Dec 30, 2015

2015 in review

I wrote my last year's review while nursing a cold and throat infection. 2015 has been a year in which I won against the common cold virus :-) I didn't catch a cold/cough even once (touchwood!). Many reasons behind this but I think the major one has been starting my day with Yoga and being consistent with it for the past 8 months. I can't stop raving about the benefits that Yoga has brought to me - be it feeling fit, relaxed and an overall sense of peace and calmness. Hoping to continue with the same consistency next year too. I spent a lot of time outdoors this year as compared to the last 3-4 years. That could also have helped me boost my immunity levels.

The discipline towards conscious, healthy eating continued this year too. I embraced more and more of local foods and millets. I'm proud of the fact that I can walk into an ice-cream parlor and not order a scoop for myself :-) Wish I could say the same when I enter a chaats place ;-)

I had started an initiative in Facebook named "365 healthy meals project" early this year to motivate myself to eat healthy and share ideas with my friends. Though I was consistent for the first 3-4 months, I didn't hit the mark. But this little initiative spawned into multiple other mediums - increased activity in Instagram and a collection of healthy recipes in my food blog.

2015 has been a challenging as well as a relaxed year in multiple ways. There were multiple changes in the home front - getting D's admission in a school which we liked and then helping her get settled into a new routine, husband's new job which has been quite demanding on his time so far. The first half of the year vanished so quickly while I was busy working and learning new stuff in my product marketing role at MindTickle. Working for a fast-growing startup provided me ample opportunities to try new things - giving sales demos and connecting directly with customers being the most important of them.

Around the middle of the year, I hit a point where I felt like I was in cross-roads - an area of interest that I've become more passionate about (no points for guessing what it is!) and was in a dilemma in leaving my familiar territories of work in product management/marketing. The limited hours I have in hand is not helping either, thanks to D's 4 hour preschool timings and hubby's long working hours. Choosing a direction in which I have neither prior experience nor educational background makes it even tougher. But I've been taking tiny steps towards the direction my heart yearns for and I'm hoping I would have the courage to take a leap forward this coming year.

I continued with reading as a regular habit in 2015 as well. Here's the list of books I read this year:

  1. Delivering happiness by Tony Hsieh
  2. Lady, you're not a man by Apurva Purohit
  3. India on a platter by Saransh Goila
  4. There's something about you by Yashodhara Lal
  5. Nalam 360 by Dr. Sivaraman (Tamil)
  6. Suttramum suzhalum natpum by Dr. Sivaraman (Tamil)
  7. Aarusuvaiyum anjaraipettiyum by Dr. Sivaraman (Tamil)
  8. Siragai viri para by Bharathi Baskar (Tamil)
  9. Nee nadhi pola odi kondiru by Bharathi Baskar (Tamil)
  10. Present - A techie's guide to public speaking by Poornima Vijayashanker and Karen Caitlin
  11. Big magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
  12. Start with Why by Simon Senek
  13. Drive by Daniel Pink

I also invested significant effort in regular writing in my two blogs. Wrote close to 50 blogposts. Similar to last year, I had set a goal to speak in atleast one public forum. Managed to check this item off my list when I got the opportunity to give a guest lecture on design thinking to students of the executive MBA programme at the Institute of Product Leadership.

This year, I finally managed to "complete" courses in Coursera. I loved the two courses - "Learning how to learn" and "Design thinking for business innovation". The course titled "A life of happiness and fulfillment" is another one which I thoroughly enjoyed but haven't finished it yet.

We traveled to new places - Yercaud, McLeodganj, Agra and Pondicherry. We also did a temple run with family to Tirupathi and Guruvayoor. Traveling with D is more fun now.

Hubby dear made my birthday very special this year. He gifted me a small notebook titled "Anu's gratitude diary". He had filled with handwritten notes everyday for nearly 4 months, about the things he has been grateful for, about his wife :-) Best expression of love.

As a family, we have started a weekly ritual of going to a nearby temple every Sunday evening. D loves this temple….and the prasadam, ofcourse!

I'm taking multiple steps towards leading a minimalistic living - be it with clothes, groceries, birthday parties or eating-out expenses. This will continue with more rigor in 2016.

With 2015 being a year of transition, I look forward to 2016 for more razor-sharp focus, energy and purpose.

Wish you all a very happy and joyful new year. Invest your time and energy in what's most important to you and what makes you feel alive.

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