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Action Replay + Gratitude List: Past Few Months

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I'm alive! Yes, there is no other way I would want to start this post. No, I haven't been sick or infected, I just have been busy and stressed thanks to the uncertainty around. None of us in Bangalore expected the second wave to hit us this bad and while the Government has continued to let us down, we have been trying our best to stay afloat. This time, Covid hit close home and we lost some close friends and relatives. We also had a bunch of people who were infected and thankfully recovered. The second wave hasn't been easy for any of us I'm sure and this is the main reason I did not want to put up a post here as it would have been a rant. I was angry, upset, sad and what not looking at the situation around me. Survivor's guilt is a real thing and at times I genuinely have felt ashamed about my privilege. Anyway, long story short, we survived and now we have been fully vaccinated as well. Hopefully, the third wave won't hit us so hard. Even if it does, I hope we're prepared. Also, I sincerely hope this is the end of the various mutants of the virus coming out. Sadly, it only gets scarier by the day.

My last post here was sometime in March and life has been just going on since then. No complaints though. It is only in times like these we realize how blessed we are. I have a steady job, a permanent roof above my head, a loving partner and a delightful pet. I also got everything that I needed on my door step thanks to online deliveries. After the doctors and the nurses and the other healthcare staff, these delivery executives are the most essential workers. They have made life so much easier for all of us. I just cannot thank them enough. Apart from the fact that we couldn't step out for a meal or to the gym, life remained pretty much the same for us. We could drive to meet our parents and sometimes we just took a drive to get away from the four walls of the house. Like I said before, privilege can make you feel really guilty at times.

Work has been hectic with me handling multiple projects within a release and having releases back to back. I've maintained a strict work schedule from when the pandemic started and that has helped immensely. I have created a routine for myself just like it was during the old normal times and this helps me have a decent work-life balance. I've had appreciation coming my way for the work I've been doing and it only makes me wants to work more smarter. Yes, I'm more of a smart worker than a hard worker. With unemployment on the rise thanks to the current economy, I feel lucky to still have a job, no matter how demanding it can get. 

I've been reading quite a lot this year too. I planned to read 50 books in 2021. Six months into the year and I've already read 83 books. Reading keeps me sane and I cannot imagine what I would have done without books. Unfortunately, my bookstagram account @she_booked_it was erroneously disabled by Instagram early June and hasn't been restored until now. I had more than 250 posts and 1.5k followers out there. Every picture I had posted there had so much of my creativity and effort put in. It takes time to create a setting for a picture, and even more time in editing it. This is followed by writing a caption that does justice to the book along with trying really hard to not sound monotonous. The whole process of putting up a picture along with a review is time consuming and it breaks my heart to have lost my account. I don't even have a backup of the pictures. Instagram automatically deletes any disabled account in 30 days, so if my account isn't restored by early July, I've lost it forever. I don't know if I have the strength or interest left in me to create a new account and start from scratch. But, I'm too much of a reader and a book lover to not have it all documented somewhere.

You can follow my reading journey via my Goodreads page until I think about getting another bookstagram account.

Writing obviously took a backseat as I did not want to rant here. Honestly, I miss the good old days of blogging. Earlier, I used to plan a set of posts per month, per week and stick to it. This was a place where I could talk about whatever I want, on topics that mattered to me. I feel sad that I had left it behind. Writing a blog post used to come naturally to me. God knows I have written a lot of random crap during my early days of blogging and these days I find it hard to even write a decent post. I don't know if it has to do with the time or with effort. Either way, from now on, I'm going to make a conscious effort to write when ever I have something to say. My life has completely changed over the last two years and that itself would be enough to talk about for a long time. Fingers crossed, that I can keep it going.

The past few months have been trying and peppered with highs and lows. Still, life wouldn't have been fair if it did not come with a share to gratitude. 

Here's what I'm thankful for, for the past few months:

~ Work: The perfect constant, the one that keeps me going and gives me an identity. 

~ Privacy: I cannot stress the importance of this enough. My personal Instagram account is now private and my Facebook account is locked. I only share stuff on these platforms very rarely and only when needed. Earlier there was an incessant need to keep posting something or the other. That need is now gone for good. Staying low profile has given my partner and me immense peace and we now have a lot more time for the other offline pleasures of life.

~ Books: I don't remember a time when I was not a reader. In fact I cannot imagine my life without books. Since the pandemic, I've only read more and have branched into such diverse genres. Even though I lost my beloved book account on Instagram, my reading has been strong.

~ OTT Platforms: We've watched so many movies and so many shows over the past few months. When you are at home, this is the best entertainment out there. Such diverse and excellent content some of them are!

~ Health: The second wave devastated us. Many of our friends and relatives were tested positive and some needed to be hospitalized as well. We even lost a few of them. Thanks to this, the situation was grim and while we were doing good physically, mentally we were exhausted. Survivor's guilt, panic, paranoia plagued us. Thankfully we are a couple who talk about everything under the sun and we had long conversations about what we were going through. This helped us have a stable mind and sail through these tough times.

~ Vaccine: We are blessed to have jobs that take care of us so well. Right from when the work from home started, we were given an allowance to buy things that would make our working from home comfortable for us. Our internet bills have been taken care of as well. Then, when the vaccination program started, they set up centers as quickly as they could. The process was seamless for us and free at that! Today, we are fully vaccinated thanks to this initiative by our companies. Cannot thank them enough. Especially when looking at the struggle others had to go through to get a slot for the vaccine or the vaccination shortage issues that cropped up later.

~ Technology: Gosh! I cannot imagine what the pandemic would be without it. Be it keeping in touch with my parents or ordering stuff, it has made our life so much easy. I know technology can be a bane and a boon, but let's face it, we couldn't have gotten through this pandemic without it. Social media finally rose up to what it was intended for and helped people get beds and treatment and everything else in between. This made me feel like the world is not such a bad place after all.

~ Delivery executives: These guys are the real heroes! Right from groceries to medicines to meat to food to sending packages, they have done it all for us! It is time for people to realize their importance and treat them better and with respect. I also hope that their companies take the initiative to get them and their families vaccinated at the earliest. We all know they deserve it.

~ Waffle: He's almost six months old now and is the greatest joy of our lives. He's grown up to be a happy, compassionate and loving pup and teaches us to find joy in the smallest of things. Spending time with him makes us forget the rest of the world and everything else in it. With him, we're wholly present and nothing else matters.

~ Love: Conversations keep a relationship going and that is the most important thing in a relationship according to me. Talk to your partner, communicate clearly on what you are feeling. Even before the pandemic, my partner and I have enjoyed spending time with just each other and we rarely included friends or family in the mix. Having each other during these trying times has made it easier for us.

This turned out to be a long post, but then again I haven't been here for a few months so I had a lot to say. Hopefully, I'll be regular here from now on.

Tell me, how have your past few months been?

Comments

  1. Babe, I am SO happy to see you blogging again. I came by a few times these last 3 weeks to see if you'd updated the blog and today I was thrilled to see this update! I've always loved your blog and am so happy you're back to blogging again.

    SO so sorry about the loss of the IG account. How frustrating and upsetting. I know how much work you put into the account, so big hugs.

    Good to hear you're both fully vaccinated. Whew! This second wave has been painful on so many fronts.

    Waffle is adorable! Thank you for regularly sharing his pictures with me. His face makes me smile every time I see it :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Shy! I'm finally here and I hope I stay consistent. I'm so disappointed with Instagram, but it is what it is. There is only so much one can do.

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  2. Oh Soumya, I know how much effort you put into your Instagram account. It must have broken your heart. But then as book lovers our stronger passions are for the pages. Digging deep into it often makes one forget pain. Speaking about books, I may give all the gyan, but Off late just not able to concentrate and read. Going really slow. Sigh! But hats off to you having read a good many of them.

    Privileges at these times are in the small things of daily life which we took for granted. Happy that Waffle, Spouse, books and your job is filling your days with happiness. I try not to think of all thats happening, and focus on better tasks. But it gets difficult.

    Glad you are getting back to writing. It may just push me to get back to writing and reading. I used to have a good schedule to do these activities before, but sigh, have lost it all now.

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    1. It affected me a lot, I'll be honest, but I need to accept it and move on. So I did. I've been reading quite a lot though, thankfully!

      I'm so glad you are back to writing as well! We need that distraction.

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  3. Yes, second wave has hit India badly. Many of our families and friends were infected this time. Some lost their lives. Some barely made it through. It was a difficult time for us to be away from our family when things were difficult at home. Worry is a constant companion with COVID around. Thankfully, now almost everyone is fully vaccinated. Let's hope that no new variants would come and threaten us again.
    So sorry about your Instagram account, Soumya. Why are such errors happening! I hope it gets restored the soonest.
    Wish you a beautiful July with regular blogging and a lot more reading, Soumya! :)

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    1. It would have been hard without being close to them, but I'm glad they are all safe now.

      Thank you, Vinitha! Wishing you a happy rest of the year too! :)

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  4. Survivor’s guilt is real! We were very lucky with the second wave - a few relatives fell ill, but they all recovered. We did lose some dear ones in our extended family and friends circle though, and the panic and fear and anguish was indescribable.

    I loved your bookstagram account - it’s so heartbreaking to lose all of that hard work! There’s still some time, though - maybe Instagram will still restore your account?

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    1. Sadly, it went away forever. I've opened a new one now.

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