Goodbye, 2021 (Yearly Wrap Up)

Another year, another look back on what was before we turn our gaze to what will be.  Already heartsore from a vicious 2020, I thought 2021 would be somewhat of a balm after what we all went through but it didn’t quite turn out like that.

Goodbye 2021! (yearly wrap up)

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Personal Updates header

Home Life

A lot of the plans we had for our home got shunted when we found out we had woodworm and would need to empty the whole house, pull up all the floors (and much of the floorboards) to get it treated.

After that fiasco was completed, we plowed ahead with getting our upstairs walls skimmed, painted or wallpapered and the skirting replaced.  This is where we hit yet another snag!  The joiners who actually answered their phones seemed uninterest in work.  There was one firm that was interest and even showed up to quote us… so we booked them in.

Then they failed to turn up!  Ignoring every phone call and message we left.  This messed up everything as all the other work we had planned had been sscheduled ready for this being completed.

Tired to the back teeth of useless of all tradesmen, we decided to bite the bullet, fork out some cash for tools and equipment and do the skirting and architraves ourselves.

Took a long time, lots of trial and error but we got three rooms done.  Two are now fully furnished.  One is almost completed.  Still more to do but at least we can see some damn progress.  Lots more to do next year though.

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Cat Life

Twix the cat, sleepingFive months ago, one of our cats, Twix, became very ill.  After several vet visits, tests, x-rays and some minor procedures we learnt he had a mass in his abdomen.  There is nothing we can do for this given his age and where the mass is.

He is on medication for his hyperthyroidism that was also detected and some painkiller for his arthritis.

We stay in contact with our vet and we monitor him every day, taking each day as it comes.  We know he will not get better from this and there will come a time, probably sooner than we hope that we will have to say goodbye.

But until that time comes, we are doing what we can to make sure he is comfortable while he’s still active.

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In Sickness

For the last four months, I have been ill for over a week, every month.  So technically I’ve lost over a month of time being ill.  Thankfully, not COVID but still these illnesses put me on my ass and forced me to “rest” (I don’t rest well).

It has been physically and mentally exhausting and I am still feeling the tiring affects of my “December illness” that turned into a nasty chest infection.  This left me feeling weak, tired and thoroughly wrung-out.  My immune system has taken quite a battering, so I need to make sure I prioritise self-care next year.

I did still manage to travel to see family, though kept away from all friends who I would have loved to visit.  It was nice seeing the family over Christmas (didn’t manage it last year due to lockdown) but I am still in recovery mode as I always need several days to decompress.

Writer Updates

Author Life

My authoring life ground to a painful halt.  Other than doing a little marketing and a little writing/brainstorming, I have made no real steps forward in my Author Life.  Not to mention, since we had to keep emptying the house and redesigning my craft room, anything I did manage to start was quickly interrupted.

I have flip flopped about being on social media, which is still touted as important for authors in order to network, market etc.  But honestly, I’m struggling with these platforms as they seem to be constant breeding groups for discontents and drama (this is not some shocking revelation, more that I don’t know how much of that I am willing to deal with any more).

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Novel Progress

Fountain pen, writingThere was almost zero progress on my novels.  In fact, I started to even wonder if I should continue with them.

This year has been one of the worst for my writing in general.

Apparently, this is when I realised I was suffering from depression and have been trying to remind myself of the fact so I don’t do anything stupid like delete all my files and shred hardcopy scenes!

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Blogger Life

Image: Award Top 10 UK Writing blogI am finally happy with my blog layout and the current 2 posts a week (one podcast, one blog post). 

I’ve been able to work more consistently, though I’m struggling to reply to comments.

Again, I think this is partly because of my depression and because of being ill.

Finally, my blog was once again ranked as being one of the Top 10 UK Writing Blogs by Feedspot. Yay!!

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Podding Life

Podcast Page: Image of a microphone and headphonesThe podcast Rachel and I started back in 2020, has been doing really well.  One of our goals was to hit 2,000 downloads on Podbean.

We not only hit that, but smashed it and have (at the time of writing this) 3,666 downloads on podbean.

Big thank you to everyone who has listened to any of our episodes, left comments or joined us as guests!  It has been great fun and we have much more planned for 2022.

Want to enjoy the podcast? We are on plenty of platforms but the two main ones are Youtube or Podbean.

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Game Life

In 2018, I created The Merry Writer Hashtag Game over on Twitter.  It was a way to help me reach out to other writers and it took off so well!  I pulled Rachel into the fray and for almost 4 years we have been running this daily prompt game.  It even morphed into our podcast!

However, as this year moved on, I have been struggling a lot more than I realised with my mental health and I just found I needed to cut some things out.  The game, while great fun, took a lot of my time and energy and I was finding it harder to be on Twitter and many other social media platforms (as mentioned above).

So Rachel and I decided that the December 2021 gameboard would be the last.  I discussed it more in-depth in a Ko-fi post.  It has been wonderful meeting all these writers and authors, making friends and even inviting several onto the podcast.  The game may eventually return, but not for a while.  I need a break.

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2021 was a little more insidious that 2020.  We know where we stood in 2020, global pandemic, riots, lockdowns etc.  2021 slipped into the cracks and left me feeling hollowed out before I even realised what was happening.

I will step into 2022 was hope, as I always try to but it’s a lot more tentative than ever before.  I feel battered and bruised from all the stress and loss and overwhelm of the last few years.  But still… a small candle burns, even if not so bright. 

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How was your 2021?

Signature & logo of Ari Meghlen

15 thoughts on “Goodbye, 2021 (Yearly Wrap Up)

  1. Victoria Zigler

    My 2021 was – for different reasons – very similar to yours. There were some positives, which I’m trying to focus on, but it mostly sucked. Between still dealing with emotionally processing the events of 2020, and all the things 2021 had to throw at me itself, that focus on the positives is the only reason I’m able to say I made it through 2021 with any sanity at all remaining. I’m looking forward to 2022 with hope, but I’m right there with you on it not shining very brightly.

    1. Yes, 2021 was the dreaded sequel to 2020’s horror-show. It helps to focus on the positive, but damn can that be difficult at times.

      Let’s hope 2022 isn’t the “2020 trilogy”

  2. Happy New Year. May 2022 be better! I dealt with health issues since last July, which has made it a pretty crummy year. HOWEVER, the fact that I could have died (and didn’t) made me into a new me, one who is extremely thankful for small blessings as well as learning to enjoy each day and live it one day at a time. I still don’t have answers to some issues, but celebrated the most meaningful Christmas of my 77 years. I hope your depression lifts (You know there are medicines for that. LOL)
    Have a quick and complete recovery and embrace the new person who survived 2021.

    1. 2021 certainly didn’t pull any of its punches but I’m so glad that while you went through such a rough time, that you came out the otherside!

      Those small blessings are important touchstones, they get us through the hard times.

      🙂 Since my depression is mostly connected to the SAD I have, I don’t medicate. Mostly because the meds that are prescribed play merry hell with your system for like 2 months before they even out.

      If my depression was more severe and lasted a lot longer, I would look into anti-depressants. I am looking at doing more counselling as some of this depression is definitely connected to the grief I’m still feeling.

      I hope 2022 is a great year for you, Rae!

      1. Thanks for your understanding rather than wonder, What does she have to be depressed about. The seasons and the weather have a strong effect on me and they bring up chronic pain from arthritis and other old-age ailments. But, sometimes, there are other underlying parts. I try to remain positive and am managing nicely now by being mindful and grateful (Even we seniors can learn new attitudes and “helps.”, a skill I’ve recently learned.

  3. Happy New Year! I’m glad you were able to buy some tools and do some of the work yourself! Good for you. You should be proud.

    I feel you on writing…

    And even more so with social media. I have a plan to be more engaged on Twitter next year (actually, your game has been my inspiration), but we shall see how it goes. I’m yet to see what good it does…

    1. Thank you, Sam and you!

      Honestly, if we had to wait any longer for tradesmen to turn up, we may have just ended up burning the house down and moving on! lol

      Least this way we are learning some new skills 🙂

      Aww I am so pleased my game inspired you, and I hope you enjoy your time on Twitter next year. I am hoping to still be around on Twitter but not as heavily. I think I’d like to focus on Instagram the most and let some of the others fall to the wayside.

      Social media never really feels very social, it’s like everyone standing on their own pedestal shouting things – but there’s no real audience… but the audience of all on their own pedestals. Honestly, I miss chatting on Messenger with people so much – this social media malarky isn’t worth the hype 😛

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