When the year started, I had doubts about how my first full year in Mumbai would pan out. Was it going to be mundane and uneventful, accentuated only with the trips back to Singapore and the occasional holidays?
As I look back on the year, thanks to my daily journal, I realise, with deep gratitude and joy in my heart, that 2013 has been rather eventful. Sure, there were plenty of days that went by with binge-watching of Grey’s Anatomy, Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, Mentalist, Breaking Bad, House of Cards (SO GOOD), Orange is the New Black (boy, I do watch a lot of TV), repeated attempts to read the frustratingly tedious “Midnight’s Children” and endless grocery shopping, there were a number of “First”s.
In no particular order:
1) Started a “One-Line Daily Diary” and stuck to it
The idea of my “one-line daily diary” originated from the Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project”. Whilst some days have been left blank (zero recollection on where the beep did time go and what did I do?!), most of the days have been populated with one or key key events/memories of the day. I actually spent some time last night Whatsapping a number of friends on what they said almost a year back. The most emotional one was probably an entry about a friend who was sick and advised me to live my dreams whilst I’m still young, and she in turn shared on the dreams she had. Blessedly, she is now doing very well. :)
2) Got addicted to Instagram
This complements my Daily Diary very well. Some days, I forget to write, but I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER TO TAKE PICTURES, being the #instagramaddict I am. :D Having the pictures and captions helps to jog my faulty, patchy memory. I also like the Instagram community lots. There’s just a very positive and happy vibe about it. I guess this is because people tend to take pictures of happy, pretty things/memories. Like this super awesome IG account: http://instagram.com/darcytheflyinghedgehog
3) Adopted Dharma & Greg
At the risk of sounding even more like the crazy cat I already am – HOW DID I LIVE WITHOUT CATS IN MY LIFE?! Fostering, nursing them back to heath and finally adopting D&G have been the highlight of this year. We’d been toying with the idea of animals in our lives for a while, and finally took the plunge when we saw this on World For All’s FB page:
One glaring mistake in this “ad” was that Greg is actually female… I found out the hard way when I brought “him” for a castration and whilst “he” was lying knocked-out on the surgical table, the vets ran out and accused me of bringing the wrong cat because they were supposed to op on a tomcat. Hilarious on hindsight, shocking at that point in time.
4) Discovered Bombay Paperie, Paper Bazaar, Chimanlals, Something Special and Itsy Bitsy
I really ventured out this year and found new places, both brick and mortar and online shops to fuel my crafting desires. My favourite is Bombay Paperie which carries a range of handmade paper goods made from recycled cotton. The textures, colours and prints really inspired me to start crafting seriously and leading to…
5) Etsy Shop – Let There Be Love
My first real attempt at selling things: https://www.etsy.com/shop/lettherebelove
Told a fellow crafter that I might end up giving away whatever I created and she reminded me that what’s more important is that we do it for fun; it’s a bonus if people appreciate what we craft. Plus, we can always give away the cards during charity drives for handmade cards. :)
6) Visited and mailed something at the India Post Office
Oh, this is a good story to tell. Sometime in November, I visited the India Post Office in Bandra to mail out 4 envelopes and an odd-shaped parcel containing 2 cat-dolls. The 4 envelopes were pretty straightforward. The parcel wasn’t. The guy behind the post counter said I needed to get it packed properly and gestured wildly for me to go out for that. I went out, expecting to see a station or counter with boxes or string or brown paper. Anything. There wasn’t. I went back, and again he gestured wildly and muttered things in Hindi. I tried, “Stationery shop? Across the road???” and he just gestured wildly. I must have spent 5 minutes walking in and out, across and back the street, trying to figure out WTF I was supposed to do. Finally, my driver stepped in to assist and THIS WAS THE PACKING STATION outside the post office:
First, uncle wrapped my item with plastic and then he measured out a piece of white cloth. Then, he HAND-STITCHED the parcel together on the spot. Finally, he reached into his beat-up suitcase for a scissors to cut the thread and handed me a marker to write the recipient and sender’s address. In between, random people came up to observe his work and chatted me up. “Where are you from?” “Singapore? Singapore nicer, or Bombay?” “Singapore is very clean.” “Nice place!” There was also some confusion whether I needed to fill in a declaration form and whether this was speed post or not. The whole process took at least half an hour, but it was interesting and quintessentially Bombay.
7) Friends and mother visited Bombay
First visits from home! PJ is really envious that my best friends came up for a visit on my birthday. I’m really happy they came, too, as well as mum. Hopefully more in 2014?
8) Traveled to uncharted territories
Jogja, Nilgiris, Jodhpur, Lonavala and Sri Lanka. This has been a good year of travels.
9) Thought of Bombay as my home
So many of my diary entries had “So glad/happy/relieved to be home”. And home was referring to Bombay. Never imagined this day to come. :)
10) Committed to “Thinking about it is hard. Doing it is easy”
One of my favourite words from Ajahn Brahm and something I’ve been practising every time I see the overloaded laundry basket, the clothes waiting to be folded, the dishes to be washed, the bedsheets and curtains to be changed, the 7-minute work out to be done and just GETTING to the gym. Try it. Doing it is much easier than thinking about it.
11) Upped my cooking game
… by cooking for others (not just PJ!) , taught a local cook how to make Singapore Chicken Rice and tried baking. For 2014, maybe I should work on developing my own Chindian dishes?? :P
12) Was part of an epic wedding gift for a dear, dear friend
Dressed up as the Minions, acted and lip-synced to “Underwear” in the Singapore Botanic Gardens on a Sunday morning, hired a professional director – JUST TO GIVE OUR BEST FRIEND THE MOST EPIC WEDDING PRESENT. =)
13) Felt happy and comfortable being alone
I used to feel that it’s quite sad and lonely to eat lunch alone or have desserts on your own. But I’ve been doing that so much this year that it makes me wonder, “Have I grown more comfortable being alone? Or do I just not care what others think? OR DO I LOVE CAFE HOPPING TOO MUCH?”
14) Buried the hatchet
Made peace with my past.
15) Went “back to school”
It’s been a good, good year. =)
Happy 2014! May you (my lovely sole reader) and I live each day meaningfully and purposefully, with love and kindness in our hearts.