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Action Replay + Gratitude List: 2018

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When I chose 'Survive' as the word of the year for 2018, life somehow decided to take it more seriously than me. 2018 has been a beautiful year in more ways than one, but it also has been the year that tried me the most. It threw me up, dragged me down, pulled my hair, squeezed me and tested every ounce of my patience. But, I survived! That's what matters right?

Before I get on to how the year fared, I'd like to take a look at my December first. December continued to be another busy month and work kept me on my toes and agitated throughout the month. While I was able to plan time much better, work still took most of it. As usual, reading and writing suffered. But when I look back at it now, December was somehow more peaceful than the past three months. It taught me a lot, showed me the true colors of people and somehow contributed in making me a better person. We also took a road-trip to Kochi during Christmas for a short sojourn. While the place disappointed us, the journey was worth it. Driving across beautiful roads, great music and never-ending conversations - what's not to love? The year ended on a good note too with most of the work being wrapped up and a certain calmness in the head. We rang in the new year at our place with some friends and had a peaceful start to the year.

2018 was clearly a divided year for me, with the first half being peaceful and the second half being extremely chaotic. The first half was simply brilliant in terms of both professional and personal life. Reading was going on smoothly and I was coming up with interesting topics to write about. Health and the diet was good and I managed to get PCOS in control as well. This was one of the biggest wins for me this year! We traveled a lot this year and our European vacation for our 5th wedding anniversary took the cake in terms of travel. It was magical in every possible way and visiting some of the most beautiful places on the planet with the love of my life was nothing short of heaven! This year, we even booked our dream home and will be moving into it soon. A cozy apartment would soon be our home and we look forward to doing it up together in the exact way we always wanted to. Work was going on great as well, with me getting recognized and appreciated time and again. I also completed a decade of my corporate life in the June of 2018.

The second half was terribly rushed and just swooshed by. I remember the year clearly until August and after that, everything is a blur. September started out and chaos and confusion seeped in. Work quadrupled and took me down with it. I was working non-stop day after day through the week. This went on until the last day of the year and it took a serious toll on me. It had me doubting myself as I was not able to do all the things that I do on a daily basis. Household chores were paused abruptly as was my reading and writing. The guilt hit me hard and I was losing my peace of mind. For a hyper active person like me to not do much was eating me up. One fine day, the inevitable happened. I broke down. My husband couldn't see me like this anymore and asked me to slow down and not neglect myself. He knows how important work is to me, but he didn't want to lose me in the process. He was right! Many other friends also asked me to slow down and not stress so much. When I had hit the peak I knew that I had to come down and not jump over. That's exactly what I did.

Slowly, with time I realized that I need not have to try to become super woman. I clearly do not have to do it all. I have wonderful support in my husband and all I need to know is to take care of myself and nothing else during stressed periods of time. Sanch introduced me to Brene Brown and there has been no looking back after that. I can't thank her enough for it. Her quotes and talks helped me understand myself better and have a much more realistic approach to life. That is exactly what I needed.

Life always has it highs and lows and now that I look back at 2018, I see what a wonderful year it has been in terms of growth. Be it professionally or personally. It was tough yes, but I survived. I learnt so many survival techniques in the process that will help me in the long run. I'm thankful for so many things that happened in 2018 that I doubt if I would be able to list it all here, but I'll still try.

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~ Work: Killed me and brought me back to life. Forever thankful for this. But yeah in 2019, I need to take precedence over my work.

~ Milestone: I completed a decade of corporate life in June. 10 whole years in a company. Honestly, I did not fall in love with my job on day one. It was a gradual process and I had to learn how to love my job. It took time, but I got there. Today, I cannot imagine myself without my work.

~ Travel: We took 6 vacations this year that were rightly spaced. While every vacation helped us refocus and brought us together, our anniversary trip to experience the winter in East Europe was one of the best vacations we've had. Prague is now my favorite city in the world, after Bangalore, of course, followed by Amsterdam. We also visited Salzburg, Vienna and Budapest and each one was more beautiful than the other. It was a dreamy vacation and the perfect place to celebrate half a decade of being man and wife.

~ Reading: 60 books in 2018. Definitely not an easy feat and I managed to get it completed. Reading goals for 2019 will definitely have to be more realistic.

~ Writing: I wrote 91 posts this year that includes 26 from A to Z for April. I wrote about a lot of topics that are close to my heart. I couldn't write much of poetry in 2018, I'll be changing that in 2019.

~ Home: We now have a place to call our home and I'm so looking forward to set it up. We've been looking up home decor and it clearly is not an easy process with all the thought that needs to go behind every color, fabric and material. Together, we've come up with an idea and we'll soon see it unfold. Quite an important milestone this is for both of us.

~ Friends: A set of my friends have stood by me through think and thin and I cannot thank them enough for it. I've made some wonderful friends in the blogging space this year and they are a very important part of my life today. They reached out to me when I wasn't very active on the blog and ensured that I'm all hale and healthy. 2018 made me realize how blessed I actually am.

~ Letting go: While I'm thankful for having some good friends, I also am thankful for having the sense of letting go of a few people from my life. It is not easy to cut ties with people who you have interacted with on a daily basis and share a personal and emotional equation with them. I had to do that early in 2018 and while it did hurt back then, I never think about it today. What's wrong is wrong, no matter who does it.

~ Health: While I took very good care of my health in the first half of the year, the second half went for a toss. We were eating a lot from outside and the timings were crazy and erratic. Still, the body held on and did not give up. I've pushed myself to the max physically and mentally this year and came out with flying colors, even having a control on PCOS this time. If this is not a victory, then I don't know what is.

~ The Ignore Bucket: I have an ignore bucket in my mind and I keep tossing people into it as and when situations arise. One of my proudest quality is that when I cut people off, I cut them off completely and can walk through them if I see them. Such people are a part of my ignore bucket and I like to keep it that way. I don't check the bucket or try to filter it. Once you are in it, there is no way out. This has helped me deal with a lot of heartache and is hugely responsible for my sanity today.

~ Family: While most of them continue to be unnecessary disappointments, the relationship I share with my parents and my in-laws has strengthened with time. No matter what other people say, we all have stuck together as family and in a weird way the ones who want us to break apart are the ones who are bringing us together.

~ Love: No matter what I say I'll never be able to do complete justice to the man in my life. Sometimes I sit back and wonder what is it that I have done to deserve someone like him. We've been together for so long now and yet it I still feel the butterflies every time I'm with him. He's been a solid pillar of support during the last four trying months and did not let me give up when I was clearly failing to keep it all together. I love the man, no doubt about that, but I respect him more than anything else. He's there for me 24x7 and has been the perfect companion, friend, adviser and partner. It is not easy to live with someone like me, with all my quirks and strong beliefs but he makes it feel like a cakewalk. Never once has this man asked me to change something about myself. Not once. He loves me whole and soul for the way I am and that's enough for me to walk into any battle. For I know, he always has my back and will never let me lose.

That was 2018 in a nut-shell. It's been a year of learning, growth, falling and rising, healing and survival. If I look closely, I see a really good year and I hope 2019 tops this one!

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Wishing you all a very happy 2019. May your year be filled with love, good health, fun, travel, adventure and happiness! Here's to all of us!


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


  1. Sounds like you had a mixed bag year. Congratulations on the new home! I understand the burnout you felt as I have been in the same boat since September and was not able to even sleep on time. Though the work was challenging, I did not enjoy the whole process. Wish you a happy new year..many wishes for you.

    1. Thank you, Lata. Wishing you a very happy new year too.

      I hope things are much better for you this year.

  2. No pressure, no diamonds! There is no one i know who cold fit this quote more than you, Soumya!
    You've had a roller coaster of a year and come out riding it as the winner. Kudos to that!
    Wishing you a 2019 that is fun, engaging but serene. Congratulations on the new home, I bet you guys will have a great time setting it up together!

    1. Awww, aren't you such a darling Mayuri! <3

      Thank you so much and wishing you guys a wonderful 2019 as well.

  3. Soumya <3 First of all a blessed new 2019 for you. Cheers to new beginnings. May 2019 bedazzle you with it's many charms.

    I've been meaning to hop across to your blog for the longest and finally I'm here. :)

    We seem to have sailed in the same boat in more ways than one this year. My year also went by in a blur, a break neck scramble of sorts post my birthday on August 24. There was barely time to breathe and yes, that did take a toll on me, my writing/blogging, my relationship goals, reading time, and me time. But all's well that ends well. There seem to be a fresh lease of life as the year wraps up. Touché Touché. Will tell you so when we speak or maybe will blog about it soon.

    And I so hear you on the "ignore bucket". Till three years back I thought all my relationships were great, little did I realise some were never meant to be. It's best to let go and move on for the sake of ones sanity. At the end of the day what matters more is that we have a rock solid families.

    You take good care and keep that gorgeous chin held high always. I'm sending you loads of good vibes and and love for a brilliant new 2019. Big Hugs <3

    1. Thank you Nats darling, you are simply too kind :)

      Let's talk soon and you said it, all's well that ends well. The new year seems sorted so far, I hope it lasts that way. Do blog about it, I'd love to read :)

      The ignore bucket is a blessing, trust me! Some people just don't deserve anything.

      Thank you, again! Your positive and healing vibes are indeed infectious.

      Love you! <3

  4. Your words about your husband is soooo beautiful. It feels amazing to have someone like that in life. And a big congratulations on the house. The decoration part is the best... You gonna love it. Your Euro trip was like a dream come true. I so want to do that someday. And you read 60 books! Girl what are you complaining about. You are smashing your goals. Hope the new year brings as much joy to your life.

    1. Thank you my dear Raj! Having the best partner helps set things smooth :)

      I'm looking forward to doing up the place from scratch! I hope you get to do the same to your house too.

  5. Hey Supergirl - wish you a very happy 2019 and am thrilled to bits to hear about your new home. Many congrats on that - thats a huge thing indeed. All the best setting it up, give me a shout if you need any help on that.

    Love the ignore bucket- I have a huge one - probably the size of an overhead water tank. I hear you on being able to just walk past all those who hurt/wound you without any thought/considerations. Please continue doing so for your own sanity. These ppl dont deserve your time.
    60 books is BIG - I had a goal of 50 but could only do 41.... Planning to keep it real at 40 this year with 4 books a month.
    Already made a list of books I want to be gifted this year as I am on a No-Book-buying-pact again ( that I never keep it, is another story ;-)
    Hugs and love girl xoxo

    1. Hey darling! As soon as the work at the apartment starts, do expect many calls from me. You are the first person who comes to mind these days when I think of home decor <3

      The ignore bucket is vital for ones mental health! Without that I'd be a gone case today.

      I've set a realistic target of 30 books this year and hope to achieve it without struggle.

      Lots of love to you!

  6. Firstly, Happy New Year! I wish that you travel a lot, read lot, write a lot and feel less stressed this year. 2018 was a mixed bag for me too. Not that anything bad happened. It was a lot of good but I somehow managed to ignore my health and progress. Second part of 2018 was stagnant, didn't do anything I wanted to do. But I am hoping I can turn things around this year.

    Your travel pictures have made me so happy and put Prague on top of my list. Do you have any travel plans this year?

    While most of them continue to be unnecessary disappointments - this line made me chuckle and nod my head vigorously.

    1. Wishing you a very happy new year too, Harini! Wishing you the best of health and adventure this year.

      I do have a lot of travel plans for this year. They will unfold as the year does :)

      Do visit Prague, what a gorgeous city that is!

      Toxic people are always unnecessary disappointments ;)

  7. So glad to read this post! Am aware of most of what you've mentioned. So proud of you, Soumya, for always weathering storms. I have seen you become calmer and so much more at peace. The last few months were tough on you but you managed them well. Happy to read about your job and of course, your man. It fills me with warmth whenever I read what you write about him. Touch wood and God bless you guys!

    Losing people close to us is tricky and sad. But then that's life. As much as it hurts, sometimes it is for the best. Very proud of your achievements on the health and fitness fronts. Wish you loads of joy and definitely some more free time in the days to come.

    1. Thank you so much, Rachna. People like you, Shy and Parul have helped me immensely this year in retaining my sanity.

      It always is for the best, no body deserves negativity in their life.

      Thank you, Rachna.

  8. What a lovely post and some of the things you listed, I have seen you there and I am happy that you emerged stronger and better. Very happy on your travel and reading. Work, for sure it should be life over work ;)

    As I read you and went through the ignore bucket and letting go, I agree with you. Do what you think is right and nothing else matters.

    L and you are such a cute couple. I love you guys <3. Touch wood! Wishing you both many more trips, more ideas on the house (which I have to see) and a lovely 2019 ahead.

    1. You are my chota packet who always energizes me instantly! I know that you always wish only the best for me and I love you for that. Every comment from you makes me feel so warm and fuzzy inside <3

      The minute I move in, you are my first guest, no doubt about that!

  9. Seems somewhat a mixed year for you, Soumya. 2018 was a mixed year for most of the people. I too had many lows and highs both professionally and personally.

    Wish you a very Happy New Year and wish the best for you in 2019.

    1. Thank you, Saurabh. Yeah, looks like 2018 was trying for most people. I hope you are in a much better place now.

      Wishing you a very happy 2019 as well.

  10. Happy New Year, Soumya! Sounds like 2018 was a mixed bag but I think that's what life is about. I'm so glad Brene Brown resonated with you. I first watched her Ted Talk in 2013 after a mate of mine recommended her to me...this was after I was burnt out earlier in the year. And while I still fall prey to perfectionism, it's much better than where I was back then. Always happy to discuss further and talk more.

    I think 60 books in a year is beyond impressive! And that's awesome you managed 6 trips. I hope 2019 is everything you hope for!

    1. Thank you, Sanch! Wishing you a splendid new year too <3

      We sure will talk more about here, I'm still going through her talks.

  11. Congratulations for your new home, Soumya! I still envy your reading (LOL).

    Happy 2019 :D

    1. Thank you so much!

      Wishing you a very happy 2019 as well :)

  12. First of all,heartiest congratulations for your new home and for all the great feedback your received at your workplace! You deserve it all, you know!
    May this new year bless you with loads of peace, good health (most important!) and happiness!
    Do take care of your health, Soumya! It is THE most important aspect of our life which we tend to ignore when buried under a load of work.

    WIsh you a happy 2019!

    1. Thank you dear Shilpa! Health will be of most importance henceforth :)

      Wishing you a very happy 2019 too!

  13. I have to confess that I LOVE reading your recap posts, Soumya. The way you sum up things, the good, bad and ugly, and everything in between - makes me feel like we are having a real conversation. A conversation between two friends where we share and bring each other up to speed with our lives.

    Congratulations on the new home. It's an important and a very special milestone, even though for someone like me, it quickly got super overwhelming too- what with all the decisions about furnishing and decorating. But I know you are going to rock it!

    Wishing you a wonderful year ahead!

    1. Thank you for all the love on the blog, Shantala. Your comment makes me feel so good, so thanks again :)

      I'm tearing my hair out trying to make decisions about the house. There is so much to be done!

      Wishing you a wonderful 2019 too :)


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