Hindsight is 2021

To say 2021 was a year with trials and tribulations is a complete understatement. It has been a hard year, which thankfully we ended with a bit of good news when my daughter fulfilled her biggest wish. It’s a year that left me with a lot of feelings — from utter happiness to dark sadness.


Emotions overwhelmed me on the first day of this year, as I looked back on 2021 and beyond. I have grief to work through. Where I am intensely happy for my daughter, and try to concentrate on the good, I can’t keep my thoughts from traveling to darker places. Can’t keep myself from asking hard questions, things like: was I not good enough?

I can’t go into those thoughts now. I want to, but I still need to find the words. That’s what I keep on telling myself, but maybe I should just sit down and write, even if it comes out a mess. Maybe I need to get the words out to be able to work through the grief.

Leaving 2021 behind

There was a prompt on a magazine on Medium, about what you leave behind in 2021. I wrote a post for that, which you can read here:

The cover of an agenda showing the dates 2021–2022. A black pen lies on the book.

The Things I Leave Behind in 2021

Leaving things behind means you also take some with you

The thought struck me last night: my 2021 started in November 2020.

I was in a contemplative mood as I looked back on all that happened in the past year. It’s a lot.

Read on…

There is so much I wanted to leave in 2021, but after only four days in 2022, I know that’s not possible. Things tend to cling and just come with you, whether or not you want it.

Plans for 2022

For 2021 I had a theme: self-care. Those thoughts were never conscious ones, but I turned out actually applying self-care last year. When things got too difficult, halfway through the year, I started seeing a life coach and cut back on my working hours. I am gradually increasing my hours again, but really pacing myself not to do it too quickly.

2022 Introduction page in my bullet journal

Just like the difficulties surrounding Master T and my son’s health, the theme of self-care will also carry over into 2022.

But, I am adding something else. Remember I told you I was starting on a bullet journal? Well, it’s already in full use, and my introductory page for this year shows my intention for 2022.

Not a theme.

Not a goal.

An intention. This intention came about after I heard something on the radio. Apparently there were tweets going around that you should look at the number 1 hit on the day you turned 18, and then that becomes your theme for 2022. I was intrigued, so I checked. On my 18th birthday, the number 1 hit in South Africa was One Night In Bangkok by Murray Head. I love the song, but it left me cold for a theme. It was the number 1 hit in the Netherlands in February 1985 that instantly had me nodding my head: Shout by Tears for Fears.

It won’t surprise you that my circumstances many times make me want to scream in frustration (I sometimes do, as well as cry).

Shout seems an appropriate intention, as I need to keep on being mindful of self-care, and sometimes I need to shout the reminder to the people close to me, but I mostly need to shout it at myself, as I tend to forget!

Creative year

I have only one goal this year: to take every Sunday afternoon off. I sit at my computer… well, always. I work at this desk, then switch laptops and carry on with reading and writing and answering emails and that can sometimes go on until an hour before bedtime. I think I sit at my desk on average between 12-14 hours a day.

Indeed, not good!

When I started on my bullet journal, I decided to take it week by week. I don’t want to create the weeks for the entire year, but do it as I go along. This means I need an afternoon per week to create the next week, and since the week officially starts on Monday, it means Sundays will be my day off. It’s going to be a creative year with the bullet journal, deciding on monthly themes (my theme for January is snowmen!), and then sitting down to create different designs for the week itself. And sometimes, like last week and this week, I am at my daughters for all of Wednesday afternoon, and together we color and talk and drink coffee and just enjoy each other’s company and the creative vibes!

Other plans?

Other things I want to do this year, but have already been doing in the past months are:

Happy New Year!

Let me take this opportunity to wish all of you a wonderful 2022, a year filled with love, laughter, peace and good health! Be good to each other!

© Rebel’s Notes

Wicked Wednesday

17 thoughts on “Hindsight is 2021

  1. I still can’t quite believe the year you have had Marie and I am in awe of the way you have coped. I always prefer the idea of intentions and see that shout would fit well with your self care. I sometimes think that you don’t shout enough and tend to absorb things that you need to push back at others, but having the intention is a great start. I love your journal. I can never do the artistic thing in mine so it’s always boring writing. All the best for moving forward into a new year. Here’s to you xx

    1. I am glad 2021 is behind us, and I hope this year will be a better one, especially health-wise. And you are right, I don’t shout enough, which is why I wanted to make that my intention for this year.
      Don’t you “doodle” in your journal? 😉 xox

  2. Up early on a Saturday morning desperately trying to catch-up with my on-line thingys … answering members emails, answering new enquiries (just the “sensible” ones lol !!!) … and reading back thru your past week’s posts that I’ve missed.
    Your news and views always give me motivation and lovely warm feelings to start my weekend.
    Wishing you both, and all your family, best best wishes for the New Year and your hopes and plans for 2022.
    And yes, I love “Shout” too … such a wonderful song to sing-a-long too … and to turn those words into challenge and inspiration. AND … I love your drawing for the introduction page. Makes me smile … even more !!!
    Big kisses from here.
    Xxx – K

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment, K. I love that you use your early Saturday mornings to catch up. Wishing you all the best for 2022 too, may it be a year filled with love, happiness and peace xox

  3. Love u just have one goal… I always think it is so difficult to have lots – . I am not sure what my goal is – but there is something that niggles me every morning – and i cant put my finger on it – u know that feeling? Well if i could work out exactly what that is i would maybe turn it into a goal to stop the niggling, lol
    May xx wishing u wishes in 2022

    1. I hope you find that thing niggling you! Wishing you everything beautiful for 2022, my friend xox

  4. I share Brigit’s thoughts about the bullet journal. I am not artistic enough for mine to work. I do love yours though. You are such a hard worker and get so much packed into a day!

    1. Thank you, Gemmi. My friend said the same, that she’s not artistic enough, and then she was gifted a ‘Creative Journal’ where everything was drawn in already and she can color it. Quite a nice thing 🙂

  5. May all these good and creative wishes come true.
    Especially self-care.
    Happy New Year to you Marie.

  6. I look forward to seeing what 2022 brings you Marie, but above anything, I hope it brings some peace, harmony and circles you with love!
    Best wishes!

  7. I’m not arty for a bullet journal. I’ve seen examples and they look so interesting.

    “Shout” is a great song.

    Shout, shout let it all out – finding your voice in speech as well as the written word is a great way to take care of yourself?

    Swirly 🌻

  8. I tried keeping a bullet journal once…but I am not very artistic. Plus, I’m a perfectionist, so I’d keep starting over and basically drive myself crazy wasting time. YOURS, however, is adorable! You have artistic skill!

    One Sweet Day (Mariah Carey/Boys to Men) was the #1 song on my 18th birthday. Like you, I’m not sure this is a good choice for a theme, but…maybe? My theme is a bit more boring: Consistency, Communication, and Connection.

    1. I am enjoying the creative moments with the journal, and I love keeping lists, so this taps into that ‘kink’ of that. And I can create my calendar exactly as I want. I love all the ideas on Pinterest. I am blessed with an artistic side, so there’s that.

      I actually like your theme for 2022! It’s well thought out.

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