Blogmas Day Twelve: 2021 Reflections

2021 has been a strange year. In some ways it’s been good, and I feel like I’m ending the year in a better place than I started. But this year saw a lot of change in my personal life, too, and it hasn’t been easy at all. I don’t know what 2022 holds, but hopefully it’ll be more steady for me. It would be nice to be able to concentrate on some things without other events impacting them.

We started 2021 in lockdown, working from home once more but at least there was hope. For me, too, it was a change from the earlier lockdown, when my boyfriend and I had to wait a few months before seeing each other. We moved in together in November 2020, so at least for that period we weren’t kept apart again. Plus, hey, moving in meant 2pac the cat became a bigger part of my life, and that’s definitely a good thing.

Once we returned to the office, I knew I couldn’t stay there for much longer. It was getting the point where my job had a huge impact on me, and felt like it was draining me of, well, everything. Keeping an eye out, I started applying for other work, keen for a way out. Then in May, we were told the company would be completely changing our role, and our options were to remain in the new role or take redundancy.

No matter how much you want out of somewhere, being forced out like that is awful, especially knowing you’re not the only one in that position. For me, there was a slight bright side. They made the announcement at almost 9AM on a Monday morning – by the end of the day I’d been notified of three interviews for the following week. I didn’t get any of them, but the positive feedback encouraged me to keep going.

The process was stressful and awful, and by the time we were approaching the last day, I couldn’t wait to get out of there, though I knew I would miss my colleagues. Then, in June, shortly before we were due to finish, my grandmother passed away.

There had been a lot of worries and stress before this, related to Gran – she was bedridden with carers looking after her, and most of the family had not been to see her properly except for waving through the window for a long time. She was dragonised with Covid in January, taken into hospital, but after a few days it was apparent the Covid wasn’t causing her any issues (get those vaccinations, kids – everyone who had contact with her was vaccinated, as she was) but the doctors suggested she be put into a care home rather than returning to her home.

So it was a difficult, emotional month, and the Monday after my final Friday at work was her funeral. I had more interviews, I lined up a few more, I attended my cousin’s wedding which was really lovely, and focused on getting a job and doing freelance work to tide me over. It was, weirdly, a ‘summer break’, but I was so glad to find new employment and start a new job.

My editing work has built up, I’ve read a lot of books (always a plus!) and exceeded by book goal, and I’ve even appeared in a few anthologies, as well as working on putting one together. It’s really been a mixed bag, difficult and uncertain at times, but with a lot of pluses too. I’m not going to miss 2021, but it did give me some good alongside the bad. As for next year, well, there’s a lot I have to look forward to next year, and hopefully it’ll bring more joy and less instability.

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