to worry about and a lot less time to fret about things or people that don't keep in touch.
As we grow older, life changes and so do priorities and that puts a lot of things in perspective. I have spent years on developing friendships and of late, there have been times when I have realised that a decade later, people just aren't who they used to be and what used to be an amazing friendship, is barely sustainable presently. On the other hand, what was kind of on the rocks a decade ago has now developed into something mature, where there's a new level of understanding, a new respect for each others' views and outlook and new, fresh start. It's amazing how time can heal, and open your eyes.
I realised that no matter how busy our lives, or how many time zones away, or how many new friends added to our circles, some friendships are beyond all that and such trivial things aren't even issues. You may not talk everyday like you used to, or even meet for years, but when you do, it's like you've never been apart. The past year has taught me that if your bond is strong, you'll find ways to stay in touch even if it's once a month or once a year and that's all that counts.
There are friends who are like family, there are family members who are best friends and then there are family members and friends you don't even want to be acquaintances with, but that's how life is. Some of them you can ignore, others you'll have to deal with more often than you'd like. You put on your 'show face', pretend to love them and get on with life.
2013 | GoalsI'd rather not discuss this, but to be fair to myself, I need to.
I started 2013 rather ambitiously and made (what seemed to be then) attainable goals - some to be achieved regularly, some, spread over a 4 year period. But I forgot to factor in new responsibilities and that's why, I haven't been able to attain quite a few of them.
Here are the things I didn't do.
- I haven't seen the inside of the gym in over a year. There was one inside our apartment complex where we lived for the last 11 months of 2013, but I did not go there even once. Sad.
- I did not do 50,000 words. I barely reached 15,000, so obviously, 50 was a long shot. Sadder.
- I did not even write one short story. I was supposed to do 11. But I guess I could do extras this year? We'll see about that
- Didn't write as many book/movie reviews as I read/watched. Here are the ones I did write - Books | Movies.
- I didn't blog as much as I would have liked to.
- I did not create anything for myself. Well, I did, but it was just one tiny thing. Wait. Make that two. Out of four, two is good, right? Let me focus on the other two I didn't make.
On the bright side, here are the things I did manage :D
- I read 21 books (out of my target of 26) in 2013. Check out the list of the books I read, on the right sidebar.
- Bought some more books. I'm pretty sure I am closer to 200 now (from my previous estimate of 170.) Yeah, I still haven't counted.
- Even though I didn't win NaNoWriMo, I did participate and even though I was more inclined towards continuing with the previous year's story, calling it a sequel and technically not cheating, I started a brand new one.
- I watched a lot of movies, but alas! I forgot to make a list. :(
- My Card Shop has a new member added to the team. I am nowhere close to ten, but it's a start :D
Here's hoping 2014 will teach me more than '13 did, 2014 will see more of my goals achieved, more dreams realised, more friendships made and older ones cherished, my book published and well, just be more awesome than any other year ever was.
Will write soon. Oops! I wasn't going to say that. ;)