Reflection on 2021, Markus Winkler @ Unsplash

Reflecting on 2021

It’s the end of year and the time begs reflection. As I wake up this morning, for once I am not excited for Christmas. The rain forecast should have warned me this was going to be different this year. After all, isn’t it always sunny here? We are home for Christmas, but I guess no where else than home. I think this is what 2021 ended up being, for us and so many people. A year of change, of action, of moments of truth. And also a year of pain, of bumps on the road, of exhaustion of all this. As I try to celebrate the end of 2021, I am ready to leave it behind.

A fearless year

This was my word of the year. And most of the times, I lived truth to it. As before, it was helpful for me to have a guiding word. One that reminded me of who I wanted to be. But also one that forced me to face my fears up-close and personal. The fear of disappointing others, the fear of disapproval, the fear of not being liked. Mostly, the fear of finding out who I was when I am not afraid of all this. Whilst the progress has been great, I am still very far away, I won’t lie. So whilst I will find another word for 2022, fearless is going to have to continue stuck on my vision board.

A year of change

The big goal of the year was the move, and the move went amazing. I thought it might just go ok, but in fact it has gone well above any expectations. Whilst the run up to it was quite tough, leaving London 17 years later, uprooting children and taking a risky path at work, it was all worth it. As people ask me whether I have regrets –  this is where I have none, and it is even where timing was just what it should be. I am no doubt still figuring out a lot of things about life in Lisbon and commuting back and forward, working hybrid, all that stuff. But the massive change that occurred in our family bas brought us immense joy and a sense of fulfilment that I don’t often have.

My vision board

Last year, I  did a vision board for the first time. It was a fun zoom to do with friends with some chilled talk, wine and also some deep inner search. I wanted family in my board, both my core and my enlarged family, and I have definitely expanded the time spent with them immensely by being in Lisbon. And as family problems and difficulties come up through the year, it has no doubt been better to be near than far. I wanted friends, which I greatly missed in my prior years, and whilst I am yet finding a routine in Lisbon (or London when I travel), I am no doubt finding more time for friends. And being there.

I started playing tennis, And I worked on my fitness (even if without too much success). I did not swim as much as I wanted. And I did not do the Camino de Santiago, but we went to Santiago on our journey back from London. I launched a large project to empower women at work and continue to be here on blog and podcast to do the same. And again I poured my heart into the charity. I made memories with the children, lots of them. At the end of the day, I lived very close to my vision.

My goals

A goal revision usually takes a full blog, I know. But I am keeping it short this year, as most of my goals stayed constant. They are mostly related to transcendent needs rather than memetic needs. But I will evaluate them all in light of this new learning. And if you don’t know what I am talking about, go read the book Wanting. It might tell you a lot about why you need what you need.

But back to goals. I have made small progress across all areas, and always feels like not enough in all. A few months back, I asked Hubby B:

‘why can’t I find less things important, it would just be easier!”

That is probably why I progressed through so many areas of my life, with the least progress being on the health and fitness front, and with all of them slightly incomplete, and a marked slowdown in the last few months. The incompleteness does not bother me. After all, I care about living the path of these goals, and the goals are just an expression of direction. But I do care about the inner fights these goals cause, as they all require so much of me.

As a goal for 2022, I am certain I want to have less competing goals.

A hybrid year

Hybrid is the new black they say. And 2021 was just that. Hybrid. Lots of good and lots of not so good. And whilst we end the year locked at home and unable to celebrate Christmas as we have always known, this has still been a good year. Whilst it may not be the best year in history, we will still remember much of it, and so much will shape us for the future. 2021 was life. With all that it has.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

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