3 Things Life Taught Me In 2021

Cheers and Happy 2022 to everyone! Is anyone else super excited to see 2021 come to an end? Gracious! I remember last year feeling so relieved that 2020 was gone, but 2021 in many ways was just as much (or even more) of a challenge and kicked my booty in many ways as well. As the countdown started at 11:59 pm on New Year’s Eve, I felt excited and ready to conquer 2022. A fresh year means a fresh start, a new perspective and I am so ready to wash off the old and get this new party started.

They say with life’s biggest challenges come its biggest rewards and in so many ways I know that is true. I am NOT the same person I was before COVID 19 first made headlines 2 years ago. I’ve learned so much about myself (and my family) that I wouldn’t have gotten insight to otherwise. Here are just a few takeaways from 2021.

1-Be Gumby: I admit that I am normally a pretty structured and routine gal, but 2021 ssssttttrrrrreeeeettttccccchhhhhheeeeddddd me out of my comfort zone and turned me into a conquering, red-headed Gumby. There were so many days that all my well-thought-out plans were chewed up (literally) and spit out by two slobbering Australian Shepherds and nothing but chaos was left in its path. Between homeschooling, a surprise dog (on top of the 3 we already had), remodels, and OH! I can’t forget my husband getting laid off from work the week of Thanksgiving, 2021 was full of unexpected challenges. I had learned to bend, flex, pivot, cartwheel, backbend, and flip like an acrobat this year, and it’s made me much more resilient. I have learned so many ways to slice the same pie and make things work regardless of the situation. It has pushed me to think outside the box and we are better off for it.

2- Channel my inner Elsa: In 2021 there were so many days I would sit down to work where multiple interruptions (jackhammers, school questions, explosive doggie vomit) would force me to take a deep breath, turn off the computer, channel my inner Elsa, and sing “Let it Go”. Being a control freak was not popular in 2021 (did you get the memo?) and I was forced to learn how to let things go and empower others to take over the wheel (not an easy concept for me). Micromanaging contractors during our house remodel, hovering over Jack while he was at-home learning- none of this was productive or healthy. I became okay with mistakes and teachable moments. I became okay with not making others’ successes and failures my own. Jack learned to be completely accountable to his schooling and owned his progress soup to nuts. I learned to stand back and be okay with a messy house with drywall dust (EVERYWHERE!). I am still a work in progress, but sometimes you just have to walk away, pop in your AirPods, and sing out loud to your hearts content.

3- It’s not just a dream: As I’m getting older (ugh), I’m definitely starting to ask some hard questions about what my career goals are long term. I love what I do, but is this something that is sustainable for me in my 50’s? 60’s? 70’s? When Jack finally returned to the classroom in September, I took a couple of weeks to step back and really evaluate where I am and where I want to go. What are my long-term goals now that I am in my late (just had a birthday- EEK!) forties? I think the older we get the more we feel like we can’t dream anymore- that perhaps it’s too late and we just have to accept where we are and make the best of it. I know I was feeling that way. Or is it just me? Well, this year I threw that belief right out the window and realized that I was just making excuses. I have lots ahead of me and I’m not going to just accept where I’m at and not have my own dreams for my future. So! I put out college applications that same week and I’ve started back to college this week. I am pursuing a degree in professional writing since it overlaps so much of what I do in my photography business but also sets me up in the future if I want to write books (which has been a life-long dream for this book nerd). Onward and upward. And the best news? I’m not the oldest person in my classes!

Whatever lessons life taught you in 2021, I pray that each of you are safe, healthy, and happy. Life is such an evolution of change and sometimes we get so stuck on the here and now that we fail to see all the potential of what’s to come. We all have our challenges, and we all have our solutions, inside us. Cheers to a wonderful 2022 for each of you. May we all continue to make progress, take steps, love, and learn. It’s what life is all about, after all. Happy 2022!

Follow Us