Dec 28, 2021

2021 - Review

 Every year, I look forward to jotting down my year in review. It is such a powerful, reflective practice that I have incorporated into my life and it is fun to read reviews of previous years.

As I reflected upon 2021, the immediate memories that came up were all the challenges life threw at me this year. It was like life telling me, "Oh, are you complaining about what I'm throwing at you in Jan? Wait till May, my dear."

After going through multiple challenges, the ONE powerful lesson I have learned is this - "Never take anything or anyone for granted".

Most of them were related to health issues that cropped up one after another for EVERY SINGLE family member. These got nothing to do with the Covid virus, but the fact that these issues came up during the pandemic made it even more challenging for all of us. And the person who suffered the most is my dad, an active 71-year old man with no history of any major lifestyle disorders.

He got diagnosed with a critical illness but is curable through medications and treatment. The diagnosis took a while and we ran from one specialist to another. At one point, his condition became too critical that we thought we had lost him. Taking him in an ambulance at 10 PM, waiting for emergency intervention followed by 3-days in ICU, taking care of him in the hospital, watching him suffer when he struggled with the basic functions - memories that are hard to forget. He then got discharged but was completely bedridden for nearly 3 months with a food pipe connected through his nose. The recovery has been slow - transitioning over to liquid foods gradually, getting slight movements, taking a few baby steps with the help of a caretaker, and now able to talk comfortably and eat mashed solid foods. It has been one hell of a roller coaster ride for him as well as for all of us at home. His condition is normal now but he needs to regain his strength (and weight). He is on medication that would go on for another 5-6 months.

Though this whole episode overshadows everything else that happened in 2021, there was a lot to be grateful for. Spending time with my brother during these 4-5 months, extended family members who supported us, our angels in the form of kittens, friends from social media, and common groups who messaged me now and then - thankful to all of them.

As dad's condition started to become stable, I decided to get back to work. Found an interesting opportunity in a niche startup and immediately joined them. Sometimes, the best way to come out of a challenging situation is to take on a new challenge right away. It's been a month and am excited about the opportunity and the new learnings in this space.

On reading,

I managed to finish 11 books this year. There were quite a few books that I started reading but am yet to finish. Here's the list of books completed.

  1. Protection from diseases ebook
  2. Montage of my life by Kalyan Sarkar - Kindle Unlimited ebook
  3. Practical Yoga Psychology by Dr.Rishi Vivekananda
  4. Search inside yourself by Chade-Meng Tan
  5. The search that seeks you by Sangamithra Amudha
  6. Living with the Himalayan masters by Swami Rama
  7. The subtle art of not giving a f*ck by Mark Manson
  8. Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss
  9. Karma by Sadhguru
  10. Zero to One by Peter Thiel
  11. Badass Making users awesome by Kathy Sierra

Being a person who is fascinated by learning,

I enrolled in multiple courses this year, mostly on topics related to philosophy and self-awareness.

  1. Buddhist path of training the mind courses (Tushita meditation centre) - 2 courses, 4 weeks
  2. 4 paths 1 goal course on Bhagavad Gita (Anbe Yogam) - 4 weeks
  3. Deepen a caring heart (Tushita meditation centre) - 2 weeks
  4. Power of words / Non-violent communication (NVC) - from Oct, ongoing

On writing/blogging,

I wrote 58 posts this year. My favorite posts in no particular order

  1. The wake-up call 
  2. Being environment agnostic 
  3. In defense of reading 
  4. How to navigate the content maze 

On public speaking,

I got the opportunity to be on "The Habit Coach" podcast. It was my first experience being on a podcast and I loved it. I did a few Insta Live sessions on topics related to healthy eating, packaged foods, and the importance of reading. I also conducted two sessions - one on mindful eating for a corporate event and a day-long lecture on packaged foods for Bhoomi college. I came up with a new online workshop titled "Design your Lifestyle" and received a lot of positive feedback from participants, but couldn't continue it after March. Hoping to get back to online workshops next year.

On Health & Fitness,

The effort I invested towards my health in the past few years started to reflect in my annual health checkup reports. I managed to reverse PCOD in 2021. Wrote a detailed post on the same. Thanks to the regular brisk walks, my Vitamin D levels increased and my cholesterol levels came to a normal range in 2021 (was on the borderline in early 2020).

Given the stressful situation at home, there were a few aspects that didn't go well in the second half of 2021.

As K and I were analyzing our expenses for the year, what surprised us the most was this category "Eating out" and how it has turned out to be a big number as compared to the previous year (which was almost 0). As more people were at home and I was handling caregiving responsibilities along with other tasks, it is no surprise that we ended up ordering takeaways multiple times. No guilt or regrets though. 

As far as physical activity goes, regular walking on the terrace continued almost throughout the year. But Yoga practice got hit the most. Let's just say, the number of days I practiced Yoga was lesser than the number of days I didn't. The same trend continued for meditation practice as well.

On travel,

we did a short 3 day trip to Mysore in Dec. That's about it. And a few day-trips too - Mandaragiri, Pyramid Valley, Ghati Subramanya temple.

I have no plans, resolutions, or intentions for 2022. Just gonna embrace life as it comes. I firmly believe the Universe will guide me in the right direction.

Wishing you all a very happy, healthy, and peaceful 2022!

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