Before you begin thinking of chocolates and desserts thanks to the ‘delicious’ reference in the title, I just mean that May has been abundant and sweet in its own way. 2018 has been so many different things and gratitude has topped the chart on that list.

January saw the growth of the blog happen, as well as some warm family moments to cherish. February saw continued growth of the blog as well as lovely books and cemented friendships.

March was my foray into the entrepreneurial space and it’s been both challenging and exciting. April was extremely exciting, both with a birthday celebration and the destruction of my laptop!

As a result I wound up writing two extra gratitude posts: one in mid April and one in late May. That makes this the 7th gratitude post already in 2018 and the most interesting thing? The more gratitude you practice, the more it grows. It’s incredible!

So now, getting back to May and what I am truly grateful for.

Gratitude for May

Friends and Family

First, I must say that I ammost deeply grateful for all the prayers that were sent my way after my laptop burnt in April, especially from those who knew my manuscript went up in smoke. Finding out that it was safe after all, led to the previous gratitude post on the blog.

In fact I’m so touched and moved by this that I will be talking about the feeling associated with this on my parenting blog on Monday. You might enjoy it.

In early May my husband and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary. Since he was out of town, we had a quiet dinner for two at an Italian restaurant when he returned. This was extremely special and thoughtful of him, especially since he was still battling jet lag and also because he knows I love Italian food.

Towards the end of May we visited the family deity in the sleepy hamlet of Palakkad, Kerala and were plied with food, company and conversations a-plenty! Staying with family is a special kind of joy, especially these days when most people think twice about imposing on others. I’m glad we have these bonds for my daughter to experience first-hand.

Books and Reading

A book I profoundly enjoyed and also mentioned in my newsletter this time was ‘Deep Work’ by Cal Newport. The sheer wonder of something as simple as focus, in today’s distracted world and social-media explosion, was so gratifying to read.

I really recommend this book to anyone and everyone.

Okay I’m gushing a whole lot about this book in my Insta stories but that’s because it really deserves it! I’m only about getting into the first 50 pages but it’s amazing! * * It brings back memories of a non-connnected world, where I remember writing my MA thesis on the poet, e. e. cummings in under 3 months! This included two trips to Osmania University and its library in Hyderabad all the way from Ananthapur. * * When I’d read four or five books a week without batting an eyelid! * * Where I wouldn’t find excuses for not finishing work or not reading a book. * * And all of this is possible even today if we know what to do. Deep work is the key to lasting and enduring joy. * * *Aside: In a way, I’m glad that I chose #Pinterest as my long term strategy for the #blog because it requires patience, perseverance and commitment. Amazing how the Universe brings things together when you are ready, willing and receptive. * * PICK UP THIS #BOOK TODAY! 😃

A post shared by Shailaja V (@shailajav) on

I’m also currently losing myself in R.K. Narayan’s autobiography, ‘My Days’ and the book is so perfectly witty and self-effacing in his characteristic style! I had to actually unwillingly put the book aside to finish this post and you KNOW that means a lot, especially for someone who loves to blog.

Blogging and Work

The blogs have been doing reasonably well and on the occasion of this blog’s 4th anniversary, I took a decision which has lifted a weight off my shoulders.

On the Pinterest front, things are looking good, with a growth of 100,000 monthly profile viewers on Pinterest in the last month alone. In a surprising turn of events, my Instagram account grew as well and crossed the 1000 followers mark! I’ve been investing more time in a social media strategy for both Pinterest and Instagram, in the past month, which definitely seems to be helping with the blog too.

My e-mail subscribers also grew by close to 80 people in the last month and I truly cherish the ones who stick around and wait for my newsletter each month. The testimonials and the feedback bring smiles and happy tears every single time. You have no idea how good this feels.

The thing I am grateful for here is the knowledge that everything is temporary. What’s fantastic today can become the exact opposite tomorrow. Happy while it lasts and will continue to work hard to make it valuable to my readers and friends.

On the work front, May was lean but I have some leads for June and July and am extremely grateful to my past clients for helping spread the word. Your actions mean everything to me. Words are not enough to convey my gratitude.

This and That

In addition to all of the above, I am grateful for:

  • A roof over my head. The rains this past month have been something ferocious in Bangalore and each time it lashed the city, I sent up a prayer for those without shelter.
  • A working bathroom! We’ve had troubles with the flush tanks in two bathrooms for the past month but a truly efficient plumber came and fixed it in under 30 minutes and it’s so incredible how much we take things for granted. God bless him and his tribe!
  • A child like mine. During the vacation she really became involved in the household and helped out with so many chores all summer long. It was with a lump in my throat that I waved goodbye to her on day 1 of school yesterday. I’d gotten used to having her around all day. She also showed such maturity in a crisis that I was overwhelmed. Check out the Facebook post below for details.
  • My walking habit. It has become better and faster with regularity and even helping me with my monthly cycle these days. I urge everyone to get into some form of fitness regularly.
  • My planner and my schedules. Without them, I’d be a headless chicken and that’s no exaggeration!

When I began the year, uncertain and unsure of the way forward, my vision board gave me the strength to stay positive and look ahead with hope. A conscious decision to start and maintain a bullet journal as well as a monthly gratitude habit has worked wonders.

Each day I look forward to writing down my gratitude list. And each month, I cherish writing my gratitude posts on the blog. I hope you enjoy reading them and also begin writing your own, if you haven’t yet.

A habit like this changes you, for the better. Take it from someone who has seen the difference.

How was your May and what do you expect from June?

Let me know in the comments.

Linking up, as always, with Vidya Sury’s Gratitude Circle

*Note: This post contains links to the Amazon Affiliate programme. What that means is if you buy an item on the site through this link, I will get a referral fee, at no additional cost to you. If you do buy through this link, I thank you for your support. I only recommend items that I use and love.
Featured image: Thank you note by waewkid via Shutterstock
Pin image: Fresh Spring Tulips by Inna Taran via shutterstock

14 thoughts on “Gratitude and its delicious rewards in May

  1. You already know how proud I am of you for starting this journey of yours! I knew this is what was cut out for you way early 😀

    Gy is your daughter, do I need to say more. 17th wedding anniversary? Wow! You know as we grow old together with our partners, we realize that slow and quiet celebrations are the best. It gives us the time to look back at the journey together.

    Yay on the fitness bit! This is something no woman should compromise on. Wishing you an even happier June, Shy.


  2. I am just so proud and happy for you, Shailaja! You have been so transparent about your entrepreneurial journey, and is so inspiring!
    I added ‘Deep Work’ to my TBR as soon as you shared on Instagram. Thanks for sharing again!
    Keep shining, and hope June is fantastic!

  3. Your gratitude posts are always filled with positivity. Love reading them. Theres so much to learn from you and you are an inspiration to each one of us as bloggers. Keep up the good work, and heres to another great and rocking June!!

  4. I had missed that post on FB, so I am glad you chose to share it here. Gy is such a darling girl. And I know she gets at-least some of that wisdom from her mother. 🙂

    I am glad that 2018 is shaping up to be such a great year for you – on so many fronts. I hope you have a wonderful June ahead. 🙂

  5. “The more gratitude you practice, the more it grows!!” – this is so true. I always used to feel grateful for every small positive vibes around me but this made more sense after starting to pen down each month. I am really Glad and greatful to find Vidya’s Gratitude circle!! Your post always reflects your multitasking. Great work Shailaja. Wish you great June ahead.

  6. I’m quite glad that your 2018 is shaping up nicely. Especially on the entrepreneurial front.
    Stay strong and good luck with everything.
    Now excuse me while I have a good chuckle at your referencing of Palakkad as a sleepy hamlet. 😀

  7. What a warm glow to read your post, Shailaja, even though I saw your posts on Instagram about these. There’s something wonderful about reading and rereading a gratitude list, and that’s the magic of multiplying our happiness. I loved seeing Gy covering her books. I’ve enjoyed that pleasure and it brought back great memories. Sury was in Palakkad around the same time to give a talk at the IIT. We almost accompanied him but dropped the idea at the last minute.

    Congratulations on the blog/social media growth. How encouraging it is to see how your efforts pay off, right? I wish you continued success and a fabulous June ahead. May 20% of your efforts yield 80% of your income and may the remaining 80% effort be a total breeze! 🙂

    Take good care of your health. Thank you so much for joining the Gratitude Circle, Shailaja.

  8. Love your gratitude list! I’ll have to check out the book on focus.

    I’m just now five years cancer free! I went off the awful drug Anastrozole Friday and am slowly coming out of the fog…

  9. You are amazing, Shailaja! I know I have said this before but all that you manage to do is amazing. Add to that, you do it with all intent. I love that focus. I just hopped on to your FB post on the uniform story. Don’t be surprised at how thoughtful and mature she is. She is your daughter 🙂 This was to show up one day or the other.
    May you have a beautiful June. Hugs!

  10. I am so in awe of all you do Shailaja! Your blogging and social media stuff is especially amazing but also noticed your bullet journal work which I must admit is also awe-inspiring. Added to that, you juggle life too! I was especially happy to hear you didn’t lose your manuscript! Hope you have a fantastic June!

  11. Completely productive may for you, Shailaja. Happy to read all your success moments both in life and blogging front. You are a rock star in planning and scheduling. Happy June!

  12. That was a nice May. I am sure work will pick up. Good going on the social media platforms. Consistent strategy and hard work does pay off. So nice to hear about Gy. You know I miss having the kids around too as they really do such work around the home. With a sprained knee that was a Godsend. I do also enjoy the complete control over my routine now that both of them are at school on weekdays. So glad that you spent time with family. As I age, I realize that it matters more and more to me to do that. Good on the fitness front too. Keep at it. Wish you a beautiful and joyful June, Shailaja. Rock on!

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