As I look back at 2021 all I can say is wow! What a journey. It had ups and downs, heartbreak and happiness, and tons of lessons learned. In the beginning of the year, I planned to do my usual New Years’ post, sharing my word of the year. But for some reason, I just never got around to finishing the post. I shared it with my email list, but my word for 2021 was Journey. Looking back it’s easy to see the journey unfold, like the story of a book. Truthfully, for most of 2021, the word I really felt is “struggle”. So join me for the 2021 recap, the journey of one year, chapter by chapter.
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Like most people, for January my focus was health. I began running again and boy did that ever feel like a completely new beginning. Even though I used to run consistently years ago, taking a 5+ year hiatus means you start from scratch. Humbling is the word I’d use. January was also the month for focusing on productivity, and I began selling my printables on Etsy.
But all work and no play isn’t good either so for balance I needed another outlet and started playing Path of Exile (POE). It’s an online game my husband was playing and thoroughly enjoyable and a great way to escape the realities of life. My journey of one year quote is “life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination” taken from the Stormlight Archive books by Brandon Sanderson.
To describe February in one word – funk. I fell into a low during February. Maybe just the toll of the pandemic, but mainly my financial paperwork coming through from the yoga studio. Although I knew it was closed for good, this felt like the last piece of the puzzle to close that chapter of my life. When I get in a funk I tend to shut down and isolate, no shocker that this was no different from regular life in a pandemic, just less social media. This month, after almost a year of worrying about my Parents’ health during covid, they got the vaccine!
I often describe myself as an all-or-nothing kind of person and March definitely shows that. After weeks of training I ran a 5K, then promptly stopped running completely. All, or nothing. My issue is that I’m a starter and not a finisher. Start all the things, finish a few. Lots of ideas, low execution. The first three months of the year were definitely full of self-reflection and internal growth.
After some reflection, I came to the realization that I might be a little ADHD, so I started a planner again to keep myself on track. Looking back, this definitely works and I need to do more of it, plus I love the memory-keeping and journaling aspect.
April was a highlight month because WE GOT THE VACCINE and life started to return to a semblance of “normal”! The vaccine allowed us to enjoy an employee pre-opening day at Disneyland.
Since March of 2020 I’d been teaching yoga classes online, but May saw the beginning of returning to private clients in-person and teaching again at Golds gym. Again though, while life took a step towards “normal” I was fully aware of the realization that my “old schedule” isn’t coming back. Not only was the yoga studio permanently closed but the Tues/Thurs am yoga classes I’d had at the gym for years were replaced with other formats. Instead, I began teaching yoga at night. The highlights of the month were getting a massage, and another castmember trip to Disneyland to see the first viewing of the Avengers campus and going on the Web Slingers ride. So cool to see and ride the attraction Bob worked on from its inception to completion. Low points of the month included my Mom having to start dialysis, my friend Regina being diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer, and a client with breast cancer.
One of the classes I started teaching again at Gold’s was the Tuesday morning cycle class. As it was a while since my last cycling training I attended the Schwinn cycle training. Continuing education is something I have always loved to do. Because, even though I had done two cycling certifications years ago, even if you learn one of two new things you can implement in your classes it’s worth it. Also renewed my CPR that was two months overdue. June was when I started struggling with my work and content schedule. To make things easier I cut my YouTube and blog content to weekly.
While I had some CEU’s for my NASM personal trainer recertification I needed more. So I enrolled in the Idea World Fitness Convention. Which was online this year due to the pandemic. I’ve attended in-person before and honestly, it was just as good. Great info as always. NASM renewal completed! This month was my annual nephrology appointment with Dr. Cha, and I have great results again which you can read in my update. Bob spent two weeks working in Florida, our first time apart since the pandemic started! It was weird but good. This was when we learned that some Disney jobs would be transferred to Florida. Would it be us? We wouldn’t find out for a few weeks so Bob begins a job search.
After many weeks of discussion, the yoga studio in Moorpark re-opened, and I started teaching three classes a week. Looking back, along with my privates, Gold’s classes, Patreon, Zoom and online content I was heading for burnout city. But hindsight is 20-20 right?
This month was a deep dive into more continuing education with IDEA and Yoga Alliance. The highlight of the month was attending a beautiful sound bath with my yogi friend Tami. Super relaxing! Word for the month – Busy!
Bafta Screenings started again! We had our first cinema experience in a long time, at an early screening of Dune and it was fantastic! This month was a month of celebration, Our anniversary, our Yankiversary (becoming US citizens) and Bob took a new position and started working at Argo AI. It definitely feels weird not being a Disney family anymore but he seems happier. Things definitely started changing as Fall approached.
If September was a month of change and celebration, October was a month of reassessment. This month I realized my foot was fully on the gas and I was either gonna hit a wall or I had to back off. I chose the latter and scheduled a week off but it was too little too late. My body took a hit and if I thought life was spiraling out of control it quite literally was this month as my vertigo returned. Back in May when life returned to “normal” I told myself to reassess every quarter. Well, my week off was a reassessment, and one thing kept coming back to me “do what makes you happy”. This month we celebrated 2 years of my Patreon yoga videos, and I realized that I missing creating content. So I dropped my two evening classes at the yoga studio. I wanted more time for ME and MY content.
The first weeks of teaching less were great. But, there was a feeling I couldn’t shake. A feeling of work changes that I knew needed to happen but I was in denial about what I really wanted. And honestly scared to make the commitment. However, all that fear got shoved aside and grief took over.
The Monday before Thanksgiving our beloved dalmatian Pixel passed away. He was at least 12 and had been struggling with health issues but this was out of the blue. For the first time in 20 years, we had no dog. Back into the dark hole I went, and getting up seemed a struggle.
As the journey of 2021 began to come to a close I withdrew even more and went inwards for a deeper reassessment of life. You see, the final chapter in the 2021 journey of one year was always going to be mid-December and my 50th Birthday. While exhausting, the grief of losing Pixel had provided some much-needed clarity. The realization that I wasn’t happy, and hadn’t been for a while. Ironically in my office, I have a canvas that says “Do what you love, love what you do”. Enter the montage phase of this story where the hero, after getting knocked down, realizes the time is now. Either stay down or get the hell up!
Slowly I gathered myself up and made some changes. We began walking together, then introduced some running. I decided to quit ALL my in-person classes and focus on my clients, Patreon, and my website/YouTube. Speaking of which, we just hit 4000 subscribers this month! Ending the year on a high note!
Last year I posted the books I read during the year and I love to look back at that list so I decided to include it in my end-of-year recap. Honestly in 2021 reading was a habit that I seemed to slip out of. Which is kind of ironic considering the story-like aspect the year felt it had for me. As the struggle-bus accelerated in Summer, I laid down my kindle and just never picked it back up. Thankfully, this is a habit easily restored and my kindle is now fully charged and I’m reading again. Albeit sporadically. In the journey of one year I read the following books:
- Rhythm of war – Brandon Sanderson
- Permission to feel – Marc Brackett
- The Practice: Shipping Creative Work – Seth Godin
- Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya sisterhood – Rebecca Wells
- 10 minute declutter – SJ Scott & Barrie Davenport
- The productive person action guide – Chandler Bolt & James Roper
- Miss Minimalist – Francine Jay (currently reading)
Lessons from 2021 – the journey of one year
As the journey of one year comes to a close, I’m left with the realization that 2021, like most journeys, has come full circle. The three major life lessons learned during the year include:
- To trust in myself. That I inherently know what I need but fear stops me from pursuing it.
- It’s ok to change my mind. Priorities change as we grow.
- Life comes in seasons. Forget balance, and go with the flow.
So onto 2022. My schedule is more open, my goals are plentiful and my passion is rekindled. What will the year hold? Who knows. All I know is… I am ready for the new journey!
- If you chose a word for 2021 did things go as you expected?
- Did you experience any big celebrations or setbacks in 2021?
- What major life lessons have you learned during this year?