Hello there 2022!
I trust you will be kind to us and grant us many more joyful moments than stressful ones. Many are afraid of you after what 2020 and 2021 delivered to us. I’m choosing not to be afraid but rather to look you in the eye and say “Hello there 2022- come on then, bring it on!” I have to say that even though 2020 and 2021 were challenging years globally, and for some of us also personally, there are always good and joyful moments to be grateful for in there too.
I’ve seen some funny things on social media in relation to the new year, but one of the best is this one by Lauren Debois. WARNING though to those sensitive to swear words – it does have the F word in there but just once:
View this post on Instagram
2021 – Highlights and Lowlights
Highlights – the highlight of 2021 for me would be the discovery of art and the satisfaction creativity brings to me. I started attending art classes and looked forward to class every week. I joined the art studio’s social club and enjoyed the monthly coffee mornings and new friendships with likeminded people. I gained a lot from The 100 Day Project that I decided to do. Whilst it might have put some pressure on me to produce something every day, this taught me to control the perfectionist within me because to deliver something every day I had to let go of perfection. It also helped me to loosen up and enjoy art more and to discover what mediums of art I enjoyed and that I was good at.
Lowlights – 1) the loss of my friend of nearly 40 years ‘Denise’ to cancer. Gosh I miss her so much. She was a solid friend – so loyal, always in my corner, always cheering me on. Never ever take that stuff for granted! I promise you, you will miss it deeply when it is gone. 2) There was also the loss of another friend (mostly online though we had met IRL) and though I didn’t know her to the depth of Denise, it was still a wrench to know she was gone, and made me very sad. 3) the ongoing Covid (Delta & Omicron) saga; and 4) the sudden deterioration of the health of my Mum has been a massive stress and worry that unexpectantly came in the final months of the year.
2021 on the blog wrapped up!
I said Hello to 2021. We went on a day trip to Mount Tamborine. I shared my 15 minutes of fame! I reminded everyone that my Gems of Zen series, whilst not as active as the first year, was still open to guest posts. And it still is today – open to guest posts and occasionally I may post one myself.
Speaking of Gems of Zen (GOZ), on the first day of February I published a GOZ I wrote myself about Completing the Stress Cycle. I wrote about Creativity. What is it? What are the benefits of it? Expressions of creativity, and more! Natalie from Natalie the Explorer wrote a guest post for my Gems of Zen series – 21 Quick Ideas to Find Calm in 2021. I wrote one of those Coffee Catch Up Time posts.
I posted about our 6 nights away at Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast. I shared some bad news about my dog Ava’s Mitral Valve Disease diagnosis and the first taking stock post for the year – Taking Stock March 2021. I got a bit nostalgic with I REMEMBER WHEN tongue twisters were fun.
April started with a bit of an update and wrap up where things were at with ‘the rona’ in Corona Chronicles #6 – Brisbane Lockdown & Vaccine Rollout. We were getting some painting done at home which lead to me writing Managing Home Improvement Induced Anxiety. I wrote another post for my Gems of Zen series called ‘Joyful‘. What does it mean to feel joy? What are the benefits of feeling joy? I even shared what had been making me feel joyful at the time.
May is a big month of birthdays around here and it kicked off with A Shared Birthday of two special females in my life. I had my first jab so it was time for Corona Chronicles #7 – My first jab. I wrote about The Blogging Mojo because mine was missing and I needed to try and work out why? I made a big fuss over the fact that Today is my birthday! It’s the way I always end the month of May.
I realised I had a whole bunch of scarves that I never or rarely ever wore and so began Project Scarf-A-Day! I took another trip down memory lane with I REMEMBER WHEN we first got home internet. Project Scarf-A-Day resulted in this post – 13 Days of Scarves. It was time for my second quarterly Taking Stock post for the year – Taking Stock – June 2021. I had started attended art classes and realised how uptight, unconfident, and uncreative I had become and I wanted to loosen up, get the creative flow happening and maybe even find my ‘thing’ and so I decided to do The 100 Day Project.
The news was all Delta, Delta, Delta and so it was time for another Corona Chronicles post – Corona Chronicles #8 – The Delta Variant. I shared Days 1 to 18 of my 100 Day Project. Alexander Grosse of Pigment Pool guest posted a Gem of Zen – The Healing Power of Visual Arts.
I was very committed to my 100 Day Project and shared Days 19 to 32. I was dreaming of a Winter Getaway! I was starting to loosen up and shared Days 33 to 46 of my 100 Day Project. As much as I was loving doing the 100 Day Project, it was consuming a lot of my time and I was feeling spread a tad too thin. This led to this post – Mental Health and Self Care and a decision to back off on the pressure I put on myself to produce a blog post every week. I announced that I would only be posting my The 100 Day Project round up posts each fortnight and no other posts on the days or weeks between except for the next ‘Taking Stock‘ post which was due at the end of September. I could feel my confidence growing with my art and I had found a love of using ink and watercolours. I posted The 100 Day Project – Days 47 to 60.
A little later than usual but I got it done – Taking Stock – September 2021. And the FINALE – The 100 Day Project – Days 89 to 100. I was really proud of myself. It took commitment and persistance and perseverance to do this project and I did it and I think I did it well too! It was totally worth it because it helped me find myself in art – what I like to do and what I’m good at. I felt like I had finally found my ‘thing’.
I was feeling tired and needed time for Rest and Recalibration. I was also a little sad & reflective as it was my Dad’s birthday on 1 November. Additionally, I could feel a shift happening. Towards the end of the month I posted a Quick Catch Up. My Mum hadn’t been well and I’d had little time for the blog.
I somehow managed to write my quickest ever final quarterly taking stock post for the year – Taking Stock – December 2021. Within that post it is very evident that my Mum is still unwell and has been in hospital and a lot of my time and focus is on her wellbeing and care. I’d been sick too and Covid tested with a thankfully ‘negative’ result. The post does contain a very cute Christmas photo of my dog Ava, and I extend Merry Christmas wishes to all!
2022 so far, and random thoughts!
It’s been a quiet start to the year for me and for that I’m grateful. We didn’t have the usual NYE party with family as it wasn’t practical this year as one of us was over caring for Mum, another was away in Tasmania, another had other plans, and we have all had quite a lot of stress and worry in recent months so a quiet NYE was a very good idea. The first few days of 2022 have been about pottering around getting a few jobs done around home, trying to find time to do a bit of art (gee I’ve missed it), and watching Netflix. I have only been in the pool once this summer and that was the day before Christmas on a very hot day. It’s been rainy and/or too cold since. How weird and very, very different to how I spent the first days of 2021! I also managed to have a belated Christmas catch-up with a friend on New Year’s eve morning. We BYO’d our own coffee and met in a park shelter on a rainy & blustery day – a very Covid safe catch up!
I was over looking after Mum up until Christmas Eve and then my youngest sister took over for a week. Now another sister is over there and I’ll be back over caring for Mum next Saturday for a while. This is how it will be for a while until we can get appropriate care organised.
So I have this week at home and I’d like to continue pottering around getting some jobs done around the place, doing a bit of art, watching some Netflix, and I do need to make a couple of medical appointments too. Oh and my daughter gave me her ‘Stan’ password so I have binge watched the whole two seasons of Bump!
Here’s the two bits of art I’ve done so far – the first art I’ve done in ages!
My daughter has an exciting new start this year. She has been a journalist/reporter on the Gold Coast and she loved it but the pay is terrible (that’s a nice way of saying it). She has managed to get herself a job at nearly double the pay here in Brisbane. She has a week’s holiday and then starts the new job on 10 January. She will still live on the Gold Coast (she will try it anyway cos she loves where she lives) and she may be able to work a couple of days a week from their GC office and commute the other days. We won’t be seeing her on the telly anymore but at least she will finally be earning the kind of income she deserves!
On the Covid front it’s seems Omicron is absolutely everywhere, with some Delta thrown in here and there as well. Restrictions have loosened significantly across the country now that the vaccination rate is much higher. Masks are back for anywhere indoors (besides home) here in Queensland. I had my booster shot on 28 December, exactly 5 months from my 2nd jab on 28 July. Hopefully if I get Covid, it will be mild and all will be ok. Hope you’re safe and keep well where you are.
So that’s it from me for a while. I’m not sure when the next post will come from me (definitely not next week because I’ll be over caring for Mum) but I will be posting again as soon as I can.
For your 2022 I wish for you – peace of mind, good health, many moments of joy, love, contentment and fulfilment!
Ciao for now,
Linking up with Denyse Whelan for #LifeThisWeek