Action Replay + Gratitude List: November 2019

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November has been a really peaceful month and I couldn't be more happier. I've had a insanely busy year so far and finally in November I was able to put my feet up and rest for a while. By November first week, I was done with all my official work and it gave me some good free time to focus on my interests and passions. Weirdly, as thrilled as I was to get some time off, I started missing work after a day. I'm someone who is used to being busy all the time. Suddenly, all the free time was making me claustrophobic and I just wanted to get out and do something. I suck at taking breaks from work for his very reason. I have spoken about it before here as well. Still, I managed to hold on to my sanity and kept myself busy by doing things that mattered to me.

Work was done well and on time and I was more than rewarded for it. As much as I try to not give a lot of importance to my work, I always keep coming back to it. I've been working for an eleven and a half years now and I have been like this since day one. I still love the rush of deadlines and the thrill of a successful release. Everything in my life revolves around my work and it is a huge part of my identity today. Even on crazy busy days, it gives me solace. I feel at home when I'm doing my work. It is something that is really sacred to me. So obviously having some time out without work did not go down well on me. Everything will start back in December and I'll be thrown into piles of work. Then, I'll start looking for some free time I know. It is a vicious cycle, this.

When I set myself a target of 30 books to read for this year, I thought it was going to be easy. Well, it was not. With a lot of work at the office, plus, moving into the new home and settling down, reading had to take a backseat. I did not want to read books just for the sake of a challenge, so I let it be. This November, I managed to complete the challenge successfully, with a month to spare. I have put in so much effort and dragged myself to get here, I know. Hopefully I'll plan better the next year. I read three books this month and each one has been a great read. The books I read in November are:

~ Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens: What a wonderful book! This book makes it to my top 5 of the year for sure. You can read my review here.

~ The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides: A crazy, shocking, psychological thriller! Not perfect, but nearly there. Read my review here.

~ Em And The Big Hoom by Jerry Pinto: This was an emotionally taxing book. I expected it to be a take on dysfunctional relationships within a family, but the premise turned out to be about mental illness and what the caregivers go through. It wasn't easy to read, but it sure as hell is a great book. I'll review it soon.

I'll be celebrating my love for books throughout December in a photo a day challenge on Instagram dedicated solely to books. Read this post to find out more. Do participate and spread the word, please.

As the year is coming to an end, the sense of gratitude is becoming more stronger. Here's what I'm thankful for, this November:

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~ Work: When appreciation comes your way for the hard work and time you put into something, the feeling is unmatchable. This vicious cycle is something I'm happy to be a part of.

~ Friends: My girls, who I have been best friends with for seventeen years now, visited me at home and we had a blast! I cooked some delicious food and we sat all day reminiscing of our younger days and all the notorious things we've done over the years. Parul visited me at home too and we had such a pleasant time. While our husbands were busy discussing business, we indulged in some gossip ourselves! I also took a day off and met Shailaja. It was the much needed break that I needed and we had long conversations over some great food. Friends make life better. So much better. My bestie of two decades, P, who has been in the US for a while now will be visiting India later this month. I cannot wait to meet her.

~ Health: I have been on and off with regards to fitness, but I'm glad that there has been no weight gain or bloatiness. While sleep was a problem for a while again, with time it got better. I've been eating healthy and I can feel it within myself.

~ Reading: My book page on Instagram is doing pretty well and I have been getting some good compliments on the pictures I post there. I also have been buying a lot of books thanks to the recommendations I've been getting. Reading gives me a certain happiness that other things seldom do.

~ Plants: I never thought that being a plant mom will give me so much happiness. We have a lot of plants at home now and I enjoy looking after them and watching them grow. I worry for them when we travel. Plants need tender love and care to flourish and that is teaching me a lot about life in general.

~ Writing: I'm happy to have written some good posts this month. I always try to do at least two book reviews a month and I'm glad I was able to this month. That post on Kabir Singh evoked interesting responses and I'm glad that I stuck to what I felt about it. Honest opinions has always been the USP of my blog and that will never change.

~ Self-Pampering: I went in for a manicure and pedicure this month for the second time in my entire life. The first time was as a preparation for my wedding almost seven years ago. Apart from getting my eyebrows done or a haircut, I seldom visit salons. I just walked into one on a whim and I loved the peaceful and relaxing experience. I do not like it when people touch my feet, even if it is for a pedicure. I feel really weird about it. The stylist made me understand that it was their job and I did not have to feel bad about it. Finally I gave in. Thank God I did. My nails look so pretty now and I sure did enjoy the massages and all the other cleansing involved. I need to do this more often now.

~ Travel: We took a road trip this year to Madurai to attend the wedding of a dear friend. While my husband had been there before, it was a first time for me. We city folk clearly have the wrong idea about small towns. People are so warm and friendly and everything is so quiet and peaceful out there. We visited the Meenakshi Temple and I was appalled by the commercialization of religion in our country. The temple is serene though. We went to Coimbatore next and visited the Isha foundation. There is something so zen like about that place. I've been wanting to see the statue of Adiyogi Shiva since the day it was inaugurated two years ago. It was a stunning moment, the first time I set eyes on it. Almost magical. We spent a good couple of hours there, basking in the peaceful surroundings.

~ Prime and Netflix: I've been watching 'The Crown' on Netflix and I'm completely hooked! It moves very slowly, but so well. I'm someone who is obsessed with the Royals and this show is making me respect them more. My husband and I are watching 'This Is Us' on Prime and we are loving it with every episode. The Pearsons are so adorable! I cannot believe that we're watching it this late, but, better late than never, right?

~ Love: Having your partner as a companion in almost everything you do as well as knowing each other enough to give them space when needed, is a blessing. We are not the ones to believe in the smothering and showing-off kind of love. We respect each other more than anything else and this gets us falling in love with each other, day after day.

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November was wonderful enough to bring the rest of the year together well. It helped me tie up a lot of loose ends and see the clearer picture that 2019 was. Just another month to go for the new year and I honestly am excited. 2019 was testing to the core, but it did come with its good share of lessons. I'm looking forward to see what 2020 has to offer. But, before that let's go with an open mind into December. Work shall resume soon for me and I'll be juggling home, office and all my passions once again. Honestly, I'll not have it any other way.

How was your November?


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

10 comments:

  1. Such a lovely month you've had. I liked visiting Madurai, though I couldn't spend much time there apart from visiting the temple. The temple is such a serene place. It's true that religion is commercialized here. Money becomes the priority if you want to have a darshan. Anyway, those talks for later.

    I'm so happy you enjoyed November and this was such a warm read Sou. Happy December to you.

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  2. Good to hear about your November. It had to go well after all it is my birth month. ;-) Happy that you had a relaxed month filled with books, meeting friends, plant babies, travel and fun. I am so hooked onto Netflix, Prime etc. that I hardly read. This entire year went by like that. So much amazing content to watch! And seriously only second time for manicure and pedicure! You know I started getting more massages and pedicure after the birth of my second son. I needed the relaxation with 2 pesky kids. Now I get them done 3-4 times a year. I love all that pampering. Hope December is beautiful for all of us. <3

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    1. Thank you, Rachna. November has been wonderful in so many ways :)

      I'm glad we're meeting this December.

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  3. Wow this sounds like the perfect month of the year so far Soumya-you got so much done with reading, traveling and meeting some very gorgeous people. So much love and blessings in this month-so happy and grateful for you my friend.

    I agree with the small towns being the best in terms of hospitality and warmth- you find some great food there too. I am not temple obsessed and totally agree with your view point on the commercialization. Its really sad that we do this to ourselves in name of faith.

    I loved your Kabir Singh post and agree word to word on it- I cant believe I watched this movie this late. I cant believe I doubted Shahid Kapoor- he does some really good roles and this one was incredible.

    The books sound like a heavy read and I have marked them to check them out on Good reads for reviews and see if I would like to get into them- A big Yay on completing the challenge. I am done with mine too though still reading and it feels great to have finished it with time to spare.

    Wishing you a December full of love and laughter- may the last month of the year be the best summation of the year that its been xoxo

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    1. Indeed, Shalz. November culminated the year beautifully for me, looks like. I'm not temple obsessed either, I was just there to admire the beauty of the place. But I was in for a surprise! It is so sad that everything is about money these days.

      Wishing you a wonderful December too, Shalz!

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  4. Same pinch, sweetheart. <3
    I also just started watching "This is Us". Watched an episode long back and had ditched it. (not much of a telly person, that I am) Now we are hooked. Mi familia and I. :) Also watch Modern Love, Sweety. I know you will love it. Amazon Prime.

    And yes Plant Mommy is such a gratifying thing. I have a whole bunch of them and though they demand all my TLC, they bring so much joy to my heart and hearth.

    I so wish I could write my gratitude posts again. But there's been a time crunch these days.

    Sending you big hugs and big love for a fabulous December, and may the new year kickstart on a brilliant note.

    Let's get on to that call soon, babes. :)))

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    1. Yay, you are the best! <3

      I've been hearing so much about Modern Love, I'm going to get started on it right away!

      Being a plant mom has been so satisfying! It is quite some effort, but totally worth it.

      Wishing you a fabulous December too, darling! We'll talk soon. A Christmas or new year wish perhaps! <3

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