Wow-what a year 2021 turned out to be. It started off feeling like we were getting on top of Covid and living a more normal life again here in Melbourne after our long 2020 lockdown ended towards the end of that year. Of course, things never stay the same and viruses don’t care how I feel and that I would rather the pandemic was over… and after a couple of shorter lockdowns by mid-year and mid-winter we were back in full-on, lockdown again which lasted through til the end of October.
I’ve on the whole been quite philosophical about staying home (well it’s my natural habitat) and not being overly social (introverts delight) but by sometime in early September when I realised that this lockdown was not going to end until we were mostly vaccinated. As the Delta strain exploded cases again and the vaccine rollout (a strollout as they called it) was super slow and the stress of trying to find vaccine appointments for my kids completely did my head in, I started to really experience low energy and pandemic fatigue. I consider myself to be a very resilient person having overcome some early childhood traumas and I’m normally someone who has masses of ideas and has heaps of energy (mental energy that is), so not having the energy to think was really difficult for me to find any positives in the situation. My husband and I would joke about how our bedtime was getting earlier and earlier. The time we may have gone out in the past (pre-covid) was now the time we went to bed. We were feeling just so tired, without the energy to binge any more Netflix past 8.30pm. We’re still not going to be much later than that now 😂.
Hitting the wall and having limited bandwidth to learn and think about anything new, meant that the months of September and October were a bit of a right-off for me. I realised I just had to get through and not ask myself to do more than the minimum during this time. I stopped beating myself up for the covid kilos I’ve gained over the past 2 years. There is no point in adding more stress into my life at this point.
Fortunately, after lockdown 6 ended my husband and I managed to take a short mini-vacation away for a few nights in North-Eastern Victoria – the High Country – as it’s called which really helped to refresh and start to recharge my batteries. In fact, it was the very first holiday I’ve ever had where I didn’t open my computer or look at my emails (not even on my phone) for the entire time I was away😱. Back in August 2020 I brought on a beautiful marketing assistant Zette, who managed my inbox so that I could take the time off without worrying. I knew if there was anything urgent I’d be contacted. This is the first time in the 17 years I’ve been running my business that I haven’t worked at all during my time off 🙃. Knowing I have a team on board now who are here to help, the lovely Kate (my chief technical officer) and Davie (who is her sidekick) who can be there to help people with their tech issues so I can have some time away and not worry about someone not being able to login or having some other sort of issue has changed my life for the better.
Celebrating My 2021 Successes
Even though it’s been a hard year, I want to celebrate my successes. This year…
- Recorded around 100 Facebook Live videos answering your questions – that equals around 300 questions you’ve asked me!
- Wrote around 175 blog posts
- Became VP Education AICI Australia Chapter (Association of Image Consultants International)
- Co-hosted a virtual conference (we turned it from in-person to virtual) for the AICI Australia Chapter
- Learned how to make Instagram Reels that didn’t require me to dance (so not me) or point at words (also not me)
- Created a new Outfit Masterclass that takes a whole new way of looking at putting together outfits that suit your personality
- Grew out all the blonde to be totally all my own grey hair (yes I consider growing out my grey to be a success😉) and got a funky new haircut that managed to last looking decent without haircuts for 5 months
- Read and listened to a heap of books and podcasts that I found interesting and uplifting
- Was interviewed on multiple podcasts
- Did countless (well I haven’t counted them) personal colour analysis‘ both online and in-person – I so love helping people discover their colours
- Finally went to the doctor and discovered that some of the lumps on my face are cancer (yes also a success – to do it rather than just think about it) and fortunately the more mild version of cancer
- Taught and mentored aspiring colour and image consultants as they turn their passion for colour and style into businesses
- Became a best-selling author of a chapter in the book Innovation Secrets all about how to take your personal values and use them in your style (totally Aligned – word of the year)!
- Spent time with beautiful amazing clients helping them express their style and build the wardrobes that work for them and their lives.
What have I learned (or just been reminded about) in 2021? It’s been a reminder as I watch the death toll around the world from a virus kill around 5.32 million people, that there are no guarantees in life, so wear your good clothes and use your best china. Enjoy what you have and be grateful for what is good in your life. Love the people around you and small kind actions make a huge difference in people’s lives.
Every day is a special occasion. Remember that small politenesses (like wearing a mask in public over your nose and mouth) can be the difference between life and death or long-term chronic illness and a long and happy life for someone else (as well as yourself) and these small actions make a huge difference.
Be kind to yourself, take steps to improve your mental and physical health every day. You only get one turn with the body you have on this earth, so treat yourself as you’d like to treat someone you love who matters to you.]
Taking the time to align (that was my word of the year) what matters to me and how I want to move forward in my life post-pandemic (whenever that comes … cos it’s not coming for a while) is something I’ve spent time thinking about – as I never want to be as ‘busy’ as I was pre-pandemic. I’m about to take lots of time over Christmas and New Year to really recharge so I have heaps of energy for what 2022 throws at me!
How’s 2021 panned out for you? What have you got to celebrate this past year?