Friday, January 05, 2018

Taking stock of 2017

I was terrible at writing in 2017. The blog was barely updated, and a lot of it were just cop out posts, and it wasn't updated at all for the past three months. And I largely went off twitter for a larger part of the last few months as well. A lot of it was wanting to shut down and switch off from all the annoying and horrid news that constantly hits you when you're online, and a lot of it was also plain laziness and procrastination. The hope is to be better in 2018, and what better way to kick things off in the new year than my annual taking stock of the previous year?

1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?

Umm, almost drown in the ocean in Hawaii while trying to swim with dolphins?

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don't think I ended up making any last year, actually. But for this year, it would be to write more, even if they're cop out posts. Also to find myself a damn job that isn't this one.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?


4. Did anyone close to you die?


5. What places did you visit?

One of the unstated goals of 2017 was to travel every month, and to new places. That did not happen very much, mainly because work travel was crazy in 2017, and all over the dang place. I was in New York for overnight trips every few weeks, it felt like, which usually meant I had no energy to do my usual weekend trips.
Still, a few lovely short vacations did happen, and a fantastic two weeks in India, where I got to spend Durga Pujo back home after six years. So that was nice.
The full list, combining work and leisure:
January - Mexico City, Los Angeles, New York, Boston. The last three were back to back work trips, all while I was battling fever and a cold, but I got to spend time with friends and family on those work trips, so it actually ended up being nice. When your sister in law makes dal chawal for you on a cold and snowy night in Boston, you really can't complain.
February - multiple trips to New York (which included a train trip to Philadelphia because a snowstorm meant flights out of LGA got cancelled)
March - New York, Atlanta, Jacksonville (FL)
April - San Francisco, Kona (HI)
May - New York, Boston, Portland (ME)
June - Cincinnati (OH), Florence & Newport (KY)
July - ZILCH.
August - New York, Sioux Falls (SD), Des Moines (IA). I saw the butter cow, y'all!!!
September - India for the last week
October - India for the first week, which included an overnight road trip to Karnal for parathas that we do not regret AT ALL. On the return, work took me to New York, again.
November - New York again, as well as back to school after two years for a recruiting trip.
December - Work travel for the year had finally died down, but the parents showed up, and we ended up in New York (yes, again, dammit, but this time because I wanted to) over Christmas, and then an overnight road trip to Houston so I could get some visa stuff done.
This list has made me feel good about my year, you guys.

6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?

Inner peace.

7. What date from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

I nearly drowned in April. The brother graduated in May. And I was home for Pujo in September.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I don't think I have any that come to mind. How sad is that?

9. What was your biggest failure?

My complete and utter professional limbo.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Sigh, yes. This was not a good year, healthwise. All minor things that I could have ignored, but chose not to, which in a way is a good thing I suppose.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I do love my new roomba, if for no other reason that my parents' whatsapp commentary about it as it runs while they're in my apartment is SO entertaining.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Meh. In 2017? I really don't know.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and/or depressed?

Aargh. Men, the world over. Politicians, in India and the US. Having political debates on FB about two countries is exhausting, y'all.

14. Where did most of your money go?

That roomba wasn't cheap, you guys. And I replaced my laptop of five years with a new one that I have fairly lukewarm feelings about so far.
Also I ended up spending a ridiculous amount of money on visa and immigration related nonsense.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Hawaii. Also that butter cow.
Also, the parents and I had planned a two day trip to Lucknow while I was in India that I was really looking forward to, but which had to get cancelled. Bummer.
Is it just me, or is travel playing too large a role in my ruminations this year?

16. What song will always remind you of 2017?

Not sure if there's a particular song.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?

A little sadder, I think. I feel very disappointed in myself about 2017.

18. Thinner or fatter?

On the whole, marginally thinner.

19. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Travelled for myself. Networked professionally.

20. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Sat on the couch.

21. How will you be spending Christmas?

Spent it flying back from New York, and then making shepherd's pie for the parents.

22. Did you fall in love in 2017?


23. How many one-night stands?

At the risk of repeating myself, my mother reads this blog, people.

24. What was your favourite TV programme?

Comedies have been my lifesaver this year - Superstore, Great News, and The Good Place, all on NBC. Brooklyn Nine Nine. Late Night with Seth Meyers too.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Certain people at the workplace have been upgraded to worthy of being hated, yes.

26. What was the best book you read?

I read very, very little (if you exclude all my rereads of Nora Roberts and Mary Balogh, that is), even my woefully pitiful standards. But. I read Hillary Clinton's What Happened, and Alyssa Mastromonaco's Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?
I read the latter in three evenings flat, on my laptop, without getting distracted by other things, and will freely admit that it was my favourite book of the year.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

For a change, I actually paid attention to the new season of Coke Studio (a post about it has been sitting in my drafts for two months, and in my head for even longer), so I guess that might count?

28. What did you want and get?

I dunno.

29. What did you want and not get?

A different job. A manager who cares.

30. What was your favourite film of this year?

Wonder Woman. Hidden Figures.
I saw exactly five Hindi movies, but loved Lipstick under my Burkha and Death in the Gunj.
I'm sensing a theme here.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

It fell on a Saturday, and everyone was either travelling or busy, so the plan was to celebrate with friends the following weekend. So I planned to treat myself to a pedicure, followed by shopping. But then a friend made me come over to her place for dinner, so I ended up getting cake after all. :)

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

If I'd pushed myself to something about my career.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?

Comfortably smart.

34. What kept you sane?

Podcasts and late night shows.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Seth Meyers.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

Sigh. Have you seen the news?

37. Who did you miss?

I stopped keeping up with a lot of friends this year, both locally and otherwise.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

I didn't really meet any new people this year. How sad is that?

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017.

I'm terrible at pushing myself to do anything, and that really needs to change.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

There is a song, This Year from Serendipity, that I had heard back in college, that I used to think was a great way to think about a new year. I don't know if there's a song that sums up 2017 for me, but I'd like to think I should keep it as my mantra, sort of.