Looking Back to Move Forward in 2021


Last year was definitely a year unlike any other. Throughout the world it was a year of unexpected changes, restrictions, uncertainty, sadness for many, adjusting and adapting and one of concern for our own and others health and safety.

At the start of each year I select a LIGHTHOUSE WORD to guide me through the year. My word for 2020 was STRENGTH. When I chose this word I didn’t realise how relevant it was.

For me the start of a new year is an opportunity to look back on the previous year and reflect on all aspects of my life – personal, social, family, work, activities. I think about what happened, my feelings and actions taken or not taken as well as my accomplishments.

Looking back at last year has been far more difficult than in previous years. Reflecting on 2020 has involved more emotion and energy than in other years. I decided to look at the year from the perspective of What Lessons did I Take Away from all that was 2020 and need to remember for 2021.


There is a lot of talk about gratitude. Being grateful doesn’t mean that you don’t have your ups and downs in life. It relates to our expectations and not taking everything for granted. It is not just about the big happenings in our lives. Sometimes the smallest things can make such a big difference. For me it is having a mindset that thinks about what I have and not what I don’t have. Having gratitude and trying to find some positives doesn’t mean that every day is a party. It relates to creating a focus on what I have and can control.

It is being thankful and there was much to be thankful for in 2020. I was thankful for:-

  • living in Canberra Australia.
  • being able to travel to Bathurst regularly to support my 86 year old mother and sister. If travel restrictions had been imposed I was resolved to relocating to Bathurst for as long as was needed. This was my number 1 focus throughout the year.
  • developing a mindset that any restrictions were for my safety. I needed to stay safe and well so that I could be there for my mum and sister and not putting anyone else in danger.
  • my husband, family and friends who were there to talk to throughout the year.
  • having my garden to refresh my soul when I needed it.
  • not being in complete lockdown.

I am a real people person and get my energy from being with others. I found my energy drained very quickly when  my usual face to face interactions were no longer happening. I found myself really enjoying going to the local supermarket for supplies because I got to see and interact at a distance with other people. It was surprising how many people made eye contact and wanted to have a chat. I thoroughly enjoyed my many stranger conversations in the car park. Sometimes they were the highlight of my day.  Gardening  was also an opportunity to meet and talk with new people as they walked by. Also fell in love with zoom for both work and personal interactions. This meant new & sometimes challenging learning for me.

Being at home all the time and travelling frequently to Bathurst seemed to throw my usual routines out the window. I felt like I was floundering and just drifting through my days. This felt chaotic and unsettling and sometimes resulted in not much happening  some days. This did not do anything for my mindset. This made me realise how much more productive I am when I had routine and structure in my life. It was up to me to create a new routine and structure. Sometimes you don’t know how important something is  until it is no longer there.

The way we think and use words can be very powerful. I found myself becoming very despondent with the way COVID news was always being phrased in the negative. I endeavoured to phrase my own thoughts and words in a positive way.

I have always believed that to support others you needed to take care of yourself. I still believe this but sometimes you can loose sight of your own well being when you are so focused on how others are managing. This is what happened with me. During the latter part of the year I realised I had lost my relationship with myself. I felt like an empty shell and came to a complete stop.  My physical and emotional energy needed to be recharged. After 2 weeks on the lounge I realised that I had stopped doing many things that kept my batteries charged. I had lost my JOY bubble. Over the course of the year I had stopped gardening, daily journal writing, exercising and my art play – all activities that kept my motor running.  This was a powerful reminder to take care of ME. It is important to check in on yourself each day to monitor how you are emotionally, physically and spiritually.

Taking some action one step at a time is better than standing still no matter how small the step you take.

Laughing can be a great release for tension. There are always days when everything feels difficult and sometimes impossible. I found my nightly dose of ‘Spicks & Specks’ reruns always made me laugh and adjusted any tightness that was building up in my body.

I take these quotes with me into 2021.

“Today I will be ME-RESPONSIBLE. The act of being responsible to ME, for the benefit of my health,
                                                                               happiness and well being.”                                                                                                      

“Every day can be a day of opportunities. It’s all about the mindset you are in and the choices you choose
or not choose to make.”









Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: