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Children, Family, Health, Travel, Writing

Reflecting on 2021

A year ago I wrote a post looking towards (not forwards to) 2021.

And, well, 2020 had certainly been a rollercoaster but it wasn’t as painful as 2019 was for us. For 2021, I knew not to make resolutions or think about specific goals. Instead there were some general things I wanted from 2021, and a pipe dream.

Stability

I’m a creature of routine and I love predictability. OK, so I deal well with change too and I cope when things don’t go to plan. But for 2021, I really wanted some stability. I didn’t mind if that was a stable state of lockdown or even home learning again – just so long as the world doesn’t change around us every week or two. Oh how foolish I was! We got more home learning just a few days after I published my 2021 vision post.

Brexit didn’t really make itself felt too badly – but probably largely because other restrictions were disrupting our lives much more. The supermarket shelves were more bare than usual, a national crisp shortage seemed imminent at one point and fuel supplies to petrol stations were anything but stable for a good while.

On top of all that Boris can’t tell his arse from a Brussels sprout so I don’t think we need to look back at the rest of the mess that was 2021.

The Dream

I foolishly allowed myself to dream of some key things I’d love to have happened in 2021….

A proper holiday

Nope.

Again.

Instead we had some fabulous family days out, a week in Whitby, and another fantastic summer break in Scotland and Lincolnshire. Then in the autumn we loved our first family trip to Edinburgh.

But there was no long road trip to France, no cheese splurging, no pain au chocolats for breakfast, no discovering new places or enjoying long days by the pool. Certainly no extravagant hotel holiday in some far flung paradise.

A 40th party

2021 was a big year for himself and me. We hit the big 40. Yeah yeah, 40 isn’t a big deal anymore but we’d originally hoped for a big party in 2020 – the in-between year of our 10th wedding anniversary and our 40th birthdays. Well, that didn’t happen!

We would have loved a re-run of our evening wedding reception; Ceilidh band, buffet supper, plenty of drinks and laughter with our family and friends. A local village hall would have done nicely and if we could have invited all our family, tempted our old friends who came to our wedding and the new ones we’ve made since, everyone would have brought their kids and danced the night away.

Another big fat no!

At the rate we’re going, maybe we’ll wait until our 50ths for that!

Instead, I celebrated by 40th by running every day for 40 days. I’ll write a whole other post dedicated to running in 2021.

Coffee

When I stopped working on Fridays in September 2019, the plan was that it would allow me to see more of my friends (as well as doing jobs and running). Working from home, as we now all know, is pretty lonely. Himself works with a great sociable bunch of people and I really wanted to spend some face to face time with the people I like. While we didn’t manage frequent coffee dates, I had a few long lunches and walks with my lovely friends. I hope we’ll do more of that in 2022.

Family

We had a pretty horrid year in 2021. My dad’s mum, my gran, died in April having been unwell for a very long time. She’d has heart problems most of her life and was diagnosed with vascular dementia a couple of year ago. I saw her in August 2020 and she was up and about, but confused and very thin, as always. After the start of 2021, she declined and was eventually finding most of life difficult. I tried to video call with her in March but she didn’t understand and thought the tablet was a video or a photo that was talking to her. It was so sad. When her funeral came, I had to travel the 3 hours each way to my parents’ home alone, and do both journeys in one day.

We did however manage to see a bit more of family than in 2020. We met my parents for a day out in Sherwood Forest, had the in laws to stay, had my parents to stay and visited them both. We visited himself’s sister and her family while they were on holiday in Lancashire and when we were in Edinburgh we managed to see them again too. Then Christmas 2021 was the absolute icing on the cake – my parents and my brother and his wife visited us for Christmas and my in laws arrived on Boxing Day. I’m choking up just thinking about how special that was.

The Blog

My blog is still just my personal therapy, emptying my head and random thoughts into a safe place. However, I’ve scaled back a bit in the last six months. I now post just twice a week and I’ve withdrawn from Facebook promotion groups – it was all too time consuming and artificial.

My favourite posts

So here are some of my own posts that I loved in 2021. They aren’t necessarily the most popular, but they did me good to write or just made me smile.

Some statistics

No, I’m not going to publish blog views or anything like that for the year. If you’re reading this as a blogger too, you’ll either laugh at how tiny I am or feel like your blog is (even) small(er). I don’t want to make you feel like that, so I’m not saying anything.

Here are my 2021 vital statistics:

  • Weeks in lockdown with home learning: 10 (down from 13 last year!)
  • Meltdowns from small boy about reading: probably none, he’s become a regular bookworm. But lots about maths instead.
  • Miles travelled to see family: 1300 (up from 700ish)
  • Active time according to Strava: 239 hours (up from 111hrs)
  • Total distance run/walked and recorded on Strava: 1853 km (up from 710 km)
  • Weeks off running with evil knee: zero!
  • Gin consumed: errr no idea, lots
  • Large boy book-supply-related meltdowns from me: none, he’s got much better and…. the library was open so that was our saviour
  • Total cooking disasters resulting in inedible food: 1 terrible macaroni cheese by himself (2 tablespoons of salt? Has he no common sense?)
  • Respect and admiration for keyworkers, all NHS staff and carers, teachers and TAs, single parents, medically vulnerable folks, people living alone: IMMEASURABLE

How was yours?

How was your 2021? Did you manage to achieve any of your goals or resolutions?

Love from Smell xxx

25 thoughts on “Reflecting on 2021”

  1. 2021 was, well … brutal if I’m being honest (nothing to do with Covid, although that didn’t help) but I’ve made a conscious choice to heal from it this year and to do what I need to move forward. I’m sorry to hear about your gran — that is always hard to deal with no matter what else is going on. Wishing you well for 2022!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like a pretty full year despite its challenges. I always find it interesting how people in the UK look at holidays and staycations differently than we do in Canada. To me, a week away anywhere would be a proper holiday. I haven’t spent a night away from home in about 2 years. And a staycation for us is when we stay home and find things to do around the house or within easy driving distance. Things to ponder…

    I hit most of my 2021 goals. I have a post coming up next week to recap.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For me a staycation is staying in the house. Holidays within the UK get called staycations now but that doesn’t count in my book. Our holidays were definitely a lovely break each time, I just miss France.

      Looking forward to reading your post. I loved your decluttering series last year. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahh okay so you and I define staycation the same way. I was always puzzled by blog posts about staycation ideas that suggested booking a cottage or caravan for a week. LOL

        I’m glad you enjoyed my decluttering series. It was a lot of fun once I got rolling.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. My 2021 was amazing so I really can’t complain there. Ironically 2020 ended and 2021 started with me being covered in a food allergy rash, so if you told me I’d have the year I did, I’d laugh. I really hope you and your husband are able to do something to celebrate the wedding anniversary.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a lovely and comprehensive look back. Super impressed by the relative increase in activity level. A proper holiday would be nice (one can dream). Thanks for sharing and take care.

    Liked by 1 person

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