My Year in Review - 2021
Hi there, and welcome back to the blog.
Before I begin writing about my year in review, I would like to welcome you all to the blog. Whether this is your first time here or you are a regular visitor, I want you to know that I always appreciate you taking the time to come and read this week’s blog post.
Let’s just dive straight in, shall we? Because 2021…Wow.
The year started for myself and the entire country on a sour note as COVID-19 cases rose to record levels throughout January as everyone had been visiting friends and family throughout the festive period. It seemed like a really bleak time for everyone, even though we all knew that just on the horizon were the vaccines that were just beginning to be approved. However, this information didn’t stop those concerned from feeling down throughout the beginning of the year.
Personally, I had just started as a volunteer social media advisor for a rare diseases charity, HHT Ireland, in early January. I was beginning to feel useful for the first time since leaving college in the middle of 2020, which was a very positive thing for me.
It was a great organisation to be involved with, and I enjoyed every second until I departed in December 2021. I properly loved it there, but life goes on, and exciting things are on the horizon for 2022 and beyond.
Back to 2021, and I spent yet another birthday in lockdown as we as a country spent the majority of early 2021 in constant lockdown, many of the things we loved shut down, many of the places we would typically be now closed – either temporarily or permanently. It was a really tough time for many people, and it set about a lot of mental fatigue for a lot of people as it was challenging to stay on the right side of sane!
It was getting back to normal for many of us by the summertime as a large majority had received at least one vaccination. The country was allowed to open up once again, this time with a lot more optimism of staying open and never having to go back into the total lockdown that we experienced from the back end of last year.
I enjoyed getting to do things that I normally would have done, and I would say within the first month, I got back to doing things that I’d spent lockdown dreaming about doing again. I’d been to the pub within the first couple of weeks of reopening (I knew it would be jam-packed the first week, so I waited.) Then I spent a night in a hotel on a kind of mini-holiday in June, which was fantastic. I stayed at the Midlands Park Hotel in Portlaoise, had a lovely time, and ate far too much, but that happens when you wind up at their amazing steakhouse. Last but not least I wanted to go to the cinema…and to be honest, I would have been happy to watch anything, but I was excited to watch the latest instalment in the Fast and Furious saga. The popcorn and coke were a nice treat and something I couldn’t have since the beginning of 2020, but the movie was awful, just wholly terrible. I’d recommend giving it a miss if you haven’t watched it yet, and if you have, maybe some kind of memory eraser tool…I don’t know? (At one point, they flew a car in space wearing only hazmat suits, and no one died. This franchise has to be parodying itself at this point!)
Again this is a year in review, not a movie review so let’s move on.
Towards the end of the year, it got really interesting for me. I finished my first ever book, Wednesday’s Child, and chose the original release date of October 25th 2021, to mark six years since the first time I launched my old blog post before I even started college at the University of Limerick.
The launch of the book took me by complete surprise with how much recognition it received online and as well as in offline conversations I had with others. I never expected it in the slightest and thought all the attention the book received would disappear after about a week of its release back in October of this year, but that hasn’t been the case at all. I am still doing promotions for the book in as many places as possible, even now, two months later, which has completely taken me by surprise.
A lot of the post-book release things that I have done have also come as a surprise to me, as I never expected to be invited to interviews for my book by friends from college, which happened almost immediately. I didn’t expect to receive another invitation from a college friend to appear as a panellist on a webinar for creating an accessible and inclusive environment in our pre-schools to encourage a more inclusive society in the future, which I did for TeachKloud. I would have to say some of the things I’ve done since the release of Wednesday’s Child have been experiences that I was terrified of and usually what I would have stayed away from, but thought to myself what the point of writing a book about a more inclusive society would be if I was not willing to try to make the change happen in the real world, by talking about the experiences I’ve had where accessibility and inclusion were not up to the standards that should be expected of society in this day and age.
It certainly was quite the year, but achieving a major life goal in there was worth it, and I’m so grateful to everyone for all the support, particularly in the final quarter of the year since the announcement of the new book. It has been my life goal to release a book, and I’m very grateful for all the support around it – from those who purchased the eBook upon release in October 2021 to those who asked about the paperback version and bought it when it was released in late November. I also want to express my thanks to those local businesses who were kind enough to stock my book and make it available for purchase in the locality so more people could have access to it. I appreciate all of your kindness so much.
Finally, I would like to express my thanks to you for taking the time to read this post. Whether this is your first time here or you have been here since the first post was published in July of this year. I really appreciate you all.
2021 was definitely a year of major ups and downs, but I wouldn’t change it. So here’s to an even better 2022!
Until next time,