Year end reflections – 2014


Looking back at 2014, it has not been a showy year full of big bold shiny achievements. But it really has changed my life for the better. It is a year which leaves me with a sense of contentment, that satisfied feeling where you know you have tried your best, and the results whatever they may be are satisfactory, and now you can just sit by the fire and relax and enjoy your wine.

This is the year where I re-learnt again what fear is, and how to dance with fear. And not just any dance. A beautiful dance of ever-widening circles of space and growth. And sometimes instead of fear, I danced with sadness. Sometimes it was excitement, sometimes joy, and sometimes, it was just me – whirling around – round and round. And as I danced his year, with the warm sun upon my back and a cool breeze whispering in my ears, the secret smells of fragrant jasmine and rose, I also grew.

Little by little. One whirl, one scent, one step, one tear at a time, I grew. A little older, a little wiser, a little more I know myself.

This year I have mostly woken up early and worked in the morning, other than when I did not. I have relearned the power of writing everyday, of sleeping for 8 hours at least everyday, of reading everyday, of cleaning everyday, of meditating everyday.

Yeah, I pretty much learnt the power of everyday – how a small thing done everyday for 2 mins, 5 mins – 30 mins can change you over the course of the year.

I learnt how to do more by taking on less. I am learning creating space in my life, space in my mind, in my goals, in my heart, in my actions, in my wants and needs. This welcoming and creating space, I suspect, is something I might be practicing for my whole life. How can us tiny humans with tiny bodies and tiny monkey minds ever be like the vast wide open sky? But that is the path for me.

So, I feel the need to list my ‘achievements’ for this year – more like markers on my life path.

1. In January (and Feb and March) I taught myself Ruby on Rails hoping to create a website on it. I did. Then I tossed it in the trash, for it was not good enough and recreated my website for SoFoBoMo using Drupal.

2. I restarted SoFoBoMo this year (check out sofobomo.com) with a huge help from the old SoFoBoMO community and a lot of people. I hosted it on WebhostingHubcom, the site is in Drupal and the blog in WordPress, files hosted on Amazon AWS and domain names via hover.

3. I am learning a lot more of web development.

4. I closed down my photoblog this year – something I had to do a while back , but only found the courage to acknowledge that it was dead and close it late this year. I had to do this to create space for the other stuff in my life.

5. I went on my first weekend out my myself to Pt. Reyes – almost 2 years after my daughter was born. I re learnt the magic of solitude, of the waves, of the ocean, of the birds and sunset and cold and dark and the moon and stars. I rediscovered who I have become.

6. I started writing more here at Rope and Tire, gave myself a sustainable schedule and decided to indulge myself in writing about my life, my subconscious and what I am thinking about daily. I also learnt that I am not one of those people who can magically write on stuff and so took Rohan’s idea and adopted it to become my “200 words project” series.

7. I learnt and am practicing a better way of reading, with kindle highlights, stickies, notes and summaries thanks to Maria Popova and Tim Ferriss (Podcast – Maria Popova’s note-taking system. [31:45] ) , Ryan Holiday – Remembering what you read, Ryan Holiday – Read to Lead , BrainPickings – Virginia Woolf.

9. I have started exploring a minimalist / voluntary simplicity mindset and rediscovering my relationship to things and objects.

10. I tried Project 333 for clothes / dressing earlier this year and learnt a whole lot about dressing and my attitude towards it.

11. I made so many new friends and rediscovered some old ones. Here are some of them, with whom I hope you get to acquaint yourself with:
V Is for Vulnerable: Life Outside the Comfort Zone by Seth Godin
What To Do When It’s Your Turn by Seth Godin
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Superhuman by Habit: A Guide to Becoming the Best Possible Version of Yourself, One Tiny Habit at a Time by Tynan
How to Live: Or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer by Sarah Bakewell
The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday
Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts
Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey
Shepherd’s Wolf by M. Andrew Reid
The Dalai Lama’s Cat by David Michie
The Dalai Lama’s Cat and the Art of Purring by David Michie
– The best from Tor.com series:
Some of the Best From Tor.com, 2013 Edition: A Tor.Com Original
Some of the Best from Tor.com: 2012 Edition: A Tor.Com Original
Some of the Best from Tor.com: 2011 Edition: A Tor.Com Original

And so what didn’t I do this year? Here are some of my areas to work on which didn’t work out so well in 2014.
1. Anger – I have not been very good about seeing that anger is my way of expressing my indignation that the world isn’t doing exactly what I tell it to do.
2. Letting Go – I’ve had trouble letting go – of dead feelings, of dead things, of stuff which has moved away, of some ideals, of some behaviors even though I know they are bad for me / that they are long gone.
3. I sacrificed fitness for weight loss for a long while, and it took a toll not only on my physical fitness but my mental stability and calmness and creativity too.
4. My help / service for SoFoBoMo has not been what it should be. The blog is not what it can be, and the technical problems on the site are not fixed yet.
5. I did not cycle as much, climb as much, or give my yoga practice enough time this year.

But these are all small quibbles, and a map charting where I should be looking at in 2015.

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