I always end the year by writing about my accomplishments, failures, regrets, and resolutions. I mean we all should take time to reflect and take action. 2018 if I have to summarize for myself – The most uneventful year of my life. And please here I am not counting the presidency in United States, suicide of Anthony Bourdain , marriage of Meghan Markle and denuclearisation of North Korea. I am writing this , just to reflect on me – Things I had planned for myself, my bucket list items that I could not complete, the un-eventfulness of my professional life and above all my resolutions which were out of the window in first 2 months of 2018. This does not mean that I am not thankful to what I got in 2018. Its just – It did not go the way I planned or hoped it to be. So lets start with the bad and then move on to the good. Let me tell you why 2018 was a let down , 2019 I am still hopeful.
My regrets/failures/not so happy moments of 2018:
1) I did not travel as much as I want to . Yes, I had 8 countries to visit for my goal in 2018 and I only made it to 4.For an Indian living in USA , your visa always come between what you want and what you can do. This was one of those years which had so many moving elements to our visa status that planning a trip outside USA was a challenge and a risk. So we were pretty much land locked.
2) 2018 was a year of a bit of health problems. And me and Manhar took turns in getting sick. It was my Sciatica pain vs his back pain – a result of lifting heavy camera equipment , endless night photography and not sleeping properly. It was a year of endless pain and pain management. We spent a lot of time in getting back to our normal selves but had to put a lot of our plans on hold. We are still recuperating but believe me when I say – Yoga can cure anything and everything.
3) I hated 2018 because I had to give away my first car , my Nissan Sentra or fondly known as Dhanno ( Yes Sholay fans , you know what I am talking about). It was the first car I bought after college. It had such a sentimental value . It was that One thing that reminded me of everything I went through in United States but we had to part ways.
4) This was a year of highs and lows. There were times when i felt very motivated – motivated to a level that I revamped my blog website in a day , worked 12 hours a day for months in office, picked gardening as a hobby for my love of organic food ,tried to be minimilastic and tried my luck in learning foreign language. And when my motivation and efforts did not give me results I wanted – I went in a shell. I went in a lull where everything was pointless, meaningless and basically resulted in my “I don’t give a damn” attitude. So for long time I am sure Manhar felt I have a personality disorder , but it was more to find a reason to remain motivated , meaningful and sane.
5) Which brings to my next point. I hate the fact when people attach that need of finding meaning , motivation and purpose in life with having kids. Not a single day went by in 2018 where people did not suggest me to have kids. Which is the most annoying thing to listen. Don’t get me wrong – I love kids . I have nieces and nephews. But I feel life should be a little bit more than this. I think I am disappointed with myself for not making an effort in 2018 to do something for less fortunate. Its not that I did not have time or resources to help others. I think it was procrastination and I should blame myself for that and not perhaps 2018 😉 .
In the grand scheme of things, my regrets and failures are minor, and I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful for most of my regrets, in fact, because they often helped to teach me lessons along the way.
So here is what I have planned for 2019.
1) I have realized that no one can take care of you as much as you can take it yourself. Hence one of the key things I am going to do in 2019 is #MeFirst. Yes I am going to put my health above everything. I never believed in Yoga much until it help me in getting rid of my back pain. So i am going to continue with my yoga practice and try to work out even more to tone my body.
2) Physical health is no good if you are mentally exhausted or not investing in your mental health. The most successful people never stop learning. There’s a reason why 70% of adults in professional or managerial roles continue their education — it’s one of the best ways to keep up with industry trends, learn from experts, and get the creativeness flowing. So 2019 , I am going to dedicate time in reading. I don’t think I read a lot in 2018 – hardly 3 books. But this year I already know the areas that I want to improve on so stay tuned as I share some book reviews. I love reading biographies and if you know any good biographies please share with me in comments below.
3) This year I plan to learn the art of unplugging from social media. Or fondly known as social detox. I know that impulse of – Seeing it, sharing it, liking it. I have checked my phone more than 10 times just while writing this blog post , for no good reason. I am going to make a conscious effort to not reach out to my smartphone , resist it and try to rewire my brain to not crave for connection with the world all the time. I should be fine just by being alone, just by spending time with myself. I will let you know how it goes.
4) I am a stickler when it comes to To-Do lists. Everything has to be finished and everything must be as I planned. I think this is the reason of my anxiety because I have this constant push of finishing up the things – even though they can wait and I am not going to get a medal for it. I know Manhar will never say it but it kinds of stresses him out too. So 2019 , I am going to work on being flexible and take things as they come. Planning is good but there should always be room to wiggle around.
5) We were travelling to Flores Islands in Indonesia in 2018 when I literally witnessed the utter crap and mayhem we are causing to our environment. The plastic bottles , carry-bags , straws, clothes, stale food , rubber made things – practically anything you can imagine , I saw it in waters of Indonesia. As tourist numbers continue to increase, understanding the impact our travel choices have on the planet has never been more important. And I feel if we don’t take any action , there will be nothing left for anyone. In 2019 I am going to make an effort to minimize my carbon print. Of course it starts with minimizing the use of plastic. There are so many things in our day to day life that we use without noticing its impact on our environment. I will urge you all to make atleast one eco-friendly resolution and stick to it. Every effort counts , isn’t it.
6) I feel one of the greatest feeling of satisfaction is giving back to the community. I have such inspiring role models in my life – my parents who work tirelessly making their home town a better place for everyone. And small acts of kindness go a long way. Elderly people in general feel so lonely and helpless. So I will definitely try to find a program in Boston where I could volunteer to help elderly and bring some joy.
Lastly , needless to say – I will keep making an effort to travel more. I have this insatiable need of seeing everything and I will just keep pushing the boundaries . Because my goal was never to quit my job and make travel as my only life. It was always to make travel part of my life. I will love to hear from you as to how do you plan to reset yourself in 2019. Do you have any regrets? Do you have any resolutions? I wish you all health , happiness, joy and wanderlust for 2019. Hope 2019 be the year when atleast your one dream may come true. Thank you so much for stopping by.