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2023 - Year of 'The New'!

It’s been seven months since I took a pause from writing. I needed this break. Many of you have been very kind to keep checking on me and encouraging me to start writing again! I want to Thank You for that!

I thought what a great timing to restart writing as it gives me an opportunity to look back and relive my experiences from this year.

As you can imagine, while the year has flown by quickly, but when you sit to look back, you often experience a flurry of thoughts. The same happened to me this week (thankfully I got my year end break). So I took my time to filter my thoughts.

2023 is about to end in a couple of hours. And with each passing year there is an opportunity for us to fast forward the experience, relish the wins, embrace the setbacks, and more importantly grow from the learnings.

This year was an overwhelming year on many fronts and am nothing but grateful that I managed to come out of it keeping my spirits intact. This year taught me to experience new things. I hardly recollect any of my previous years where I had so many new experiences. It’s as if the universe wanted to test not just my resilience but also put Darwin to test. To check on survival of the fittest.

The ‘New things’ from 2023:

But what I couldn’t share earlier is that I got two more tattoos this year. Never did I think I would end up getting inked thrice in a year.

My second tattoo was unending knots representing the great Karmic Cycle. Always been a believer of Karma. Focusing on my actions. Thats it and letting the universe do the rest. Most people think Karma is a Bitch. Let me tell you - Karma is a Bitch only if you are one. So, watch it!

And my last tattoo for this year is a Sanskrit phrase - Aham Asmi Yodha! I Am A Warrior! This was special. When I talk about being a warrior I don’t necessarily mean one going through shit in life. I am talking about fighting the smaller battles every single day. The simple mundanes of life. The extraordinariness of our life depends on how we face the ordinariness of the daily. And that’s a never ending fight which needs a mentality of a warrior! That’s our Dharma.

  • Have you heard the word - Figureoutability. This year was that for me! Moving to a new city for my short term assignment. I moved to Gurgaon for a period of three months as my company wanted me to take over the role of the HR leader for the site until we hired a new leader there. So, it meant I had to move out of my comfort zone - my work, my home, my team, the people I work with on a daily basis, the places I frequent. And move into a new zone with paucity of time (remember three months) - new city, new house, new and broadened work responsibility, new team, new people to work with and newer places to frequent. And not just that. Come back to my base and pick it up from where I left. That’s not as easy as it sounds. But, oh boy! What a learning this was. And if anyone would have told me that I would become an HR head at the age of 37 for a revenue generating affiliate of a large organisation, I would have laughed on their face. But it did happen and I am grateful for the experience I had. It brought out the best in me and I felt I was born to lead. There is one person, my mentor of many years, I want to thank who always said - If Swami doesn’t become an HR head someday, I will be disappointed and failed. I am glad I didn’t disappoint him. :) Plus, I made some great friends there!

  • When you stay alone, away from your circle, it can do one of the two things - Either drive you mad or teach you to learn more about yourself and thereby enjoy the moment. With me the latter happened. I got to travel  solo for the first time out of India (for work). Dubai, it was. What a city! And how humbling it is to travel alone to a new place where you barely know anyone. I got the opportunity to two items off my bucket list - Travel solo out of India and more importantly - have dinner at the highest restaurant in the world. Yes, dining at the top of Burj Khalifa was an unforgettable experience. Felt at the top of the world!

  • Sometimes I feel God is a great writer. The scripts he writes for people. And each with something to learn and be grateful for. This year I got one of the bigger shocks in life. My dad got detected with multiple major blocks in the heart. And it scared the hell out of me. 90% blocks. Those few days were the toughest. But I am glad the doctors detected it early and they were able to fix it. Am just happy and grateful to God that I could be there with my dad to help him come out of it strongly.

  • His health scare made me realise that life is uncertain and health is the real wealth. The last few years my health took a toll, both physical and mental. There was a time when I weighed 88kgs. And I was only getting anxious and depressed by the day. Thanks to a friend from office, who felt I needed a change in my lifestyle and recommended me to undergo and Ayurvedic treatment - Panchakarma. It’s a 14 day program with gut cleansing and detox to fix one or many doshas in the body. It was rigorous and tough. I wanted to give up during the program but my friend didn’t let me. And another one experience for me to be grateful for, that I went through it. I feel the fitter I have ever been in the last many years - my acidity is gone, my immunity is better so I don’t fall sick as often as I used to, am mentally much tougher and to top it all I lost many a KGs.

  • When I was in Gurgaon I had a lot of free time, especially the weekends. So, I decided to put it to best use. I wanted to do something that gave me immense satisfaction - Singing! I found a recording studio and recorded many covers.  I felt I lost the sense of time when I was there. One of my sessions went on till 1:30AM. I also created my Youtube channel and posted those covers there. So much joy it brought to me! It’s indescribable.

  • Lastly, I did something I always wanted but was scared or unsure of. I am now a proud PawParent. Frodo,  is a lovely golden retriever who’s brought so much joy in my life in the last 3 days of this year. While I am nervous about this experience but I am equally excited about this one. It melts my heart to see his cute face.

There are so many things I experienced this year - some I can share and some I can’t but overall it has only made me a better person, a stronger person. There are so many people in my circle, who were in my corner. And some who fell apart. But that’s the beauty of life I guess. As a tree sheds itself and blossoms again. Our lives do too. Mine did!

I look forward to an even more enriching 2024! And I wish you all, my people, the very best for the year to come. May you all have great experiences, best of health and happiness in your family!

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