Thank you!

I never did have the habit of looking back at the year that’s passed. But last year was such a spectacularly lousy year that I gave vent to all my frustrations in this post (I see I’ve even used the same adjectives to describe it!). I was so happy to see the last of 2010 and was determined that 2011 would be a brand new year for me.

Well, 2011 has been such an unusually good year that I’m forced to recollect it in all its cheer. For one thing, on the family front, everything went smoothly. No news was indeed good news. My parents were stable for most of the time, except for one scare which turned out to be a false alarm. My own health was surprisingly good. I didn’t have too many issues, the only major problem being some sort of random rheumatism that made movements quite painful, but for which I had painkillers on standby. My sinus didn’t act up much, and my usual severe throat infections made such rare appearances that I almost forgot I used to be plagued by them. I’m attributing my good health to the raw garlic I consume first thing in the morning. I do hope that I stay in good health through 2012 too.

2011 also saw us shed a bit of domestic help. We let go of both our driver and cook, and despite some trepidation, we’re managing quite well on both fronts. I walk a lot more, take the bus sometimes, and resort to autos and taxis when required. I manage my errands more efficiently, and of course, there’s the added virtuous brownie point of being green. 🙂 Cooking is now not such a big deal for me. I’ve managed to reduce it to just another task on the list, so it gets done like any other chore. I’ve even managed to get a certificate of appreciation from my visiting sister, so I guess my goal has been accomplished quite satisfactorily! 🙂

But I guess, the biggest surprise was my writing successes. Last year was so horrible that I had vowed to give up writing, and I did. I completely stopped and put it away in my mind. Then early this year, in January in fact, a friend gave me a writing assignment. And that’s it — I just kept writing after that. It was like a brand new beginning. I was finding my feet again, trying to put word after word, trying to come out with something that was readable. I decided to give myself a target, so I entered competitions. I didn’t really think I’d win anything; it was more to see if I could make it at least to the shortlist stage in some cases. I was completely taken aback when I began winning, and the winning streak kept going on! It did give me confidence that my writing didn’t completely suck, though I wasn’t really happy with what I was putting up. I know I have so far to go with my writing, and there are so many fantastically good writers out there, whom I would love to emulate. But I guess the biggest lesson I learnt this year was to just keep writing because it made me happy. The wins, the publications — all are icing on the cake, they are the appreciation on the feedback loop that keeps me going. I know I’m not ever going to write deep stuff, the kind that makes you sit back and ruminate. I see myself more as a simple storyteller, trying to make a story that just is to come alive, nothing else.

So 2011, you’ve been good to me, and I thank you for everything from the bottom of my heart.

Orchids
(Another success story: The orchids that bloomed after two years of DH’s TLC!)

Season’s Greetings, Happy Holidays, and Wish You All A Very Happy New Year!

See ya in 2012! 🙂

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