I put up a Facebook post today morning telling that I had a fabulous 2017. When I thought more about it, I had more things to be thankful than I let out in Facebook. So here goes 17 reasons for which I loved 2017.
- This year has been great in one aspect. It was about letting go. I didn’t let go too much of things. But I had let go few things not by choice but by an accident. It was like a mini achievement since I wrote extensively about attachments and their importance.
- There had been instances which incited immediate responses. Negative ones. Of Course they all happened online. Either would be an outrageous horseshit in the name of opinions. Or pathetic people propagating themselves to be someone they are not. I tried my best not to get into such posts and give them a piece of my mind. But thankfully I resisted. And there was little drama.
- I learnt that it was OK to splurge. I got my third iPhone this year. And I should say I absolutely love it. It was a thing for bucket list three years ago. Sometimes I do feel guilty when I carelessly toss it to a pillow or something.
- Trips make great friends. I traveled quite a bit this year. Better than 2016 in any case. And there was this person who was constant in almost all the trips I took and he went on to go for a Himalayan expedition too. He is chronicling it here. I can say that I have become tolerable to people around me this year.
- I have grown rather fond of Linen clothes this year. I am giving away my old clothes and stocking up new one, which are exclusively linen. I am planning to go Kaadhi next year. But it is still in planning. Linen is easy to wash and it suits me well (I hope).
- Never underestimate the power of a ‘Hi’. Somewhere at earlier part of this year, I randomly pinged a person who was in my friend list for so long. I have always admired her writing and we decided to meet for a coffee. What happened was continuous scheduling of such meets which lasted minimum of six hours every time. This lead to the release of my second book, as she agreed to edit it. She finished around 30% of her own novel. If it was not for that random hi, such thing would have never happened.
- Spending time with family had always eluded me. My mother was working from 1980 and I have always longed to spend time with her. And when we moved to this city, I started working ridiculous hours. When I was in night shift, Saturday evening and Sunday were the only days I ever saw my mother. Social obligations always came with a hint of guilt. This year, I worked from home, Mom had retired and I was always sitting with her, chatting, learning so much about the family history, her struggles at work and so many other things. If 2017 gave me something special, this would rank first.
- Getting up early gives at least extra three hours for us. Suddenly 24 hours were more than enough. I started getting up early for work and handle things head on or as they say in business jargon, I swallowed the big frog first thing in the morning, which left me with a lot of time at hand, which I utilized for learning, writing, reading and socializing.
- I learnt to say No. Not for food though. But to the people who were draining me. Mostly it was business clients who had no idea what they were doing and taking me down the stream with them. At one point of time I had become obsessed in finding solutions for the problems that were not mine at the first place at all. Last year, I faced many rejections business-wise and thankfully this year, I was able to reject the business relationship with companies who had no clear vision, had very short sighted ideas and who didn’t believe in respective other people’s time.
- Continuing the last point, as the famous sleuth once said, when I eliminated the rubbish that I was dealing with, I was left with pure diamonds in my hand. I had become to appreciate the lasting business relationship that had the same wavelength and business ethics as me. This lead to better ideas, ideas coming into fruition and less duration spent in business meetings and more time spent in restaurants.
- Writing is fun; everything else related to publishing isn’t so much. I was very excited bringing out my second book. Sadly, I overlooked few tone changes and POV changes at the final draft, but I was happy with the overall product. Distributing the book, marketing it, constantly talking about my book and the work and the research went into it, was not my cup of tea. The sales suffered a bit because of that. And I also had to struggle with the boyish expectation of reviews of people who read the book. No regrets whatsoever.
- I also realized Writer’s block is a real thing. It is as real as the reader’s slump. At one point of time I was writing daily and I thought I was unstoppable and suddenly it stopped like a power cut. I started to binge on VSOD (Video Streaming on Devices) and it didn’t help at all. All my story ideas had been used, sometimes they were done better which totally drained my concentration.
- I couldn’t keep away from screens. I was either looking at a phone or laptop or TV. If I was not doing any of these, I was playing PS4 games or watching movies. Though I have made conscious decision to stay away from screens, it is proving to be difficult.
- The only time I felt helpless was when I tried to stop smoking. I didn’t realize it had such a strong hold on me. I didn’t like feeling helpless so I stopped thinking about quitting smoking. I made peace with the fact that it needs more work.
- I re-discovered my taste for food. Not because I quit smoking, which I didn’t as I said in previous point. Mom’s cooking daily and then some friends who cook amazing and few more friends who knew which place is the best inside and outside Chennai and adding to that a dear friend opened a great decor cafe this year.
- This year I became uncle to a niece and a nephew all over again. And the way both the news delivered to me was the highlight of it. I am still scared of holding babies. My scared face scares the baby which results in crying. But when the niece grows up, she would be proud that her uncle is a writer. And at least for that reason, I intend to continue writing. I am sorry folks.
- I learned to laugh at people and importantly myself. This is one thing I am proud of doing this year. I owned up my mistakes and shamelessly admitted it to myself and to the concerned parties whenever I felt I was acting like a jerk. I learnt that most of the people are forgiving and they are willing to put grudges behind them. And people loved it when I was true and honest. This is something I intend to carry over next year.
In so many ways, I am a spoilt child. My friends pamper me for no reason. I used to visit a friend whose house had two bedrooms. He used only one bedroom and converted the other one as library overflowing with books. Whenever I was at his place, when I bid adieu, he would give me a book or two handpicked by him, according to my taste. I had to visit him in hospital this year where his mother was admitted. We chatted alright and when I started back home and stopped for a fag stop, I got an email with three e-books, which brought me out of reading slump. This is a friend I thought I had lost forever. Thankfully people are good. And they, in their own sweet way, show me my place.
Then there was this person who released her first book and if I am guessing right, half way through her second book. All I did was to give a timeline regarding editing and publishing. She attributed all that success to me. She didn’t have to. This is an era where writing, blogging, photographs are used across the mediums without credits. It felt good to get credits, even though I believe that I get much more than I deserve.
What are the 17 things that were good to you this year? How is your 2018 going to be?