2023 in Review: Sulphur Saga, Wannabe YouTuber, Yoga Glitches, and more!

As we bid adieu to another trip around the sun, let me take a moment to reflect on the chaos, the laughter, and the moments that had me Googling, “How do I get rid of this?“. Amidst heartfelt memories and conquering arm balances, there were some struggles and fumbles that generously gifted me more grey hair than a stressed-out wizard. Is that the curious price of a well-rounded year?

Brush Strokes and Bloopers

In my final attempt to escape the Instagram algorithm maze, I ventured into the world of Shorts and launched my YouTube Art channel in 2023. But pretty soon I realized that uploading full-length video on YouTube is no better than trying to unravel the algorithms. Editing my first video? Let’s just say my artistic process turned into an avant-garde masterpiece— accidental paint strokes, editing mishaps, and a soundtrack that sounded more like a confused orchestra tuning up. I frankly spent more time picking popular background scores than actually drawing.
Taking videos became an art form in itself. Ever tried to draw while holding a camera? Or find an angle that wouldn’t capture the mess on the table? This wannabe YouTuber is more lost than ever.

Related Post: How to draw Zentangle Gems

Deck the Halls with… Clutter? Christmas Decluttering Mayhem

Picture this: tinsel, lights, and a Christmas tree – amidst the holiday cheer, I took on the wild mission of decluttering. As I wrangled with ornaments and tried to Marie Kondo my way through the chaos, I realized that Clutter was the persistent guest who just couldn’t take the hint to leave the party.
Sorting kid’s clothes and toys? Cue the sentimental attachment tug-of-war! Rearranging furniture because of dust allergies? More like a chaotic game of musical chairs where I ended up wearing a crown of cobwebs.
Prepping the kid’s room became an epic quest for hidden treasures. And the pièce de résistance? Figuring out what to do with extra furniture—suddenly, my house played Tetris in real life. Sentimentalism danced with minimalism, the extra recliners found themselves eyeing a new career as sunroom chairs!

Reading Goals, Late Nights, and Kindle Unlimited

I made a triumphant return to my bookish ways, courtesy of late-night rendezvous with my Kindle Unlimited. This year I vowed to conquer my reading goals. I kept an easy target of 24 books, hoping to read 2 books a month – which I assumed was a safe number that wouldn’t pronounce my dark circles. But I often underestimate my madness. I completed 38 books.

Had to give my eyes rest for a couple of weeks as the screen time was making them dry and itchy. I long for the sharp-eyed days of my twenties, battle-tested through late-night blogging in the dim halls of my PG. Those eyes knew some serious grind!

Tales of Tan Hua, Succulents, and Weeding Woes

The quirky universe of my garden is sometimes quiet, often chaotic. Tan Hua, my diva of a flower, demanded attention like a high-maintenance celebrity. The blooms were moody and didn’t make an appearance until the rain gods of Sydney blessed them. Meanwhile, my succulents, the pesky drama queens, kept me on my toes with their unpredictable growth and water needs. However, I did manage to increase their population through rigorous propagation.
Weeding felt like a battle against dandelions – the undisputed champions of survival. Hours later I would find mysterious scratches on my arms – battle scars from pulling out unknown wild growth under the shrubs. Ever cleaned bugs from lemon trees? It is not for the faint-hearted, but my cute little knight D helped me to save our Mandarin and Lemon trees this season.

Surgery Stitches & Yoga Glitches

2023 would be the year when I finally nailed Bakasana. Although quite an unglamorous Bakasana, with my hi-tech face-protecting gear aka cushions.

Bakasana for beginners - safe practice

Amidst attempting pretzel’ly poses and learning to fly, I had a tiny setback when I went through a minor surgery that left me with 9 stitches on my back. The downward dog looked more like a clumsy puppy when I tried to go back to my practice. But the hilarity of all was my husband’s “oh my god“, “nooo why did I look… I did not sign up for this” faces whenever I asked him to dress the wound.

Plot twist: the surgery wasn’t on the calendar, so my husband had no clue about it. Post-op, I turned into a fearless driver and drove back home – thanks to local anesthesia that kept the pain at bay! Is there an “abandon adulting” button though? Asking for, well, everyone!

Related Post – Fun and Challenging Yoga Poses at Home

Monkey Standoffs and Sulfur Sagas: From Bali to New Zealand

I spent 8 nights in Bali last September. It was a medley of escaping monkeys, beautiful countryside, humidity, relaxing in spas, and enjoying massages. And lip-smacking food. I ate a disconcertingly large amount of Nasi Goreng and watermelons. Also, my hair had an annoying affair with frizz. I gave up taming them on the second night itself.

November’s last hurrah took me on an 8-night adventure to New Zealand’s North Island. Think stunning landscapes, rolling hills with hoards of sheep peacefully grazing under a cerulean sky, geothermal spots, and bubbling wonderlands making me feel like an accidental space explorer. Learning while tripping!
However, Rotorua’s sulfur smell followed us to Sydney – clothes that smelled like rotten eggs and chemistry labs. Desperate attempts with vinegar and bleach only made me smell like a walking salad that had gone bad.

New Zealand North Island beach filled with shells

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Well, friends, that’s a wrap. Here’s to surviving, and collecting enough anecdotes to entertain at least a few dinner parties. I wish you all a very Happy New Year 2024.

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7 thoughts on “2023 in Review: Sulphur Saga, Wannabe YouTuber, Yoga Glitches, and more!

  1. What a fun year you’ve had, Raj! Filming the art process, while keeping the table aesthetically pleasing, can be really challenging — I just gave up! I’m embracing the messy Artist tag and rolling with it. Though tbh, I fizzled out with my YouTube filming. Will look for your channel, though!

  2. Hey there, busy bee! You have had quite an adventurous 2023!
    You know, I, too, have been toying with the idea of having a YouTube channel. Not yet, though. Maybe in the future. But I do get anxious reading every other artist’s experience sharing videos on the platform. So, I have started sharing mindfulness drawings in IG Reels. It’s a good way, I discovered, to share some simple doodling exercises. Easier than sharing on YT, no?
    So, how long did the clothes smell of rotten eggs? It must have been such a pain living with the stink, isn’t it?
    Oh, and I too have been reading books on Kindle Unlimited and have read some of the books you shared here. I will look up the rest of the books from your list and grab those soon! Thanks for sharing. I, too, want to increase my reading this year, and KU is a good way to do that. Only problem is finding really good books there. It needs a good amount of hunting, like looking for a needle in a haystack! 😛

  3. “smell like a walking salad gone bad!” You crack me up, Raj!
    This, definitely, was the funniest wind up post I have read so far. I hope your back is feeling better now. Do let me know if you find that “Abandon Adulting” button.
    Wish you an amazing 2024 ahead! 🧡💖

  4. Such a fun year you seem to have had, Raj! I’m so tempted to start a YouTube channel too, but I don’t think I’ll have the patience for it. Editing videos is not for me. I struggle with Instagram reels too!

    38 books! Yay to that. You need to see my yoga poses, you’ll fall off your chair laughing for sure.

    Here’s wishing you a blissful 2024, Raj.

  5. Hope you are back at perfecting your yoga poses. Loved reading about your year and wishing that 2024 brings you more travels and all joy. Raji, those flowers are beautiful and reminded me of Brahmakamal. Not sure if they are the same.
    Have a joyful year ahead! ♥️

  6. Loved reading your post, Rajlakshmi! What a packed year it must have been for you straddling between the personal and the professional worlds! Glad you took the time out for travelling and blogging despite all the busy-ness. I always wonder how you juggle so much, Raj!!
    Anyways, Where’s wishing you and yours a very happy 2024! May everything you wish for, align and bring you joy, peace and good health in abundance. May travel and creativity thrive alongside, and may you continue to create more artworks. As always pls continue sharing the yoga videos and your generous dollops of humour, Rajlakshmi. Best wishes :))

  7. Lovely post, I gave up on youtubing a long time ago as there are better things to do in life than worry about making and uploading videos. I hope you enjoyed NZ. I wish I had known you were visiting; we could have met. Perhaps next time

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