2021 in Review

I wrote about the major events that stuck out to me in my Good Riddance, 2021 post; this is a closer look at 2021 from my daily notes. 



After spending New Year's Eve with our friends, I wrote this on New Year's Day: "No resolutions from anyone, other than to survive. Agreement that 2020 was not the worst year, for none of us. Also agreement that not much will change for 2021 until the end of the year, when people are vaccinated. A new strain could of course change all that." LOL. Sigh.


We were on month 5 of living at the ranch, and my husband spent a good part of January at doctor's appointments, while I stayed at the ranch and worked. His motor-neuron disease was progressing faster than we thought it would, and it became clear that living as remotely as we were was not sustainable for us in the long run. A trip to the pharmacy was over 2 hours one way, and the closest hospital was equally far. With heavy hearts we decided that we needed to move back to "town" and started looking for a place in ... Merritt. {Sigh.}


But it wasn't all bad; I knitted a lot and started my first brioche project - the Cinnabar Shawl - and it's one of my favourites.


There was also an 8-hour power outage at the ranch, which was sort of crazy and cool. It was -20C outside and of course it was at night. It was pitch black, just unreal. No light pollution, only a million stars and the milky way was so clearly visible, I'll never forget that. It was a fresh night but we had extra blankets and cuddled up, and the power came on again before any waterlines froze.



February was dedicated to look for a place to buy in Merritt, and it was a shit show. Prices had exploded since we sold our house just 6 months prior and kept going up and up. Reading through my notes and thinking back to all the places we looked at and put in offers gives me retroactive anxiety. My husband was set on buying a place but I wanted to rent. I did not want to commit to Merritt in a way we had before, especially not with buying a place in a seller's market. I could see the point in not wanting to "pay someone else's mortgage" but I was glad when none of our offers went through and we started looking for a rental. 


Meanwhile, at the ranch, temperatures dipped to -38C and it was amazing. It was nose-hair-freezing cold but so beautiful. The air was so crisp and the snow creaked with every step. One of my favourite memories of our time there.



We lucked out and found a rental place, possibly the only one in Merritt. A cute 500 sqft half duplex with a fenced backyard and a lovely neighbour. We signed a lease for May 1, and I was super happy to only have to commit to Merritt for a year. 


March also brought more specialist appointments for my husband, this time a neurologist visit in Vancouver, and I tagged along. It was the first time I had been to Vancouver since the beginning of the pandemic and I was shocked to see how empty the streets were and how many businesses - especially restaurants - had closed.



We left the ranch and stayed with our friends and our son, waiting for our rental to be ready. Everything we owned fit into a small storage locker, and it reminded me how little one needs. I was perfectly happy and fine with just a bag of clothes and my laptop, working away in fast urban internet. Being a digital nomad has been a dream that will never materialize, but living a minimalistic life is nonetheless possible and I strive to keep my possessions to a minimum.


I knitted a few adorable doll dresses, about 4" tall in size, and while I missed the ranch it made my month considerably brighter.


By the end of the month we had bought some furniture and gathered most kitchen items and were ready to move into our rental home.



We got our first shot of the vaccine in early May, and a few days later my husband got sick with Covid. The rest of the month consisted of quarantine for me, because once he was well again I still had to quarantine for two more weeks to make sure I was not infected. I missed lilac season and was not happy about that.



We got settled back into life in town, and on June 4th my quarantine was over. I did not go anywhere that day. I quite like being at home {and in my backyard}. 


My husband started looking for a part-time job he could still handle with his motor-neuron disease but the prospects were not encouraging. 


I took on a new client and had a busy month working, but carved out as much time as I could for knitting. All in all an uneventful month, until the heat dome hit at the end of the month and the temperatures soared to 47C in Merritt. I was very thankful for air conditioning, even though I usually hate it when cold air blows on me.


We went to Vancouver for an MRI for my husband and it was even more depressing than three months prior, with more restaurants and more stores closed.



The month started with fire and lots of people from Lytton evacuated to Merritt, after the whole village burnt down. Fire was the theme throughout, it felt like it was moving closer from all directions. 


I kept feeling more and more like I really need a vacation {spoiler alert: still haven't taken one as of January 2022}.


July also felt a lot like waiting. Waiting for the heat to let up, waiting for a part time job to become available for my husband, waiting for projects to wrap up, and then some more waiting.


I thought about gratitude a lot and what a meaningful gratitude practise could look like, one where you don't just go through the motions of rattling off indoor plumbing and air conditioning on a hot day. {And I suppose I stopped thinking about it again, because I still haven't changed anything. Ugh.}


Highlight of the month: discovering Stiegl Raspberry Radler. So. Good. 



"When I moved the calendar to August 2 this morning I thought that time really stops for nothing. Yesterday I was still amazed that it's already August, and it just keeps going." Isn't that the truth?


The month was hot and smoky and for a week in the middle of the month we were on evacuation alert for the Lytton fire. We had a 3-day vacation planned for the end of the month but cancelled it due to the wildfires. 

Another month in waiting, this time for things to get better.



September was the month it became clear that my husband would not be able to work anymore at all. He applied for CPP Disability and was approved within a week. We were stunned. Government is usually very slow to move and the only explanation we have is that there must be a list of illnesses that get approved because they are degenerative and there is no chance of getting better. It was a relief to be approved, but at the same time the reality of this disease sunk in deeper.


I celebrated my 8th freelanceversary, 8 years of full-time self employment. Woot!



October 4, the great FB outage of 2021: "Facebook & Co was down for most of the day and everyone lost their mind." I thought it was pretty glorious. Once I realize that this is more than a 15-minute outage I played hooky for most of the day.


It was also the month we watched Squid Games {that now, in January 2021, nobody talks about anymore}.


I was swamped with work {theme?} and realized I need to take better care of myself. I tried to take a nap every afternoon and that was pretty glorious. I also renewed my commitment to hate Halloween, it's just stupid.



November was divided into two - before the flood and after the flood. {I wrote about the flood in this post.}


Before the flood consisted of making yarn wish lists and ordering yarn as a birthday treat for myself, enjoying the time leading up to my 50th birthday, celebrating my birthday with my husband and kids, and - you guessed it - work.


After the flood consisted of being evacuated, waiting for the post office to reopen and the yarn orders to come in, being in shock about what happened, and - you guessed it - work.



The evacuation order was rescinded on December 3, we went back to Merritt, and I was reunited with my yarn stash {priorities!}. The post office opened again and I got my yarn delivery {woot} as well as a Lebkuchen delivery from my mom {woot woot}. Life was quiet and good leading up to the holidays, which came so fast that it felt like we missed a few weeks. Oh wait, we did. 


The whole month I felt like I need this year to be done and over with - but will 2022 really be different? It's like we want time to go by and make way for better times, but in the end it will be how we make it - or not.




Reading through my 2021 notes I realized that I was outraged and pissed off a lot about things that are either none of my business or not my battle. Letting that go would have significantly increased my happiness. Not caring about anything makes for a dull life, but that's not what I mean - even though I have often said that I don't care about anything anymore. But I do. I care deeply about a few things, and that's enough.