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A Look Back At 2021 – What I Accomplished, Set Aside, or Changed

And I thought 2020 was bad? It turns out that two years of a global pandemic is worse than one year. Who would have thunk it? 2020 wore me down, and 2021 nearly wore me out. As I sit here in my bed and type this up, I am trying to muster any kind of energy to make the last few days of the year happen. I'm glad we made it to end, though.

Let's look back at this year…

January started off fine with my birthday, lots of Peloton riding, including my 100th ride, snow, cold, and, oh yeah, an insurrection. The words “January 6th” will live in infamy until the end of time. But we got a new president so it wasn't all bad.

February was cold and we spent a lot of time indoors. My kids were still schooling-from-home, but my oldest made macarons, and they both made the best of things.

March was a continuation of February with lots of cold days, lots of Peloton riding, a birthday for my oldest, time spent outside once it was warm, sourdough bread made by my husband (he doesn't do that anymore because he's gluten-free now), and my first covid vaccine shot!

April meant I got my second shot, which felt great to be done with. We had Easter and Spring Break at home. I finished a knit and started a new one. My kids went back to in-person school and everything started blooming again. Softball season started and we got some new furniture. I did Pelofondo! I rode 50 miles in one weekend. It was hard but I'm glad I did it!

May was starting to feel a little more normal. The kids had outdoor band concerts and got into the swing of being back at school. We got our house insulated and had to be at a hotel for the night. Mother's Day was a chill affair at home. My husband's garden started growing things from last year. Lol. I attended a ton of softball games and my oldest daughter got her first covid vaccine dose!

June meant POOL and the end of school! School went all the way to the end of the month and by then I WAS SO DONE. The pool opened and we got back to going regularly. I kept going with Peloton and took another FTP test. My oldest daughter graduated from middle school! We had a bear sighting and softball finally ended.

July was the best month. We went to the pool a lot. We traveled to see my parents in South Carolina. It was the first time we had gotten on a plane since our trip to Jamaica in Feb 2020. We went to the beach almost every day, ate great food, and lived through a hurricane. I got out my hoops and started hooping again. Then we had a family reunion, which was a blast. I changed my hairstyle and finished writing AN UNEXPECTED DEBT.

August was a lot of fun too. We went on vacation to Cape May and loved it so much that we decided to buy a house down there (more to come on that later). There was a lot of Band Camp for my oldest daughter who is now in high school. Carysa Locke and I worked on publishing SUMMON THE STARS. I got new biking shoes. And I started playing around with more reels on Instagram.

September was back to school. And man, things got BUSY. My kids had a million things going on from band to field hockey to social engagements. I started recording chapters of CRASH LAND ON KURAI for Instagram. And looking back on this month, all I remember is how many times I got in the car to carpool and take kids places. It's a blur.

October was more of the same. Field hockey, band, and lots and lots of carpooling. There was an in-town band competition we volunteered at and Halloween. I rescued a sweet dog who was roaming the streets by herself and got her back to her owner. I started concentrating on getting my books all back in paperback. And then the ear and head congestion started. It's been on and off since then. BUT THERE WAS HAMILTON!! So yeah, that was an awesome thing. I'm so glad we got to do that finally.

November was when things started to get rough for me. I started feeling burnt out in mid-October, but November was the nail in the coffin. It started getting colder and the days got shorter. BUT, we started the process of buying that house! Yes, at the beginning of November we went down to Cape May and looked at houses, including the one we are buying. We close the first week of January, so I'm sure that will be in an upcoming Sunday Update. It has been added stress on top of writing and editing, but it'll be awesome once we get it. We managed to have Thanksgiving with family, which was unexpected and nice. I also got my Tesla Model Y!! And I love it.

December has been a blur, mainly because I'm so burnt out. All I want to do is sleep. I know, I know. I think it means I may be depressed some, but who isn't? We got through to the holidays and because of omicron, we had to cancel all of our plans because covid and the pandemic suck big donkey balls. I'm as tired of it as you are, trust me.

I'm really hoping next year goes better. REALLY.

Favorite Part of This Year

Going to Cape May in August with our family and realizing we loved it down there.

Least Favorite Part of This Year

More of the pandemic and the way it has impacted my mental health.

Let’s look back at my goals from the year…

2021: The Year I Develop My Systems

Well, I certainly got better at systematizing my life this year. I have days on which I do things now that I didn't have before. Things like backing up my computer, backing up my mailing lists, posting to social media, charging my car, getting Lulu's nails trimmed, etc etc are all scheduled in my to-do list app, and I get them done. I got better this year about not dropping the ball on important things. I stayed on top of my fitness because I systematized it too. All in all, my systems kept me from becoming a total mess this year, and I'm grateful for that.

Writing and Publishing Goals

I will write and publish the first 2 books in The Amagi Series. Technically, yes, I did this. I published the prequel novella in SUMMON THE STARS and the first novel of the series, AN UNEXPECTED DEBT, in November.

I will write a novella for an anthology. I started a new series called The Kimura Sisters Series and that first novella is now in Pets in Space 6! I am writing the second novella for Pets in Space 7!

I will publish Book 4 in the Hikoboshi Series, THE RISE OF SHIROI NAMI. I did this!

I will write Book 5 in the Hikoboshi Series. I did not do this. My writing goals all got pushed around. I'm hoping to write this this spring.

Added Goals

I am re-editing the Nogiku Series. I'm doing this for a new edition this coming February.

I started offering paperbacks again. But this time I'm skipping KDP Print because I know they were stealing from me. I'm only doing IngramSpark.

I made audiobooks of the whole Flyght Series. I used Amazon's Polly AI voices to make audiobooks of the whole Flyght Series. They are for sale on my website.

Business Goals

I will continue to advertise my free books every month. I did this and I added in some Amazon Ads as well.

I will continue to publish my ebooks as widely as possible. Still publishing wide!

I will spend more time on Instagram. I have spent lots of time on Instagram and I love it. It's definitely where I am strongest with my social media game.

Added Goals

I started Amazon Ads again. I joined Bryan Cohen's ad school and learned more about these. I created ads for my first-books and they have been going since July.

Blogging Goals

I will continue to update my blog on a regular basis. I did well with this again in 2020!

I will continue to update my pen name's website as well. I decided to abandon my pen name about halfway through 2021. I'm going to concentrate on writing space opera romance on my main name from now on. This means I stopped the pen name's newsletter and now I just make sure the site it up and running. I will not be writing cozy mysteries again.

Creativity Goals

I will read 20 books and listen to 20 audiobooks. I did not do this, and I can't even give you a good reason why. I was just burned out and couldn't.

I will watch more TV and movies. I did watch more TV and movies, and I'm happy about that.

I will knit more. Nope. I knit the same amount I always do.

Bring all my Pinterest recipes into Paprika. Nope. Though I am being good about bringing recipes into Paprika when I find them.

Personal Fitness Goals

I will bike 1800 miles on Peloton. My stretch goal was 2000 miles. I rode over 2600 miles! So I beat this one by a lot.

I will complete Power Zone Training and 2 Power Zone Challenges. I did 4 Power Zone Pack Challenges!

I will complete the Crush Your Core Training on Peloton. Nope. I hate core. Lol. And now I only do it twice per week.

I will complete the Tabata with Robin Training on Peloton. Nope. I've decided that I am an endurance athlete, not a sprinter. Tabata is not for me.

I will drop another 10 lbs. I did not do this. I have stayed right around 35-40lbs lost and not lost any more. But I have gained a lot of muscle this year!

I will hit 300 rides. I hit over 500. I'm at 514 now.

I will continue with the Low Carb life. I am still mostly low carb and I am still using Intermittent Fasting to maintain my weight loss. I eat from 12 or 1PM to 7PM and that's about it.

I will get a new GP this year. I needed a new general practitioner/doctor and that turned out to be the hardest goal that I still have not accomplished. Every doctor around here isn't taking new patients and many are going back to tele-medicine because of the continuing pandemic. I'm hoping for better in 2022.

And That’s It For The Year!

Tomorrow, I’ll be back with my goals post for 2022! I hope you all have a safe, healthy, and happy new year!

S. J. Pajonas