Action Replay + Gratitude List: March & April 2018

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Let me start with how thrilled I am to be finally writing this post. I didn't do a replay post for March as I was travelling and once I came back, I jumped head first into the A to Z challenge for April and that left me no room to write anything else. As much as I enjoyed the A to Z challenge this year, I felt really constrained as I was sticking to a theme. There was so much I wanted to talk about all the other things under the sun, but with writing a post everyday, I couldn't find time to write other posts apart from the challenge ones. But now, I'm free and I cannot wait to get back to the writing groove and talk about things that matter to me. Before I get to doing that, let's see how March and April fared.

March was a pretty chaotic month in terms of work, but I'm not complaining. It kept me busy the way I like it to be. Health and lifestyle took primary focus and I continued to eat healthy and stay fit. However, the highlight of March would be our fifth wedding anniversary. I still can't believe that I have been married for half a decade. Cal and I have been together for seven years now and have been married for five. When I look at it that way, it feels like such a long time. Together, we've grown so much. Together, we've achieved so much. Together, we have created a life for ourselves. Together, we have seen all the ups and down. Together, we've got past all odds. Together, we'll continue to fight it all.

We traveled to Europe to bring in the milestone. This was a holiday we have been planning for a long time and it sure was a dream vacation for us. We first traveled to Prague, Czech Republic, which in my opinion is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is now my favorite city in the world after my beloved Bangalore. Next, we traveled to Salzburg and Vienna, both in Austria. Here, we witnessed snowfall for the first time and it was such a pretty sight. We even crossed the Austria-Germany border and went to Bavaria for a short while to witness the Alps and the most beautiful lake in the world, Lake Konigssee. Next, it was time for Budapest, Hungary. This is a city of bridges and each one is more beautiful than the other. The night cruise on the Danube river is one experience I would never forget! Then we headed to Amsterdam, Holland. This immediately became my favorite city after Prague. This is a city of canals and every street here is as pretty as a picture. Cal and I explored all the cities on foot and the two weeks that we spent together in Europe, brought us much closer and taught us so much about life.

As soon as I came back from this vacation, I had to jump into the A to Z challenge for April. I had the theme sorted and all the titles too, but the posts had to be written. This, while I was in the middle of a release at work. With barely time to write one post a day, I couldn't write posts ahead and schedule them. Today as I look back at the 26 posts that I wrote last month, each one of it was written and posted on the very day, apart from a couple which I wrote later and back-dated it to reflect Saturdays. I hate writing on the weekend as it is the time for me to spend with my husband and take care of my home, but for A to Z, I had to make an exception. While the theme I chose looks simple enough, narrowing it down to one favorite was very tough. Then picking out favorite scenes from them was another ordeal. In the end, I think I did a good job at it and I'm satisfied with how it turned out to be.

During the first week of A to Z, I was breaking down. I couldn't manage all of it. Work, writing, household chores and everything around was burning me out and I was losing grip on things and I hate not being in control of what I do. Yeah, I'm more the Monica than you'll ever know. I knew I had to take another look at these things. Once I decided to sit down and simplify things, everything fell into place and I was managing to get things done one after the other. Of-course prioritizing one thing would mean putting another on the back burner. This time it was cooking. Throughout April, I barely slept well due to the stress and the blazing heat and since I couldn't wake up early in the mornings, most of our breakfasts and lunches were at work. I continued to make dinners though, so it was a small win. I'm so glad to have such a supporting husband who understood my pressures and did not complain one bit. He knows what is important for me and doesn't let me give up on it. I wouldn't have been able to survive April without him.

It is now time for the gratitude. Here's what I'm thankful for in March and April:

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~ My Job: Kept me really busy, but I learnt a lot of new things and explored new areas.

~ Travel: Nothing makes me more happier than travel and traveling to four and a half (the Bavaria bit in Germany that I mentioned above) countries in a fortnight with the love of my life was an experience that we'll never ever forget.

~ Books: Even though I've had two hectic months, reading was pretty decent. I read a total of 11 books in March and April and now I've surprised myself. Most of them have been good reads and a couple of them have already made it to my best books of the year. You can follow my reading journey here.

~ Blogs: This A to Z I read so many new blogs and fell in love with some great content. As I broadened my horizon on reading blogs, I'm finding so many new bloggers with such good content. This, I will continue month after month.

~ Persistence: From almost giving up on the A to Z Challenge to completing it successfully, I'm so proud of myself for holding on. As much as I wanted to give up, I pushed myself to get it done. So, if I say that my A to Z posts have my blood and sweat in them, I would not be exaggerating.

~ Celebration: Five years of being married was nothing short of a celebration. More than the husband-wife relationship, for us it was all about being together and celebrating the love and respect we have for one another.

~ Love: What is life without love, eh? It gives you strength when you have exhausted all of it. It brings in a flood, when you are all dried up. It lifts you up, when you're heavy and bound. It makes the world go round, yes, but for me, it keeps me together.

That was my March and April. I'm looking forward to May to read more, write more and most importantly catch up on the non A to Z blogposts from bloggers I love, which I've missed reading this April.

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How did April fare for you?

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

34 comments:

  1. Oh man! How many hours do you have in a day? I am in awe of how you manage it all. There has to be some secret sauce. :)
    Congrats on 5 years or L with L. ;) Wishing both many more beautiful moments of travel and togetherness. A to Z sure must have been tiring and look at you. Wow! I am waiting to hear more on your travel and I can't stop admiring your travel pics. They are all simply amazing.
    Have a love May and we will meet soon!

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    1. Secret sauce? Well, guilt works well :P

      Thank you so much, Parul. We have so much to talk about. Wishing you a wonderful May too.

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  2. Congratulations Soumya - for completing the challenge and also for your 5th anniversary :) Travel does help a lot! I haven't travelled a lot but I know I should. Hopefully I'll travel more this year! That said, wishing you a wonderful May :)

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    1. Thank you, Reema. Mark my words, travel is important. Much more than you think. Please try to incorporate it as part of your lifestyle and watch the magic.

      Wishing you a wonderful May too :)

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  3. I loved your images and congratulations for completing five years of your married life. I appreciate you dedication, commitment and passion both for reading and writing - I am impressed with you completing 11 books:) The gratitude list is motivating. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thank you, Angela and welcome to my space :)

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  4. That was a fantastic roundup, Soumya. I missed your other posts as well and your comments too. But hats off, you managed to pull off A2Z. Kudos! So happy about your work and congrats once again for the 5th Anniversary. That you guys went to Europe was just fantastic. Europe is exceptional and I haven't been to all those places that you went to except Amsterdam. Must make another trip. :) Good to have you back!

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    1. Thank you, Rachna. I missed writing them and missed reading other blogs like yours too. But now I'm back :)

      Europe is a dream and everyone must visit a few countries atleast once. Wishing you another trip very soon.

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  5. Happy wedding anniversary! Five years is a milestone, we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary this April :)I will be a grandma this July and am looking forward to this next phase in my life :) Congratulations on completing the A to Z challenge, I gave it a miss this year. And yes, understanding and supportive husbands are a blessing, I too feel blessed. Loved the countries you visited and hope to go there soon.

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    1. It sure is. 30th? WOW, guess who is my new inspiration now :)

      Congrats on getting to be a grandma, I'm sure the feeling is wonderful.

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  6. Kudos to you for handling everything so wonderfully! Great job on the A to Z Challenge--and I am glad you made the trip of a lifetime! Amazing you managed to keep up with your reading.

    Wishing you lots of happiness...and thanks for being part of the Gratitude Circle, Soumya! Take care!

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    1. Thank you, Hottie! Also, thank you for reaching out when I was down and helping me sort a few things in my head. I love you for that <3

      Always happy to be a part of anything that is connected to you, you know that.

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  7. What a lovely way to celebrate your 5th anniversary. ( oh God feel old all of a sudden, been married for over a decade.. geez).. But then its not about how long, its all about the love and respect for each other. Its great her understand whats important to you. Can imagine how hectic it must have been jumping into the challenge, immediately after your vacation. But you sailed through it, bringing to the forefront some amazing movies. I have seen most of them, and your posts made me want to do a re run of a few of them. Glad you persisted. Wishing you another great month ahead, and will get back here for your May Graitude post:))

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    1. Thank you so much, Ramya! 10 years? Woo-hoo :D

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  8. Do you have any idea how quickly I read this post? It was just in the same tone you talk with me. Ah, the pleasure of sharing about the month that went by is one I wouldn't really miss from you. I loved the photos you shared during your trip. I love snow, but I am yet to experience it for real. Someday I will. Watching yours was such a wonderful experience. And my dear love birds, Love is a powerful thing and I am glad you guys found each other.

    I know you were so busy in April and you have definitely put out a treasure of movies to watch. How much sitting down and planning it all makes the work better, right? Thanks a lot for taking the time to talk in spite of your busy schedule.

    Yay to May! Ilakkiya turns 1 this month! I am super duper excited. Let's see how things turn out.

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    1. Thank you so much for being so patient with me, Jay. I 'm glad we got to talk for a while too.

      Super excited for you and Ilakkiya this May :)

      Love!

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  9. Your travel pictures are so dreamy. What an amazing way to mark the milestone and celebrate each other's company. A to z can truly leave one exhausted, but I am surprised you still managed to read 11 books... Like how is this even possible... I need that kind of strike.

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    1. Yours are more dreamier :P

      I managed to read some while traveling and some e-books while taking a break at work. Never thought it was so much though, honestly.

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  10. Wishing you a happy fifth wedding anniversary, Soumya!
    Despite all your work and your busy schedule, you did such a fanulous job at the A to Z! It' s not easy writing about films, scenes, actors and all of it when you are hard pressed for time. But, you sailed through it, as much as I can see. Bravo, girl!
    Congratulations on completing the A to Z so superbly!
    Glad on having met another good-film-buff! <3

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    1. Thank you, Shilpa! While the theme was easy, the post writing wasn't at all. But I'm glad I persisted and sailed through it!

      Thank you for all your love and support.

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  11. Congrats on the celebration of love Soumya- thats indeed something to be very grateful for :-)
    I am glad you didnt give up and persisted for the challenge- many congrats for finishing it well! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts and seeing how many movies we had as fav between us.
    BTW I happened to catch I am Sam on telly the other day; right after reading your review of it - totally blown away by it. What a beautifully made movie and Sean Penn was just delightful in it!
    Looking forward to your merry posts and staying in touch all through now - cheers Girl!

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    1. Ditto with your reviews Shalini. We had so many favorites in common and I was like "Man, this girl has great taste" :P

      I'm glad you liked 'I Am Sam'. It is a sensitive issue handled so brilliantly.

      You said it, I'll be stalking your space too now :)

      Love!

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  12. Salute Soumya! You’ve done exceptionally well in all sphere. I guess you age a pro at managing time. Will need huge tips from you.
    The holiday sounds delicious. And so were all your A-Z posts.

    You literally do devour books don’t you! Over the years I have become a very slow reader and don’t get as much time to read as I would wish too. But I’m glad I’m more consistent than before now.

    All the best for a magical May.

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    1. Thank you so much, Natasha! I have loved every post of yours and it has made me a much better person today.

      I do read as and when I can. Here's wishing you some good reading and a happy May!

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  13. Congratulations for completing 5 years with Cal. You two make a lovely couple.

    And as for productivity, you did a great job with the challenge. I haven't commented on all but I did read. Coming up with 26 posts is a sheer hard work.

    Kudos and love to you.

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  14. An April full of challenging yourself, and winning them all! You are amazing, Soumya!
    Congratulations on 5 years of togetherness and wishing you both many more.
    I did the East Europe circuit too and it is truly the most beautiful part of Europe. Prague and Salzburg have a piece of my heart.
    Kudos to you for completing the AtoZ, commendable achievement indeed!
    Wishing you a Marvellous May. Have a good one.

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    1. Thank you, Mayuri! East Europe sure is a treat to the eyes :)

      Wishing you a wonderful May as well, thank you.

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  15. So so so so happy for you, babe :) I am glad you took that trip. Was much-needed, I know.

    Your movie reviews had me sighing in nostalgia. I wanted to go back and watch each of them all over again. Please let's plan one movie date in June, just you and me :)

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  16. I loved following your trip on Instagram, Soumya.
    And you are right, Europe has some of the most beautiful cities in the world.
    I love that you are able to manage so many things without giving up on anything that you love.
    And you know what? I'm a Monica too! I need to control everything.
    I couldn't read and comment on all your A to Z posts but I read many of them.
    I love your recommendations.
    I'm going to turn to your posts when I need to find good movies to watch.
    Have an every better May :)

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    1. Thank you, Naba! High five on the Monica bit :D

      Wishing you a very happy May as well :)

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  17. I enjoyed following your travels on Insta :) April sounded pretty hectic for you and I'm constantly impressed by how much you push yourself. Good on you for completing the A to Z amidst all the other stuff you had going on.

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    1. Thank you, Sanch! You have been an inspiration to be in terms of fitness and being mindful, so I guess I applied the latter here :)

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