malini in studio

My Top Five Regrets of 2015 :)

Malini in Studio

  1. Oh I tried and I tried. But I didn’t learn how to neatly *schedule my day*. (Or my week. Or my month. Or my year). I simply didn’t become of Master-Time-Scheduler-Person I’d hoped to be one day. This struggle drove me to distraction! I have 3 degrees, dammit. It can’t be this hard! So I did the only thing I could do in the face of an insurmountable obstacle. I gave up 🙂 And decided to try something else. Instead of being absurdly fixated on something I’m clearly crap at, I fully embraced how I am. Then I wrote this post, and publicly confessed how un-scheduled and un-planned my life is. I’m owning this!
  1. I didn’t learn to speak Spanish. To be fair, I didn’t actually try to.
  1. I never learned to make that unbelievable dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, guilt-free tart that kept popping up on Facebook. Actually, I really just wanted someone else to make it for me. Despite several pathetic public pleas on social media, replete with mouth-watering images of said tart, no one did.The cake no one made me
  1. I didn’t spend enough time with my mother. Or my sisters. Or my friends. Well, my mother has Alzheimers so mercifully, every time she sees me, it’s like the first time 🙂
    The Sundram Ladies
  1. It’s been over 19 months and I haven’t gotten used to Greg not being in this world. It still feels like something is majorly wrong in the Universe. Like a Giant Mistake has been made and I’m waiting for it to be fixed. There’s a little voice inside that whispers that I should be accustomed to it by now. I just don’t know if I ever will be.Greg and me

But let me tell you what I didn’t regret. These are the Top Five Things I Learned in 2015:

  1. I am blessed to have friends and relatives whose goodness far outweighs mine. I’ve known this for some time, but I guess I re-learn it every year. We got together to commemorate the first anniversary of Greg’s passing in a concert called From Our Hearts To Yours. Seven hundred people came to share Greg’s music and the words he lived by. We raised funds to start building an Educational Foundation in Indonesia in his name. We could all this because because people are kind. And Greg’s music is divine.
    Rachel conductingThe Choir Singing Phil Doncon painting live on stage malini
  1. This book and this book both have Magical Powers and inspired even me to new heights of orderliness. I CAN de-clutter! Sidenote: I discovered that if you don’t clean out your drawers for 28 years, the staplers, erasers and nail-clippers get married and have babies. (Three more nail-clippers were found after this photo was taken. True story.) staplers
  1. Having plans and goals is great and all, but letting go is the most important goal of all. So I climbed many mountains and fell off a few high horses this year. All this climbing and falling was painful and hard. But holding on was more painful and harder still. Patience, Humility and Letting-Go-Ness were my biggest teachers. I suspect I will be learning these lessons every day for the rest of my life.
  1. Seeking Awe and Wonder is a Worthy Pursuit. So I traveled an insane distance to seek it and I wasn’t disappointed. I lugged ridiculously heavy bags into trains in Milan and across cobbled streets in Bellagio. Then for three weeks, Mary and I gawped at flowers and mountains and rivers and lakes. So much loveliness I couldn’t breathe. But when I did, I found that Nature was healing me from the inside out with her jaw-dropping beauty.
    Mary Parker in Kew Gardens Varenna Malini and Mary in Europe 2015 (4) Malini and Mary in Europe 2015 (5)
  1. I learned that I could survive and even thrive in my first full year without Greg by my side. And that even through a mist of tears … the world can be softly beautiful.


Thank you for walking with me as I write my life. I am so grateful for your company. I hope my words have brought you a smile or two in 2015 🙂  May 2016 bring us everything we hope for and a few beautiful, juicy surprises we didn’t expect!

I’ll soon be starting preparations for my January art aclasses – Painting for Beginners and the new Art Spa Workshop 🙂 I can’t wait to share these, and many other, joy-filled, creative adventures with you in 2016! If you’d like to join me, have a gander around my website, and sign up for my updates over here. See you in 2016!

Comments 24

  1. 2016 could be the year that you learn Spanish–maybe you can start in January, and practise some more in April! 😉

    Aunty Mal, I really enjoy reading your posts–they always make me laugh or cry (or both)! I look forward to reading many more next year!

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      That is such a wonderful thing to say, Tara. I feel the same about you. I’m so glad our paths have crossed. May they cross even more in 2016 and always x

  2. I love you my little sister.
    When I grow up I would like to have half of your very emotive writing skills of yours… and many others.
    Lets make 2016 a year of living in the moment with no regrets !

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  3. Hey I thought I was your favourite!!!!
    I have felt so honoured to have shared the last 18 months with you and been inspired daily…. I’m going to need some sort of daily subscription to you…. 2016 may see you launching an inspirational SMS service 😉

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  4. Hey Mal
    I not only read and reflect and laugh while reading your posts, I look forward to them. Please keep them coming and ” make my day “. “You have and always will be my friend”

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  5. I’m not your favorite, I shun social media & events, but, I sure do enjoy your writing & blog. Like Susheel, when I grow up, I want to acquire your writing skills :).

    So excited to find out you’ve started “Kondo-ing” too. I’m half way through her book. I’ve only “kondoed” my pantry (though you’re meant to start with clothes). Can’t wait to Kondo my whole house. Here’s too a tidier & more organised 2016.

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      OOO….I’ve never had a secret admirer 🙂 Thank you!
      I’m such a fan of Marie Kondo’s quirky book. I know she says start with clothes, but actually I think we can start anywhere – the point is to start! (and you should see my socks and undies drawer now!!)
      Good luck for 2016 — may it be clean and tidy and free from anything that doesn’t bring you JOY!

  6. Dear Malini – bless you for this wonderful post – it lifts my heart and gives me strength. I believe that indeed, a Great Mistake has been made – one of many in the world – and that we will never be accustomed to any of them. May your heart continue to heal, and may we all of us never stop holding on to the very best in ourselves, our lives, and the universe, even when it hurts – maybe we could all nap a bit more to help restore our strength for the hurting part…

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      Yes I am ALL FOR NAPPING! I think that will be my aim in 2016. Naps 🙂
      Thank you you so much for your kind words Judy. All the best for 2016 and always.

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      Thank you Kel, that kind of sums up the past couple of years 🙂 May 2016 be The Year of Smiles (and not so much of the other thing) for all of us! xox

  7. I can’t believe you say your life is un-scheduled & un-organised. The woman I see is quite the contrary & highly time efficient during workshops!
    You have achieved sooooo much this year & are an inspiration to me.
    I feel so blessed to have spent time with you this year & look forward to more singing & fun in 2016.
    Happy New Year Malini…xxx

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      Hey Ashima… I made 3 new friends this year and you’re one of them 🙂 At this advanced age, making 3 friends is quite a feat, so thank you for being my friend!! And for all the help and kindness you’ve poured my way. Happy New Year to you dear one! xxx

  8. May 2016 bring you more joy. After starting your Spanish with Nur in January and April, you will be able to continue it with Dylan, who is doing a major in Spanish, when you get to New York. See you then.

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      Hey Bzzzzzz, so good to see your face around here 🙂 And yes, the Spanish thing is going to have to get sorted, now that I’ve put it out there!! I’ve even been offered free lessons by someone else!! See you soon! Adios! (Or should I say “Hasta más tarde” ?!

  9. Mal what a unique and heartwarming way to sum up a year!!! So honoured to have been a teeny weeny part of some of these amazing things that happened. And I definitely have to get Kondo’s book! It’s the learning Spanish regret that keeps getting commented on. So I think our Argentinian nephew-in-law-to-be has come into our lives for a purpose:)

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      Yes, CLEARLY he is marrying Carmel in order to teach me Spanish 🙂
      Thank you for keeping me alive this year with your food and kindness. Not so teeny-weeny.

  10. Last year I too lost the love of my life to cancer. Not coping well I decided I had to do something for me so I enrolled in your day course. I now know that destiny brought me to hear you speak about your life and how you coped with such a loss. After reading your post I realise that I still have a lot to be thankful for and will try to have a gratitude walk every so often when I am feeling down. Thank you Malini you taught me that I can paint and that I can be happy.

    1. It’s a daily struggle, but I am so glad that making art has been able to help you as it has helped me, Sonia. And I deeply appreciate you sharing your thoughts here, as it will help others to feel they too can move forward in their journeys after such a great loss when creativity plays its magical part. much love to you xox

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