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Today, May 1st, is a strange mixture of emotions.

On the one hand, I am fully pumped and thrilled that I simultaneously have managed to complete two month-long challenges:


(Clicking on the links will take you to my entire set of posts for those challenges)

On the other, there are a series of thoughts that run through my head as I think back on April.

First thing that I feel today is satisfaction. Β That emotion that comes from a job completed and that quiet sense of happiness that I (and so many capable others!) managed to stick it through to the end!

The second emotion is relief! Yes, I am happy that I don’t have to worry about a post a day for some time to come. Although it’s been exhilarating and invigorating, it has also been tiring. This probably means I will take a break from frequent blogging, at least in May.Β 

Next emotion is that of gratitude. A to Z, especially has been a very rewarding experience, in terms of meeting new bloggers and getting to know hidden facets about some seasoned ones πŸ™‚ I have discovered some gems in the blogging world, thanks to this amazing worldwide challenge.Β 

This post would be incomplete if I did not mention the faithful visits and comments by so many of you on my posts!Β 

Although this isn’t exhaustive, here are some regular visitors/ fellow A-Z bloggers who lifted my smile everyday:

Sreeja, Srilakshmi, Psych Babbler,Β Tulika,Β Vidya Sury,Β Swathi, Aditi, Jayanta, Carol, Cat, Beloo, Nabanita, Rajlakshmi, Corinne, Richa, Proactive Indian, Sunila, Eli, Sulekha, PhenoΒ , Kathy, Suzy, Shilpa, Sfurti, Danny, Monica, Ananya, Inderpreet, Gauri, Prasanna, ShaliniΒ and I am sure I have missed mentioning many others!

That feeling of camaraderie lasted all through April and although I haven’t done enough justice to some blogs all this time, I have bookmarked all these lovely blogs and intend to catch up on their posts over the coming months. Let’s face it, we all love comments, whether they pop up immediately or after a hiatus. So, fear not, dear fellow bloggers. If I have omitted your blog, I will make it up to you over time.

This, then, is the air that I breathe today.Β That air is filled with love, happiness, friendship and satisfaction.

My post on How to Survive a Blogging Marathon in six steps is now up too. Do check it out!

❀ Did you participate in either challenge? ❀

What are some of the feelings you have at the end of it all?

❀ Do share in the comments below πŸ™‚Β β€

Shailaja V

Hi there! I'm Shailaja Vishwanath, a blogger with 12 years of blogging experience and a parent to a teen. I work as a digital marketing and social media consultant. From positive parenting tips to useful productivity hacks, social media advice to blogging advice, you'll find them all right here. Welcome to my blog.


Shine Kapoor · April 30, 2014 at 10:38 pm

It was a great experience Shailaja. During the end of the contest, I was really struggling to sail through, but I am glad that I managed to do it. At this point I am feeling lost, do not have anything to think about – specifically related to the alphabets and words. But now I know that I can write everyday, no matter how packed my day is.

Kajal · May 1, 2014 at 1:48 am

Congratulations on successfully completing the challenge…

For me it was a challenge in more ways than one πŸ™‚

Tom MacInnes · May 1, 2014 at 2:09 am

A2Z was wonderful. I enjoyed it immensely. Now, on to a certain award I was nominated for by someone awesome!!! πŸ™‚

Danny Simon · May 1, 2014 at 3:20 am

This was my first time and it's been quite a ride! Great to have finished it altogether! Been a great A-Z walk with you! Fellow SUrvivor!

Shilpa Garg · May 1, 2014 at 10:53 am

Aha! I second you on all these pointers! There's a sense of achievement and also that 'we did it' despite hectic schedules and days with no internet connectivity! And all this surely calls for a big party!! πŸ™‚

Richa Singh · May 1, 2014 at 6:30 pm

COngratulations! And yes you did it perfectly well and your enthusiasm over the challenge was infectious πŸ™‚


Michelle Stanley · May 2, 2014 at 2:22 am

It was my first challenge and loved every moment. The new friends and interesting post contents were worth the time spent blog hopping. Congrats on being a survivor! Michelle

Beloo Mehra · May 2, 2014 at 3:26 am

Congratulations, Shailja! I enjoyed visiting your blog and hope to continue doing that beyond the A-Z πŸ™‚ Whoa…it was indeed quite an experience writing and sharing, and commenting and replying, wasn't it? Relax and be happy for a job very well done.

Vidya Sury · May 2, 2014 at 5:34 am

My feeling is one of happiness. Glad we connected πŸ˜€

Aditi · May 2, 2014 at 8:04 am

Echo your feelings Shailaja!! This was a beautiful experience! And you lady have been an inspiration to so many of us! Thank you for being there always! πŸ™‚

Rhondi St. Onge Peacock · May 3, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Great Blog! I worked so hard finishing the A-Z Challenge that I didn't get a chance to read as many others as I'd of hoped. Glad to be a new follower πŸ™‚ ~Rhondi

Shailaja V · May 5, 2014 at 7:10 am

I think that is the best thing about a challenge- the fact that it pushes you to discover greater things about yourself and your abilities! Glad to see you do it, Shine!

Shailaja V · May 5, 2014 at 7:11 am

Indeed, I can well believe that πŸ™‚ Hope to see you around the blog more and more once you are well settled, Kajal!

Shailaja V · May 5, 2014 at 7:12 am

So thrilled that you jumped into the Challenge and did amazing justice to it too!

Shailaja V · May 5, 2014 at 7:12 am

The pleasure was all mine, Danny. Loved the style of your posts- the anecodtes, the bullet points and the quotes. Congrats on finishing the challenge!

Shailaja V · May 5, 2014 at 7:13 am

And you with a camping trip in between! Hats off woman πŸ™‚

Shailaja V · May 5, 2014 at 7:13 am

As was yours, Richa. Interesting to read your 'twenties' posts during the challenge!

Shailaja V · May 5, 2014 at 7:14 am

Wishing you the same, Michelle. Hopping over soon to check out your blog.

Shailaja V · May 5, 2014 at 7:18 am

SO glad to have connected through A-Z, Beloo. Although I haven't had time to read all your posts yet, I promise to catch up with them all in the coming months. Congratulations on a job exceedingly well done!

Shailaja V · May 5, 2014 at 7:19 am

You know I give thanks for that every single day!

Shailaja V · May 5, 2014 at 7:19 am

Always happy to connect with like-minded bloggers, Aditi πŸ™‚

Shailaja V · May 5, 2014 at 7:19 am

Hope I manage to live up to the expectations, Rhondi! Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

Inderpreet Kaur Uppal · May 5, 2014 at 9:29 am

Beautifully summed up. Good friends and good reading.
Lovely time. Will do it again next time.
Same pinch – I did the two challenges too!

Shailaja V · May 5, 2014 at 9:40 am

Yay Inderpreet! Thanks for reading and yes, two challenges at once! Lovely, right?

sulekkha · May 5, 2014 at 11:06 am

Lovely reflections, Shailaja. I am so glad I was part of this blogging community, learnt a lot and enjoyed myself thoroughly. Loved reading your posts, have a set of new blogging frinds now too πŸ™‚

Archana · May 5, 2014 at 11:08 am

Yay! Congratulations. I did a rewind post myself. I tried to read as many as I could and comment too but for some blogs i was just unable too since I am not on G+. Next time I am thinking of signing up for two blogs. Maybe ambitious but no harm in thinking about it is there? πŸ™‚

Swathi Shenoy · May 5, 2014 at 11:28 am

First of all congratulations on completing the A-Z challenge πŸ™‚ It was my first time as well and the experience I carry from this is a lot more than what I could have gained by blogging for an year without taking the challenge! Thank you for ur love and support through out πŸ™‚ Hope to keep in touch always πŸ™‚

Shailaja V · May 5, 2014 at 11:42 am

Thank you Sulekha. Your blog kept me hooked from the beginning! What power in those crisp 55-ers. Hats off, woman πŸ™‚

Shailaja V · May 5, 2014 at 11:42 am

No harm at all! All it needs is a bit of forethought and planning πŸ™‚ Good luck!

Shailaja V · May 5, 2014 at 11:44 am

I am so very glad to have connected with you, Swathi. Sometimes, the Universe just conspires so beautifully to put us all in touch πŸ™‚ As I mentioned on your blog, congratulations for completing the A-Z in style!

Doreen McGettigan · May 5, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Congratulations on finishing the Challenge in style!
This truly was the best year yet. I look forward to keeping up with you.

J. Lenni Dorner · May 5, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Sounds like you had a good time. Tiring, but good. πŸ™‚

Stopping by after the #atozchallenge to check out your reflection post!

Sandy · May 5, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Congrats on finishing! I'm continuing to blog a-z in May. Though I didn't know about the 2nd challenge….Love the background on your blog, very pretty.

Shailaja V · May 5, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Very tiring indeed! And I never got a chance to check beyond the 65 blogs in my immediate network. I hope to catch up with more of you through the year. Thanks for stopping by, Lenni!

Cecilia · May 5, 2014 at 2:13 pm

congratulations to you for finishing the challenge. all good wishes for your future.

Shailaja V · May 5, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Thank you very much Sandy! So happy to have you stop by the blog πŸ™‚

Shailaja V · May 5, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Thank you very much, Cecilia πŸ™‚ So happy you could stop by!

Kristen Dyrr · May 5, 2014 at 3:40 pm

Wow, It's amazing that you were able to do two challenges at once! I am now very curious to see your challenge posts, so I'll be coming back to look at them over time. πŸ™‚

Random Musings from the KristenHead β€” A to Z Challenge Reflections (With Gifs and Tweets)

Eli Z · May 5, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Congrats Shailaja – it was awesome to travel that atoz train with u !! Love reading your reflections … I felt I needed some days with no blogging just after the challenge .. but OH how fun it was! Well done u:-) Big hugs

Jayanta Tewari · May 5, 2014 at 4:23 pm

You were great all along the challenge and helped lots like me to navigate through your timely facebook posts… I plan to post some fictions going forward and would like to get your feedback in case you find time :-).

Ananya Tales · May 5, 2014 at 4:25 pm

SATISFACTION – is what we need to feel after any kind of job id done. We put in efforts sometimes its unnoticed by others, but it is satisfaction that gives us the boost to continue !
Thanks for the mention !

MS · May 6, 2014 at 12:14 am

Well said! I agree with your reflections completely!
Stopping by as I read A-to-Z reflections,
Mary @ The View from my World

taleoftwotomatoes · May 6, 2014 at 5:19 am

Congratulations!!!! πŸ™‚ Thanks for the mention Shailaja… πŸ™‚ And awesome reflections post!!

Suzy · May 6, 2014 at 9:33 am

Congrats Shailaja. Enjoyed the A to Z with you and thanks so much for the mention. But enjoyed the google+ picture of you that popped up on one of my posts the most πŸ˜€

nibhz · May 7, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Congratulations on completing the challenge! You were a source of motivation throughout the challenge! Thanks! πŸ™‚

ovengoodies · May 7, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Very well put, Shailaja! A fitting tribute to the challenge.
And now, you've got me hooked to this challenge mania! πŸ™‚

D Biswas · May 8, 2014 at 2:37 pm

I'm so glad the challenge worked for you– congratulations on acing it!

Shesha Chaturvedi · May 10, 2014 at 6:35 pm

The madness, passion and ritual April brought was exhilarating. Your words here sound soothing and each one of us can relate to these emotions. I am glad A to Z happened πŸ™‚ Congratulations πŸ™‚

Sreeja Praveen · May 11, 2014 at 7:36 am

Aha , silly me, I missed commenting on this post ! Yay, we survived the challenge πŸ˜€ That's a great feeling na πŸ™‚ We loved your introspections πŸ™‚
Thanks to the A to Z, so many of us are friends now !
Can't wait for the next challenge πŸ˜€

Entrepreneurial Goddess · May 18, 2014 at 2:52 am

Hello there. Congratulations on completing the challenge! This was my first challenge and you'd think I'd be exhausted (which I am), but I'm taking on the Road Trip where I can just meander along at my own leisurely pace. Hope to see you along the way!

Entrepreneurial Goddess

Shailaja V · January 21, 2015 at 5:02 pm

I am so sorry that I am replying to this so late! I do hope we can catch up this April πŸ™‚

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