December Diaries: Giving Thanks to 2016

Where do I even start. I actually just took a break from writing to scroll through my Instagram that I believe has some of my key highlights and also because scrolling through my planner right now doesn’t sound too appealing. psht.

A lot of bad things has happened this year, the most significant of which is the flood that will probably be engraved in one to a side of my brain for a very long time. Today though, I am going to narrow it down to ten good things that happened this year because it’s important that we focus on the positives. So in no order whatsoever, here are my list of thankfuls for 2016.

The Month of December

December is always stressful., which is also probably why it is first on my list. There is not only the end of the year rush, but also all of our special (and expensive) days. This December was even more stressful because of work, a troublesome shoulder and back and lots of other little struggles that I continued to battle;

because end of the year = birthdays = end of expectations, loss of hope and basically cause for mental tantrums

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Also one of my favourite people got married this month. ❤

Big Changes 

I don’t get too personal in here because as a writer, this blog not only becomes a representation of some of the shitty work that I may do but also a space where a lot of the people I know refer to, lol. But career wise, there has been changes. Good changes I feel, or at least hope. Like many things in life, I try to continuously find stability within myself and my career as a writer (and whatever else that comes out of it) is an area I like to work on as well.

In other news, I got a car

In other news, I got a car.

Family

My sister has been fortunate enough to fly down almost every month since the middle of the year and we hope that she will permanently be here in Colombo very soon. My extended family suffered from the devastating flood but besides the house and some other material possessions, they are safe and good.

Food = family.

Food = family.

Mum’s Presentation

My Mum made a stellar presentation at the Human Rights Commission on the work she does and I was lucky enough to go see it. Akki and I are really fortunate to have a mother who believes and is truly passionate about the work she does.

Letter Earthlings Grew Closer to my Heart

My favourite past time is not only writing letters, but to inspire people to write letters. Letter Earthlings has become one of my most looked forward to activities every month and this year in particular has truly help bring the initiative really close to my heart. I sincerely thank my friend Nivendra for letting me be a part of it.

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Discovered a New Coffee Place

Or my favourite coffee place! It’s a pity that I don’t grace coffee shops as much any more but if I were to, I know where to go and might have a bit of a tough time knowing what I want.

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Travelled a bit more

Across Sri Lanka and to East Asia. Some trips were on work while the rest were adventures with those I adore the most. I am grateful for being able to do what I do and the opportunities I get.

I know Cambodia was a highlight but my heart will always be with the sea.

I know Cambodia was a highlight but my heart will always be with the sea.

Made New Friends, Grew Distant from Some Old Ones

It makes me a little sad to talk about this but the realisation has simultaneously helped me learn and grow closer to old and new friends who have come into my life in the most unexpected of ways. For those who I may have distanced myself from, I’m sorry but I guess it worked out for the best. You will always be in my heart and I will always remember your birthday.

Those who came into my life and for those who have been here with me, thank you. You mean more to me than I will ever verbally let you know.

Wrapped more gifts!

Gifted grew slowly on the side.

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We took on orders we could execute and didn’t for those of which we knew that we either didn’t have enough time or enough resources for. Thank you for all those who ordered with us and believed in us to add some magic to your loved ones special day.

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Fell in love, again

With the same man of course, haha. But this year has been one of truly understanding him (and I hope vice versa, lol), knowing that he will be there for a very long time. If he chooses not to, I will buy him back with all the confectionary, speakers and car parts left in the world. Muhaha.

This was from 2015 but the next picture in this series of pictures was definitely my favourite <3

This was from 2015 but the next picture in this series of pictures was definitely my favourite ❤

But thank you once again for all those who have been a part of my life and given me everything that you have. It’s been a rushed year, but a good one, I like to think, despite all that has happened. We are older, not necessarily wiser but have grown to become more content with what we have, the people in our lives and most importantly, the little time we have.

I hope 2017 brings you nothing but sunshine.

Written as part of the Giving Thanks series – Week 35

December Diaries: Gratitude

To all university students protesting out there,

I’m back with a bit of a rant today. It’s Christmas, the season of gratitude and thankfulness and the rant might seem a little out of place but the rant in itself is on gratitude, or lack there of.

Before you say anything, I don’t think I understand your cause. See I was among the “privileged” that was schooled in a semi-government entity and was even more (supposedly) “privileged” to have read for my degree at a private university in India. The experience in itself was a little difficult at first but to this date I’m grateful for having being able to study abroad for three years as it shed perspective and taught me a lot on independence, budgeting and most importantly growing up.

My Orthodox Catholic University wasn’t sororities and dorm rooms in cute skirts. Since I was in South India, this involved a lot of kurthas, shawls and a 2100h curfew at the on-campus hostel that didn’t give us food. My roomie and I moved out during the third year because they insisted on a similar dress code inside the hostel and fixed some CCTV cameras that we were not really down for. Also, we wanted to have some home cooked Lankan food once every four days. University also was 0900-1600h and 0900-1300h classes every weekday and Saturday respectively for three years with mandatory 85% attendance. If we failed to meet the criteria, we were first sent to a counsellor who would try and find out what the hell was wrong with us (family problems, relationship problems, mental / psychological problems, you know the dose) and then if we failed to make up for it, we were not allowed to sit for our finals without paying a certain fee of compensation (that varied according to the attendance percentage) – and let me not even start on the process when it comes to paying this actual fee.

On another note, I always believe that people who pay for their own things and possessions, often understand the value of money. This is why when I had to buy another Mac after spilling coffee on the Mac I already owned, my non-mathematical brain started doing a number of serious calculations in order to budget wisely and efficiently.

In Sri Lanka however, I have nothing against this free education system. I think it’s great that people are educated for free because it’s knowledge, which is a gift and is not equivalent to any sum of money (that you can actually pay, lol). I also have immense respect for teachers and lecturers because they take a lot of shit for very little pay (I speak of the government-paid cadre) and throw in a lot of their hours, despite the “paid vacation” etc.

Having studied under the similar primary and secondary semi-government school conditions most kids on the roads these days too were once a subject of, I don’t recall being taught to protest they way these kids are doing so these days.

As an “adult” in her 20s, I am thoroughly “aware” that most of what I have become now are partly because of the education I have received. And as most other adults out there, I am thoroughly annoyed at this group of ungrateful shit heads that keep blocking the roads that other working “adults” travel to work in, to make a decent amount of money before it gets cuts off to taxes and vat and other ridiculous nonsense that pays off tuition fees for these kids who know absolutely nothing on the value of money.

However, their lack of gratitude does not stop there. Once they (finally) graduate, 800 years later, they are old, with only one degree and no work experience. They become frustrated mid-20s adults who still continue to live off their parents, shamelessly too, I must add, angry at the rest of the world.

Honey, the rest of the world was trying to move on in life despite you blocking the roads with ridiculous protests of not wanting to go to university for 80% of your student time. After all, what else is a full time student expected to do but study? Have you ever even stopped to think as to how privileged you are to have made through the cut off mark and eligibility criteria to start with? 

No? I didn’t think so either. 

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If it helps, think of the starving children in Mongolia children your age in rural Sri Lanka who do not have an opportunity to complete their secondary education, let alone university because of the family responsibility they took on after their father, a farmer, committed suicide after the last drought.

You don’t really know how that feels do you?

I don’t feel it either, but I’m trying on my part to do what I can for my family and to my country by being a “productive” working citizen paying a massive amount in taxes for your education and their spending.

I hope someday, soon, you understand how frivolous (and inconvenient) your actions are.

From,

A concerned, tired 20 something who did not make the cut off mark that the “privileged” kids did and chose to study in a private “privileged” university abroad

December Diaries: Six Impossible Things before Breakfast

Have I told you that Monday is one of my favourite days in the week?

I think Mondays are great because I have realised that I’m most productive before late afternoon, so the earlier the start the better it is going to be. Like today, before 1300h (now), I managed to get my car cleaned and sparkly, finish up some pending insurance work, collect a parcel from the GPO, get copies of all my documents and finish up a good deal of Christmas / birthday shopping, while making some calls for appointments during lunch.

#ProductiveAF

Yesterday was a downer, but today is a nice and sunny day. I don’t know what the rest of the week is looking like, but there will be its ups and downs, as life rightfully should be.

Special thanks to everyone who had panicked messaged / called me. I’m fine (ish). Will be better in time, but I think the downers would probably reflect more given that I have intended to blog as often (if not daily) as I can. But you guys are stars ❤

<Be in the moment.>

I got excited about 

Lunch. I did not have rice in the morning because I was busy slaying the world so resorted to three peanut butter sandwiches. They were great no doubt, I LOVE peanut butter. But the rice was what I was really thinking of while waiting for the postal guys to call out for parcel “64”.

I will be excited about 

Seeing my friend Lasantha’s short film on the 08th. I am mighty excited for all of my favourites creative ventures and the 08th is looking forward to, big time. You could come too, if you are interested! There is apparently free wine.

Also, I’m still emailing carefully Google-d positive thoughts to those who want. Do let me know if you would like one too.

December Diaries: Retrospection

I’ve been terrible and missed quite a few days already. In my defence, I got busy. Like real bat shit crazy busy. I’m still figuring things out slowly from the recent turn of events. It would be an understatement if I told you that I’ve been making progress. The end of the year blues doesn’t seem to help either.

Does that happen to you too? Do you feel sad, miserable, depressed (not used colloquially) even when the year comes to an end? I usually find myself feeling a very unusual sense of regret. Regret in itself is a funny feeling because I don’t feel it usually because I don’t regret things in life. I’m not lying. There are things I am disappointed about in life and things I cannot change, but the most amount of regret that I would have felt at that point was nothing short of momentary and it later found itself to the category of “acceptance”.

I’ve been doing a lot these days too. Accepting. I’m not happy with a number of things around me and there is either little or nothing I can do to change my circumstances. However, that too has found itself to the box of “acceptance”. I’m blaming it on the end of the year blues, because it gives me the same sense of hopelessness and misery that I feel at the end of every year. I still am unable to fathom as to why I feel the way I do because it’s not as though I have targets, goals or “resolutions” set out at the beginning of the year.

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But this year, like most years, I am lost. 

It’s a little difficult to write about things I’m at present grateful for given the way I feel, but here’s a lovely article I came across via Facebook.

I’ll be back with more sunshine tomorrow.

Do let me know if you are still up for some positive vibes delivered to your inbox every morning!

December Diaries: Mock Run

Oh hello December!

Or almost December. I woke up early today. Like 0630h early. With the help of an alarm of course (after sleeping at 0200h #impressive). When I used to go to school, my dad would do one of these days before the day term started and call it “mock run”. Of course, my eight-year old self translated this to “mockraan” that only made sense later in life.

I am determined to do daily December posts. The month has always been close to heart. However, this time around daily blogging is influenced by way of seeking gratitude. Yesterday was a start and the rest of December will be mix of gratitude, some rants and life in general.

Too much has happened the past few days for me to be excited about approaching the end of the year, however the goal is to stay positive and I will look into little bits and bobs of things to be happy about.

www.unsplash.com offers free pics for everybody :)

http://www.unsplash.com offers free pics for everybody 🙂

I Got Excited About

Leaving home and heading to work this morning. It’s exciting and I was excited to get to work and now it’s midday and the excitement (yes that’s the third time I said that) has managed to retain itself. I’ve reminded myself that things could be worse, but it’s not and for that, I am eternally grateful.

I will be Excited About

Meeting Akki this evening. She landed this morning but I didn’t see her this morning because of my extra excitement to get to work (among other things I had to do) but I’ll be seeing her soon.

Gratitude Star

My wonderful friend, Pavithri has this beautiful habit of sending in positive quotes every morning. So I’m not one for quotes but lately, I’ve been reciprocating and even looking for that right quote (and not sharing it on Facebook, lol) has helped me become a little more grateful to all of the many things I have around me.

We all need someone like Pavithri in our lives, who will not only go that extra mile to spread joy but also truly believe and want the other to be happy.

Comment below if you need a positive message delivered to you and I’d be happy to email you one every morning.

Happy December!

This (post) is a short one

…especially compared to yesterday’s posting. I’ll probably spare all of us the trouble and not go into detail on the not-very sunny day that came my way.

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A week ago I was by myself in Hikkaduwa taking some time off and I was awed by the beauty of the ocean as always. I couldn’t get enough on how waves would form very gradually but then unleash itself upon the ocean in a heartbeat.

Today may have been such a wave. Not the tidal tsunami-types, but a regular wave.

My ocean-loving, supposed peace seeking nature neither wants to write more with still-prevalent negative vibes as they can be contagious.

Until sunnier times, stay captivating.

December Sentiments

It’s still Tuesday over here. Writing because well, I’m marginally tipsy coz now we are back to storing alcohol in the room. Tough days.

As I mentioned in a post yesterday and a few days ago, we are shifting. I never realised how many things I had in my room. Most of them included all these souvenir boxes I kept for every “special” occasion in my life. For example, India had it’s own box, my trip to Thailand in 2004 had another, school had one hugeass box.

But then something happened.

I was told to get rid of all the junk,

and I did.

In retrospect I think to myself, why did I even keep all those birthday cards from all these years past? I even threw the ones I got this year. I mean I will hopefully live to see another birthday or I don’t know. Just overly morose now and sad.

Not entirely relevant but lol. (c) Google Images

It’s morning now. There’s tonnes to do and I’m wearing a new dress. I also realised this morning while driving to work on how bitter an individual I was and felt thoroughly ashamed. Chee. I suppose we all are bitter, sad and miserable inside. It just gets ugly when it all comes back to us, quite unexpectedly.

In more sunny news however, I started reading again. Like reading a book. It’s been a while since that happened noh. Off to shopping and lunch now and hopefully work until my friends walks in to the restaurant.

Also, how do people manage to go on vacation, without working? 😮

Exhaustion this December

I mean seriously. What is this. I fell asleep on my chair last night, in my day clothes and laptop switched on and phone not charged. It’s happening all over again.

I’m so overly tired, I just want to die. The same did happen last month. I’m not sure if it’s my lack of exercise these days, but who has time to exercise when we are shifting (and I’m to pack), switching jobs, taking on SO much of work than I can handle and not working next week because of a family commitment?

Very ranty, sounding I know, but I don’t care. I’m so tired. My writing’s shitty and I need to cut my nails. 

That's what happens when I start packing. #TrashySelfies

That’s what happens when I start packing. #TrashySelfies

I recalled this a few weeks back on one of my instagram posts. It was on how the Chinese used to complain about a 24-hour day being insufficient. When I first heard this as a child, I thought to my Gods be good, bless the only 24-hours we have. Now as an older, wiser and foolish adult I wish I could be among the Chinese. I will at least enhance my productivity skills.

One of the reasons that’s making me as tired I suppose is my time and energy management concerns. One of my ex-bosses and editor, once told me that it wasn’t the time you spent working that counts but the quality of the final product that resulted in the time invested. After all, things are overly competitive and for me, there a gazillion better writers out there I feel can take over all the jobs I do in a blink of an eye. But I keep trying, keep writing more because practice (is to) result(s) in perfection I am told.

I’m not striving for perfection, just to be better than I was yesterday.

I hope you babies are having a good week.