2019 in Retrospection

I can’t believe that today is the last day of the year and also the decade. The year went away in a jiff making me a stronger woman both physically and mentally. From the start to the end of the decade, I transitioned from grumpy teenager to a mature adult. Even though they say, the maximum growth happens only during your childhood years, as an adult how much you grow depends on how much you want to grow and how you make that happen. In this decade, I graduated as a civil engineer, then moved to analytics learning different technologies and statistics and on the way of foraying into another domain which is MA in psychology. I spent the first half of the decade preparing for MBA and other government exams only to realise they were not my cup of tea and spent the rest of the decade in finding my true self. As a result of which I became a teacher, writer and photographer. In the last one year, I got serious about my spiritual journey and realised how that can give the true joy in life.
Here are some of the achievements I am proud of this year.
1. Thirty books in 2019
Given how hectic this year had been, I feel that this is an achievement I am proud of. Making time to read despite so many changes in life. This is a true example of when you have a craving, you will find ways to make it happen.
I am yet to share the review of the books I read. I will try to publish it soon.
2.An awesome meal for 12 people
To throw a farewell party, I invited my friends home and cooked a meal which was satisfactory to both North Indians and South Indians. A year ago I could hardly cook a single pot meal and now I am confidently cooking an elaborate tasty meal. Apart from that, I cook at least two meals regularly and three meals on the weekends which is indeed a great achievement for someone who knows nothing about cooking. I hope to learn a lot more in the coming year and enchant people with my culinary skills.
3.Got into a lifetime self-improvement program
That program is called getting into a wed-lock. One of my friends once mentioned that no one will point out the flaws in you like how a significant other does. It is the best way to know your shortcomings and keep improving individually and together for a lifetime.
4.To dad with love
After going through a huge list of materialistic gifts, I thought there is nothing better than writing a book on my dad. A lot of people talk good about their parents after they are gone. I wanted to express how much my dad means to me while he was still alive.
5.Building an arsenal
I bought one of the best camera phones and a macro lens for the phone for amazing macro shots. My dad gifted me a DSLR for my birthday. I bought a telephoto lens to quench my thirst of wildlife photography. I received a tripod from my Secret Santa. My team decided to get me a prime lens for portrait shoots. 
I received a huge encouragement in the journey by being an unofficially official photographer for my huge team at work. When my college friends say that my photos started looking professional and when my friends ask for the original copy of the photo to set it as a wallpaper and they keep reminding that I should start participating in competitions and they see a potential in me to be a full time photographer.
The next level of this was a friend asked if I can send her a few of my favourite photos for her to print and frame them for her hotel and house, I felt proud about how far I reached. 
6.Maintaining the temple
The only place you have got to live in for the rest of your life is your body which is in turn ruled by the mind. I joined Cult Fit to try out different types of exercises to stay fit.I started out with HRX to build strength and alternate it with Prowl, Dance Fitness and Boxing. Once I was sure that I had enough strength I moved to Strength and conditioning. Recently I developed an obsession towards yoga and will do more of it in the near future.
I practise heartfulness meditation and in the last quarter of the decade I got more serious about it. Now I meditate daily and I clearly know the difference between a clear mind and clouded mind. Now, I can even feel the energy around me during yoga nidra and guided meditation.
There are a few other small things which made my 2019. I got rid of the job which was eating away my peace of mind and replaced it with a new job which I find more enjoyable. I got back to studying the second year of my psychology. I became more minimalistic by not splurging too much on clothing. I used to wear only 4 different clothes to office that my friends had to ask me to stop wearing them and buy new ones. I did a bit of travelling and had a few fun impromptu trips which were amazing.
A few things which could have been better.
My job was too stressful and I hardly had any idea on how to manage the work and personal life. I should have been less submissive at work and shouldn’t have given my whole and soul to the company and learned to be selfish to take care of myself first. Also, I needed to learn to shut my mind from all of that to get a peaceful sleep.
2.Self Management
You don’t manage time. You manage yourself so that time comes in handy. I did a really poor job in that. With my new job, I am hoping to find some time for myself and do everything I enjoy.
How was the year which went by for you? What could you have done better?
Happy New year!

2019 Nov Review and Dec Goals

November taught me that travelling is one of the best ways to discover oneself. Two road trips set the standard for the next trips to come. Once again, my friends considered me a good enough wedding photographer which boosted my ego to consider freelancing photography. Apart from that, a couple of friends started encouraging me to start participating in competitions.

Review of November

1.Study for Exams
I spent most of my free in learning the basics from the text books. Even though I could not sit for studying everyday, I at least made time to understand what I will be tested in the next month.
2.Pranayama and Kapalbathi
I could not really make it a point to do this every morning. But then I had been consistent in meditation this month too not allowing myself to miss a streak by doing it even at 11:30 at night. The only times I missed it was during the trips when I couldn’t find a lone space. The quality of meditation hasn’t improved much yet but I am just happy about making it a habit with which I struggled for years.
3.Mindful eating
Eating in India is considered a group activity rather than an individual one. I find it difficult to excuse myself from others and eat which in turn made me not to practise to the extent I wanted to do it. But when I am alone, I started eating without a phone or book to start with. A long way to go.
I think this is the best part of every month. Irrespective of what goals I set, I end up slacking a bit in them. But reading books comes naturally to me. This month I read Shoe dog, Option B, When breath becomes air. I am currently reading Malgudi days.

Plans for December

One of my friends asked me to select 10 of my best photographs to display them at her home and hotel. Even though I didn’t charge her any money, this is the first order I received. I want to spend some time to go through my work and select my favourite ones for her. Apart from that, I will go through the list of competitions available and start applying to see where I stand.
I want to finish reading Malgudi days, Fooled by randomness, Hot Flat & crowded, Onward before the year ends. That will land me at around 35 books this year excluding the books I read for my profession. That is a huge number for a busy year this had been.
I haven’t written book reviews in ages now. I want to get back to start writing book reviews this month. If not for all the books I read this year, at least a few.
4.Review and Plan
I want to go through my diary and understand what went good and bad this year so that I can plan what are the few changes which I want to see in myself and my life in the coming year.
How was your November? What are your plans for December?
Happy December!