16 . . . going on 17

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 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.

 

[tweetbox design="default" float="none"]Spontaneous combustion is great if you are a fuel. I would rather work on my anger. [/tweetbox]

 

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.

 

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Self-doubt is a killer of your dreams. Questioning your actions is about reassuring yourself.

 

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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.

 

 

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Misunderstandings do not destroy relationships. Miscommunication or the failure to talk about it does.

 

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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.

 

 

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We are a little bit broken inside; We need all the support we can get. So be someone’s #Patronus

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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!