Action Replay: October 2017

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It was only when Goodreads sent me a mail asking me to vote for my favorite books of 2017, that I realized that we're towards the end of the year. I still remember new year's eve and the terrible hangover that followed and now I have to plan another new year's party? Where are the days going? I have not even completed 20% of the things that I had planned for the year and now a new year beckons? Maybe, I can just push off my resolutions to the new year instead. Now that I am done with the initial drama, let's get to the post. It's November already and to be honest I'm glad this year is moving quickly. It has not been a very good year for me and I can't wait to start a fresh year again. However, the last few months have been pretty good and it helped me immensely to grow as a person. October was no less.

I've been so terribly overworked that one fine day I just decided not to do a few things. No, not like forever, but just for a few days. I needed a break from everything around. Since I can't not do things at office, work remained the same. It is my bread and butter after all. With all the other things around, I took a backseat consciously. In May I had an emotional burnout and in October I had it again along with a physical one. I was way too tired of everything around me and I just wanted to stay away from everything for a while. Even the things that I loved. Initially, I thought I was being stupid. But then it turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. Since I have a supporting partner, I stepped away from household chores too. Not completely, but I definitely slowed down. Instead of three meals, I cooked one a day. Instead of scrubbing the kitchen clean every day, I let him do it or I did it every other day. Normally, this would bother me, but this time it didn't. I really wanted to slow everything down.

Reading did take a backseat too. This year I read a lot and somewhere I felt that I was pushing myself too hard in terms of this hobby. Yes, I love to read but suddenly it felt like I was doing too much of it. I know that the thought is only in my head, but that is the very problem. I completed 'The Handmaid's Tale' early October and the only other novel that I read after that was 'Big Little Lies'. I also read 'We Should All Be Feminists' and it was a brilliant short read. This time I only read for the first fifteen days of the month. I picked up 'To Kill A Mockingbird' almost immediately and after one chapter the burnout hit hard. For some weird reason, classics have this effect on me. Every reading break of mine has been in between classics. Be it 'Lolita' or 'Gone With The Wind', which I am yet to finish. I'll start the reading for November with the Harper Lee classic, but I'm going to take my own sweet time with it. I'll review the other two books that I finished sometime soon.

Just like reading, I let go of writing too. When I decide to give up something, I just go full on. It works brilliantly for me. After a couple of posts, I had zero motivation to write. And this clearly shows in the last two posts of mine. Not that I wrote it for namesake, but somehow it didn't live up to my own expectations. I wanted to continue my writing break through November too, but last night I had a dream about the A to Z challenge for next year and how I was struggling to come up with a theme for it. This morning I work up missing my blog. Silly, I know, but it's true. Hopefully, I'll keep the momentum going for the whole month.

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I recently learnt the nuances of Twitter and I'm active on and off. I am not too big a fan of social media and the only platform I enjoy these days is Instagram. Twitter is a very loud platform and I do follow some interesting people. While I was younger, I used to think seriously about what status to put on Facebook everyday. Soon, the fad died and my profile remained stagnant. Twitter on the other hand fascinates me. Too many people, too much noise and too many opinions. There is love too followed by equal amount of anger and vitriol. I realized that it is so easy to piss off people in 140 characters and how almost everything that one has to say gets misconstrued. Maybe Twitter is not for honest and blunt people like me, but then who's to judge? It is funny when people say that Twitter exists for us to express our opinion and then get offended when one does. Not every tweet is meant for someone, sometimes it is just a thought. A one-off musing too, maybe, but the debate it causes can be amusing and appalling at times. I continue to be there and continue to say what I have to say the way it is. How others take it, is not my problem.

The highlight of October was the vacation that Cal and I took. We went to Sikkim for a whole week and were away from technology and people, the things that bother us the most. This was one of the best vacations that we've had and I came back feeling thoroughly rejuvenated and a few changed beliefs. Travel always does that to me, it makes me a slightly better person. Sikkim is way too beautiful than I had expected it to be and we saw some fascinating scenery. This timeout from everything else is what my body, mind and soul needed.

I have always been a no nonsense person. Be it at work or in personal life. I intend to keep it that way too. Taking a step back and slowing things down has worked like a charm on me. I'm much calmer and more at peace now. Content and happy, I always was. As a working woman who manages a home, multitasking comes naturally to me. But now I have considerably cut down the number of things I take on my plate. I can do more, I know. But for a while I don't want to. It is doing good for my sanity and I want it to stay that way.

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How was your October?

22 comments:

  1. You have had a rough year, Soumya. This I know for a fact from earlier this year. So I can totally empathise when you speak about feeling the burnout. I am so glad you took that vacation and also stepped back from chores. Yes, even reading can be a chore if you push too hard.As for writing, I agree there too :) Do things for as long as they give you pleasure and don't impinge on your life in any way. If anything it should help it along, not hinder it.

    You already know my stance on social media. It's a tool and must be used as such. Anything more and it takes away from our enjoyment of the experience. But so good to have you back and blogging again. Your posts come up in my inbox and I am glad.

    *By the way, that thing about self-hosted, the timeline is looming. Ping me if you need me to update you :)

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    1. Thanks for being there, Shy! :)

      Self-hosted, maybe next year. Taking a backseat with everything now.

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  2. Take it a bit slow sometimes Soumya. The world need not be perfect always. I look forward to your review on Big little lies which I completed last month and loved it. But I did not get the time to put up a review. Besides books like BLL doesn't need reviews. Word of mouth is enough. And your words are tempting me to explore Sikkim.

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    1. Yes Lata, I totally get it now. Perfection is a lot of small things done well and I'm going to stick to that on my own pace. BLL doesn't need reviews, I agree. But I have a lot to say about it :)

      Do explore Sikkim if you get a chance, it is totally worth it.

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  3. I am aware how hard 2017 was for you. Hope things have settled back home. For you, sorry to hear that October was a bit rough. I have been thinking a lot about you but wasn't just finding time to text. I know, such a bad excuse! :( But good thing is you were in my thoughts. We need to meet to talk about Ladakh and Sikkim :)
    On letting go, I am glad you took that step. I was always wondering how were you managing all that cooking ad cleaning and that perfect work routine of yours. I would say, stick to what you love - work, reading and writing. Rest all, take it easy.
    Have a lovely November and let's talk soon!

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    1. The year has been hard, yes, but I'm glad things are looking up now :)

      Having friends like you certainly does help and we have so much to talk about! Let's meet soon.

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  4. I am glad you took it slow. Given the fact that you like being busy, it must have taken a lot of self control. But it's better than feeling burnout. Traveling is like a therapy. It frees the mind and rejuvenates the soul. Still in love with all the pictures you shared on instagram. I hope ai get to visit the state someday.
    Wish you a laid back November 😊

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    1. I'm glad too, but old habits die hard and I'm trying to come to terms with not wanting to be busy all the time. Thank you, Raj. Wishing you a very awesome November too :)

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  5. Yes, you had a rough year but you bounced back. That is how survivors cope with adversities. I so loved your Sikkim pics and I am glad that you took the time off. Travel does that for me too but with the elder son being in 10th, this year has been somewhat restricted on that front and I am itching to go somewhere. I can totally get what you are saying about us having too many expectations from ourselves. I spelt the same in my October post. I used to stress about not reading much and then I wondered why. Reading is supposed to be fun for me. Why was I worried about how many books I read? Wasn't it enough that I read when I wanted to? That helped me quite a bit. And writing again, I have no hard and fast schedule. I write when I have time and want to. Other times, I am not harsh on myself. These are for me recreations. My professional work, family, health and fitness are more important priorities. About social media, yes, sometimes things blow out of proportion. But you can never please them all. Have a wonderful November.

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    1. This comment makes me feel so good, so thanks, Rachna. Your son will ace his 10th I'm sure, and you can celebrate with a great holiday soon :)

      I've been so used to being independent and in control that I pushed myself beyond the limits. I've learnt to let go now. I like the slow me better than the always busy me. Regarding social media, you said it. Everybody has something destructive to say for everything. I'm going to ignore everyone now and say what I have to.

      I hope you have a great November too.

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  6. Soumya, you were right in taking a break. Writing feels good when one is motivated to write. I took a 3 month break from writing and travelled to Ladakh, Assam and Mumbai. I came back refreshed. Good to see you back in the blogosphere:)

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    1. Thank you, Sulekkha. Wow, that break of yours sounds so good! This vacation did the trick for me too. I let go of a lot of things this time.

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  7. It's been a rough year. Oh well, we're almost at the end of it. And we're around for you. You know that.

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    1. It sure has been and I'm so glad only a short piece is left now.

      Thanks Pohie, you guys are the best!

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  8. It's always beneficial taking things slow. We all tend to think we can manage it all, but our body tends to think otherwise. It's good that you took that break and went for the vacation. Vacations are the best therapy for a tired body, mind and soul.
    I hope November treats you better and brings to you the peace you seek.

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    1. It sure is. This probably is the biggest lesson 2017 has given me.

      Thank you Shilpa, I wish you a fabulous November too.

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  9. I love your trip photos! I learnt from your posts(some of them) and comments that you have had a tough time this year. May peace be with you! I have wondered how you do so much, I am glad you have slowed down now. That moment when we realize that we know we can do all that we want, but prefer to let things be, is a zen moment. I am not a OCD freak, but I know you are. I have a cleaning disorder! 😂 So I can see what it is like when you said you scrub the kitchen clean and have that satisfied look on your face for it. I love that part where taking a break really means taking a break. During my pregnancy, I had so many emotional moments, that I decided to take a break from blogging. I think that really helped. Slowing down helps.

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    1. Thank you Jayanthy!

      The year hasn't been easy, yes, but I survived and that is what matters. Oh yeah, zen moment indeed. I've let go off a few OCDs and am trying to enjoy the break for now. And it's working wonders. I'm getting so damn emotional that I wonder how I'll be if I ever get pregnant. That would be quite something :)

      Thanks Jayanthy, it is so nice to have you back here :)

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    2. Soumya, I am sensitive and that calls for me being *more* emotional. Trust me on one thing about pregnancy, whatever be your situation around you, you will have that one comfort inside you. In the initial months, I actually asked my hubby if he could find some travel options just for himself because I needed a break even from too much caring!! 😂 I just wanted to be! Nothing else. Luckily he got a 3-week on-site and both of us felt better. I wasn't feeling lonely or anything, but totally at peace as I just let the emotions be. The one thing that made my pregnancy all the more easy was food. I had everything possible! I didn't mind the desserts that I ate almost every other day. You will be emotional, but still you will have something that will make it all the more worthwhile during your pregnancy, in case you are planning on one. All the best when you plan one!! Will definitely be there to help then! ❤️

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    3. Oh aren't you adorable! Will definitely reach out to you if I get there <3

      I'm way too possessive of my me-time. I'm not sure how I'll react if I have people fussing around me all the time.

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  10. I loved your photos from Sikkim and am contemplating visiting there when I come to India next year. My other option is Andaman. Looks like you had a well-deserved break from a lot of things. Slowing down is good as burnout is inevitable. My October wasn't too bad. Can't wait for the end of the year though...I kinda like the Christmas-New Year time because things get a bit quieter at work too. Have a great November!

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    1. Thank you, Sanch. Andaman is beautiful too, I'm yet to go there but Parul can help you with all the details of it. Sikkim is peaceful too, but you need to choose between the beach and the hills here :)

      Thanks Sanch, wishing you a very happy November too!

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