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.
Two blog posts this month – both the 100 Day Project. 1) Days 61 to 74; and 2) Days 75 to 88. I was feeling really loose and free with my art which was wonderful!
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
Happy New Year, Min! Your 2021 certainly was a mixed bag and I’m sorry to hear your Mum isn’t well so I’m sending love and hugs to you both. I so enjoyed your #100dayproject and was very impressed with your artistic talent. I can appreciate the effort it took to stick to the challenge but you produced some beautiful work. We had a dreadful ‘cloud’ hanging around during 2021 as a family member was contesting my late MIL’s Will. It was finally settled before Christmas which allows us now to move forward in life. When I wrote my review of 2021 I thought it would probably be just about this issue but to my surprise I realised that there were so many good memories for me which certainly put me in a positive mindset to face 2022. I’m very grateful for all I have and both Mr M and I are looking forward to a brighter 2022 despite COVID and starting toe live our life again. Take care of yourself, caring for a sick loved one is something you want to do but you also need some time for yourself. #lifethisweek
Happy New Year to you too Sue! I’m sorry to hear about the ‘cloud’ you had hanging around during 2021 but pleased it’s all sorted now and so you can move forward in 2022 feeling lighter and free’er. It sure has been a worrying time with Mum and still is. I can only hope that things improve for her soon.Thank you so much for your compliments and support of my art. I had plans to make more of it but have had to shelve it for now as my priority is with Mum at the moment. As you mentioned – despite the hardships that 2021 has delivered there are always lots of things to be grateful for and I’m glad you can see those too!
I know your 100 Day project was stressful and you felt a lot of pressure but also understand how something like that forces you to do what you often don’t. I like your reference to it quashing your perfectionist side. And I think when people do NaNoWriMo in November and have to write 50K words it’s the same.
I saw a challenge type thing today about ‘writing’ every day and thought it’s something I should try to do as I find it too easy to make excuses.
I’m sorry about the loss of friends last year and of course your mum’s ill health. I hope she’s on the improve and comfortable now she’s back at home.
Thanks Deb. That 100 Day Project forced me to let go of perfectionism. That’s kinda amazing isn’t it? I’ve been trying to let go of perfectionism all my life! lol Letting go of perfectionism is such a game changer. TO be able to actually relax, be free, and enjoy something rather than always having that perfectionistic pressure on yourself … feels amazing! I can totally relate to the fact that NaNoWriMo would allow for the same experience.
Hi Min – I think your 2021 reflects most of us – lots of highs mixed in with lots of lows. Covid has certainly impacted our mood -even though we have so much less of it here than overseas. After living in a glass bubble for 2 yrs, WA is opening up to EVERYWHERE on Feb 5th – a bit scary and I think I’d have preferred a more gradual process, but we’ll see if it actually happens. We had one covid traveller from Qld just before Christmas and our Premier went into meltdown, so who knows what will happen down the track? In the meantime, I refuse to allow the dark times to overwhelm the light times – so I’m focusing on the good stuff – sooooo – I’m really happy your mum is out of hospital and doing better and congrats to your lovely daughter on getting a job that reflects her skills and talents (and pays well!) Onwards and upwards my friend! x
Hi Leanne – I can totally relate to the nervousness of Western Australians to be opening the border soon after living basically Covid free the last two years because we’ve just done the same thing here in Queensland. Borders opened before Christmas and now we are inundated with Covid infections. It’s hard to not be a bit freaked out by it all to be honest. I know we have to ‘learn to live with it’ but there are still so many unknowns which cause me (and I’m sure many others) quite a bit of anxiety! Like you though, I try to focus on good things and not let the whole COVID thing consume me, for the sake of my mental health, but I think I’ll feel a lot better when Mum and all my family have had their booster shots! xo
I feel for you with the loss of your friend. In 2021 My 90 year old mother passed away. Less than 12 months later I lost my best friend – my Husband, in the same month. My 2 most loved and supportive people just gone like that.
It’s a lot to take in.
Wishing you a very bright 2022.
Thanks so much Jody. Such compassion when you’ve suffered so much loss yourself. I’m so sorry you lost your mother and your husband. That is just so unfair! I cannot imagine how you manage your grief and carry on but commend you for doing so. I wish you courage, strength, good health and lots of precious moments of joy during your 2022 & beyond! xo
Hi Min , you’ve had your highs and lows this year. It’s been a struggle for many of us but here’s hoping that 2022 turns out to be much happier. So sorry to hear of the loss of your friends. I lost a friend this year too. It’s definitely made me feel how fragile and precious life is.
Hi Jennifer, thank you! I’m so sorry you lost a friend this year too. It sure does make you realise that life is fragile and precious and we kinda need to make the best of every moment we have doesn’t it. I hope your 2022 is happy and healthy and full of fun!
You’ve certainly had a textured year – so to speak. I love that you discovered art in 2021 – and that it’s helping you make sense of what’s going on now. As you say, it doesn’t need to be perfect art, as long as it’s art.
Definitely textured! I love that I discovered art too. I love getting lost in it and seeing what happens. I actually like imperfect art now. Perfect is uptight and rigid and boring. I’m loving free and loose and expressive and willing to take risks! That’s the very interesting thing I’ve discovered. When I tried to do zentangling which requires quite a bit of precision – it triggered my perfectionism and it stressed me out! The kind of art I discovered I like to do doesn’t have that affect on me, which is wonderful!
Happy New Year Min, I loved that video you included, made me chuckle :). Like you the year has been stressful and on top of 2020 it hasn’t been a lot of fun. You, and others I know, have found the bright spots to share and your art has been a highlight to me over the past year as you are very talented! I hope the situation with your mum improves soon and i wish you well. #lifethisweek
Happy New Year to you too Deb! I’m glad that video made you chuckle too. I thought it was very clever! Thank you so much for your compliment on my art. It’s been such a joy to me this year. I hope the situation with Mum improves soon too, thank you!
Happy New Year, Min. I wish the same for you for your 2022. Your artwork is beautiful. I hope you get to continue with it this year. I’m sorry about the loss of your friends and your mum’s hospitalization. I hope the situation with your mum improves soon. Congrats to your daughter on her new job! Perhaps you’ll be able to see her in-person more often when she’s in Brisbane. Take care and have a great week!
Thank you Natalie! I hope I can continue with my artwork this year too. I’m being kept pretty busy looking after Mum these days so not much time for the blog but I still manage the occasional bit of art and the occasional bit of time for the blog. Just saw my daughter this morning! She will be moving back to Brisbane in a couple of weeks hopefully. xo
What a huge year it was for you Min and I can feel the stresses from here. There were some great moments and experiences but some that were sad and heart-breaking will always overshadow those.
It sounds like a big challenge for you all in managing your Mum’s health now at home. I cannot even imagine this as “fingers crossed” we have not had to do this for our parents. Sadly when Mum’s health deteriorated, Dad did have to admit he could no longer manage…and as she was very unwell from her nasty cancer, palliative care was the answer. Always a tough call.
You shone with your art. I know the commitment felt heavy for a while but by gosh you have talent there!
Good news about your daughter…yay!
Thank you for linking up for the first Life This Week in 2022 at Denyse Whelan Blogs.
Thank you too for sharing your post with our community and commenting on mine.
See you next week for 2/51 Life This Week,
Hi Denyse, I’m finally getting around to replying to a few comments on my blog that I hadn’t yet managed to reply to! It’s been busy being over Mum’s for a week and then a week at home trying to catch up on everything and on repeat. It’s hoped we can get things in place to start easing off from this routine a bit soon. Fingers crossed. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement with my art. Sadly I haven’t had much time for it lately (or the blog) but I’m managed a couple of little things. xo
So glad to see you continuing your art into the new year. Hope it can continue to be a release to you, a way of expressing yourself and the emotions you are feeling. I can completely relate to the worry over your mum. We are in the same situation with our almost 95-year-old mom. If you ever want to do a blog post together about moms…let me know. Some of what we are feeling, experiencing, handling might help others.
When my day starts out with some worry over my mom, the rest of the day just goes south from there. I can’t seem to function until I get her problem resolved and then I feel like I’ve been through the wringer. It is one of the hardest jobs I have ever had. And I am doing most of my care from 1500 miles away. My brother is the one who is there for the day-to-day.
Hope the perfect situation for your mum’s care presents itself. We have gone back and forth about moving our mom to nursing care but as we came to that conclusion, there were no nursing home openings available. Back to square one. Hope we both get some rest and our moms get some peace in 2022. Keep up the art. It is a magnificent expression of YOU.
Hi Leslie – sorry it’s taken me so long to reply to your comment! A week at Mum’s and then a week trying to catch up on everything at home before returning to Mum’s for another week and on repeat has left me little time for the blog or for my art. I’ve managed to do a couple of little bits of art but not much and the blog has had to take a backseat for a while. I’m sorry to hear you’re in a similar situation with your Mom. It IS a lot of worry isn’t it? I don’t know what it’s like where you are but aged care over here is so confusing to navigate and everything takes so much time! We’re trying to keep Mum at home during these Covid times so we just have to be patient as we gradually (hopefully) get things in place to help us so that we can ease off from having to live over there a week at a time (shared between myself and one other sister). All the very best of luck to you. I hope you find the perfect solution for you, your Mom and your family soon and that you can get some peace of mind.Thanks so much for your support and encouragement of my art! xo