Its the last day of the year and I couldn’t wait any longer to post the rumination of my year 2018. This has been the first attempt in my life where I have deliberately made an effort to make constant notes of the things I pursued during various months. I have never viewed life by churning month by month. Instead I was a person who was event triggered. This way I was living a life but I just couldn’t know where all my time went.
This year, I have tried to take everything in account on what I am doing and making a brief gist of what was done. I wrote the first draft in April of the four months review and then added things again in November. Its not as elaborate as it should have been and I am sure I have missed many things. I am going to take this as pointer to improve the review for next year. What I would want to improve is to have a little planning before each month and having that goal minded approach a little bit as there will always be uncontrolled elements.
Writing has been a humbling experience to me. I first started writing letters which got me into writing a personal diary in college. And then it stopped. I got my eyes to a wonderful checkered diary (2015) which made my writing skills to reincarnate. This is by far the most different kind of time lapsed content I have written. I got this inspiration from a colleague’s father, who has been yearly revisiting each year for around 9 years
TLDR; Most Creative/ Least consumed - Action oriented year of my life.
Let’s start !
- Got a new job in . I joined as a backend developer. This has been a hairpin turn in my career again. I decided that I will focus only on workplace code for the first 6 months. I will not distract myself looking at any other thing apart from it.
January - February :
- As usual, I started a habit of having smoothies and oat meal. Out of 60 Days I managed to continue this habit for around 28 days effectively. I would like to consider it as part success because I did it for a long time. I also read the book Grit. This book talks about having a life philosophy. Everytime I progressed, it made me to think more on thinking on developing my life’s philosophy. It is a great book which says hardwork surpasses talent.
- Meanwhile, at work I still struggle to navigate myself in the code to point out exact place where fix has to be done. I still think like a Tester. I couldn’t dive in code.
- Mental Health: I was not okay. With work demands and other things I became a worrier. I had hard days where I felt really restless on weekends. The thought of sitting idle on a weekend made me really anxious. I couldn’t keep myself occupied. I felt extremely bad.
Weekend is comingwas a dreadful sentence. Meanwhile, I went to bangalore to attend the Ruby Conference. It was OKAYISH, but I am glad to have met many good people from Ruby Community. That is the best part of conferences once you become regular. This was my second time btw.
- I wasn’t feeling good because I was unable to continue Yoga, and constantly stressed over my new job and new challenges. Because of this, I felt like I am missing out on all things I love in life. The whole month went over fussing about and being sad. Important part of it was not getting the level of work I think I can handle at workplace. I guess, I was overwhelmed with all the new job skillset which I require and how many things I have to learn to be qualified as developer. By this time, I had read a little on React and had become a little ok at debugging the code. I guess I was overestimating myself and my capabiliies? May be it really takes time and patience to get to learn things and I wanted to learn things as fast as I can. Mental Health: Again not okay.
- Family: We as a family went to Mount Abu for a getaway. The best part was the constume we wore of Marwadi tradition. It was funny. Harsh’s Father starts felling out of nowhere randomly. Its a symptom of ALS progression.
- I started running. I ran 1 km for the first time in my life non stop. This continued for 1.5 and then 2km.
- My knee issues got exasperated and I started taking Glutathione. I started reading about finding cure of my knees and why they crackled/snapped/grinded. This made me to enter the world of Ayurveda deeply. I came to read amazing articles, & later on, books which covered basics of Ayurveda. Basically, I became numb to all the feelings I was having for life in general and I stopped to look at life the way I was looking and started to look at my work/hobbies more and more. Just doing more of it. I stopped looking at time that its running out as if I have to leave for somewhere. I received a compliment for my work from a QA Manager congratulating me for sending a bug free code. I couldn’t be happier! receiving a compliment from QA definitely means I am doing something right.
- Hobbies: I experienced Kunjal Kriya/ Vaman. It was taught by my sister. It is supposed to cleanse everything above duodenum (small intenstine). It is the best medicine if a person suffers from acidity/ or cough issues. All the old cough, aciditiy and
ama(toxins) get removed. I read a lot about the Cleansing Procedures which were followed in olden times to cleanse. Cleansing is the first step to Meditation. If you cleanse your senses, you have clean passages which automatically support by giving greater clarity of mind when one meditates later. What practices happened in past? This is an all time favorite area of my research be it with Food, Productivity, Meditation etc. I have always found the more one is close to the source, better the learning is.
- I realized the importance of oiling the body. We oil nails to protect it from rusting, similar analogy is for our body. Oiling the body, the nose, the ears, they nourish our system and pacify the doshas. I recognized that I have
This became a life changing month of my life.
- Work: For the first time, I got significant backend work and now things have started to feel better because I became focussed over work. My fussing about everything in life stopped. I went a step deep in my work related tasks. It acted as a therapy to me. I guess I started working on the root cause. Work brought the much needed happiness and contentment. But I have still so much left to do. We got a new lead in our team. He seems to be knowledgable and strict. All in all, my focus was not to waste time in talking and focus completely at my work. I wanted to be in flow.
- Hobbies: I experienced Shirodhara/Abhyanga/Basti. I went on to read book on Ayurveda and how to develop a Dincharya according to Ayurvedic principles. Out of all the principles listed, the one I have been doing for a long time now is
Tongue Scraping. I have made a good routine on my dental hygiene (oil pulling, tooth powder and then brushing with a good technique) & skin care.
- Martial Arts: When I saw my friend doing the cartwheel so well, this made me to join Raju Sir, who was our coach and who trains martial arts- gymnastics. I was more interested in gymnastics but he gave me the whole training. I went for the month of May and I realized, how weak I was. I had no stamina or power, but I had medium level flexibility.
- I also tried other stuff like painting. Which to me looks good enough for a newbie. To paint was amazing. It’s definitely a skill and requires to have a really delicate touch while you hold your brushes. I really enjoyed my Paintology Class at Khar. I made few paintings with my cousin sister.
- I went to Valsad, ate mangoes like crazy. I have never tasted such beautiful and tasty mangoes. I even go for mango picking direct from trees. Beachy breezes and sleeping on terrace were so soothing. Long walks to beach and chilling at the home eating homecooked jwar roti and gujrati sabjis was a delight. I forgot the bag which contained clothes and there I was wearing petticoats which looked like skirt. But I had fun in petticoat too!
- These were more awesome months as I worked on a whole module on developing a service class, working on creating ElasticSearch Index, playing with query formation, finding out more on inheritance, and when someone said, if I can do a small task of frontend, I happily agreed to do it. I did that in stipulated amount of time with energy left to do more work. I look forward to my lead who has good work ethics than me. Right now I feel, I am trying really hard not to create bugs by testing things again and again. I feel content and having achieved something when people can’t find bugs in code however small or big it is. It has given me the boost I needed. I quit martial arts class because of Ayurveda commitment and a study habit I want to develop in morning, but I gave up on the quitting and rejoined Sir again in August.
- I also experimented going plastic free for July Month. Its tough but doeable to a great extent. Being a follower to sustainability topics, I wanted to become an educated person in true sense. I started questioning my skills, my existence and how can someone call them educated when they themselves are creating a lot of waste. The purpose of education should be holistic and not to make you dumb to all the other things except work-life-relationships. Anyway, to become plastic free I started a steel reusable bottle, ditched the plastic spoons provided at office, I carry my own steel spoon. While grocery shopping, I go with my baskets and cloth bags, I have made Harsh ditch the usual razor and embrace the safety razor. He was apprehensive at start, but now he has all the nice things to say about it. I changed our tooth brushes to bamboo ones. I replaced my shampoo with a Shampoo bar. I am currently loving all the replacements I have done so far. Reusing all the plastic things I already have in home. I also tried ditching the toothpaste and embrace tooth powder. But I failed at it.
- Speaking of reusability, it got me so far that I experimented with Crochet and made myself my spoon holder. Necessity is the mother of invention, this line had such a deep meaning. I just learnt the technique online and within minutes I was fast enough to complete it. I also made a wallet.
- My best friend left Mumbai.. Terrible feeling. I am all alone with literally no friends.
- I was the sole student in Martial Arts at Powai class. I really like Sir’s attitude on few things. “Aj ka dard , Kal ki taakat” (Pain felt today, becomes your Power tomorrow) is what he used to say while making us to practice. I learnt warmup, front roll, some kicks, jumping high(which were not at all perfect). He made me to be in handstand pose for around 10 sec each, pushups, different kinds of punches, some self defence techniques. It was fun but soon it turned to be something else. I used to get so tired that I was not performing well. I couldn’t practice anything at home. Sir has great expectations from his students. I was not even close to it. I lacked the strength to pull off things. I had dragged things to a level where classes felt more of a burden than fun. So I decided to quit and resumed yoga.
- Family: Harsh’s Father had a major respiratory attack and later came to be known as pnemonia. Its common to ALS Patients because of their weakened lungs. Once the respiratory issues get started, it all depends on Divine Power. Our major goal was to talk to him and make sure he is happy. His O2 retention came down too. Supporting Harsh became my priority too. I found it really hard to be a source of strength to him. Sometimes I failed terribly at that too.
- Work : I had got an amazing bug through which I learnt the purpose of UTF-8 coming to being. Bug fix was small, but I dived deep that I wanted to share this learning with others. So, I started #TechnicalFridays in office. I gave a small talk on “UTF-8”, and the purpose of the meetup was kept to sharing which brings you joy and enhances your creativity. I think developers have so many things which they come across in daily life that they could only share it to a small group. I wanted to make a platform so that I can share my learnings. But the idea was not appreciated from the speakers point of view. I couldn’t gather speakers. All everybody wanted was to listen or to expect someone else to stand and talk. I also started working on Image rendering and how to make images loading faster. This was a very interesting task and for the first time I actually started seeing problems from a whole perspective and not from a backend or frontend one. I was enthusiastic to solve it. I had constraint to keep using same things are improving the flow. When you are a beginner, your voice is not so powerful that things can change. Despite giving good solution which would have fixed it awesomely, I had to think in patching things in a good way. But this is life, you expect perfectionism but some things are really not in your control. So the best thing is to do stuff without thinking about perfectionism.
- Health Wise: The long kept self control has broken, my office is filled with foodies, Fafda, Jalebi, Snacks, Samosa, Cakes. People are so crazy for food. I get chocolates, “mithai” as if its another part of you. I started eating whatever was offered to me. Once resistive, became boundary less.
- Work wise: I don’t like office people. Some of them are just very rude, they demotivate you. I haven’t read any good books this month. Fear of insult and sulking later on of not knowing concepts or how things work has affected me now a days. My enthusiasm has died a little. May be I need to learn to ask the right questions. I worked on Privacy aspect of application and some of the rake tasks. I also got my hands into installing open source repos like Dev.io and checking out the way they code. I feel that I need to revisit Ruby as a language. I have so many things to write for my own reference. Notes have always served my best friends when the need arrives.
- Hobbies: Oh I have caught hold of this stupidest habit of the world- Watching videos/serials. Why??? I am escaping to think on some pressing topics. Watching something is very easy task. Need to control this habit.
- Yoga: My sister brought the Iyenger Yoga Chair. It has been sitting quietly as I have not utilized it yet.
- Work wise: I again got a slightly big improvement in Privacy aspect of app. I enjoyed the task. It was tough to understand, had lot of knowledge gaps, lot of difficult conversations with people. Fastened a bit and made to redirect myself again to work. I was excited about work at the same time I was fearful to communicate what I don’t understand. Then, as I was scolded again, I became a little shameless and asked million times and irritated my Mentor. This is still a great barrier I have - Not to ask and sulk.
- I also got my hands into deployment and kubernetes. Not done anything but reading the basics have been such an awesome way to be prepared and has proved to be an asset in serving to be able to understand the conversations.
- No TechnicalFridays
- What is exercise? . Madam is on leave and I will only be rejoining Yoga in January.
- Health: I have started making kefir than curd and I am not yet experienced any benefits just the sour taste of it. trying to be consistent with its consumption and very hopeful that I will benefit from it.
- Work : I have seen improvements in terms of my conceptual knowledge. I started revisiting Ruby. As I revised, I filled the gaps. Ruby is an amazing language. Now, in a phase where a person appreciates the language.
- We went to Orissa . Sun Temple- Konark, Jaggannath Puri , and Kalabhoomi museum. Bhuvneshwar is a very cultural city. I brought a mat from there. Meeting my college friends after a long time was really a bond making time and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a much needed break even if it was for few days. I think more than me it was needed for Harsh.
- Dog Training 101: I have finally found someone in Mumbai who can teach me to be a good owner. I am taking few lessons on how to take care of dogs. These are really fun sessions. My trainer is a really fun person too. We go for dog walks, personal sessions with dogs, Feed stray puppies. I am even going to meet one of my favorite breed : a weinmarner soon. Dog raising is no fun I realized that. Its a full time task.
- Dental Hygiene: Why am I so obsessed with this. Instead of oil pulling I started again “totka”( what my friends call) - WheatGrass Powder Gargling. I havent noticed any benefits as of now.
- My new found interest is making Herbal Tinctures/Infusions as a measure to keep curing myself and my loved ones when they get sick. After gaining a little bit of knowledge on Ayurveda and Western Herbology, I managed to pick few herbs which I am yet to make tinctures from. Knowing those herbs inside out was in itself a big task. I will be continuing this in January 2019. I also went out on my own on a “herb walk” as I call it and discovered a lot of plants by observing their leaf pattern and then searching the name via Apps.
- Family: My father in law starts with
Bruxism, something which we were never prepared for. the grinding of teeth causes headaches. It has several causes but we are guessing the causing factor for his condition is Alzheimer’s. Doctor has already told about his having Alzheimer’s. His forgetfulness will be a boon or curse, only time will tell, but its definitely a draining experience when it comes to caregivers. Esp. Harsh as he is closest to his father. His father has started forgetting him too and his brain has started confusing at many times. Everytime he sleeps for a little while and wakes up, he forgets the previous events. He has turned a little obsessive too about things not in place. He has lost his strength to turn around while sleeping / to sit upright too. He needs full time care now. Caregiving is not easy. Its emotionally & physically draining. His sister and him are doing wonderful job of giving care. This is a perfect example of doing more than self, being at service to humanity and not being selfish. Things do look scary & uncontrolled but if we keep doing the things we are responsible to do, ray of hope will soon be seen.
I came across following conclusions:
- As far as family and relationships are concerned, it had a major affect on this year which I have not documented much. I think what motivates me is exactly this point - Health is the only true wealth. And loosing it just because of our habits is a terrible mistake. The more I am seeing ALS and its progression, the more I am concerned for the well being of Harsh, me and others around me. This year was also emotional.
- I didn’t travel much but I managed to experience everything I want to develop right here at the place I am. Being alone, struggling has proved to be a boon to me. Seeking approvals made me to have crutches. It is of utmost importance to have belief in yourself and never doubt. Also not to make “seemingly knowledgable” people the crowning ones.With time, you can also reach that place. This year I have also learnt to live life and enjoy it in my own company without feeling the need to have people entertain me. A quote which rightly says : “Wherever you go, there you are”.- There is no getting away from ourselves. It seems that instead of changing others, when I experimented with myself, I was lot happier, content, busy, hopeful and oriented.
- I hope to make consistency my next objective. I experimented a lot with lot of wisdom gained along. But everything is “Nashwar”(Perishable). This also includes the thoughts. I want to have written notes of everything I have learnt- in Ayurveda, Yoga, Martial Arts, At Work while developing, in the area of sustainability. This is going to be prime importance to me as I realize how much I have struggled to remember what I did. Revisiting everything and making the same things I experimented solidly in next year will be my focus. I have found things which interest me and now I want to get deeper which won’t be possible without reference.
- My focus will be self sustainability whether its in area of Exercise or Diet or Living or Interests. I want to equip myself with the skills required where even if I am at a place where nothing of my interest is available, I am able to create and make my own niche. This thought has promoted me to do what I did last year too and next year also I am going to solidify things which I have superficially visited. Crisis situations have kept coming in life and looks like it’s not going to end soon. I want to be best equipped for it.
Wish you & your family the best of health for the year 2019.