Doesn’t this quote resonate with you? For me, the past few months since I stumbled upon Vidya Sury’s Gratitude Circle, I have come to believe in the power of practising gratitude. I joined this monthly blog hop from September. It was quite a happening month with my business trip coming up but as every time new month came to a close, I wondered if I had enough to write about gratitude. I started thinking of the month gone by and to my pleasant surprise found there were more many moments where I felt a sense of warmth and gratitude, sometimes on account of acts by family and friends and sometimes strangers.
2017 has come to an end and what an eventful year this has been, I would never have thought 2017 would bring so many wonderful opportunities. The best part is I am proud to have seized them at the right time and given my best shot.
My daughter has turned a year older, how time flies especially when you are a Mommy!
My gratitude list for December – here it goes
- The business trip to Switzerland came to an end in mid December.In my last week, a colleague Walter invited me to his home. This was a very sweet gesture. It was a 2.5 hour travel from Zurich to Lausanne (the French part of Switzerland) but totally worth it on a snowy day.
Walter’s family welcomed me with open arms. His wife had cooked some delicious Moroccan Khus Khus with chicken, chick peas and veggies for lunch. With some red wine, it was one of the best meals I had in a long time. Language was a barrier as his wife and 5 year old grand daughter only spoke French but we had fun trying to communicate with sign language and broken English.
We visited the Montreux Christmas Market at night which was filled with various stalls selling candies, pashmina shawls, toys, food and everything under the sun. Christmas Markets are a special attraction in December and should not be missed.
Dinner was the signature Swiss Dish “Cheese Fondue”. Though I did not enjoy the Fondue much, the warmth and affection by the Schelling family is what melted my heart.
- I got to experience snow- what is it to go to work, eat in a restaurant while you see snow flakes outside your window and get caught in a downpour of snow in the middle of the city which your hands freezing and your hair full of snow flakes- I totally loved this novel experience. I had missed it last year as I came back in the last week of November. This year I had my share of sunny and snowy days.
- It would be a shame if I don’t mention the Christmas Lights and celebrations – especially this one with people singing carols in a giant Christmas tree. The spirit of the festive season can be felt with such fervour.
Of course with Black Friday Sales, I did some crazy shopping too and shopping always makes me feel good!
- I was looking forward to get back home- the last 2 weeks were the hardest. I also looked forward to be pampered in business class- I don’t get to travel often and business class is really rare. With a glass of champagne as the welcome drink, comfy sofas cum bed to slide in and the air hostess presenting you with a menu to choose your lunch, what more can I ask for. The last of pampering before I hit the ground.
My co passenger was a young lady who is a stewardess with Swiss Air and was flying back as a passenger as she was not needed on duty. (I thought it was very kind of Swiss Air to give her the business class seat, Swiss companies do care for their people, I know it as I work for one!)
We struck a conversation- from travelling to jobs, to parenting and fussy customers aboard- it was an interesting conversation we had. I usually prefer being on my own during such journeys but I am so glad I met her. We may never meet again but sometimes these conversations we have leave us with a warm feeling.
- I came home finally and the reunion with my daughter was emotional. I wrote about it in a post few days ago which received an overwhelming response, the comments by so many readers/ writers made me emotional. When penning the story I never thought my emotions would resonate with people so much.
My 3 year old has left me in awe yet again, this 3 month assignment in a foreign country, miles apart would not have been possible without her support- by being on her best behaviour and not troubling her grand mom nor crying or asking for Mommy. But the day I came, she is back to her old self – screaming in the shower, making me run after her, refusing to wear that dress. I cant complain.. can I?
- Living away from home, being too lazy to cook for myself and gorging on outside food and wine , not to mention the amazing Swiss Chocolate Ice Cream did take a toll on my belly and cheeks. I could still fit into my jeans comfortably but I could feel that I have put on weight. I am back to my fitness regime now , have been running daily for around 4-5 kms. I find my stamina getting better, the difficult part is putting on those running shoes and pushing myself outside the house. I am glad that I can motivate myself to take my health and fitness seriously- the feeing after a run is amazing and the dreadful feeling for having missed one is difficult to live with.
- I haven’t seen much happening on the blog though my frequency of blogging remained unchanged mostly in December. There were moments of despair, though I am a optimistic person especially when it comes to my writing, I have always had a very positive image of myself. But looking around, I sometimes felt -am I not doing enough? Not in terms of content or frequency of writing , but interacting with other bloggers, building my social media presence etc as seems that is what is getting recognised more than content.
I went through these conflicting emotions and came out with my answers- about what works for me. Given my priorities in life, a full time demanding job and a 3 year old, the limited precious time. I have for myself, I would love to spend most of it writing. Maybe I don’t end up with those glitzy awards and cant make that speech, but should that make me doubt my ability or should I pursue my passion with lesser vigor? I have a different path than others, the journey, the rewards everything will be different. Here again I found solace in a friend Ankita who co incidentally is a blogger and a fantastic work from home Mom (how she does it all never ceases to amaze me). She helped me find my answers and I am thankful to have met her. Once again I am amazed how virtual friends (people I never met in person) have become such an integral part of my life.
My blog was chosen in 2 categories Personal and Topical Issues in the latest update of Top Indian Blogs and it was a moment of joy.
- The #YesIDidIt campaign by Women Web made me realise that I am thankful to God and the Universe for this opportunity that came to me on the work front. I had never dreamt of traveling to Switzerland again so soon (given I had made a month long business trip in Nov 2016). A 3 month opportunity to work in the Zurich office, in a new role and taking this up leaving my daughter behind – I would never have thought in my wildest dreams that this would happen in 2017. But at the end I am proud of having accomplished this- as a mom, as a working professional , as an Indian woman. I do hope more women around find the courage to live their dreams and their families wholeheartedly support them.
As the year draws to a close, I look at my resolution list made last year and re-evaluate where I stand. One thing I want to do differently is being less hard on myself. I do have high expectations and always set very high standards for myself . Perhaps thats the reason I have done well in life as these high expectations mean I work relentlessly towards them but I realise that things may not always work in the way I envisage. There are things beyond my control and they may not be fair but learning to accept them and move ahead is what I need to practice. Not losing my peace of mind over them , in fact missing out on the daily joys of life in their pursuit is not worthwhile. This is something I would like to practise this year. Life goes on , failure is imminent, how to you deal with it is what makes all the difference.
As I see my tiny bud bloom into a beautiful flower, I want to soak myself , inhale in the fragrance and enjoy every bit of this experience which may never come again. Hoping 2018 brings in joy, good health, success, wealth and an endless list to be grateful for.
How was your month? What are the things you are thankful for? I would love to hear from you. Do write in.
Linking up with effervescent Vidya Sury’s Gratitude Circle
Linking up Quoted Stories #15