A Year in Review -2021

And just like that another year is gone. Taking a moment to look back on 2021.

As I sit here to write about 2021 and my thoughts about the New Year coming, I’ll admit I’m foggy. This year was such a whirlwind it’s is truly hard to put into words. If you would like to read my New Year’s post from last year and what I was thinking about moving into 2021 you can find them here (Looking Back on 2020, Looking Ahead to 2021).

2021 was a hard year, I don’t think anyone would argue against that. Although I’ve read some commentary in the last few days saying that while 2021 was hard, it was easier than 2020 and that this is something to celebrate. But was it though? Honestly the last two years, likely a result of the pandemic, really feel like one doubly long difficult year.

2021 started out with a Covid-Christmas and holiday season followed by the worst wave of the pandemic yet (in Canada atleast) in the spring. There were also numerous natural disasters as a result of continued global warming including the forest fires and now flooding in B.C., significant civil unrest in the U.S., increased conflict in Afghanistan, and in Canada the public discovery of the countless graves of indigenous children at former Residential School sites.

Many of us were grateful for the creation and distribution of vaccines to help fight the covid-19 pandemic beginning in the spring and summer, but even that came with the cruel reality that they would not be made available to 1000s of people across the world in less privileged countries. Not to mention the onslaught of hostility from the anti-vax movement.

On a personal note, 2021 was also a hard year. I struggled significantly with my mental health, as I think many others did this year. Working remotely has unique frustrations and challenges particularly in our productivity obsessed culture. I also received a disappointing medical diagnosis and struggled with my physical health through much of 2021.

So, if I’m being honest, I’m glad to see the end of 2021 even if it is just to know that time is in fact moving forward and with that comes the possibility for positive change.

There were a few good things that happened in 2021 and for those I am especially grateful:

  • My husband and I were able to purchase our first home in September of 2021, we are now the owners of a 2 bedroom condo! (It is not lost on me at all the true privilege it is to be able to do this especially in the times we are living through.)
  • Getting vaccinated for Covid-19.
  • Visiting my grandparents, other family members, and friends this summer because of the vaccine and low case numbers.
  • Getting to go camping this summer.
  • Starting to self-publish my poetry.
  • Publishing 46 posts despite dealing with low-motivation for much of the year.
  • Celebrating 3 years of marriage with the love of my life.
  • Eating in a few restaurants and even going to the movies for the first time in almost 2 years!
  • Celebrating Juniper’s 1st birthday, and Holly & Imp’s 8th birthdays!

This post may seem quite doom and gloom, and in some ways it is. I strive to be honest in what I post here, not to sugar coat how I’m feeling and what’s going on in the world, because I think it is harmful to only share our successes and positive emotions. That said, I really am thankful to be moving on to a new year in a new place with my husband and fur-kiddos and that brings me comfort.

I want to take a moment to say, if you’ve had a really tough year, you’re not alone. If you are sad and hurting and burnt-out, you are not alone. If you don’t have a list of positive things that happened this year and you feel buried in hardship, you are not alone.

But I also want to remind you, you’re still here and you made it through. Somehow, we made it through. 2021 is in the rearview now, onto new things, even if those are just new challenges.

As I did last year, I will be writing another post in the coming days on my thoughts on the year ahead so be sure to come back to check that out.

I don’t think I can say it often enough, thank you for coming back and following my journey in these hard times. This space continues to be a refuge for me and I hope it is for you too.

Write soon,

Hannah B.L.

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