Yes, yes I know it’s February 2022 and I’m late for writing a post about my highs and lows of 2021. But I really want to capture my thoughts and feelings from the previous year. A year that still makes me think ‘Are we really living through a pandemic!’ This is the first time I have actually got the chance to reflect on the past year. Having just reread my highs and lows of 2020 it is weird to think how much has really changed in a year. These are my highs and lows of 2021.
My Highs and Lows of 2021
1. What was your happiest event?
I think last year was quite a happy year overall for us. They approved vaccinations for covid at the end of 2020 and I think it started the year with some positivity. Even if we have had to deal with some different covid variants. Things started to open up again and we were able to go on some great adventures. We had a half-term holiday at Away Resorts Sandy Balls. As well as an overnight stay at Port Lympne in their Wolf Lodge accommodation and some great days out.
But I think my happiest event was being able to go on the Disney Magic again. In 2021 cruise lines were able to sail in UK waters during the summer and we were able to book a Seacation. Don’t get me wrong there were lots of hurdles and hoops to jump through. A major one was to get Ethan used to having covid tests. Travel is no longer an easy task. But we made it onto the ship and we all enjoyed it. It was great being able to get a Disney fix again this year and we really weren’t expecting one.
2. What was the saddest thing to happen?
I consider ourselves lucky that we didn’t really have to experience any real lows in 2021. My personal lows were having to miss Little E’s ballet show. Ethan was a covid close contact at the time so we had to miss her performance. Darren did go and filmed her dances for me. A second sad thing to happen was when Ethan caught covid. We had to cancel a trip to my brother’s which really did upset him. Ethan’s cheek began to swell when he was positive. I was reminded how hard it is to diagnose an illness for someone with autism. It was a challenge when he was non-verbal but pre-verbal communication still has its challenges.
3. What was the most unlikely thing to happen that actually went ahead and did?
Spending four nights on the Disney Magic.
4. Who let you down?
I don’t think anyone really let me down. I didn’t really put anyone in a position where they could let me down.
5. Who supported you?
The people who really supported us as a family this year have been the family we have made friends with on the school run. They have been there to help take Little E to school when Ethan was poorly. And I’m sure have supported us in many other ways too. My mum is always at the end of the phone. She is always there when I need to moan!
6. Tell us what you learned?
Be flexible and adaptable. Life has changed in more ways than I think any of us would ever imagine. Hopefully, we will be now starting to come out of the other side.
7. Tell us what made you laugh?
I can’t think of any real stand-out moments that made me laugh. The year was full of enjoyable moments but I feel it was more about rolling with it. I really did try to take each day as it comes.
8. Tell us the things that made you cry?
Ethan being ill with covid and the stress of trying to work out why his cheek was swollen made me cry. It brought back memories of the trips to A&E when he had tonsillitis. Ethan has come so far in his development but these things remind you how quickly we can move backwards again.
9. Tell us three things your child or children did to make you feel proud.
We really struggled with homeschooling Little E. She missed so much of Year one and Year two it did worry me how behind she would be. She has taken to year three so well. They have spelling tests every week which she completes with hardly any support from us. Her reading amazes me but we still have issues with maths. She had such a great parent’s evening I’m so proud of how well she is getting on.
Ethan moved up to the senior section of the school. I was worried about how it would go as Ethan found it hard moving up to juniors. It felt as if moving to seniors didn’t phase him, he was quite happy to be a senior. He also declared that now he is a senior he can no longer stay at nanny’s house. I think it is his way of telling us he is too old.
I’m also so proud of our children adjusting to having lateral flow tests. Who knew that in 2021 a new normal would be sticking a swab up your nose before doing anything. I’m looking forward to being able to look back at laugh about how we all took the tests on Christmas day. Literally, after they opened their presents we were taking covid tests. Ethan has so many sensory issues around his mouth and nose it really did take some time to get him used to them. Of course with Little E seeing his reaction she thought they were bad. To be honest I wasn’t over the moon about these tests when they were first introduced. Thankfully the pull of a Disney Crusie really did make the battle easier.
10. Tell us the things that made you proud of yourself.
I’m living through a pandemic. I think we all need a medal for that. Our lives have had to change so much and it was a shock. I’m proud that I pushed for us to go out and make memories even when the infection rate was high. At times I didn’t want to leave the house but I was conscious of how the children need to live their lives.
11. Tell us the challenges you overcame?
Living through a pandemic. There were many different challenges big and small.
12. Tell us the things you would like to change about your life in 2022.
I say this every year, get more active to lose some weight. It’s a battle that I will always struggle with and I’m hopefully taking small steps on the active front. I need to be able to keep up with my children. I also think we need to think about our home. It’s feeling a bit small now and I would love to have a desk to work on. I have worked at home since Ethan’s diagnosis and I have never had a desk space to work on. There are lots of hurdles to overcome so who knows if we can do anything about that.
There you have it my highs and lows of 2021, I wonder what 2022 will bring us!