The Month That Was

January 2019 Reflections

Wasn’t it just yesterday we were welcoming 2019 and setting our words and phrases and resolutions for the year? How in the world is it February already? I know for a lot of people, January is a bit of a write-off and they prefer to consider Feb as the actual start of the year. Not me. I do like January; it’s birthday month after all! Anyway, before diving into February, it only makes sense to reflect on January which for me, has been exceptionally busy!

What I wrote in January 2019

I finished a short story and submitted it for the Newcastle Short Story competition. It took about four edits to cut out words but I was reasonably content with it in the end and managed to submit it on the long weekend. I’ve started a new short story for another competition as well. Apart from the stories, I have managed to write a bit of poetry this month thanks to the Wednesday Verses prompts. I linked up each week and wrote five poems as a result. They included Fresh Start, Disguise, The curse of nostalgia, Things to do, and Love at first sight. It has been a good feeling to be writing poetry again and I am grateful to Vinay who puts up with me messaging him the day before for the prompt {I prefer getting it earlier due to the time difference}. Finally, I also wrote microfiction for Yeah Write; my first in a while! 

What I read in January 2019

I read a lot in January and have completed 8 books according to Goodreads but technically only 7 because one ended up in my did-not-finish pile {life’s too short to persist with books that aren’t interesting}. My two favourite books this month were If cats disappeared from the world and The last time we say goodbye. I will write a review for the latter shortly because it was a book that broke me, made me cry ugly tears and will stay with me for a long, long time. Apart from these, I also read Poonachi, Nevermoor, One half from the east, Adulthood is a myth and Cloudwish {review of this to come soon}. I couldn’t finish The librarian from Auschwitz; there was just something about the writing that I couldn’t get into even after struggling through 7 chapters. I’m not sure if it’s because it was a translation but I’ve definitely read better books on the World War II era.

On the blog in January 2019

The blog has been relatively busy in January but that’s usually not surprising. Apart from the poems and book reviews, I continued my weekly gratitude posts on Sundays. It was a great feeling to keep at it last year for the entire year and I feel I need to keep it again. I also wrote about my intentions for this year as opposed to a word. Of course, turning 35 meant I had to reflect on 35 lessons I’ve learnt over the years most of which happen to be in the last decade. I also wrote about feeling a tad overwhelmed by all the things I want to do. There’s so much brewing in my head and on my list that I cannot seem to prioritise! Apart from the posts, I also created a new list – 40 by 40. It’s about 40 things I’d like to do before I turn 40. I did one for 35 and 30 so I figured I might as well try going with 40!

Health in January 2019

My health has been a bit of a mixed bag this month. While I haven’t fallen sick, I have been super tired thanks to some very poor sleep for at least half the month. Buttons is partially to blame – he has been anxious and meowing in the middle of the night. But the other thing to blame is my own busy brain. I am feeling quite tired and need to somehow incorporate more rest. I started well on the exercise front in January but again, lack of sleep meant difficulty waking up and consequently, not going to the gym as often. The last two weeks in particular have been shocking where I’ve probably only exercised two to three times a week. I’m hoping to up my game in February as I’ve also got myself a personal trainer for a short time to help get me motivated and keep me accountable. My eating has been relatively okay too; I’ve been meal prepping my lunches all month and dinners for the last two weeks. I have been socialising and going out but managing to eat well. I am enjoying a few too many beers thanks to summer and my love for craft beers! My mental health has been okay except again, when I’ve been super tired. I noticed I get more sad and anxious when I’m lacking sleep. I think I need to seriously do something about that sleep!

Life in January 2019

Life has been good to me in January. I have been super social catching up with friends both on the coast and in Sydney. I have enjoyed a book club filled with deep discussions about the book and life. I have loved going to the beach after work and on some weekends. I was grateful for friends to come to my birthday weekend on short notice – we enjoyed stand-up paddleboarding and/or kayaking as well as a picnic. Some Sydney friends stayed over and we made a weekend of it. Reading, writing and music have been fulfilling. I went to my very first music festival over the long weekend – Progfest. It was fantastic! I didn’t know most of the bands but they were amazing, including the ones veering towards metal. I absolutely love the live music scene. Work has been interesting enough; we are still developing the new role but I’ve also been busy with the few things we have put in place. I am planning things around private practice as well which I’m continuing to do after-hours on a smaller scale. I took time to watch Netflix as well and finally caught Black Mirror: Bandersnatch which was intriguing, fell in love and broke with the rest of The Good Place, and binge-watched The Haunting of Hill House. Overall, I’ve enjoyed laughs, had some empty moments, shared wonderful conversations with people and been content with life in January.

Highlight of January 2019

My birthday weekend and Progfest were probably the main highlights of the month.

Lowlight of January 2019

Feeling fucking exhausted due to lack of sleep. What can I say?

Lessons from January 2019

Connecting with people and engaging in things that fulfil your soul are the key to wellbeing. It’s also okay to sometimes just chill on the couch with a cat on your lap and sip on your coffee doing nothing at all. Also, the only ten year challenge worth noting is how you’ve changed as a human being emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually as opposed to purely physically.

How was your January?

Do share!

***Linking with Vidya for her Gratitude circle and with Corinne and Shalini for Friday Reflections***

Featured image by Adrianna Calvo from Pexels

Until next time,

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  • Vidya Sury
    1 February 2019 at 9:53 pm

    While I’ve been seeing your Instagram updates, it is nice to read how January went, Sanch. Congratulations and all the best for your private practice. And do consciously ensure you get enough sleep. Feeling mentally tired is never nice. Happy birthday to you! Wishing you a fabulous February! And yes, where did January go?
    (Not sure why the commentluv is showing an old post!)
    Vidya Sury recently posted…White Silk Cotton Trees at Lalbagh Botanical GardensMy Profile

  • Shalzmojo
    2 February 2019 at 1:23 am

    Whoa you are on a roll in January – all of it sounds so good! New beginning in the new year Sanch! Not sure if I wished you for your Bday – here’s raising a toast to you Ms 35!!! Hope all your wishes and dreams for this year come true girl!

    Hey sleep is very important – you know that better than me. Sort out all of your zzzzzzs and get your dose of a good healthy beauty sleep!

    Wishing you a fab fab february!!

  • Shilpa Gupte
    2 February 2019 at 6:00 pm

    Isn’t Buttons feeling well, or something?

    I too enjoyed watching The haunting of Hill House….and didn’t find it frightening, at all! So, I have gotten sort of addicted to watching horror shows!!! And that’s quite something so out of my comfort zone. 😛

    I hope you get some good sleep in February, and also get back to your exercise routine.
    Take care, Sanch and Buttons. Have a lovely Feb!
    Shilpa Gupte recently posted…Where do you like to read?My Profile

  • Soumya
    2 February 2019 at 6:33 pm

    Where did January go, oh yes?

    I hope you had a really good birthday and I seriously hope that you catch up on some good sleep this month. I’m a light sleeper and when I barely get sleep, I walk around like a zombie yelling at everyone and everything that comes around me. We need sleep to nourish, it is as simple as it is.

    Wishing you a peaceful February, Sanch!
    Soumya recently posted…Action Replay + Gratitude List: January 2019My Profile

  • BellyBytes
    2 February 2019 at 8:51 pm

    Feeling exhausted? That’s not good. But glad to know that you had a great January. Belated birthday wishes and 35 by 35 seems doable. I can’t do 61 by 61 or even 62 by 62, because as you grow older , there are less things you want to do…. 😉
    BellyBytes recently posted…Sun setting over Mumbai #SkywatchFridayMy Profile

  • Shubhra Rastogi
    4 February 2019 at 6:56 pm

    Hi, I am Shubhra. You have had a great Jan and wish you a great year ahead. You have a great list of 40 by 40. I am trying to steal some of the things on the list and imply them in my life. Wishing you a great year ahead!
    Shubhra Rastogi recently posted…A Glimpse of the Past Month #GratitudeMy Profile

  • Anjana
    4 February 2019 at 9:31 pm

    Hi Sanch, Good to read your gratitude post. I just started writing blogs from few days and writing is definitely one of the best friend in times of good and bad. When i read you mention Newcastle, I was very happy thinking it is Newcastle of UK. I do live in Newcastle as well. But yes.. you live in the other part of the globe. Happy to know that we share the city names. Wishing you good luck!

  • Harini
    4 February 2019 at 10:28 pm

    January came and went very fast. I can’t believe its already Feb. Happy belated birthday darling and sorry for the late wishes. January was a hard month for our family. Two of our family members went through major surgeries and most of the month was spent with this stress. I am hoping to have a better Feb. I am happy to see that you had a great Feb and hope the same for you.
    Harini recently posted…Best Books of 2018My Profile

  • Rachna
    6 February 2019 at 1:31 pm

    I had pretty poor sleep in January too. Active mind, exhaustion but there was a stretch I went with 4-4.5 hours of sleep per day for 8 days. It was terrible. That led to low immunity and allergy attacks hence workoits reduced. Hoping that as the weather warms up, I will be more regular. Your January seems decent. Hopefully you will catch better sleep this month.
    Rachna recently posted…High Protein Popped Amaranth Energy Balls | Rajgira LadduMy Profile

  • Natasha Sinha
    8 February 2019 at 4:10 pm

    Dear Sanch,

    Happy February! My January was a bit of a damper, but not all of it. It started on a roller coaster ride, that eased out as the weeks progressed. Even I was getting poor sleep for a while – almost 2 months, and that made me cantankerous and harridan-ish. But I’m back on track now.

    Congratulations on turning another year wiser.

    You have yourself a fabulous February!
    Love and cheer!