Action Replay + Gratitude List: January 2018

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January passed in the blink of an eye. Please tell me it is not only me who felt this. I still remember cooking the new year's eve dinner and then poof! The month is gone. Since I chose my WOTY to be Survive, everything seemed pretty easy this month. As quickly as it passed, I got a lot of work done. Professionally, it has been a good and busy month. While I got good feedback for my last year's work, I continued to work on multiple projects this month that kept me really busy. When I'm busy with work, I do not think about anything else. No matter what I'm going through in my personal life, it doesn't make it to my professional life. As part of a new year resolution, I have decided to plan my time effectively at work and not stick around for too long once I'm done with my work. Thankfully, my workplace has flexible timings and I rarely have to stay late.

Occasionally, I connect from home if I have work pending but I'm a fairly quick worker and can multitask well. So, the earlier I leave work, the more time I have to read once I get back home. I read for a while and then I enter the kitchen to prepare dinner before the husband comes in. Yeah, I kind of lead a mechanical planned life but I wouldn't have it any other way.

'Wonder' was the first book that I picked this year and I instantly fell in love with it. The book had so much heart and soul that it is one of my favorite books of all time already. The book was emotionally consuming and the biggest mistake I made was to pick up 'When Breath Becomes Air' next. This book tore me apart. Into a million pieces that was scattered all over the place. It affected me so much that I had to turn to a friend for support. I remember her being affected the same way once she read the book too so she helped me get it out of my system. I loved the book, no doubt. But even thinking of it breaks my heart. I thought I would review it sometime, but no, I cannot put myself through it again.

Since work was hectic, I needed to use by breaks effectively. I don't like talking to people much while at work, so, I read as I sip my green tea or buttermilk. I feel odd to open books and read at my desk, so I read e-books instead. I read quite a lot of them this month, honestly. Started with 'Madame Bovary' that I did not like much and right now I'm in the middle of 'Pride And Prejudice'. I read Jane Austen for the first time ever too! While I hated 'Emma', I enjoyed 'Sense And Sensibility'. While the story in the former was good, the main protagonist drove me up the wall. She was annoying as hell. I surprised myself when I liked Tolstoy's 'Anna Karenina'. It was quite an interesting story. I loved Capote's 'Breakfast At Tiffany's' too. While I couldn't connect with the female protagonists of both these books, their stories somehow made sense. While I loved Liane Moriarty's 'Big Little Lies', 'The Husband's Secret' let me down big time. This, I will review sometime soon. Another resolution that I made this year was to leave a mini review on Goodreads for every book that I read. So far, I've been able to keep this up. 8 books this month is a pretty impressive number, I guess. With 2 In-Progress. Do follow me on Goodreads if you want to be a part of my reading journey.

Writing was good this month too and I wrote some posts that were very close to me. Thankfully, they were received well. Nine posts including this one was one extra than the planned count, but I'm not complaining. I usually write when I feel like talking about something, so that is how it is going to be. The count, well, who cares! Also, I need to start writing more fiction. No, not small pieces, but something like a standalone piece or a series. I have a story brewing in my head, hopefully it will make it as a blog post soon.

This month, we traveled to Goa for the sixth time together! Like always, travel brings out something new in me and I came back feeling energized and happy. Goa is a place that is very close to us. While most people go there for the booze and the beach, we go there for peace. There is something about that place that cleanses both of us and it is easier for us to leave behind our pain/fears and come back afresh from there. That is why we try to travel to Goa at least once a year. We missed last year as we had had enough of beaches when we visited Thailand. So this year, we went in early. But somehow, it felt very different this year. I'll do a detailed post later about Goa and what it means to us.

This year, I'm also including a gratitude list in my Action Replay posts. I got this idea from many bloggers who write their month end posts in the form of gratitude lists. Since I can't imagine LOL without its Action Replay posts, I decided to include a gratitude list within it itself.

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So for January, these are the things I'm thankful for:

~ Books - Reading helps calm me down and thanks to the amount of reading I did this month, January was extra happy for me.

~ Travel - Visiting Goa with the man I love for the sixth time together was quite something. Same place, same us. It also reminded us as to how much we love growing old together.

~ Letting Go - I had to let go of a few friends this month. Insecurity, lying and infidelity are deal breakers for me in any kind of relationship. There is only so much one can forgive. While it hurt bad initially, I'm thankful that it didn't hurt for a long time and I knew when to call it quits.

~ Friends - While I let go of some, other friends filled the void pretty quickly. I partied with my girls and we danced like there was no tomorrow. Thanks to the above letting go, I'm a bit cynical about making new friends these days. So, I'm sticking to the ones I know well and love for now. With time, I'll open up more.

~ Choosing Kind - 'Wonder' made me look at things differently and today I am a much kinder person. Hence, much happier.

~ Choosing Health - I've been eating healthy and working out regularly these days. This has helped me get fitter and help with my hormone imbalances.

~ Food - Since we've started eating healthy, I have been looking up healthy salads and other recipes online and through cookbooks. These recipes turned out to be more delicious than the normal food I used to cook. The foodie in me is way too pleased!

~ Love - Having a supporting partner makes everything easy in life and I probably have the best one on the planet. Nothing more to say on this.

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This is how my first month of the year was. How was yours?

Linking this post to Vidya's Gratitude Cirle for this month.


18 comments:

  1. Ah, now that's a really good month, Soumya. So happy that your work life is going great. It energizes you when that happens, right? Same with me though my domain of work is totally different from yours. Good going on the health and fitness fronts as well. I saw your Goa pics. They were so good. I love Goa as well. Have been there I think 4 times and perhaps time to go back. Like you I am not the heavy party kinds. I enjoy walking early morning on the beach, eating seafood in a shack and taking long walks watching sunrise and sunset. I am so pining to take a holiday but can't since the exam time for kids is near. Sigh!

    I always admire how much reading you can pack in with a full-time job, I really do! And good going on the cooking front. New recipes excite me as well. I loved making soups. Recently I made a broccoli and cheese one with soft noodles. It was delcious and hearty. Broccoli is so cheap these days and I had so much of it lying around at home. :)

    So glad to see you add a gratitude list to your roundup post. Makes so much sense, right? Hope you have a fabulous Feb as well. Keep rocking!

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    1. All the best for the kids exams, Rachna! Do take a holiday once done.

      Broccoli is turning out to be my favorite vegetable these days, I just love roasting it an eating it with salt and pepper!

      Thank you so much, Rachna. Wishing you a very happy February as well.

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  2. Sounds like a wonderful month Soumya! Shame about The Husband's Secret. You see, that was the first book of hers I'd read and it did grip me. Big Little Lies came next and was beyond amazing. I went back and read others and nothing lived up to Big Little Lies. So I guess if I'd read The Husband's Secret after Big Little Lies, I'd have felt the same.

    I need to check out this other book you're talking about that left you emotionally broken. Must a find a time when I'm strong enough to read it.

    Love your gratitude list <3 Hope you have a fab Feb!

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    1. Yes, that should be it with the book. I read it with so many expectations thanks to 'Big Little Lies'!

      Oh don't read that until you are emotionally stable! It ruins you, that book.

      Wishing you a wonderful Feb as well. Thanks, Sanch! <3

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  3. I am waiting to read Wonder after The Wife Between Us.
    8 books a month! Wow! that's great going. I read a lot, but am too lazy to do the Goodreads review right away. I do jot down my reactions so that I can do a bunch when I actually land up on Goodreads.
    I enjoyed your Goa pics--great shots!
    Love your gratitude list and admire you for letting go. Really, there's no space for unkindness and mean people, Hottie! We all deserve happiness.

    P.S.: I have always wondered why you didn't link your action replay posts to the Gratitude Circle. :-) I am very happy you've joined this month. And of course, my blog hop became hotter!

    Love you more than you love me!

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    1. I just started 'The Wife Between Us' and liking it so far. Do read 'Wonder', it is your kind of book :)

      I thought since I was not listing my gratitude points, I wasn't eligible for the linky :P

      Never mind, I am there now for every month. Damn, sounds like a period talking :D

      Love you more!

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  4. Nope, its not only you. Jan went with a lightning speed. I too have to pick up Wonder, Anna Kanerina. I haven't read Big Little Lies yet, and may be because of this I did like The Husbands's Secret (yes, it was dragging and boring but something in it kept me gripped).

    I was introduced to 'Gratitude' last year and I have been following it since then. It is amazing how relaxing I feel with gratitude. It actually makes us realize we have so many things to be grateful for rather than cribbing about what we don't.

    Apart from the gratitude, I came across this concept of writing down one happy memory/thing on a piece of paper every day with date, folding it and keeping it in a jar. So by the end of a year we have so many happy memories and trust me that feeling is out of the world. Elizabeth Gilbert calls it her Gratitude Jar or Happiness Jar.

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    1. Thank God, I thought it was just me! Do read 'Wonder' and 'Big Little Lies'. Great books they are.

      I have a happiness jar at home too. Every time we feel happy, we write a note and leave it in it. At the end of the year, we'll read it!

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  5. 8 books a month is sensational Soumya- my hat off to you lady!! I watched the TV series based on Big little lies and its just stunning! The husbands secret was so so for me too!
    Let go of friends who are just not so - its story of my life too and though it hurts, I havent stopped making friends. Just be careful and vibe well with folks before you include them in your circle.
    Goa for the 6th time- WOW!!! major envy pouring in from my end!!!

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    1. Thank you Shalini, wishing you more reading this month :)

      Goa yes, it is almost like a yearly pilgrimage for us :P

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  6. Cheers girl!!! i am wornking at 8 month books a month. I have picked up wonder and thats included in my february read. Waiting for the other reviews from you, and would probably included it in my March list. But you sure have had a wholesome month( eh... if such a thing exists and i take the liberty of calling it so). Theres been books, and friends, and travel .. Perfect!!!!

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    1. Hahaha, now that you said it my month was wholesome indeed :D

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  7. Being broken is the main reason I haven't picked up When Breath Becomes Air. I should probably pick it up only after my finals. Letting go of negativity and people who bring in negativity is the best way to make yourself happy and at peace. Traveling is always rejuvenating, my trip to Rajasthan this month has left me high :). 8 books :O. I hardly read one, scratch that, I didn't even read one :(.

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    1. Do pick it up when you find the strength. It sure as hell deserves a read.

      Yay, Rajasthan has been on my bucketlist since forever. I need to visit soon.

      Hopefully you'll read atleast one book in Feb :)

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  8. I love reading Gratitude lists. It reminds of the things I need to be grateful for too.
    You're on such a reading spree Soumya. I really need to get to When Breath Becomes Air. There are just a handful of books that I've been unable to review because they are so powerful they moved me in a completely undefinable way and if this one anything like that I need to get to it. I've just begun with Big Little Lies and am enjoying it.
    Cheers to the rest of 2018.

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    1. After I did my first one, I feel so nice inside :)

      Some books do that to you, sadly. But that doesn't mean that they are any less beautiful.

      Do review 'Big Little Lies', I'd love to know what you thought of it.

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  9. I think I too am going to put my hands on When Breath Becomes Air.
    And I loved your gratitude list for the month. All the best for the coming month.

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    1. Yes, do read it :)

      Thank you! Wishing you a very happy Feb too.

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