May was a looooong month and I have so much to say. Do I have the time or energy for it, though? We'll find out together.

As you might know, my wrap-ups are pretty long and take time to write. Plus, I draw a new illustration for all my posts which takes more time. Usually, I start my wrap-up in advance to easily post them in the first few days of the month.

This time, you're getting a rushed last-minute wrap-up. I might not structure it well or write coherently but I will try to write about everything on my mind. So, grab a drink and settle down as I catch you up on my month ☕️

words on books

I read 6 books in May which is significantly less than my reading count of 15 in April. 2 were paperbacks and 4 were ebooks. 1 was a reread.

The book count is low because I read a few huge books. I am not disappointed with the number because of that. Reading those books took a lot of time.

The Sunshine Court by Nora Sakavic. I started the month with this and absolutely loved it. What a sequel! It was filled with characters doing normal things and bonding and I LOVED IT. I've reread the book twice since then. Jean has my whole heart and I can't wait to see where this storyline heads.

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir. My friend's copy that I borrowed was 480 pages but it felt much longer. I was bored for most of the book and lowkey struggled to get through it. The pacing was bad (we'd skip months randomly) and I didn't care about what was happening most of the time. I really hope the last book is worth it.

Gold by Raven Kennedy. I couldn't wait for this book to be released after I finished Glow but I didn't pick it up until months after its release. I forgot a bunch and had to read recaps to remember before I read this. It was great, though. I remembered why I loved the series. It was almost 700 pages but I flew through it. Now, I can't wait for the last book to be released. This series needs to stop making me wait with cliffhangers and end already.

Cinderella Boy by Kristina Meister. This has been on my TBR for years. I was reminded of it through Storygraph because it shows random books from the TBR on the homepage every time. So, I finally got to Cinderella Boy. It's a lovely story about a gender-fluid person in high school discovering themselves, learning to be confident, and finding love. The epilogue was a bit much but the story was great otherwise. I highly recommend it if you want a book to read in Pride Month!

The Boyfriend Wish by Swati Teerdhala. Yes, even I'm surprised that I read TWO YA books in a row. I picked this up through another blogger's recommendation (my memory is so bad, I can't remember who). I was interested because it stars Indian-American characters. It wasn't different from most YA stories, though, and I didn't enjoy it that much. It was a fun one-time read.

The main reason why my reading count has been low in May is that I finally started reading Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. I haven't finished it yet—I'm a little over 600 pages through which is around 60%. It's been interesting! I didn't know anything about it and wondered if I'd hate it but it's quite nice.

I've been reading a few pages on weekdays and more on weekends to get through it soon. It'll probably take me another couple of weeks to finish it considering my current schedule. I'll share my thoughts on the book when I'm done.

words on the blog

Considering that I had been in a lowkey slump for the entire year in 2023, I wondered if I'd hit a slump in May. In the past, something usually breaks my blogging stride—work, motivation, life, etc. However, I kept blogging!

It's been 5 straight months of consistent blogging with no breaks and I'm quite proud of myself for managing that. I kind of had to learn how to blog consistently and manage my content schedule again because of how different my life is now compared to a few years back. But the more I write, the easier writing is.

In the first couple weeks of May, I actually felt like blogging more and got ahead in scheduled posts. I'm currently 3 posts ahead!

As I was ahead and motivated to write, I finally tackled a random and slightly personal post that I've wanted to write for months. It took me a week to write and is over 7k words long. It isn't a useful or helpful post. It's filled with random stories from my life and my thoughts on one thing. I'm super happy with it and can't wait for y'all to see it soon. You might not care about it, but I'm excited to share it anyway!

I forgot how much I write when I stop caring about SEO and post structure and being helpful. I'm going back to the old days of blogging. I'm focusing on writing whatever I'm interested in without looking at statistics.

Speaking of statistics, my blog stats are still going down. Some of my new posts are showing up on search results as well but they're not making much difference to overall blog stats. But it's fine.

At this point, I notice the decline but I just don't care enough about it. I'm having too much fun writing and posting. I chased higher stats for a long time only to lose passion for this amazing hobby. I'd rather have my passion back than maintain those numbers.

illustration of a person in a sweater typing on a laptop by the window which shows a tree

In case you missed them, here's what I posted last month:

One day a few weeks back, during my commute, I started reading old posts of mine. As my writing style and content evolve over the years, I have newfound appreciation for my older content. This time, I was surprised by how I kept blogging through a really sad period in my life and still created great content.

It's a little sad that my older posts don't get traction anymore despite being evergreen posts. I used to share them on social media sometimes but that's stopped since I've stopped using social media apps. New people won't come across them either. So, I've decided to start promoting one or two of my old posts every month in my wrap-ups.

Here are some older posts of mine that you should read if you haven't yet:

words on content consumed

I usually share a few blog posts that I loved during the month as part of the previous section. In May, I consumed a TON of interesting content and want to share all of them. Seeing such amazing content by people across the world blows me away and inspires me to create as well.

So, here's a new section because I have so much to share.

Blog Posts

Newsletters & Articles

  • Jordan Santos's newsletter on how it's okay to be curated was so relatable and true that I immediately subscribed.
  • I also liked Santos's newsletter on being less available online. It made me more determined to not get sucked into social media and it's unsaid expectations from creators again. It pushed me to finally make the changes to my Instagram account that I've been thinking about for a while (more on this below).
  • Ava's newsletter on the friendship theory of everything was a nice reminder that friendships are hard but worth the effort.
  • I LOVED Josey Murray's article on betterment burnout so much that I immediately shared it with a bunch of friends. It was on my mind for quite a few days and was the reason why I let go of my running goal for the month (more on this below).


an illustration drawing of a girl using her laptop

words on my 2024 goals

My reading goal hasn't seen as much progress in May because I read fewer books. I'm still quite ahead so I'm not worried about this.

My blogging goal for the year is almost done! You're currently reading my 24th post of the year. I'm only one post away from my goal of publishing 25 posts. It's wild that I've blogged more in 6 months this year than in the entirety of last year.

To work on my 2024 running goal, I had a smaller goal to run at least 10 times in May. I even made a schedule so that I could balance running and playing badminton. It went great for about a week and was disrupted by my periods. My period cramps were so bad this time that I was in pain for 4 straight days. It was so bad that, on the first day, multiple people in the office commented that I did not look okay. And it took longer for my body to heal enough to exercise.

I was disappointed in myself for not running and was gearing up to force myself to run when I read the article on betterment burnout. Although my running goal was set at the beginning of the year with good intentions, I realized that I wasn't chasing that goal for myself anymore.

As I was running consistently for a while, people around me began to admire me for it and assumed that I was running regularly and making progress. Soon, I was running to show that I was running and making progress at it instead of enjoying it. I grew to enjoy playing badminton far more than running but I was forcing myself to continue running as well.

It took a toll on me mentally and physically. Increasing pressures at work and extended working hours were not helping me either. I wasn't taking proper rest when I needed to. The pain during my periods was a big sign that I was doing something wrong. So, I decided to stop pushing myself to run. I will get back to it when I want to—when it's back to being something for me and I'm not trying to keep up with others' expectations.

After deciding it, when someone at the office commented on admiring me for running regularly, I clarified that I was not doing it anymore because it wasn't sustainable. Just saying that felt freeing. And of course, I'm getting more much-needed sleep by skipping runs.

It's time to update my 2024 goals to reflect my current priorities. The running goal is a good example of why. A lot can change in 6 months. I will tweak my list so that it is still relevant to me and I'll share it with you in my mid-year notes.

words on life & other stuff

Reading the betterment burnout article in the first week of the month really had me thinking about why I do what I do every day. Was I running to "become better" or because I was enjoying it? Was I constantly chasing progress instead of living well?

As I don't have social media, a lot of the unsaid pressures to show that I'm doing well aren't present. Most of my activities are truly for myself. However, there are still things that I work on to "make progress." While it's good to work on ourselves, it can become toxic at a point.

I want to stop chasing progress on my fitness. Playing badminton 3-4 times a week and commuting to the office by walking 4 days a week is enough exercise. I don't need to do anymore.

The article also helped me let go of the last bit of worry over my blog. Initially, increasing blog stats felt great. Soon, I was working harder and harder on the blog only to make the numbers go higher. When it started dropping, my mood started dropping as well.

I've decided to stop looking at stats and just focus on sharing what I want to. Life is much better when you're not chasing progress on hobbies. Let's keep the pressures only on careers.

illustration of a cafe storefront decorated with foliage and a chalkboard on the front saying "coffee is your best friend"

In my April wrap-up, I mentioned that I was considering making my Instagram account private. I was hesitating because it would mean that my account wouldn't be a creator account anymore and that it wouldn't reach a lot of people. But I took a step back and really thought about what I wanted the account to be.

I am not planning to make content all the time on Instagram again. I don't want to get on the hamster wheel of constantly creating content in different formats only to be disappointed. I don't want to share so much of my life that everything I did became associated with its shareability.

So, I took the plunge and made my Instagram account private. I installed the app to do that and share a blog post on the stories. In 10 minutes, I uninstalled the app again. I feel so much better now.

I also wanted to clean up my followers but it felt like such a daunting task that I left it for another day. At least all new followers will have to be let in by me. I will be much more conscious about who can see my updates.

The plan is to return to Instagram with minimal focus in July or August. But I'm not sure if I'll actually go through with it or push it further. We'll see.

My mood is much better nowadays because the weather finally turned and we started getting rain. Even if the rain is inconvenient at times, I am grateful for it. It reduces the temperature and makes the day much more bearable. Every time it rains, I feel like having a hot cup of chai and relaxing.

I even vlogged for a week! It's been so long since I vlogged that I forgot how to do it. But it's also been long enough that I forgot about the pressures I put on it. I have a week's worth of haphazard clips now. I'm not sure if I'll edit and post them or delete them after a while. It was nice to vlog nonetheless. I missed taking random clips of my days without worrying about making it aesthetic or creating a story.

The last two weeks of May were filled with exhausting days. There's so much on my plate at work. I could get it all done if I extend my hours but I absolutely don't want to do that. I had to a couple of times only because I had to collaborate with people. Otherwise, despite having work pending, I made sure to log off.

Going to the office 4 days a week is no joke. I don't know how people do it 5 days a week. Leaving home at 10 am and returning at 8:30 pm does not leave much room for my hobbies or to even rest well. I can pick a maximum of two things every day and sometimes one of them is sleep/rest.

As I wasn't able to do much during the week, I packed my weekends with everything. I met friends, did my hobbies, and made sure to nap a couple of days. It feels like I'm living for the weekends which isn't a good thing. Michelle's post on making evenings feel like weekends made me realize it.

In June, I want to treat my off hours as if work doesn't exist. No more opening Teams and Outlook to check if something came up. No more thinking about work while I shower or eat breakfast. It will be hard, especially since I don't have social media that can easily replace thinking about work, but I've got to figure something out. Thinking about work all day all week isn't sustainable.

I'm long overdue for a vacation too. It's been over six months since my last vacation. Although I've been open to plans, nobody around has been available or making plans. Suddenly, in the last week, three different groups started talking about trips. Hopefully, they'll work out and I'll have a good time away from regular life.

illustration of a person holding up an open book

I watched Haikyuu!! The Dumpster Battle movie! It was technically on the 1st of June but I don't want to wait until my June wrap-up to talk about it.

The movie had a lot of good material to work with and did the most possible. The technical execution was brilliant. I loved the different POVs and how it was fast-paced like a real volleyball match. I screamed along with the entire theatre at multiple parts. There were a couple of really good moments.

While it was technically great, it wasn't satisfying enough plot-wise and emotion-wise. A lot of the big moments were rushed. They did show flashbacks to heighten the emotion of certain developments but there wasn't enough time spent on the big moments. Things went by so quickly that by the time my brain caught up with it and I exclaimed, the movie moved on.

I wish it was being released in episode form as well. I love the previous seasons as episodes because that allows us to get properly emotionally invested and enjoy each moment to the fullest. The movie did not evoke emotions as much because it was so rushed.

I was quite surprised to see the turnout for the movie. A lot of people around my age and many high schoolers filled up the seats. So many people came wearing Karasuno shirts with the number 9 or 10. It made me jealous and I want to buy a Karasuno jacket for myself now haha.

chat with me!

How are you? How was your May? What did you do? What did you read/watch? Did the seasons change where you are? Talk to me in the comments!

photo of Sumedha

Sumedha spends her days reading books, bingeing Kdramas, drawing illustrations, and blogging while listening to Lo-Fi music. Read more ➔

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  • Tasya @ The Literary Huntress says:

    I can't believe this is a rushed post because your thoughts are so structured and well-organized! I need to read the betterment burnout article, it really interests me.

    I also read The Sunshine Court in May and loved it! I also feel when I read longer books, my reading quantity also reduced but at the same time, the satisfaction of finishing a tome felt really good. Anna Karenina is one story I'm always curious about, but the sheer size of it always intimidates me. Glad you enjoyed it so far though!

    Reply ➔
  • Nicole Evans says:

    I loved reading this post, Sumedha! I opened practically al of the newsletters you shared and I'm excited to read them (particularly on the one about betterment burnout), so thanks for sharing (and for sharing my post 🥰). I also am so proud of you for recognizing how running wasn't serving you anymore and making decisions that *actually* serve you. That's not easy to recognize and do but you should be really proud! Also, I hope you're able to get more breaks (especially mental) from work because it absolutely takes a toll.

    Reply ➔
    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      thank you, Nicole! at this point, i’m lowkey thinking to just take my pto and rest at home because vacations aren’t happening 😂

      hope you’re having a great June!

      Reply ➔
      • Nicole Evans says:

        Honestly that's completely valid (I've gotten to the point where I take off at least one day a month if I can swing it, just so I have regular breaks from work).

        Reply ➔
  • abookowlscorner says:

    This is how blog posts you write in a rush turn out? Seriously, Sumedha, teach me your skills! I loved this wrap-up every bit as much as all your others, which is also why you're getting this comment a few days delayed - I needed to have sufficient freetime to give you the response this deserves! 💙

    First off - your book opinions are so on point. I loved seeing The Sunshine Court get even more love, obviously, but we're also on the same page where A Reaper at the Gates is concerned, unfortunately. It's been years since I read it, so I've forgotten what exactly fueled my disappointment, but I remember being SOOOOO bored! Which is also why I've procrastinated on the final book since forever and therefore can't tell you if it's worth it. Should you get to it before me, let me know!

    I also admire you so much for all the steps your taking to make sure you're living your life for yourself, not for others! It must've taken quite some courage to acknowledge that you were no longer running or looking at all those stats because it made you happy, and to go about making changes. I wish you the best of look with your new routines and am definitely off to read that betterment burnout article right after!

    Also, you have my deepest sympathies where those period cramps are concerned - I always feel like I'm being mauled from the inside out once a month and can't even survive wirhout painkillers 😅😭 I always figured the situation might get better if I got MORE exercise in, but since you don't seem to have had that experience, I think I'll take that as permission to remain lazy... 😂 Definitely crossing my fingers for less pain for both of us!

    Finally, I'm loving the Anna Karenina updates! I was a bit in different at the beginning of the book but really fell for it at the end, so I'm excited for your final thought!

    Anyway, hope you're having a great June!

    Reply ➔
    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      i have no clue how it turned out because i simply hit publish once i was done and didn’t look back 😂 glad to hear it was good though! i feel validated 😌

      i will probably get to the last Ember book soon and i’m looking forward to finish the series and move on haha. quite a few people have said that they didn’t like the series either so i’m wondering, who are the people who made it popular and what about it appealed so much?

      it’s a little embarrassing and hard to acknowledge that something i do is to show it off to others but it’s necessary to call it out and move on, i think. besides, i don’t think i’m alone in being that way because of how performative our world has become, so i knew that at least someone might relate and think of their routine if i shared it! and thank you!

      i’m lucky to have a job that i can do from home occasionally so i can somehow get through without painkillers but it’s seriously such a pain. i’m happy to report that it was better this month! the timing was off as usual but the pain was back to normal amounts, so yes go be lazy sometimes, your body needs it 😂

      i finished Anna Karenina last night! i was pretty sure that i wouldn’t like the ending when i realized that things weren’t wrapping up with 100 pages left and i was right 😂 other than the ending, i enjoyed it! rip tolstoy, the entire world would have loved such weekly newsletters with how accessible they are now.

      i hope you’re having a lovely June as well!

      Reply ➔
      • abookowlscorner says:

        I definitely related to parts of the betterment burnout post - so no, you're not alone! Although I think for me, it's not so much that I'm addicted to getting better and better at stuff because it's expected and makes me look good in front of others, but that I'm sometimes either genuinely unsure of what my goals are - I'm always terrified of trying out new things, so sometimes, it's hard to tell if I want to devote time to my hobbies because I genuinely love them or because I've always done them and therefore find them comforting and essential to the identity I've built for myself and am too afraid to question 😅 Or I actually really do love the activities, but have so many of them that I want to perfect at once that it gets genuinely overwhelming... So I, too, have my work cut out!

        I did really like the Anna Karenina ending, though 😅 It really made me think about our society and the pressures/expectations that come with it, I think.

        Reply ➔
  • Line @First Line Reader says:

    Thank you so much for sharing my post about StoryGraph 🥰

    It sounds like you had a month of important decisions, both with running and social media so that was quite inspiring to read.
    As for the books you read, I've only read A Reaper at the Gates although years ago. I do remember having a similar feeling of boredom and I wish I could tell you that the last book is worth it, but probably not, unfortunately.
    I hope June turns out great for you!

    Reply ➔
    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      you’re welcome! i loved your post.

      yeah, i’ve now learnt that some months are for growing by pivoting instead of making progress and that’s important too.

      oof about the last Ember book. i’m borrowing it from my friend soon to finish the series. at least i’ll finally be done with it, though.

      i hope you have a lovely june as well!

      Reply ➔
  • maya rajesh says:

    my gosh 5 months of blogging, i don't think i've written 5 posts this year yet 🙈🙈
    But YES we love the rain and I'm so glad that the monsoon's finally upon us. I love the ember in the ashes series and just started AFTG. Can't wait to read the sunshine court!! Also about the statistics - it's hard to get people to read anymore. REALLY read something. our attention span is growing smaller and smaller and so is the blogger community consequently. as someone who's been here for, what, nearly 5 years now (and you would know, too) the community SHRUNK over the past two years. like crazy. if i compare my 2021 engagements to this year (obviously i was posting more) it's nearly triple or something along those lines!! i think it's best to not care, as you said. I stopped caring a year ago, and haven't checked anything since. It doesn't even mean much!!
    Let's hope our June is full of love and light ♥♥

    Reply ➔
    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      haha it’s been a long time since i did that so i’m surprised that i managed that too.
      i agree, few people really read anymore but the ones who do make it more worth it, don’t they? the number might be less than a few years back (those golden days…) but the smaller numbers makes it more special too. right before you, freddikb commented that they like to take the time to really read my posts and it totally made my day, so i think all’s not lost!

      hope you have a great June as well!

      Reply ➔
  • freddikb says:

    I absolutely adore your posts. In the era of fast-paced and everything vlog, I enjoy taking the moments to sit with coffee and read, actually read, your posts. They inspire me in so many ways. This is my tenth year blogging and I am still learning all the curves of it. As far as reading goes, last month I did a middle grade/young readers readathon and was able to finish 16 books and DNF one. In the early 2000's I read "Anna Karenina", I was in my teens. It took me a few months to finish. I am looking forward to your June posts.

    Reply ➔
    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      your comment genuinely made my day! i often think that i should cut down the length of my posts and be less wordy because who spends so much time reading in this day and age. so receiving comments, especially like yours, make me feel like my words are worth it, so thank you.

      it’s so cool that you did a MG readathon, i really should read more from that genre. i finally finished Anna Karenina last night and unfortunately didn’t like the ending but the rest of the book was pretty nice.

      Reply ➔
  • Lila @ Hardcover Haven says:

    I'm glad that article made you feel like you had the room to rethink your activities for the better! It's interesting, I read the article you talked about (the betterment burnout one) and it reminded me of how there's this theory in sociology called "dramaturgy" which posits that we basically spend much of our time/life "performing" for others in order to control how we're perceived. I think social media and how it perpetuates the feeling of constantly being monitered (even in our alone time) definitely worsens the impacts put forward by dramaturgy. I decided very young to live only for myself in that I don't do things simply because others want/don't want me to (part of this is just my ADHD/neurodivergent inability to do something just because it's expected of me, I think lol) and I know I've always been much happier for it. Like Charvi, I also could never get into monitoring SEO or even monitoring more than basic engagement stats on my blog, and it's always been so freeing to just have something for me. Anyhoo, all this to say, I hope this change for you frees you up to do much more of what *you* enjoy and what truly makes you happy! Thanks for mentioning my post and Happy June!

    Reply ➔
    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      thank you, Lila! oh that’s an interesting theory! social media definitely turns even alone time to a performance and at some point it will stop being fun and nice. it’s great that you’re conscious about the way you live!
      i enjoyed SEO for a good while so it was fun but it’s definitely time to move on now.

      happy June!

      Reply ➔
  • Charvi says:

    I've read The Boyfriend Wish and I agree, it was a predictable and fun one time read.
    I'm glad to see that you're focusing so much more on your physical and mental health. I get what you mean by running for the reputation you garnered. I used to do a lot of activities including gym in 12th grade and everybody used to marvel at my capacity for juggling these things and at some point I began doing it for that before crashing and burning. So it sounds like a good idea to take a break from running.
    I'm glad you're blogging for fun as well! This is the reason I could never get into SEO, it immediately made blogging seem like a hell lot of work and that was the last thing I wanted. Your schedule sounds really rough and overloaded, I hope you're able to go on a vacation soon <3
    Here's to hoping for a better month ahead!

    Reply ➔
    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      thank you, Charvi! it’s nice to be admired but we have to truthful to ourselves that there’s a reason most people don’t do so much 🥲
      i actually loved SEO for a good while so it didn’t feel like work to me. but the new changes by google makes it Not Fun so it’s time to leave that behind 😅

      Reply ➔
  • Kristina says:

    Yay for constant writing 👏🏼 I can’t wait to read that long post- Ithink personal posts are the best! I just love them.

    Oof.. a 1k page book? 💀 hell nah for me.. that’s intimidating.

    Reply ➔
    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      thank you! i love them too, i’m always worried about oversharing though haha but it’s time to figure out a good boundary.

      i’m trying to read longer books to get over the intimidation 😂 it’s definitely not easy though 😮‍💨

      Reply ➔