Four months to 40. The more I say it, the closer it seems. Also, it’s rather narcissistic, but hey what’s a blog for if not to lay bare your soul? So in case you missed it, do go and check out my other two posts in this series:
Earlier this week, on Facebook, I asked my friends this question:
And the answers were wonderful in their sheer variety.
At the end of this post is my list of things that I am proud of having done in 2017. (But hey, don’t skip to the end just yet. Take your time, read this post when you are relaxed, reflect on it and let me know if you took anything away from it. You don’t have to comment right away and you don’t even have to comment at all. But stop for a few minutes and completely give yourself to the reading of this piece. I will try and make it worthwhile.)
In exactly 4 months, I will enter a new decade or will complete a very eventful one, depending on how you look at it. In that sense, every moment is a twin, isn’t it? It’s a beginning and an end, in itself. The only difference is I cannot change the past while I can try not to make the same mistakes in the future. Otherwise, the person is the same. The terrain is different, that’s all.
Now that the ‘wisdom-giving’ bit is over, time to move on to the real stuff. Although, to be honest, I am in a bit of a quandary, because everything seems at once important and negligible at the moment. To make it simpler, I’ll talk about some core concepts that dominated this past year:
Let’s start with the most basic thing: Being online.
In the past year, I’ve become more conscious how much I am present online. It’s ironic given that my blogs and my work are all online, meaning I cannot really avoid it completely.
But what I can control is the amount of time I spend online in addition to my blogging and my work. And that means social media. It means having to reduce reading articles late into the night, listening to podcasts into the wee hours or watching YouTube videos on loop, either to learn something or just to while away the time. And it can be an addictive loop, or a habit that is just too hard to break.
Or is it? Validation is a terrible trap to fall into, especially on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, where, by definition, the prettiest of pictures will get you the highest number of likes. And I confess I was getting drawn into it, especially with Facebook in the first half of the year and Instagram in the latter half. Until something happened.
Enter three key factors: health, sleep and mindfulness. Working on my body, even if that meant just daily walking, helped me focus on health. Going to bed by 10 pm on most nights helped shift my body clock to an earlier wake up routine, which did wonders for my mood and my physical stamina. Mindfully approaching every moment, be it on social media or in offline interactions, helped me understand perspectives and gave me an insight into other people’s points of view.
Shifting the perspective towards social media and gadget time in the last few months have changed how I approach being online. Being a blogger does not mean that one has to be available 24 X 7 online. It also doesn’t mean you have to put your finger in every pie.
Once I let go of the constraints that social media placed on me and embraced it as a useful tool, I began to enjoy it. How this happened was due to the concept of time blocking that I implemented regularly. Short, 15-minute bursts of time on a social media channel with a clear intent on why I was there in the first place: this helped me a lot.
2017 was the year for a lot of things and two of the best things that happened were: personal growth and finding peace. This didn’t come without its share of heartbreaks but it came with a lot of understanding and compassion.
And now, we come to the list of things I am proud of for the year gone by as a blogger, parent and person:
- Embracing a new social media channel from scratch and learning (still learning) how it can help me as a blogger
- Completing 10 years as a blogger
- Earning my first affiliate sale as a blogger
- Launching my newsletter for my parenting blog
- Getting back to writing and knowing that I haven’t lost my touch
- Completing more than 800 days of going yell-free at my daughter
- Being declared the winner of a parenting blog award
- Winning second place for best use of Twitter in 2017
- Helping my daughter understand the need for determination and hard work
- Digging deep and knowing that I am capable of a lot more than I give myself credit for
- Learning to stop gossipping about others and noticing the difference it makes to my relationships
- Starting a meditation and mindfulness practice
- Taking control of my health by starting on a fitness routine
- Surviving a severe illness and a possible terminal diagnosis in early 2017
- Making the switch to the menstrual cup and completely stopping disposables
- Learning that people are just that: people. Their actions are affected by their circumstances and one must not judge anyone, any time
- Learning not to react/rant at anything contentious online
- Reading a few wonderful books,especially ‘A Man Called Ove‘ and ‘Wonder‘
You’ll notice that most of these are not tangible achievements in the true sense of the word, meaning they aren’t material things. But I think it’s important to celebrate every little win that makes life better.
As 2018 approaches, I am calm, happy and fulfilled. Without some of the hard knocks of 2017 and the wonderful highs, life wouldn’t have been half as interesting or useful.
Thank you for being part of my journey, as readers, fellow bloggers and friends. I hope 2018 is everything you wish it to be.
(Featured image courtesy: Shutterstock)
LINK UP YOUR POSTS
I’d like to invite you all to share your own blog posts on my link up below. The theme should be on gratitude for 2017 or a look back at the lessons from 2017 or something you’re proud of having done this year.
How to participate:
- Link back to this post on your blog
- Write a new post on the topics mentioned above and link up below. (no word limit)
- Read and visit at least 3 others on the link up.
Link up closes on December 30th, so do link up before then
Also linking up this post with Shantala over at ChattyBlogs and
ElgeeWrites for Bloggers’ Comment junction 🙂
Yes! Linky within a linky. It’s so lovely!