Travel - This was a great year for me. We kicked off the year with a trip to Puri in February which turned out to be a trip for just shooting pics. I got to shoot such brilliant photos of the 12th, 13th and 14th century temples. There was a 10-day Vipasana trip I did in June to Dharamshala. Stayed there for 13 days, including the time spent in Vipasana course. Loved the course duration, but was disappointed by Dharamshala as a place in itself. There was this short trip to Maldives in July , and all the husband and I did here was laze out in our cottage in the resort during the day and walk by the clear waters in the evenings. And then there was this Europe trip with a girl-friend. A short trip to Goa in October proved to us that no matter what we did, we’d always make at least one trip to Goa every year, without even planning for it! All these trips were interspersed with a few work trips to Seattle. The first couple of times, I was greeted with good weather there so I shot some great photos there too.
Books wise, this has been a good year too. I read a good number of books, and exceeded my own target on the no. of books to read this year. Here is a detailed compilation of what I read this year.
Work – I get to do what I like to do and I know that I learnt a lot in this year. There are always some meh days, but they are never strong enough to kill the spirit. I am asking myself what I’d like to do in the next 5 years, and the next 10 , and I kinda am getting the answers to those too. These could change in future, but am not going to hold on to them, coz I have the clarity now. Any changes would only be voluntary or accepted if thrust upon me, and I’d have to go with them. I had a great team at the start of the year, where I learnt a lot and got to do some impactful work. As the project ended and we all went our separate ways, I realized how much I valued that team, but I was ready for new challenges. And yes, they came and made their presence felt. The next couple of months were spent in ambiguity teaching me how to deal with it and how to calm myself when I feel restless. And as the year ends, I am gearing for some more challenges, which will teach me working with new stakeholders and not burn bridges. Yeah, it is a good year, full of learning!
Hobbies – As it is always, I pursued a few side projects this year too. Bottle painting was picked up and finished. Then I briefly considered picking up knitting or the quilt project, both of which didn’t take off. The idea/hobby/to-do board is full, so it means there is a lot for me to do. It is also an indication that I haven't been giving as much time as required for my hobbies… so yeah, that’s that! :-) Photography, as a hobby, has never been better. I have been experiment with new techniques in shooting and processing, and I feel like I have at least another year before I give it up, like I did to the food blog.
Friends – Touchwood, this was an year where earlier bonds were made stronger, and I couldn’t have been luckier. Yet again, I feel that am one of those privileged people with so many friends across the globe, all of whom make me feel so loved and wanted, that I couldn’t have wished for better people around me even if I wanted to! Travels to US made me meet many of them, more times than I expected to, but not enough to fill the heart. Staying in Hyderabad made me feel so secure and busy every single day of the year … The husband and I keep telling ourselves how much we wanted this a couple of years ago, and how we are given this by the Universe now! True, am nothing with these friends of mine. Each of them teach me something new always, either by their sheer presence or with their attitude towards things that matter to me. The no. of girlfriends is definitely more than the no. of guy friends. Actually, the latter hasn’t really increased a lot, I am still friends with the guys I’ve known for a zillion years, and new friendships with guys take a while to be forged. As for girlfriends, there are a lot of times I feel like wanting to have a friendship affair with a few of them, and sometimes I realize that am probably in one with a few of them already. There are a handful who remind me of Mom (one with her sheer grit to sail through anything, another with her infinite patience with whatever comes up her way, one more with her presence around me always), and they have been with me through thick and thin!
Family – Well, if Vipasana has taught me anything this year, it is the importance of people in my life. The husband says that I’ve grown closer to Mom, more than ever. We are fighting way lesser, and we talk and share things like we used to before I left home. I feel happy most times after I complete the conversation with her, and that is a good indication. Things with MIL couldn’t have been better. Things that were off-limits before are being joked about, and I think after a decade, we both are finally forging a strong bond which is tending to be a different version of friendship. No, I still don’t call either of them as much as I should, but they aren't complaining as much as they would. I’ve always shared a warm relationship with FIL, and it continues, touch wood. Dad and I are covering new grounds in our relationship. From being very close to almost not on talking terms to being able to tolerate each other’s presence in the same room to now, where we find common topics and talk about then and laugh about most of them, I feel good that the love we share is showing its effect now. I won’t even review what I share with the husband :-)
Am excited for 2016. There are a few things we want to do this year, a few places I want to go to.
I definitely want to concentrate more on the fitness , since we almost nailed the eating-well part this year. This year was mostly full of millets, broken wheat, and sustainable protein sources, and almost negligible eating-out.
There are a few lens I want to try with my camera, and I'll pick them up when I outgrow the ones I have now. I definitely want to restart some of the pending hobbies.
Declutter more, buy less clothes are on the agenda too. I want to own fewer things in 2016 than I did in 2015, and this includes everything - cars, sofas, dining tables, mattresses, shoes, chairs, dining sets, cooking utensils etc - basically , material possessions. The idea is to not own more than what is necessary for existence, not buying stuff without utilitarian value and only for showing off. And I am determined to make it happen.
Here's hoping you all had a great year too, and wishing you a better 2016! :-)