Sunday, January 26, 2020

Annual report - 2019

Happy new year, bewdas! Hope 2020 has gotten off to a fantastic start.

2019 was quite an interesting year for me. It started off with me deciding quite suddenly to go back to the office full-time after 8 years of working from home. And it has been a roller-coaster ride. Things are so insanely crazy all the time, and though a part of me thrives on that sort of thing, I have had some trouble trying to do ALL the things that I want to do in my life. I hope to do better this year and have a better work-life balance.

The sense of having become so much older from the last time I worked at this company (I'd worked here years ago as a clueless fresh grad) never gets old. I have babies interns coming and going, and every time I look at one of their resumes, it hits me hard -- when I was in university, these guys were in... um... diapers. When/how did we all get so old?

2019 was also significant because both Xena and I passed inline skating level 5. It had been a loooong time since I'd had an 'exam' so I was really nervous that I'd flunk one of the tricky skills or fall flat on my face during one of the stunts, but all went well and now we have both earned our black certificates (to me, it's the equivalent of a black belt).

This is me, doing a skill called 'toe-heel transition'.

And here is Xena, demonstrating a rather tricky one called 'eagle'. 

2019 was also the year when I threw caution to the wind and travelled to India in June. 42 frikkin' degrees. And I call Singapore hot. But it was nice to catch up with my parents and aunts and uncles and cousins, and then it also rained so it wasn't too bad. 

Xena turned 8 last year, but her 8th birthday was different. Increasingly, birthdays had been making us sick, with all the gifts and the plastic and the wastage and what not. We were really glad when Xena was instantly on board when we told her how we wanted to celebrate her 8th birthday. We had a very small gathering and we expressly forbid people from bringing any gifts (including cash/vouchers). We told them that all we'd accept were homemade cards and handwritten letters and our friends stuck to the instructions. In addition to cards made by her friends, she got some lovely letters from our friends too. There were no return gifts of plastic items smothered in plastic packaging -- we gave the guests a copy of my friend Shub's amazing book on introducing kids to recycling, along with some homemade cookies that Xena had helped me bake. We did not use any plastic cutlery. For party games, we had a treasure hunt on recyclable and non-recyclable items. We hope to continue doing something like that this year too, and hope we don't stress out our friends who choose to have conventional birthday parties. Everyone is free to do what they want to do. This is just a small start towards leading a slightly greener life. There is so much we still feel SO guilty about, so much more we can do. 

Last year was also the year Xena got majorly into Harry Potter. She's on book 5 now; she gets to watch the corresponding movie after she finishes each book. We still don't have cable TV and she still doesn't have any alone screen time (and it doesn't seem to bother her, which is great). Once in a while, we watch carefully curated movies together. So far, so good. 

I had some fantastically good fortune in gardening this year, though I have the blackest thumb I know of and I'm perfectly capable of killing even a cactus. We don't have space inside the house, so I planted some cherry tomato seeds in pots at the staircase landing and crossed my fingers. I also learnt from a neighbour how to do composting, but I still haven't nailed it yet. To my utter amazement, compared to the 6 cherry tomatoes we had harvested when I did the same in 2018, this year we had a bumper harvest. In 6 months, our amazing plants (Xena christened them Tommy, Timmy, Tammy and Tom) gave us about 60 tomatoes. Amazingly, 40 of them were from Tommy and he's still going strong. 

Tommy's gorgeous offerings

Our big holiday in 2019 was Tasmania, which is now my new favourite holiday destination. Highly highly recommended for kids. I've started updating the travel blog, though I'm afraid it will take a while. Because Tasmania is so beautiful, you cannot not take 23094839027534 photos.

This year, I consciously chose not to make any formal new year's resolutions, mainly because I need to sort my work-life balance before I can embark on something serious, but I do have a few vaguely-worded secret ones that I am working towards (and afraid of breaking). Let's see how that goes.

So how have you guys been? Any non-secret resolutions? :)


A G said...

Welcome back Bhai!

Sayesha said...

A G,
Thank you so much! Feels so goooood to be back! :)

shakti said...

do you have a full time maid now? its a headache if you got one? any tips to manage her?

Sayesha said...

Nope, I don't. Don't want to either.

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