2021 – Looking back at the year that was

Questions and Answers

I love a good Q &A session – do you?

Last year I used this great format for an end of year wrap-up post, which I found on Jo’s blog, (she calls it her closing ceremony – thanks again Jo). I’ve now made this my preferred way to sum up the year that was – looking in the rear-view mirror so to speak!

I’ve enjoyed answering these questions and feel it’s a great way to help move forward into 2022 – which has to be better than 2021 doesn’t it?

I know I’ve already shared my final #WOTY BOLD post, and as my 2022 WOTY reveal is scheduled for Monday, I thought I’d better sum up the year that was before this year gets going.

So here we go – a look back at 2021

Welcome 2021
Welcome 2021 – I had high hopes!

What did you do that you’ve never done before?

I did quite a few new things during 2021 – I’m listing just 10 of them!

  1. I went to see Bluey the stage show with my granddaughter and it was great fun. At the end she turned to me and said ‘again?’ not really understanding that it wasn’t a TV episode she could watch over and over. It was great timing as her mum had given birth to her little brother a few days earlier and when we got home from the show, there was mummy and baby Zach at home.
  2. I was part of the Rail Trail committee who received a local Australia Day award for Community Group of the Year.
  3. I did a talk about using Social Media, at a Rail Trail Forum held in our little town, with visitors from all over coming to learn more about our successful rail trail.
  4. We undertook genetic counselling and then testing for a family issue.
  5. I had my first Covid PCR test (negative result).
  6. I was part of filming for the promotion of a marathon to be held on our rail trail – it’s the closest I’ll ever get to doing a marathon. 🙂
  7. I started getting groceries delivered to the house.
  8. I had my first ever High Tea. I took mum to a local Mother’s Day High Tea and we both loved it!
  9. I did an online photography course with some friends.
  10. I was invited to give a talk about Blogging at the local library – not a huge crowd but it was a good experience!

How did you spend New Year’s Eve 2020?

Well there’s the plan and then there’s what actually happened.

Plan: The great plan was to go on a twilight bike ride with our rail trail riding group, taking some food and drink for a picnic at a lovely spot along the trail and then ride home before it got too dark. We would enjoy each other’s company, get some exercise and enjoy the summer evening while chowing down on some shared food platters, with a drink or two.

Reality: It rained, poured in fact, and we ended up taking our food offerings to a friend’s place and celebrating inside out of the rain. Everyone spent the time reminiscing on the year before when the town was being engulfed by tragic bushfires. How ironic bushfires one year, rain the next!

rail trail sign and bike
rail trail sign and bike

What was your word for the year? How did you go with that?

My word for 2021 was Bold and I had an absolute ball with it. I’ve already posted my final wrap-up post and if you’d like to have a read you can find it here: Please don’t say it’s over! My year of being Bold – suffice to say it’s going to be hard to top this fabulous Word of the Year.

feeling strong
feeling strong and bold

Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes, our daughter and her husband had a little boy, in January 2021 a sister to Emilia. He’s growing up way too fast. Thankfully they are reasonably close to (well only a 3hour drive away), so we have seen quite a lot of them during the year.

Granny Debs and new grandson
Granny Debs and new grandson Zachary – January 2021

What TV/Netflix shows did you watch?

I watched a few shows like Survivor, 8 out of 10 Cats, easy to veg out but not too mentally draining. I enjoyed War of the Worlds (on SBS on Demand), Unorthodox, Star Struck, Total Control, Annika, Hard Quiz and episodes of Bluey, (they’re not just good for kids) – just to name a few.

Who did you miss this year?

Again, like last year’s response, I missed seeing my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter who live in Somerset in UK.  I’m so glad we managed to have time with them in late 2019/early 2020 as it will be some time to come before we can travel internationally again.

My daughter, SIL and grandson in Brisbane, although in the same country, were off limits too due to border closures. I saw Patrick when he turned 1 in February 2021 but not again until Christmas 2021.

I also missed spending time with my sister and brother-in-law in Melbourne.

Thankfully we have Zoom and Facetime to help us stay connected.

Granny with Patrick
Granny with Patrick 2021

I love this photo collage my daughter took of me with Patrick, from when I last saw him in February 2021 and then again in December 2021. It’s funny how I’m wearing the same top – purely coincidental!

What song was on high rotation this year?

I had a Spotify playlist for my BOLD word of the year and had some great tunes on high rotation all year!

I really enjoyed Pink’s Cover Me in Sunshine which came out in February. It was a happy tune and made me feel good. I actually made it my phone’s ringtone, not something I do very often!

Did anyone close to you get married?


Did anyone close to you pass away?

No family losses thankfully this year but we lost our nearest neighbour, an iconic cowboy and talented rodeo pickup man and horseman.

Where did you travel to in 2021?

Again, like last year, we had big plans for the year with travel, international and domestic, but in the end, we managed to get to Queensland, Canberra, Nowra and the NSW South Coast beach area and of course around our local area. Lockdowns and restrictions made it very hard to travel and to be honest we were happy in our little bubbles.

It was lovely to get to Queensland to celebrate our grandsons’ first birthday and then we had a lovely family Christmas with most of the family together to finish the year off well.

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Maybe I could have moved more – although I started working out more regularly with a small group online which is helping to get different muscles moving and I kept up my riding during the year, so I’m doing OK. I do seem to sit for longer periods than I used to, either reading or typing.

happy snap along the rail trail
happy snap while out riding along the rail trail

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worried about anything and everything – but it’s been a hard few years and worry seems to be a constant companion.

Worry quote
Worry quote

What would you like to have more of next year that you lacked in this one?

Same as last year – travel, spending time with family, peace and health for everyone.

Did you tick anything off your bucket list this year?

I don’t have a bucket list, but if I did, I think I can tick off being BOLD – I rocked it all year!!!

What was the best book you read?

I read a LOT of books in 2021, and I enjoy the pure escapism that reading brings me. Thankfully I haven’t lost my reading MOJO like some people during these tough times. I read for pleasure!

It’s been great being part of two bookclubs this year, I always learn so much from different perspectives. Our online bookclub spent most of the year focussing on the works of the Bronte sisters – some were good and some not to so good, but all very interesting as were our zoom chats and cooking sessions.

We also started a monthly What’s on your Bookshelf Challenge linkup on the 3rd Friday of the month, and you are more than welcome to join us. I mentioned my top three reads for 2021 in my last WOYBS post.

What's on your bookshelf co-host badge
What’s on your bookshelf co-hostbadge

What did you learn this year?

That this too shall pass!

Did you suffer illness or injury?

Apart from higher than usual blood pressure, all has been good. I’m on medication now and it seems to be managing to keep it stable.

How did you spend Christmas 2021?

We had booked a holiday house at Vincentia on the NSW South Coast earlier in the year, and despite our booking early, the various owners kept changing the booking until finally we had a lovely house sorted – a case of third time lucky. It was a bit worrying at times as we had family coming in from interstate and wondered if it would actually happen. We loved every minute of it. 

We had two of our three daughters SILs, three of our four grandchildren, my sister-in-law and us so it was a full house – 7 adults and three children! We FaceTimed with our daughter, SIL and granddaughter in England and it was good to see them. We also do a toast at 11am on Christmas day for absent friends and family which gives us a moment to pause and reflect on who is missing from our gathering.

The beach was a short walk away with a great shared cycling/walking path across the road and we had fun despite the weather being a bit so-so. Luckily Christmas Day dawned bright and warm!

You might have noticed out matching Christmas pyjamas :). My daughter organised this for us and it was loads of fun! #familygoals

Where did your money go this year?

Online shopping – books, clothes, gifts, pamper packs for family and friends in lockdown.

Gifts under the tree
Gifts under the tree

What kept you sane this year?

Reading, blogging, riding, walking, family and friends – all have helped me enormously through another torrid year!

My blogging friends, the Stunners, have kept me going at times with their care, wit, compassion and positive attitudes.

Bookclub baking
Bookclub baking

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Staying positive as much as was possible with everything going on around the world. Being bold, taking things in my stride, taking on new challenges and getting through the year in one piece.

Compared to this time last year, are you:

Happier or sadder? Happier

Thinner or fatter? Fatter but I’m working on it – I’m in a good headspace

Richer or poorer? Richer – not necessarily in money terms.

Selfie time
Selfie time with the Mathematician

How did you spend your birthday in 2021 and how old were you?

I turned 61 in December – and of course I blogged about it! I had my daughter, SIL, and 2 grandchildren come home for the weekend and we enjoyed going on the rail trail, swimming at the pool, riding on the tractor, and playing in the garden. My mum also came to celebrate with us.

The afternoon of my birthday was my local bookclub Christmas party so it was a great party weekend!

What has 2022 got in store for you…so far?

I’m not sure if it’s worth making any plans at the moment – staying flexible is the only way to go it seems.

I don’t know what the year has in store for me but I’m staying positive and will see what comes. I’m old enough to understand it’s up to me how I handle things.

This quote also resonated with me when I saw it this week, (thanks to Leanne at Cresting the Hill Facebook page).

Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.

Robin S Sharma

Sunday Stills in 2022

Terri is back with her Sunday Stills photo challenge for 2022 and to get the year started the first prompt is ‘in your rear-view mirror’. I’ve combined my Q&A for the year with #SundayStills. You can read Terri’s post here.

All my Sunday Stills posts can be found here – I’ve been doing these for quite some time now!

What about you?

What is one thing you can relate in this post? How would you answer some of these questions?

Thanks again to you my delightful readers, for your support and encouragement during another challenging year. Here’s to a fabulous year ahead for all of us.

Deb x

Linking up to Natalie’s first #weekendcoffeeshare for 2022.

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Debbie in rock chick mode

Everyone has a story to tell! Deb is a young-at-heart & active 60+ blogger/retiree, after being made redundant from her 22-year career managing education programs in a men’s correctional centre (jail). She now spends her time reading, blogging, riding her ebike and travelling. Deb was awarded a Bravery Award from the Queen when she was 17 after a tragic accident – a definite life changing moment! She is married with 3 grown-up daughters & has 4 grandchildren. She never imagined being Granny Debs would bring so much joy to her life! You can read more of Deb’s story here

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40 Replies to “2021 – Looking back at the year that was”

    1. Thanks for the inspiration for the annual wrap-up post Jo, I love doing it this way. I had to stop and think which shows i watched this year as I had got the years all in a blur! Yes my guns are coming along nicely 🙂


  1. What a fabulous year, Deb! Despite COVID and other difficulties, like you, on reflection I rediscovered so many positives from my 2021. I’m looking forward to 2022 and your post just adds to my positive mindset and excitement for the year ahead. It is a matter of putting the focus on what we have rather than what we don’t have isn’t it? The icing on the cake for your year would have been spending time with your 2 out of 3 daughters and their families at Christmas you all look so happy. There is nothing like a cuddle with your grandchildren or watching Bluey (my favourite TV show). Wishing you the very best for 2022! Thank you for your friendship and support which I truly value. xx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for being such a positive role model and cheerleader Sue. Your positive energy sparks me along and you are such an inspirational friend to have as a cheerleader. I’m enjoying everyone’s WOTY posts and hope we can continue to catch up on how everyone is going during the year. Love your word too!


  2. Wow Deb it was certainly a full year for you despite the covid glitch in the matrix. I hope you get all you’re looking forward to in 2022. I had a very cruisy 2021 because WA was so locked down and we had almost no covid at all. We open to all and sundry on Feb 5th and I think we’re in for a firestorm of Omicron. It makes me grateful that none of my family are wild party animals and I’m hoping we’ll avoid too much exposure (and come out of it all relatively unscathed). Happy New Year to you and your family (near and far) xx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yep, wow indeed Leanne! A year full of ups and downs but it finished well for me I’m happy to say. Stay safe when the borders open. Hope your year of being fabulous goes well.


  3. Brilliant retrospective Deb, especially love the ‘living 75 years’ quote. That is so true and one of the things that seriously influenced us a few years ago. You had a full-on busy year didn’t you, full of friends and family and love. That’s what life is all about. Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very enjoyable recap of 2021. I love the QA format. Congrats on a year of being Bold. I’m going to come up with my word for 2022 – am mulling over a couple!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Wow, Debbie, you sure put together an amazing 2021 recap! Where to start? Congrats on all your accomplishments and of course, being an Oma again! You must be very proud. I also love how you connect with your community and your online blogging community with such joy and passion. Being BOLD suits you and that should just be your word for all time since that really is who you are! Thank you for your consistent participation in Sunday Stills and I’m looking forward to spending a great 2022 with you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks very much Terri, it was a work of a few hours to pout it all together as you can imagine but it is a very useful tool for reflecting on the year that was! Your prompt for Sunday Stills gave me the push I needed to do it! I am continuing being bold as it’s a great way to be 🙂
      Thanks for your kind words too xx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Deb.
    Great wrap up and also a good reminder of how in many ways, 2021 was actually a pretty good year despite covid and all the mess that came with it.
    Thanks for starting my day with several things to smile about.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congrats, Debbie, on all your achievements in 2021! There were many positives in your recap in spite of a challenging year due to covid for all of us. I look forward to your updates as 2022 unfolds. Thank you for linking up with #weekendcoffeeshare.

    Liked by 1 person

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