26 days till 26

Hello everyone! Happy Groundhog’s Day!

Whether you’ve been following my blog for years (I see you all, thank you for the love!) or whether this is the first post you’re reading, I graciously welcome you and am incredibly grateful that you’re taking the time to explore my blog! Thank you 🙂

This post is the fifth in the birthday series! Check out my 22, 23, 24, and 25 posts here!

Sadly, I didn’t get to do many (or let’s be real, any) of the things I wanted to do when I was 25. I had my 25 hour party (I’ll be posting about it in a few days!), and then I was on Spring Break, where I went to the Glenstone Museum with my good friend Michael, had our monthly book club and made crème brulee, and then everything shut down. There are also many life lessons that I wrote in my 24 post that I wanted to implement, but I feel like an entire year was wasted. Though I may have grown more than I realized, I wasn’t able to cross out anything on my checklist, like participate in a 5K, get back into volunteering, or go on a trip with my best friends.

For a while I debated what to do with this post. Do I make a list of things I want to do during 26 – but since I can’t predict when COVID is going to end, I’m largely unsure of how much to plan. Do I make a list of things that I’ve learned when I was 25? (Did I learn things sitting at home for a year?? ). I’m not going to be force myself to come up with 26 things that I can share about my 26th birthday, because the 24 and 25 posts take care of that. Instead I’m going to share what I plan to do on my birthday, and include maybe a few things I’ve learned, a few things I want to do, a few guidelines I want to live by, and maybe a goal that I have. Let’s be real, I’m only [almost] 26, and there’s a lot I still don’t know about the world, but I do know that I’ve learned a lot.

How I’m going to celebrate my birthday

So I don’t think I have any special plans this year, except for sleeping in, eating my favorite cake (though this year I’m thinking that instead I’ll make cupcake alternatives?), and maybe going for a drive with my parents! For the past few years, I’ve celebrated my birthday with my closest friends, my “book club friends,” as I collectively call them! Yes, we do all have a book club together, but they’re also the type of friends that when you’re at the mall and you’re trying on new clothes, you can show them what you tried on and they’ll give you that real opinion of: “YES YOU LOOK GREAT” or “um, change immediately,” and I think we all need more kind, honest, but real friends like that. In the past few years, for the monthly book club meeting closest to someone’s birthday, we would buy them their favorite cake and throw a mini party :’) I’ll keep you all updated if we’re able to have a social distanced hangout this year. Other than that, I don’t have anything special planned!

Some of the following is recycled from previous posts, because sometimes you can’t achieve all your goals in one year, and you can always keep bettering yourself in the same ways you have before.

5 things I want to do when I’m 26

  • Do more things that make me not want to check my phone – When I look back at my favorite hangouts last year and my favorite activities, I have absolutely no pictures from that event, usually because my phone stays in my purse/pocket and I don’t bother checking my notifications. I do think I need a middle ground though – such as take 1-3 pictures of the fun activity, but keep my phone away for the rest of the time.
  • Do some more cooking with my family–  Last year, I said I wanted to get more into baking with my mom, and I did a little in the beginning, but I’m going to expand baking to cooking in general, and from just my mom to my entire family! I still hope to bake at least once a month with my mom. Regardless of whether I cook or bake, I want to study at the kitchen Island with my textbooks/laptop and hang out with whoever is in the living room at the time!
  • Get better at forgiveness – It’s funny because, those of you have been following me for a while know that strengths test I took, where my top 5 were: Gratitude, Prudence, Judgment, Perspective, and Love. The lowest trait on my list was “forgiveness.” Basically, what I’ve learned is that I’m incredibly thankful and understanding of people’s situations, but once you mess up, you’re out… which, may not be the best thing to do. Maybe I shouldn’t be so jaded and hold grudges but rather work through them. Hm, not sure, but I’ll tell you how it goes.
  • Get better at accepting uncertainty and spontaneity – I definitely did not see this pandemic coming. I remember when the first case of covid occurred in the US, I was like, “Oh okay, that’s fine, whatever.” then it basically exploded and spread like wildfire. This is probably something I learned this past year too, you can’t plan for everything, because who knows what’s going to happen?? I always had a Plan A, and Plans B and C. But having to do all of law school online from my bedroom was never part of the plan. I need to get comfortable with the gaps, and see the space between where I am and where I want to be, as room for growth and not for failure.
  • Make more time for the people I care about – I love this one 🙂

4 guidelines I want to live by during 26

  • We’re all human. When someone makes a mistake, forgive them. When someone is struggling, help them out (forgiveness is going to be huge this year). More than that: be supportive! Be supportive of other people, protect them, sit next to people who sit alone, compliment people on their handwriting or their shoes. Don’t take a backseat and let someone else be disrespected, and take the initiative to be the one who can make someone else’s day better.
  • Look at everything as an opportunity to learn something! I’m one of the few people in the world that loves small talk – like I LOVE IT. I love talking to people about their favorite things, what they love to do in their free time, about their goals and dreams, and about their life. Some of the best things I’ve learned were when I wasn’t looking to learn something. So maybe treat every interaction as a chance to learn!
  • Be passionate! One of my former bosses told me that I am “authentic and [] extra in every way” and it was probably the nicest compliment I’ve ever received. I hope I can continue to be authentic and extra this next year. Maybe my brand of espresso is too much for some people, but it’s enough for me
  • Trust yourself, and trust the process: “Everyone wants a perfect ending. But over the years, I’ve learned that some of the best poems don’t rhyme, and many great stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle or end. Life is about not knowing everything, embracing change, and taking a moment to make the best of what you’ve been given without knowing what’s going to happen next” (Courtesy of Tumblr)

3 Mantras that Helped Me

  • Be Brave
  • Baby Steps
  • Progress not Perfection

2 things I learned

  • Self-Care: When quarantine started, we heard a lot about staying sane through self-care techniques, but some of us might have been confused on what exactly that means. Self care looks different for every person, and I could never really relate to people when they shared their self care habits, like unplugging, taking baths with new bath bombs, or going for a run to let out the adrenaline. The trick, is to find a self care technique that works for you and what you like. I made a self-care chart (inspired by the one in this picture) with a list of different ideas. Hot Tip: cleaning/tidying works magic!
  • Studying in coffee shops is a huge part of my personality. Learning to study at home was a big adjustment for me! I also realized that my favorite coffee shops to study at were small and local coffee shops so I’ve been trying to get curbside from these places when possible, but as the weather gets colder, the snow piles on, and I get lazier, it sadly hasn’t happened lately. #ShopSmall

1 goal that I have for 26

Alright let me paint you a picture. I was driving on 200 (to be clear, that’s the road, not my speed) and while I was stopped at a red light I wished someone who I don’t talk to anymore, “happy birthday!” because even if we don’t talk anymore, why not? Birthdays are great, why not wish someone a good day. As I was driving, I let a few cars pass me because I liked the song on the radio and wanted to just keep it going. Then when I got to my destination, I rolled down the windows even if it was 40 degrees out, just because I wanted to. And I realized, why don’t we do more of that? Why don’t we just do things because we want to do them, and why don’t we do them right away? I spend so much of my life concerned with what other people do or say, or will think of what I do or say. But why?? If I want to paint my wall a different color, I should just do it. If I want to donate $30 to a charity, I should just do it. If I want to get a plant for my desk from Ikea, then I should just do it. I should unapologetically be myself 100% of the time. Now I don’t mean huge expenses like buying a boat or buying a new laptop “because I feel like it,” but things that I’ve been putting off with the excuse of being lazy. Instead of being lazy, I should get that sample size paint from Home Depot to paint my wall, I should go online and research charities that I want to give back to, and I should drive to Ikea and pick that bonsai tree that I had been eyeing for so long. I’ve been doing it lately, and I think that’s my form of selfcare, to do things that make me happy and do them when I want to! People always say, “be nicer to yourself,” and maybe this is what they mean, so hopefully 26 is the year to give it a shot 🙂

Whew, that was a fun post to write!! Thank you all for reading this, I know it was a long one! 😊 I hope that I can keep writing blog posts that you read in the future! ❤

How are you going to celebrate your quarantine birthday this year? Anything you’ve learned/advice you want to share? 🙂

Feel free to comment below or connect with me directly!

Until next time! 🙂



If you liked this post and want to go through 2021 with me, then please click the follow or subscribe button! Feel free to connect with me through this platform, twitter, my coffee and checkins Instagram, or email me at coffeeandcheckins@gmail.com! If you have any suggestions for blog posts or anything you’d like me to write about, please let me know  🙂❤

Keep a running count with me 🙂



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My Birthday!!

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Adam says:

    Woo, another banger in the series! Cheers to 26, can’t wait for 27 in 27

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sandhya says:

      Thanks Adam! 🙂 Let’s hope I have new things I’ve learned, new goals, and new excitements for the 27 in 27 one

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This was a great read! I loved seeing your goals for 26, and it’s inspiring me to do some serious goal-setting myself. I also loved the self-care chart! Your three mantras are amazing: progress not perfection is something I definitely need to remember for myself.

    Happy Early Birthday! I’ve always been grateful to have a very inspiring person like you in my life. ❤ I know you're going to do awesome things next year! (and maybe even get to study in a coffee shop again!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sandhya says:

      Thank you so much Katie!! I hope the mantras help you as well 🙂
      Happy early birthday to you too lady!! ❤ It’s been an honor being your friend for 10+ years!! Can’t wait to resume our early morning Panera hangouts ❤❤

      Liked by 1 person

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