My 2017 that was…

In a hindsight 2017 was a stupendously eventful year for me… post Oct 2015, life has been all different in reality… and last year kept the pace up.

Vacations during the year… or was it a year during our vacation?

We had 5 leisure trips in the year – a record in terms of the number of breaks I had. And all the breaks had elements of being a first in some respect (except for the first break).

  • Did a family break to Bintan, Indonesia for a few days
  • A cruise (a first for me) with my in laws and wife’s granny
  • A 17 day (the longest vacation of my life) Austria – Swiss trip without kids (again a first post having kids)
  • A trip to Disney land Hong Kong where my wife and kids joined me during work trip (planned in a days time!)
  • To end the year a literal last minute week long trip to Phuket with my entire family (Dad, brothers family and mine)!.

The fun, the firsts, the thrills, the excitement, the exorbitant spend on this trips in total… it was all there… but what took the cake is that we did trips at the last moment – something which is unlike us the most (I tend to plan vacations in lots of detail)… 🙂

India kept coming to us in Singapore…

We entertained family and relatives in Singapore through the year. Had my in laws come over – where the highlight was my wife’s 86 year old granny having an out of India experience for the first time. This was then followed by my own maternal uncle, aunt, their kids, my aunt’s mother and my own 88 year old granny visiting us for a couple of weeks. And then the year ended with my parents, brother, his wife and daughter all staying with us for a couple of weeks – a first time for all of us living under the same roof! Hence in summary for us, whilst we were out of India, India by itself never went out of our life through the whole year 🙂

The year of my wife!!!

My wife & kids had an eventful year as well.

  • My wife became a Certified Image Professional from AICI globally – the very first from India to have that certification. An amazing achievement.
  • She also travelled to Mexico for the AICI global meet – travelling alone for the first time – making all the sightseeing arrangements by herself, being there for more than 2 weeks, visiting her friends in the US on the way back, leaving the kids in my supervision alone. That was amazingly eventful.
  • She became AICI Singapore chapter president-elect – a stupendous achievement for someone who had just been in the country and with that chapter for just about a year!
  • She also started first as a reader with Human Library in Singapore and then became a book in the very 2nd event for it!.
  • She travelled quite a couple of times to India and in December she actually flew to India at a few hours notice to attend 3 weddings and a funeral.
  • In addition to this, she partnered with an Australian company that runs a global Image consulting course to bring that curriculum to India and Singapore. This entailed a complete overhaul of her website and branding. It will also enlist a super business promotion plan for 2018. Whew… that was super time-consuming in the last few months of the year.
  • And before I forget – she continued to be active in the Singapore networking circle and with her clients in India and Singapore.
  • And – we also started working an exciting mobile app that we plan to launch as a service under her company next year.

So boy did she have one helluva year… She could herself write a whole write up for herself given what she achieved during the year.

The kid’s life:

My son’s school in Singapore which we had grown very fond of – and on basis of which we had decided our residence in Singapore, decided to close down and move all the on the opposite side of the country. That was really saddening and put us in a difficult decision mode for quite a few months whether to shift our residence or find a new school. Eventually, we moved him to a new bigger school in the same area – but with jitters on how he would cope up. Took that leap of faith and things seem to be working out well there.

My daughter started with a full day school – to be honest, that is the least exciting part. She had the most stable year. Except for the fact that now she does not want to come home even after school and wants to be outside all the time. God knows why the 3 year old is acting as a teenager already 😉

My life at work – world upside down:

I do not have adjectives for my year at work… For the first half of the year life there was becoming stable… but then the world moved upside down… I got a new role in the same organization – a role that was amazingly enterprising & exciting but challenging… I felt like I was starting a marathon after others having run more than half the distance already and here I was – a 100 metres champion having never run a marathon… But it was thrilling and I really felt grateful for having got that chance… and then if that was not enough… I got a chance to work with my ex-boss in a domain I wanted to work in at the end of the year… led to a heart-wrenching decision to make… the existing business was the longest job I had ever had… I had felt so personally close to the people, having learnt so much from them and faced so many challenges together with them… but decided to move on…. and got a garden leave at the end… again a first for me in my life… In the middle did I mention that Hong Kong had become like the 2nd office for me… I think I travelled there more than once every quarter… in fact in November I travelled twice within the same month… and in one of them I got a chance to visit Macau (for the first time in my 10 or so visits to Hong Kong) – was so on the fly trip but was so much fun…

My life in general

In other respects, life was ok. I had good fun in the condo Diwali party – danced probably after ages in an impromptu choreographed song… that party and the occasional tennis games through the year made me feel closer to the people here… Most likely this will be our home in Singapore now for a long time and not just a house! I also had a brief but wonderful tennis training session with Lindsay Davenport (former world # 1 tennis player). Whilst I didn’t learn much, but just to meet her and have that opportunity was amazing.

My closest friends and us write down goals for the year and store them up to review at the end of the year… From my 8 goals for the year, I achieved 6. Losing weight and saving money are the only ones I didn’t achieve. I think most people fail in that… So ya, a pretty good year achievement wise!

Emotionally it did take a drain – my work changes, kids school change, the events in my wife’s business… they consumed a lot of mental energies… But I found that deep down I had core strengths that did come out… and they were the belief in my own self and my value system… they showcased themselves as I managed bigger uncertainties with greater confidence – at work and in personal life… I found myself more stable and settled and able to lead my family and colleagues with more surety… That was a wonderful feeling and revelation… which I feel will hold me in good stead in 2018…

So how was my 2017… based on the adjectives I have used in the whole write up – it was laden with lots of firsts, lots of last minute things, amazing and exciting, eventful at work, it was year of my wife, it was vacation of a year… And it set a very high benchmark for 2018!!!

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