I wanted to do this so many times this year, but the procrastinator in me won. But today, I’m doing it. It’s the last Friday of 2019 and it’s time for one last introductions post for 2019 (or in my case, the only one this year, LOL).
For those who are new, I used to do this once a month to tell my audience a bit about myself. To keep this interesting, I used to make ‘10 Things’ Lists all of which can be found by tapping on #BMB_10Things.
Last List was on September 7, 2018…
so here goes.
1. I read 29 books…
Out of which only 3 books were read in the last 4 months of 2018, the rest (26) are for 2019. Yes, that’s a personal best for me because I never read that many books even when I didn’t have a baby. In fact, I just have a few more pages to go in two other books that I’ve been reading, so this number could easily go up to 31 making it a total of 28 books for 2019. And my target for this year was 18 books. Suffice to say, I killed it in this department. I put EVERYTHING else on hold, including LORM, but I killed it.
I didn’t read much between 2016-2018, 2-4 books each year only, but here are some stats for the three years before that, all thanks to Goodreads 🙂
2015 – 14 books
2014 – 25 books, and
2013 – 22 books
2. I took a solo trip in end of September 2018…
…which was another first for me in two ways.
a) It was my first solo trip, ever, and
b) it was the first time I was away from Laddoo for three whole days and nights.
I didn’t go backpacking or anything but I went to Hyderabad to spend some time with two amazing gals – @andhowdoyoudo and @photostoriesbyd. And while I was there I had the opportunity to meet and hang out with @namratabs too and what a fun time we all had! I haven’t been away from Laddoo for even 24 hours since then, but the thrill of being around other adults and having conversations late into the night was the most fun I’ve had in a loooong time.
3. I lost weight, gained all of it back and then some, and then I lost it all and then some.
I started eating healthy and walking 10,000 steps in July 2018 first. Back then, I was at ~70 kgs and by September, I was down to 66.something and I loved it. I was still breastfeeding back then and because of a change in Laddoo’s feeding patterns, teething, and then weaning, I couldn’t focus on myself and gained some of it back by December. And that was still fine. I was around 68 kgs when my sister got married in January this year and the real trouble started after that.
In January my husband’s schedule changed and he started leaving for work at 6:30 AM, before any of us usually woke up. Some days he was back early too, by 7 pm-ish, but on most days, I was alone with Laddoo from the time she woke up till the time she went back to bed. With no one to share baby-duties, I became relaxed with food and ate whatever I could lay my hands on. By March 2019, I was back at 70kgs, and in a few more months, I was at 73 kgs – the only other time I was 73 was the day Laddoo was born – and something inside me screamed. Well, first my feet did because they couldn’t bear the weight of my body any more, but then one day I looked at myself and couldn’t recognise the person in the mirror and that was when I decided I had to do something about it. I couldn’t wait any longer.
So in July this year, I started again. And since then, I have eaten mostly nutritious food (and sometimes junk food too, because I’m only human), walked my 10,000 steps on 99% of the days, I even joined Zumba for 1.5 months before Laddoo’s routine changed, again, and then I exercised at home, and today, almost 6 months later I have come down from 73.3 kgs (July 8, 2019) to 64.5 kgs as of five days ago.
In the last week of the year, just for some personal thrills, I want to lose another 1.5 kgs so that I can say that in 2019, I went back to my pre-pregnancy weight. That’s not the end of the road for me, of course, but I’d like to have a solid -10 kg milestone this year.
4. I gave myself a mini make-over.
It was sponsored by the husband, of course, but I was the one who insisted on it. In October 2018, I got highlights in my hair, after five whole years. Over a year later the colour is still on around 60% of my hairs’ length (perks of having and maintaining long hair, that somehow also makes spending so much money on it worth it.)
In August this year, I got a QOD treatment done on my hair (all I know that it’s a protein treatment and does not damage hair like permanent straightening or smoothening does) and got nail extensions. Like I said before, I was mortified when I saw myself in the mirror over a month ago and while health was a priority, I needed something that made me feel-good when I looked at myself and kept me motivated to work harder. I was just 10 kgs over my pre-pregnancy weight, but I was almost 20 kgs over my ideal weight. I’ll admit that the frizz-free hair and the pretty nails were extremely vain, and I’ll also admit loving what it did for my appearance. And if I had to, I’d do it all over again.
5. I’ve watched so many shows in the last year and three months.
Let me see if I can remember. I’ve started and finished or am up to date with:
From Start to Finish:
The Mentalist, Sex and the City, Desperate Housewives, Gilmore Girls (including the movies), Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce
Mom, Younger, Grey’s Anatomy, Young Sheldon, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Modern Love,
Currently also watching (older shows):
The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, Man with a Plan, Boston Legal, How I Met Your Mother, Criminal Minds, House MD, The Middle, Sienfeld, Lethal Weapon
And there are probably a few more that I don’t remember.
Between books, and shows, and cooking, and walking 10,000 steps every day, and of course, Laddoo, I’ve suddenly realised why I didn’t have time for social media. #HappyRealisation, LOL!
6. We moved to a rental house from our own house.
I know, it sounds strange, but it’s only for a few months. It’s because we are finally getting the interiors of our house done. When we bought our house last year, I was super excited about finally having a place that I could decorate without any ‘restrictions’ from a landlord. Ah, the freedom that gives you!
And though we did get our kitchen made within months of moving in, it is only this year that we’ve been able to think about getting the rest of our house done. Like they say, better late than never.
I know I keep complaining about the lighting (rather, the lack of it) in the rented house, what with it being on a lower floor, there are a few things that I’m extremely grateful for, the topmost being that both houses are in the same building which saved us the entire cost of packing and moving. Except for dismantling and reinstalling some furniture that required a professional, we did ALL of the moving ourselves with our service lift acting as our moving van. It’s inconvenient not having a proper kitchen, but all I’m telling myself for the next two months is that when we go back upstairs, I’d be going back to a house prettier than the one I left behind.
7. And speaking of interiors, getting the whole project kick-started and seeing it through to completion has been the most adult thing I’ve done in my entire life!
Yeah, I got married and ‘settled down’ and I even had a baby that I’m mostly solely responsible for. But the level of research and decision-making in getting your home renovated is a different kind of experience. My husband is involved only in the financial aspect of it, thankfully, and I am more than happy with this arrangement. Since July-August this year, our home has been my pet project and I’ve loved having something to do where the result is tangible.
8. I can speak and understand a little bit of Spanish.
In August this year, I started learning Spanish. Learning Spanish or re-learning the French I learnt in junior college has been on my to-do list for a long time, and I’m glad that I can now cross it off my list. I don’t know the language completely, obviously, but it’s a start and I practise it every day. It all started when I came across this app called Duolingo sometime in late July-early August this year. I tried it out and I loved it and I’ve been learning Spanish (most days) and a little bit of French too (once a month, maybe).
What I love about the app is, and I will do a detailed post on it soon, is that it’s free. There are ads, but nothing that you HAVE to watch for more than 5 seconds and that’s what makes it great! As of now, I’m learning everything in present tense only. Suffice to say that if I somehow land up in a place where Spanish is the only language people speak, I can find my way around the place, shop for clothes, order food, make and check hotel and ticket reservations, describe my family. Best of all, I can ask for coffee! Una taza de café con leche pero sin azúcar, por favor. (A cup of coffee with milk but without sugar, please)
9. I took a social media break.
I wasn’t completely off social media, but my focus was not creating new content. If I managed to write or post something, great. If I didn’t, no biggie. Life was chill, especially when it came to LORM. That, really, is an actual social media break. I haven’t logged in on Instagram, or checked emails. I haven’t planned any challenges or recorded any podcasts, or done anything really, in the last so many months. And while it has given me loads of time to focus on my health and my interests, it has created a void. And that shall be rectified in 2020. 🙂
10. I found time for myself.
With Laddoo starting school this year, I have had some baby-free time every weekday (almost) and I’ve enjoyed that so much. Not having to put someone else’s needs first for a few hours every day has been liberating. Sure, it was hard at first. In the beginning, I was worried. It was the first time she was in a completely new environment with people she didn’t know at all. Would she be okay? What if she was crying and asking for me? Was she safe? Were the people there good? And when I learnt to accept that this is how things were going to be, the next question was – what do I do with all this time? It was all very confusing at first, and then I got into a routine.
I used this time to listen to music, read, drink my coffee hot and without being interrupted, I cooked our meals at leisure – with music on or while I watched something, I went to Zumba class, I napped (less often that I’d have liked to), I did my steps and I talked to people while I did it. I found the energy that I was lacking, the energy that I was drained out of by having to be on duty 24/7 for almost three years (except that weekend in Hyderabad last year), I found myself again. Those few hours away from Laddoo every day have been all that I needed to focus on my health, both physical and mental, as well as to be a better mom the rest of the day.
And bonus, just because I didn’t want to not mention it.
11. I started working on the book I’ve had in my mind since mid 2019.
I wanted to write it during NaNoWriMo but there was still a lot of research to be done and 1,667 words a day was too much pressure, the kind that would be fantastic if I were writing a different book, but not for this one. So on December 18 this year, I made a plan with a daily target much more achievable than 1,667 words and I’m giving myself till next year to research and write the first draft of this manuscript. 🙂
2019, during the 12 months that you were here, I felt like it was another waste of a year, especially with LORM not being in action. But as I made this list, I realised that I did a lot of little things that add up to something worthwhile. And for that I will forever be grateful; for allowing myself to step back, for allowing myself to pause, for allowing myself to go with the flow and not be too hard on myself with deadlines and stuff. And especially for judging myself for what I didn’t do.
That’s what 2020 is for. Doing everything I didn’t or couldn’t do in 2019. AND MORE.
Happy almost-New Year, everyone! What are the things you did this year? Leave a comment, or make your own list and tag me/ or leave a link below. I’d love to read.