2022 was a topsy-turvy year. I began it still reeling from the happiness 2021 ended with, when I managed to get my place, which was both a delight and a surprise. Even now, at the end of the year, I think part of me is still excited and in disbelief that I’m here, in my own space, able to afford it. It’s wonderful. It’s delightful. It makes me so happy and glad and grateful. I am just SO happy when I think about this space that I’ve managed to make mine.
But 2022 was topsy-turvy because although it began with happiness, with something wonderful, it sometimes dipped when it came to work or my mental and emotional health (the causes of my many blogging and reading slumps throughout the year). And after those dips, something amazing would once again happen, like getting one of my dream jobs, something that stunned me and even now I have to pinch myself to make sure all this is real, that I’m actually doing it. It was such a wonderful thing to happen. But then things would dip again with health scares and car scares and whatever-is-going-on-in-the-world scares.
2021 was quite a year, and it ended on such a surprising and busy note that I’m still reeling from it and feel unprepared for 2022.
The end of 2021 was a busy time, so much so that I haven’t done a monthly roundup post on here since October and am very unprepared for the roundup and “best of” lists that we all tend to post this time of year. It’s now the second week in January, and that’s when I’ve finally gotten around to putting up this reflection on life in 2021.
2021 wasn’t quite the recovery from 2020 that we all hoped for. It certainly wasn’t in my personal life. The fall months were especially hard for me. Things became stressful and my anxiety grew, but, with help and lots of motivation from friends and family, I was able to stick to my goals and managed to make some amazing moves by the end of the year.
Despite the trials and difficulties of 2020, I was lucky and had many positive moments throughout the year. The coronavirus has made the year hard on everyone, and, although my family members were able to keep their jobs and managed not to contract the virus, it made aspects of the year difficult for us too.
The biggest difficulty was being unable to physically connect with family to support them during difficult times. We had a death in the family in 2020 (unrelated to corona) that deeply affected everyone; but because the person passed in March when air travel was at a standstill and countries’ borders were closed, we were unable to travel back to Jamaica to be with family there, to emotionally support them and to be emotionally supported. We had to do it from afar, often over Zoom and WhatsApp, which weren’t often the best substitute.
The downside here is that corona kept us apart when we wanted to be closer; but, in some ways, it made us closer. Due to the death in the family and restrictions to travelling, my family began to connect more. Instead of calling each other every now and then, we formed a WhatsApp group that allowed us to quickly share news, encourage each other, and even joke around. There was a lot more chatter between us.
I’m taking a break from books and bookish things to talk about the epic event I witnessed this past weekend. An event that I sorely needed during this dull corona time since I’m staying home, as advised, and thus am unable to attend any summer parties or other events. And I’m SO happy this event happened on Memorial Day weekend (in the U.S.) as a replacement (to me) of the events that are cancelled due to corona.
But you must be wondering what event I’m talking about (if you didn’t read this title of this post). Well, it’s the latest episode of Timbaland and Swizz Beatz’s Verzuz battle on Instagram. This time it was between two great Jamaican performers, Beenie Man and Bounty Killer. Yo!! I was BEYOND excited for this!! I grew up listening to their songs. I was a kid when the competition (the war) between them was fierce, but I still remember the hype around their clashes and I still love their songs.
It was great to see them on stage together again, performing together and entertaining people. OH MY GOSH!! This performance was SO needed and so good. Great songs, nuff jokes, and good vibes. Man, I LOVE IT!!
I had to share it on here. I had to take a break from all di book dem and share this bit of my culture.
There were SO many great moments too!! I loved that they began it by playing the Jamaican national anthem, I loved the back and forth between the artists (like a clash!!), I loved the dancing, I loved the shout-outs (especially when they shout out Rihanna, who was tuning in. That was hilarious!) The part with the police tho!! YO!! That’s how you know a party is good: Babylon come through trying to shut it down. (Lol!)
Oh man! It was great. If you love Jamaican dancehall music, check it out. If you love any music, check it. If you want something entertaining, something hype, check it out. If you love hip-hop, def check it out. Hip-hop was born out of Jamaican dancehall. Just check it out, man, and enjoy it. 🙂
If I had to choose one as the winner, I’d say Bounty Killer took this. He was so entertaining! Beenie Man is my dude. I LOVE his songs and he did great too (him and him belly 😀 ), but Bounty tek it fi mi!
I saw and did many amazing things and reached goals I thought I wouldn’t. I am proud, glad, and grateful for all I did and accomplished in 2019 and am thankful for all the help I received.
My word for 2019 was Movements, a simple word but it drove everything I did. 2019 was about making significant progress in the things and areas I wanted improve. And I did exactly that. Unfortunately, at times my blog was neglected as other parts of my life became more busy, but I will be back on track in this new year.
I’m so happy with myself right now. 🙂 It’s been a while since I’ve felt this way, so I intend to relish every moment of this feeling. In fairly recent past years (lol I find that whole phrase funny), I’ve been through personally trying times: moments of deep sadness, anger, and worthlessness. Blogging and reading helped to distract me and prevent me from wallowing in such dark feelings. And sometimes I’d get lucky and stumble on books that were centered on exactly what I was feeling, experiencing, tackling. The book that stands out the most at this moment is Pema Chödrön’s Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better, which I’ve mentioned and recommended many times, especially to those going through a difficult period. That book was very helpful in making me change my internal dialogue and push on through such dark moments.
Believe it or not, self-discipline is something I still need to work on. 2018 was dedicated to improving my self-discipline, but I stated the goal and immediately forgot about it. I did try to curb my appetites and refrain from overindulging in things I love, but I wasn’t very successful. I was unable to prevent myself from succumbing to immediate gratification and my bank account often hurt because of it.
Looking forward, I plan to continue working on my self-discipline in 2019. My progress is slow, but I made small achievements toward the later part of 2018 and I’d like to build on them and go further in 2019. However, self-discipline will not be my theme for 2019. Instead, 2019 will be about making major Movements— that is, taking leaps that I’ve been fearful of to achieve my topmost goals.
I foresee, well, hope, that by the end of 2019 I will have achieved at least 2 of my topmost goals, which are huge goals that I’m anxious about. I don’t know what I’ll do with myself once I’ve achieved them.
I’m feeling a bit shy about this because this is the first GIVEAWAY I’m hosting on here. It’s been a long time coming. I’ve always said I wanted to do one, but haven’t drummed up the courage to do so until now. So YEAHIE for doing something new so early in the new year! 😀
I am excited to do this GIVEAWAY though and I hope you all are excited too. This GIVEAWAY is simply a celebration of all the work I’ve put into this blog, for committing to it, and for all the lovely peeps who’ve been following along with me this whole time. HEY Y’ALL!! Thank you so much! 🙂 🙂
Well, I don’t know how to embed the Rafflecopter thing I created into this post so….
It’s been a great blogging year, though I’ve been so busy that finding time to write and format blog posts and to read the posts of other bloggers became tricky. I applaud all bloggers who are able to post regularly AND find time to keep up with the posts of other bloggers. If you work full time while doing this, please give me some tips on how you manage it all without getting burnt out.
I still miss the Year in Review post WordPress usually puts together for us at the end of the year. It did a great job of concisely wrapping up our blogging year for us and presenting such stats in a nice graphic, which we could then post on our blogs. Since that’s no longer available, I have to do this myself, but since I am busy and have limited digital art skills, I’ll just talk about it all in a usual post. I guess it will be boring for some, but it’ll definitely be very useful for me.
I’m glad to see that my blog has grown a lot since the last blogging reflection post I did last January. My site views and visitors have increased from 16,000 and 7,000, respectively, to approximately:
Every new year morning, before I roll out my bed, brush my teeth, or talk to anyone, I grab my computer and make a long journal entry where I reflect on all I did in the past year. I reflect on what I accomplished, what I failed, and what I hoped for. As I mentioned in this Weekend Reads post, I usually do this while my family is at church. I see this as a spiritual process though it does not involve church, and it helps me to see how much I’ve developed over the year and assess what areas need further improvement.
I’ve only been doing this for a few years now, probably since 2012 when I started making one-word goals for the year, and it has benefited me well. By reflecting on the past, these journal entries give me perspective on the future. At the end, when I’m mentally and physically spent from all the writing and reflecting, I’m left with is a single word that becomes my goal for the upcoming year.
It’s now become tradition on this blog to do a post like this every Christmas day to honor the holiday on Zezee with Books.
Christmas is my favorite holiday, and I always get excited when it comes around. No matter what has happened in the year or if I’ve been sad and angry for the majority of December, I always get happy and excited by Christmas. I love the holiday because it carries with it a sense of unity and community, and there’s always a touch of magic in the air.
Each year I celebrate the holiday on here by featuring a bit of artwork that I think captures the spirit of Christmas. This year, I chose “Christmas in Color,” which features a scene from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling: