A To Z Challenge 2018: Theme Reveal #AToZChallenge

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I would not be exaggerating if I said that I thought at least a million times if I should take up this year's A to Z or not. While I've had a pleasant year so far, I've been terribly busy. Work, travel, household chores and reading takes up most of my time and I do find time to write 2 or 3 posts a week. But writing everyday for a month is not an easy task, especially while managing a full time job and a home. I am not the one to write on weekends either. I prefer not to touch my laptop during weekends at all. After successfully completing the A to Z challenge for four consecutive years, I initially decided not to take it up this year. Then suddenly five consecutive years sounded much better and here I am, bravely taking it up for another year.

When It Is Important To Switch Off

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A typical day of mine goes this way. I wake up and spend half an hour to forty five minutes reading the newspaper with a cup of hot green tea. Then I work out for a while. Once done, I step into the kitchen and prepare and pack two lunch boxes, one for the husband and the other for me. Next, I prepare breakfast and set it out for us. Once the husband leaves, I wash up the vessels, clean up the kitchen and the house, then get ready for work and leave. Since I stay 2 miles away from my workplace, I do not have to travel much. Eight hours at work and then I'm back home. I freshen-up, check if the laundry needs to be done, set up the washing machine or fold the dried clothes and separate the ones that need to be sent for ironing and then spend an hour reading, if I have that extra time. Then I get set to prepare dinner. Once the husband is back, we eat together and one of us washes up and cleans up the place. Weekends are no less. On weekends, we scrub every corner of the house from floor to ceiling. I also check if the cupboards need to be sorted, prepare a list of groceries to be bought and also prepare the meal plan for the coming week. Needless to say, I'm busy 24X7.

Book Review: Little Fires Everywhere

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Title: Little Fires Everywhere
Author: Celeste Ng
Publisher: Little, Brown (14 September 2017)
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Family & Relationships
Price: Rs. 559 on Amazon
Pages: 352

I only heard of this book when it won the award for the best fiction of 2017 on Goodreads. I had immediately added it to my TBR back then. After that I read many glowing reviews of this book from bloggers whose recommendations I immensely trust. When the husband got me this book earlier this month, I sat down to read it immediately.

Hear Me Roar #PressForProgress

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It is not about just one day
The battle for me is constantly on
I shall fight with all my might
Until inequality is all gone

I will learn to strengthen myself
First the mind, then the body and soul
I don't want to be the fairer sex
I don't need anyone to make me feel whole

I will fight the meaningless norms
I may bend, but I'll never break
I look for life beyond the kitchen
I'm not born to cook and bake

Action Replay + Gratitude List: February 2018

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The shortest month of the year also turned out to be one of the best months that I've had in a long time. As quickly as it passed, it left me with a lot of smiles and contentment. Professionally, I was very busy with work and for a couple of days I had to stay up at night to continue working. The current project I'm a part of at work, gives me time to pursue my hobbies as well. While the work is good and peaceful, occasionally there is a hitch and I have to stretch and figure things out. This happens very rarely, so I don't mind it at all. I learnt to love my job a few years ago and since then I have never complained about it. I am a workaholic and give more than 100% to my job. But that doesn't mean that I neglect my personal life. I give a 100% to both of it but if a day comes when I have to choose work over something personal, I'll go ahead and do it. My job has given me everything that I have today, I can never forget that.

Health has been good since the time we made a lifestyle change and stuck to it. We've been eating healthy and working out regularly. Ever since I hurt my back five years ago, trying to do a cartwheel, I have stayed away from yoga. Now, slowly, I have been getting back to it. Flexibility has gone for a toss and I'm struggling with balance as well. I've gotten better since the day I started and hopefully, I will soon be back to how I was before. While the intent is also to lose weight, most importantly it is to get my hormones back in control and keep PCOD at bay. I have modified my diet to include more fresh vegetables and protein. I have almost totally given up on rice too and include millets as part of my regular diet now. I still use rice in making idli and dosas though. The South-Indian in me can't do without them.

Book Review: A Man Called Ove

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Title: A Man Called Ove
Author: Fredrik Backman
Publisher: Sceptre (7 May 2015)
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Price: Rs. 271 on Amazon
Pages: 320

Just like 'Wonder', I heard of this book solely on Social Media. Most of my friends were raving about it and I had only read glowing reviews of it. When the husband gave me this book among others as a New year gift, I took my time to start reading it. Normally, I do not like over hyped books. Also, I wasn't too sure if I wanted to read the story of a grumpy old man. I have seen way too many of them in real life and I have no interest in knowing their stories. But Ove was apparently different. Finally, after many many friends pushed me to read this one, I picked it up and did not rest until I finished it. I just finished the book this morning and I had to review it almost immediately.

Love Never Withers

PHOTO PROMPT © Marie Gail Stratford

"Are you sure this is all you want, Sarah?" The lawyer asked again.

"Yes." She said, slowly.

"You can choose whatever you want. Your grandfather left all this to you and your sisters."