16 . . . going on 17

 Ah, 2017!

I doubt if we have ever waited so eagerly to beckon in a new year and kick the old one out, as much as we have waited for 2017.  Mostly because 2016 has been a very confusing and often, torrid unpredictable year for most of us and the world.


Frankly, I am not in the habit of looking back on the previous year and jotting down learnings. Mostly because it means reliving a lot of things from the past year, and I’m usually a ‘let’s look forward’ kind of person, rather than keep staring at the ‘rearview’ mirror types.  Also, I am no longer smitten (or bitten) by the need to document (or even make) resolutions for the coming year. But then, every year isn’t as confounding as 2016 has been. So, I decided that I’ll make a tiny change this year.

[Plus, over the past couple of months, a lot of my readers have mentioned that they miss my ‘personal posts’. Well, we’ll see what they say after I put this one up.]


Sleep is single-handedly the most important activity that we do, that we take for granted. I’ve never been much of a sleeper. In fact, I used to be someone who used to proudly declare that I’ve only had 2 hours of sleep the night before, and that I could still get through the day. But all that stopped with the past year. I’ve been diagnosed with a sort of sleep disorder. I know that it doesn’t as ‘serious or life-threatening’ – but apparently, it is and in a lot of ways, I’m fortunate to be around even today. I am presently undergoing treatment for the same. It is challenging and the road ahead is horribly long  – but I’ll survive.

PS: If you’re amongst the select few people who know what the issue is, kindly avoid talking about it in comments and elsewhere.


 There is such a thing as a ‘reading slump’. Honestly, I never thought I’d actually experience one. But in 2016, I did, and it was a terrible feeling. That feeling of picking up a book and not be able to read it because you can’t focus or concentrate leave you with a feeling of helplessness. Not even the books that I’d already read and loved – such as Blyton or the Harry Potter series – helped.  While a lot of it was to do with my sleep disorder, I also think that I ended up trying after a while. In 2016, I read a grand total of 4 books. Yes, that’s it. FOUR.  My lesson from it was – reading slumps do happen. You just need to stop pressuring yourself to do it. Much like writing.


I should probably yell less. I’ll admit – it’s not easy, especially when you feel a lot of things around you is going wrong. And when almost every single thing angers your anger module.  My mother used to joke that I should come with one of those signs they stick to the trucks carrying fuel – Keep your distance, Highly flammable. And I won’t lie – my 4-year-old son has been at the receiving end quite a few times too. So, this year, I’m going to try to take a minute before I react to anything.



That I must meet people offline as much as possible. In fact, throughout 2016, it was these impromptu meetings with some clients and a lot of fellow-bloggers-turned-friends that actually helped me with my sanity, and away from the craziness that social media delivered on a daily basis. Plus, I’ve realised that networking is a lot more effective when done offline.


Jealousy is more common than we care to admit. It exists in each and every one of us. Because we’re only human. We may use different terms to talk about it, but at its core, jealousy is a feeling that we all experience. And that’s okay. What’s not okay is to let that jealousy bubble over in the cauldron of your mind/heart and then spill over into what we call ‘bitterness and venomous’ territories. Most of us do respond to jealousy – but when we let it get to a state where the acidity starts to eat us alive, we end up doing things that we probably shouldn’t. But at the end of the day, remember this too: Your only competition is truly only with yourself.


You must always check your facts before you put them online. And once you do, if you’re sure of it, be prepared to debate it out, if need be. But if you do get your facts wrong, there is no shame in correcting them and/or apologising. We all make mistakes – they key is to learn from them.


Death is inevitable. Okay, it didn’t take me till 2016 to realise that, but the sheer number of celebrity and personal deaths sort of gave me a wake-up call. We can avoid talking about it, but it is inevitable. And sometimes we look for others to blame so that we feel better about it. 2016, as a year, has been at the receiving end of many such ‘blames’. But remember this:



There is a difference between ‘self-doubt’ and ‘questioning yourself’. Self-doubt is a manifestation of our fear. Of failure. Of what might happen. On the other hand, questioning yourself or about the actions that you are about to take is about self-preservation and identifying your self-worth.



Life isn’t always fair. Actually, it rarely is. And that Karma works – but she’s got far too much on her plate and that she is so far behind schedule that it’ll be years before she gets back to you with a response. Also remember that having bad things happen to you doesn’t protect you from more bad things in the future.  So just move on – things will eventually start looking up.


We all need a temporary distraction. Something that really makes you happy, no matter what is going on around you. It  could be a person, could be an activity, or could even be a piece of cake. But find it. You will need it to get through those days when you feel like there’s 50 feet of crap —> Rock Bottom—> You.


I live in a box. it’s called my comfort zone. And it is where I am most cosy. But the problem with the zone is that the more you are in this box, the less likely you are to outgrow it. You will always end up waiting for ‘things’ to be hand-delivered to this box. In order to grow – as a person, as an individual – I need to get out of this box now and then. Yes, I’ll falter and fall; but I’ll get up again.


So, if you have a problem with someone – talk to them. I’ve lost track of the number of people I’ve lost from my lives (and probably me from theirs) because we avoided asking that one question that could have probably opened the channels of communication. So, 2017 – no more of that passive aggressive crap. If I have a problem with you (or something you’ve said or done), I will talk to you about it. And you’re welcome to do the same with me, in private.




While helping others is a good trait to have, I must introduce time-limits for favours. So going forward, I’ll be following the 10-min rule for favours, whenever anyone approaches me for help with their website, writing, editing and any other things that I normally charge for. So no, I won’t stop helping people who knock on my virtual door; but I won’t let them take me for a ride either.


It is okay to crack under pressure. Even some diamonds do. We are after all, mere mortals. Just remember that you will need to  ‘put yourself back together’.


Having your own set of people is absolutely important. These are the people who quickly transition from ‘people you know’ to ‘people who know you’ , and know even the very meaning of your silence. They are the ones who’ve always got your back, as well as the ones who won’t hesitate to whack you over the head should you go astray. They are your tribe. And you must watch their back as much as they watch yours.



We must not underestimate our ability to motivate others. Even if there are days when you find it hard to motivate yourself to just get out of bed. Trust in your ability to be a good friend to some people.




The ‘phenomenon’ that was 2016 is now the past. And personally, 2017 has started on a better note for me. Perhaps, a lot of it is to do with a positive frame of mind that I’m trying to start every day with. Or perhaps, it’s just luck and a phase that just passed away. Whatever it is, I’ve decided that 2017 is my year to get a software update. So let’s hope Version 2.0 is better than Version 1.0 was.  I know it’s already the 10th, but hey, Happy New Year!


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  1. Aww look at you all grown up! 🙂

    You better take care of your health this year and once in a while come out of the box and step into this side of the town. I’ll not let you regret it I promise!

    2016 is over. Let’s be string and kick some ass in 2017.

    P.S: Sorry for coming in so late. As you know, I’ve been swamped with work 🙁
    Soumya recently put up this awesome post : Another Day At The Passport OfficeMy Profile

  2. I loved your list.. kept nodding along…
    hugs! I know 2017 is going to be a better year for all of us.
    For me – on a personal level – 2016 was the year of self-discovery. I realized that just like before – I need to project my confidence even if I’m shaking on the inside.
    I also learnt that people will take advantage and it’s up to me to see where I put an end to it and that we will get labeled whether we like it or not – I have largely learnt to ignore the mean ones, embrace the fun ones and to just keep moving.
    As I grow older – I have also learnt how powerful silence can be…
    Here’s to a better 2017 to you and your loved ones my friend! hugs!

    I put up my resolutions and lessons learnt on my blog post 😀

  3. Those were some really great lessons. I loved the way you’ve embedded the tweets after the points. I hope 2017 turns out to be a better year and hope your sleeping thing too gets fine.

    I used to reflect and write a wrap-up post for every month. This time, I somehow am not feeling that thing to write it. Maybe my system doesn’t want to reflect afterall 😛

    Though I wrote a post about my learnings from 2016 recently. Because I wanted to write that one. Not too detailed, it’s precise and simple.

    Loved reading you.

    Geets recently put up this awesome post : 8 Things 2016 taught meMy Profile

  4. This is a nice way of putting things. Instead of resolution this is a nice way to sum up the year gone by and the learnings learnt. I could see myself relating to a few learnings and resolve

  5. Such nice lessons for everyone here, Sid. I personally gave 2016 a high-five and sent her on her way, because, hey, I don’t want her to feel bad about all that she was up to. Some things are just inevitable, and why blame the year? I prefer to learn and move on. Good point at no.4. And no.9. I hope you’re sleeping much better. If not, you know where I live. Come sit on my sofa and I’ll talk to you. There, there.

    Hugs! Wishing you a wonderful 2017, you know.
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  6. We have all learnt these lessons the hard way , some of us over last one year like you did and some over a decade 🙂
    But I guess not too many have the courage to make sense of these lessons and actually put them down and make them your own just like you did in this post Sid.
    I hope 2017 is much better for you health wise and life wise .

  7. Sid, you have put in words so clearly all my jumbled thoughts. But, seriously I was unaware of your health problems which may have resulted in other issues you mentioned. Give family and health highest priority. Everything else can wait. Take care. Happy 2017

  8. Ah a philosophical post from Sid. I do love those from you. And l enjoyed the candidness of this one. Introspection always helps. One quality of yours that l’ve admired is your honesty and willingness to accept a mistake. And of course your helpful nature. A bit worried to read about your sleep issue. I am sure you are doing all you can. Please do take care. And mister, you do need to read more. I am missing your comments on my blog.

    I am glad that you put down all these lessons. After all life is all about learning and improving.

    I am also working on my reading this year on the books front. Here’s wishing you the best this year and always. Hope you are doing good on the writing book front as well.
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    1. Hehe! Maybe I should do them more often then.
      Thank you so much, Rachna. I’m still learning, but yes, getting there.
      The sleep issue is under watch at the moment – hoping 2017 will set it alright.
      Good luck with your reading and hope it’s a good year for all.
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : 16 . . . going on 17My Profile

  9. When I read the first few lines I thought this is going to be a short post Sid! Little did I know you have so many pointers. I want to meet people offline too. These days I have become a mute spectator even in the WhatsApp groups which used to be a debating platform for me earlier. somehow the online life has become more time consuming yet important. I feel even festivities have lost their purpose of getting together. we are busy taking selfies and posting in Instagram. oops so much to keep the blog alive!

    1. Haha! Here’s a tip – I rarely write short posts 😛
      Oh! WhatsApp groups are very strange – in fact, I find them popping up every now and them.
      Yes, I agree with you about the festivities part too – they just don’t seem to have the same effect as earlier. A pleasure to see you here, Menaka!
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : 16 . . . going on 17My Profile

  10. I won’t say much, Sid, but just hope and pray that 2017 proves to be a better year for you compared to 2016. I agree…life can be a b&^%$, but all we can do is keep going, in spite of it all. Easier said than done, I know. But, is there anything else that we can do?
    You take care, my dear. Take care of your health, sleep well (I also know what lack of sleep can do to our system), and keep your people close to you – the people to whom you matter.
    Lots of love and prayers for a wonderful new year, Sid!

  11. Happy new year (never wished you online!) :p And may you yell less at me, meet me more often, always HELP me, be my PATRONUS ( lets call it Horton) and read my mind (like you always do) and read more books, sleep well, be healthy and continue to be super awesome!

    1. Hehe! Well, you did call, so we’ll keep that as it is.
      I’m amused how almost all the ‘wishes’ relate to you 😛
      Thanks for everything, Divsi. Wish you an amazing year ahead too.
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : 16 . . . going on 17My Profile

  12. I hear you on all counts…your 2016 sounded similar to mine barring the sleep disorder and the books. I hope that gets sorted out for you and I wish you well there. Miscommunication sucks and I wish people would be upfront. I am! The final thing that you said about taking things in your own hands to make 2017 good is one of the best ever because it’s what I figured I should do too after a shitty 2016. I hope 2017 is a good year for you Sid! And here’s to more posts from you 🙂
    Sanchie @ Living my Imperfect Life recently put up this awesome post : January is about Hope #FlourishInsideOutMy Profile

  13. These are some profound life lessons which I have learnt and can apply in my life too.
    I agree with you on Reading Slump. Yes, there are days when you just cant read. Of course, there have been days for me when I have read non-stop from morn to night.
    I dont know how, but this Karma lady strikes me really quick. LOL 😀
    Oh, yes, communication is the key. I am all for talking and sorting it all out, rather than guessing and letting it all simmer inside and making it all miserable for you.
    A Very Happy 2017 to you, Sid. May it bring you all that you wish for. Cheers!

    1. I’m glad that you can relate to some of them, Shilpa. And personally, I’m a little less envious now – considering that you, such a prolific reader, has off days too.
      KArma must really like you, then 😛
      Here’s to meeting you again in 2017, Shilpa! Good luck!
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : 16 . . . going on 17My Profile

  14. I hope your sleep disorder is cured really fast. Controlling anger is a tricky game, some days you feel you got it under control, you are the zen and then suddenly something new flips you off. It’s an ongoing life long battle I feel as I myself have a hard time controlling the dragon.
    2016 may have been a bit harsh on you but from rock bottom, there is only one way to go and that’s up. I hope 2017 is your year… Don’t be too harsh on yourself… You are a gem of a person 😃
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    1. Thanks, Rajlakshmi!
      It’s a slow road to recovery – but I’ll get there.
      Controlling anger is quite challenging; Especially more when you become a parent, in my case.
      Thanks for your best wishes. Here’s wishing you a lot more flexibility and travels in 2017
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : 16 . . . going on 17My Profile

  15. At this point, it is needless to say this, but I will say it anyway – I can relate to many many things you have written, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise, right? After all you are my soul-sibling.

    And like you, I too have worked out most things for a much better 2017, but I am still unsure of how to actually implement the ‘yelling less’ thing. The intention is there, the actual execution worries me. I wonder how many more ages to go, before I attain the zen like state. Okay, that may never ever happen… I will settle for yelling less.

    I am glad that things are looking good for you, Sid. 2017 has begun on a much more positive note for me too. Hoping it sticks. Fingers crossed. 🙂
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    1. High-Five, Soul-Sibling! 🙂

      Firstly, I’m glad that your 2017 is off to a good start. I know that towards the end of 2016, you had far too many things on your plate and you were juggling a fair few things. Hopefully things will settle down in 2017, and I’m looking forward to visiting/meeting you soon.
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : 16 . . . going on 17My Profile

  16. This is one magnificent post. 2016 was a downer all around I think.
    I do hope your sleep issues are sorted. The odd day that I am unable to sleep I feel like a zombie and cannot function at all. I can only try to imagine what it would have been like for you.
    Much of the other things also apply to me – that bit about meeting people offline, of stepping out of your comfort zone, talking to people to clarify issues and putting limits to helping others – very very valid points. The bottom line is to take care of yourself and make yourself happy however you can. Do that and be kind to yourself Sid.

    1. Aww! Thank you, Tulika!
      The sleep issues will take a long time to get sorted – but at least I’m on the right path now.
      Plus, apparently, I have years of sleep to catch up. So it’s also a bit about getting int oa routine.
      I’m glad that you can relate to some of the points. You take care too!
      As always, lovely to see you here.
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : 16 . . . going on 17My Profile

  17. I actually found myself nodding at a number of points here. Okay, all of the points. First of all, please take care of yourself. You’ll be better soon. Don’t worry.

    You know one of the things 2016 taught me was that people hurt you no matter how good you think they are. I have often been misunderstood and hurt in the process. The thing is some don’t expect me to have a voice at all or have a voice that nods to everything they say. The ‘agree to disagree’ rule doesn’t attract them. 2016, let’s just say, has shown me the true face of some of the folks I actually respected a lot. In a way, I still do. But in 2017, I have decided to not let them affect me. I’m usually the one who takes the first steps towards someone whenever there is a misunderstanding but after a point, I just stop. We can’t please everyone, can we?

    Anyways, see you got me rambling.

    I love your posts, Sid. So honest and they connect with the reader in a way very few people can.

    I wish you have the best year yet. 2017 will be your year. 🙂

    All the best!

    1. Thank you so much for your well wishes, Naba!

      OH! That lesson was also from 2015 for me – and yes, even today, I continue to learn those lessons. IT’s always better to stop letting them bother you; the worst part is that they don’t evne know that you’re spending all this energy and effort worrying about that.

      Special thank you for the lovely compliment about my posts. I Hope 2017 is kind to all of us.
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : 16 . . . going on 17My Profile

  18. I haven’t really given a thought to how my 2016 has been. But now as I read this, it makes me want to go ruminate. Your positivity really shines through this post, because even though you might not have had such a good year, you have taken them as lessons, which is amazing. How many people look at it that way? I ‘m sure the Orange flower has rung in your new year with a bang!! Wishing you many more such bright and spirited moments all year through.

    1. I don’t usually think about it either, as I’d mentioned. Just thought I should do it – because I haven’t had such a bad year in a long time.
      Thank you, Shubhangi. Haha…I daresay I had already started the positive streak before the Orange Flower award – but yes, it’s helped too.
      Wish you a peaceful and prosperous year ahead too.
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  19. I got an idea from BAR posts that you were having a rough year. But, I’ve been kinda out of it myself, so kept a low profile mostly. Haven’t interacted much.
    Those who say they missed your ‘personal’ posts, said it right. I could relate to most of these points. You should share such personal posts more often.
    Have a positive 2017. Hope you devour books this year, and may your tribe increase! 😀
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  20. I got an idea from BAR posts that you were having a rough year. But, I’ve been kinda out of it myself, so kept a low profile mostly. Haven’t interacted much.
    Those who say they missed your ‘personal’ posts, said it right. I could relate to most of these points. You should share such personal posts more often.
    Have a positive 2017. Hope you devour books this year, and may ‘your tribe’ increase! 😀
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  21. It sure does seem 2016 wasn’t surely your year. But glad your start this year reflects optimism. I don’t really look back on much., 2016 wasn’t really great for me too.. loads of separation with husband courtesy duty calls. Shifted home to a relatively lesser known small town and ofcourse personal setbacks. But the point is these were bound to happen, probably they just came bunched up together . For 2017 may be no different either, but I seem to be more mentally prepared to tackle them .

  22. Hugs Sid! I’m glad that your 2017 began on a good note with the awards. I’m sure it will be much better than last year. Here I’m also going through a break up with sleep but that’s because of my newborn baby. Here’s to catching more zzz. 😊

  23. I enjoyed your thought provoking, touching and humourous post, Sid. Lots of good points to digest, presented in such a down to earth manner that I could totally relate to them all.

    Sorry to hear about your sleep disorder. No fun at all. Hope you make some progress with that as sleep is so important for your health and well being.

    I am afraid I lose my cool and yell sometimes, too as I did the other day with the hubs. He pushed too many buttons and I finally exploded. Good to try and step back and think before exploding. Unfortunately my primitive brain tends to overrule the thinking part when I’m angry.

    Hope 2017 will be a great year for you!

  24. Such profound lessons. Guess most of us have gone through almost all of us. At least I have. About the yelling… I did that a lot. Really lot. Esp to my mom. But she was really understanding and stood by me no matter how rude I was. With all my heart wishing 2017 to be much much better year for all of us. Cheers to that. ☺

  25. I never look back on a year gone past as well. I try to live in the moment, but of course, I am constantly worrying about what is in store.
    –The anger bit – I never used to get angry in my youth – perhaps my hormones are wrecking havoc midlife. I find myself clenching my fist more often than not these days. Groping around for a management plan.
    –Jealousy: The monster is not as vicious as it used to be but not dead either.
    –Health: Get well soon. Take some of my sleep. My problem is quite the reverse. I get a full eight hours, and it is still not enough.
    –Happy year ahead !

    1. My years are usually a bit of ‘hit and miss’. But 2016, was slightly different with a lot of miss, and not much hitting.
      Thank you for sharing your inputs about those points. And I wish sleep was transferrable like that!
      Thank you!
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  26. I don’t know why I miss reaching this place so often. Whenever I come here, I leave with a smile plastered on my face. It felt good to go through your 2016, Sid. I wish you a wonderful 2017 too. May you make up for your short comings in 2016, and emerge a happier person on the other end of 2017 🙂

    1. That is hands-down the best compliment that someone could have ever given my writing. I’m so glad that you feel that way, Maliny. IT really means a lot.

      Thank you! And Happy New Year to you too.
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : 16 . . . going on 17My Profile

  27. I loved point fourteen the best. And of course, the Patronus one 🙂
    I guess 2017 will be the year when I finally understand the 13th point. I’ve been floundering about in my comfort zone for a really long time, and it feels like I’m stagnating in explored avenues. Since 1st Jan, I’ve started working on building ladders out of my comfort zone, and reading this point just enforced my belief that I need to work hard to make myself better than I was last year. Yup, your Patronus worked for this Ravenclaw 😀

    Hope everything positive flies your way this year and always, Sid. Happy 2017 🙂

    1. I knew I’d get you on the ‘Patronus’ one 🙂
      You still have miles and miles to go, little one. Don’t bother about all that now.
      And I’m glad that my Patronus worked for you! Stay happy and positive, Mithila.
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : 16 . . . going on 17My Profile

  28. 2016 was one crazy year and now I tell myself if I have survived that I can survive anything. In retrospect now, I think every year is, in its own way a little crazy. Some more than others. If there is anything I have learned from 2016 is to take each day as it comes and decide your priorities.

    PS: I love all these lessons, I think most of these apply to me too
    PPS: I love your personal posts and the new format is just awesome, but then so are you.
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  29. You said it right, 2016 was a mixed bag for most of us. Full of lessons and learning came our way in the most undesirable manner, I suppose, But then this what Life is like no? But as 2016 is slowly fading away into our memories let’s welcome 2017 and hope that it will be good to everyone. I hope you beat your sleep-disorder soon enough and life is back on track.
    May you have a happy 2017! Cheers!
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  30. Phew, looks like 2016 was indeed one hellova year for you.. Am sure 2017 will have its share of drama but here’s wishing you good amazing challenging fun days ahead and to good health as well. 😊 hugs

    Psst.. Also look fwd to meeting you soon.. No excuses accepted.. 😀

    1. It most certainly was! And yes, we just missed out on meeting the past year. But I’ve got a few Chennai trips this year – so fingers crossed!
      Thanks, Aarti! And wish you all the very best too.
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : 16 . . . going on 17My Profile

  31. I can see the amount of thought and work you have put into this post. I guess that’s the reason I keep coming back to read what you have to say. This post made me sad, happy and most importantly think a while. Hope whatever was troubling you in the last year goes out the back door and doesn’t come back again. Happy new year Sid! Wishing you the very best that you deserve!

    1. Thank you, Uma. I did work harder on this post than I usually do with humour or fiction. It’s mostly because I did not want this to come across as preachy or overbearing. I’m glad that lot of you were able to relate to this post.
      I hope that we all have a better and healthier 2017 too, Uma.
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : 16 . . . going on 17My Profile

  32. This is my most favorite post by you, so far, Sid!
    Wise and witty, always my preferred combination.
    Cheering you on to follow through with all that you want to and wishing you a wonderful 2017 as well!

  33. I’ve always liked your personal posts the best, way more than any other ones. Maybe because they strike a chord with me. Super proud of you for all these lessons you’ve put down so clearly and yes, each one is necessary. I’m especially glad you placed sleep on top of the list. So so true. You must read Thrive. Will get you a copy or lend you mine. Such an eye opener. Right with you on the books front but you also know how 2016 was for me, personally. So here’s hoping 2017 will be better. Wishing you a grand year ahead with even more wisdom, which you are free to borrow from me now and then. 😉
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    1. Thank you, Shailaja. I’ve realise that the ‘personal touch’ is what a lot of people come for.
      A special thank you for also being partly instrumental for helping me realise some of those lessons.
      I’ll look up Thrive – got a few Amazon vouchers to spend. And yes, sleep – uff. Never EVER underestimating the importance of that.
      PS: I shall look forwards to borrowing some of your wisdom, O’God Ma!
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : 16 . . . going on 17My Profile

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