2021 Recap

It’s always so interesting for me to look back on these – I just read my time capsule from last year. 2021 felt like it flew by. We all had high hopes of 2021 being the new “Roaring 20’s” with the introduction of covid vaccines, but here we are 2 variants later, plenty of people sick after this Christmas. I don’t intend to dwell on the pandemic, but it’s so wild to look ahead and behind on this weird time in history.

Positives — We were actually able to have a wedding reception this year, 1 year after our ceremony almost to the day. And 10 years since we met and started dating! Once again, we let God lead the way with planning the party. And what a party it was! We had the venue booked for May 2020, but last-minute had to postpone the reception for June 2021, not knowing what the year would bring or if it would happen. It was only weeks before June that vaccines started rolling out for people under 60yo I believe and the governor had only just removed the restrictions for large gatherings. I think it was at 150 or 200 at the time, which was a problem since we originally sent Save the Dates and Save A New Dates to 250 people for dinner… And then somehow right on time, we got the green light to invite our full original guest list! It was a rush to print off RSVPs and finalize flowers, etc but everything was perfect! Except for the 100 degree temps that day! But we had the most fun ever with all our family and friends at last! It was the first big event of summer since restrictions opened up and most people were feeling ready to mingle after freshly getting their second shot and covid cases low. We even got a beautiful rainbow (and only a small rain shower for good luck). Nobody got sick and we danced the night away until 2:30 am at Vannelli’s (which is no longer there because of rent increases unfortunately). It’s wild to think this party was just 6 short months ago. Feels like ages…

Work is also going really well for us both! I just passed my appraiser 4 hour certification test and will be officially certified! Joe has been really expanding his “side” business (for better or for worse – mostly really good, but learned a couple tough lessons too) and we have the house roommate-free to ourselves and enjoy walking around scantilly clad. It feels like our relationship is taking on a newfound companionship that we didn’t have before. It feels really nice. They say the first year of marriage is the hardest, and I believe that – setting up a new dynamic. You would think it would be no different, and in a lot of ways it’s not. But in a way it is. And now we are deep into the kitchen remodel – my dream project! I can’t even believe it’s happening. The timing was pretty perfect – it’s during the slower months of winter and our basement is open to act as our temporary kitchen/living room.


These last 2 years seemed to have aged everyone. But with age comes wisdom. I’m done living under this waiting-for-tomorrow attitude the pandemic seems to have cast over us all. I’m choosing to live in victory today, even amidst the uncertainty and rapidly changing everything. It kind of feels like I’m bringing on a big jinx by saying this – what fresh hell awaits us in 2022? But you can’t get the years back you waste waiting for kinder circumstances. We know this now after 2020, don’t we? So I’ve chosen “Victory” as my word for 2022. I know it won’t all be easy, but these last couple years have strengthened me in needed ways, and I think it’s time we experience some mountaintop moments after all these valleys, don’t you?

My word from last year was “Stable” and wow was that spot on! Sometimes you need to find the anchor within yourself. This is the year I started medication for anxiety. And it’s been the single best thing I’ve done for myself as an adult. Those who don’t know me well see cool, calm and collected on the outside, but those who do know I struggle with anxiety. I have since I was a kid. And while it’s become en vogue to discuss low-grade anxiety (I’m all for opening up mental health discussions!), cronic clinical anxiety disorder is anything but cute. I know I am not alone in this – I’ve had so many conversations with friends and family and strangers who also do battle. I’d always coped for the most part by eating health, exercise, yoga, vitamins, getting good sleep, an awesome therapist named Beth on occasion, and was functioning just fine thank you. Or so I thought. But last year was enough to push me into a place of needing more help. I found myself finally willing to try medication (which for me looks like 50 mg sertraline – aka a small daily dose of zoloft), because those other tactics just weren’t doing enough. I was having heart palpatations that I wasn’t sure were from covid or stress. I didn’t feel that bad, so I kept pressing on while my body was sending physical alarms. Most people wait 7-10 years before seeking help for mental health! Years – years we never get back. Now I know feeling not bad is not the same as feeling good.

I’m in such a good place right now mentally. It’s a subtle but *huge* shift for me, and I do feel so stable and supported. If the house was burning down and I could only grab one thing, it would be my meds. I wish I would have discovered this sooner, because it really is a game changer. I wake up with a song in my head and my default is positive. Before, I would spend so much time and energy every day getting myself into a good headspace. Now it’s just there, like magic. I didn’t realize this is how people get to feel every. day. I want to tell everyone who is on the fence about anxiety meds, it could be what you’re missing. I still do the other things for self-care, but there is no shame in getting some extra help when needed. If I’m on this the rest of my life, I’m totally happy with that. There are really no downsides, and I feel so grateful to have this resource – if it was 60 years ago I would just have to suffer. I have so much more capacity to take on the day now. Before I would get easily overwhelmed with everything. The good, bad, and everything in between. I am just wired as a highly sensitive empath, and while that is a superpower, it can also be debilitating to absorb all the things. I used to try to guard my mental health fiercely, now I can handle the waves a little bit more. I can watch the news (although still don’t intentionally!) without it throwing me into a negative spiral, or take on a kitchen remodel without getting mentally drained before even picking up a hammer. It’s been an answer to prayer and I finally feel like the true version of myself – the cool, calm and collected person without anxiety hijacking my life. So to that I will cheers Victory! Boldly we go into the great unknown of 2022.

Bucket List Review

  • Travel More – Kind of. We didn’t take an extravagent international honeymoon, but we did have the best trip in August. We went to Pennsylvania for our 100 year family reunion with my granparents and got to meet so many extended family members. From there we drove through the eye of hurricane Henry to Cape Cod and then flew from Boston to Colorado for a mountain top wedding. It felt so good to travel after so long.
  • Grow vegetables – ugh, still a nope. I was working 10 hour days all summer, so unfortunately I will be taking this off the list for this year.

2021 Bucket List

  • Finish the kitchen by spring
  • Write more letters and notes of encouragement
  • Get a new car – maybe not this year, but I would like a Hybrid Toyota Hylander 2018 or newer
  • January Yoga with Adriene 30 day challenge (I did it this year and it was great!)

2021 Reading List

  • Make something good today : a memoir by Napier, Erin- I’m currently reading this right now. I don’t know them at all, but I love these DIY books. I feel like I know who they are, even though I’ve never heard their voices. She seems like a creative soul kindred spirit, like Leanne Ford who I’m now a big fan of
  • Pretty little wife : a novel by Kane, Darby – Book Club – I actually didn’t finish this one because it seemed cheesy, but most people enjoyed it and it sounded like a good twist ending. Another murder mystery type.
  • The four winds : a novel by Hannah, Kristin – Book Club – Ok this one I could talk about all day. This one is so good! It has heavy Grapes of Wrath vibes for me, I read that in high school and really loved that book as well. I’d never hear of this author, but apparently she’s kind of a big deal and I can see why. I’ll definitely check out her other work.
  • The wife between us by Hendricks, Greer – Book Club – This one was pretty good actually! Psychological thriller
  • Transcendent kingdom by Gyasi, Yaa – Book Club – This one was a little dark, but interesting. Read more about it before making a decision to read or not.
  • Circe : a novel by Miller, Madeline – Book Club – Definitely took awhile to grow on me, but I ended up loving it! A lot of character development and female empowerment from this runt of the litter in the Greek mythology family.
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Reid, Taylor – Book Club – We read Daisy Jones and the Six last year, and this is by the same author. I definitely liked this one a lot, but not as much as Daisy Jones. That one was written from the perspective of all 7 main characters, and this one was from 2 mainly. Strong Great Gatsby and old Hollywood vibes. Taylor Reid is a very talented writer.

Bravely onward to 2022!

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The post 2022 WORD FOR THE YEAR & READING LIST appeared first on Leah and Joe: Home DIY Projects & Crafts.

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