Reflecting On 2021 – A List

2021 is over. Yay. Whew. Wow. I felt exhausted, but that’s because I was. It was a challenging year. Ah, but there had to be good in there, and I wanted to remind myself of it. I felt like I got ahead, but more like a tractor in mud than a rally car completing a circuit. I’m sure I’ve been told to do such an exercise, but sorry that I can’t properly thank whoever mentioned it. I do know that this is the sort of thing to put into a journal or a diary, but that puts it in the dark and makes it difficult to share. Almost everything on the list involved other people; so, if you are one of them, I thank you. If you find this an example of something to do for yourself, great! But maybe save a bit of energy because I didn’t get part two written. Part one is about what was accomplished. Part two is about what was bad then but is something to laugh at now. Ah, but maybe those should be shared with friends and flavored with drinks. Oh. Not during a pandemic? Well, maybe more folks will start helping with that this year and we’ll have something massive celebrate by the end of 2022. 

2021 – Part 1

  • Firewatcher – fourth draft 
    • My first novel. Science fiction. Set within this century. The basic story is done, so now’s the time for the fun fiddly bits – and the grammar, spellchecking, book design, … At best, done this year. Probably done 2023. Could go on forever if I aimed for unattainable perfection as so many writers do.
  • Kettle Pot Cup – first draft
    • An irreverent series of essays about tea. Nothing fancy or long. Just something for lovers of tea. (Tea lovers is something else.) Words and photos and making it all look pretty enough for a gift book. Planning to donate profits to a tea-pickers’ non-profit.  
  • Twelve Months at Possession Preserve produced
    • Book 8 of 5 (do the math), of photo essays about nature on Whidbey.
  • Twelve Months at Dugualla Bay photos acquired
    • Book 9 of 5 (do the math), of photo essays about nature on Whidbey. Planning to finish by April, maybe sooner.
  • drafted a Whidbey game
    • A simple, easy game that came to mind while seeing long ferry lines, bored kids, bored adults, and might encourage more exploration of the island. Planning to complete by August.
  • helped people (try to) buy houses or land (Required Disclosure: I am a real estate broker with Dalton Realty,
  • made a few public online presentations about real estate on Whidbey Island
  • worked on four blogs (~140 posts)
    • Wrote hundreds of thousands of words.
  • took hundreds of photographs
    • Gotta get a new camera, though.
  • 2 or 3 videos picked up by news outlets
    • Hmm. Another reason to get a new camera.
  • posted and tweeted
    • Did you notice? Twitter is getting more popular, for me.
  • watched MVIS hit the news, good and bad
    • Oh, the drama as my faithful old hopeful story stock got caught in the ‘Meme stock’ craze, then returned to doing what it’s supposed to be doing, running a company that may upset the display industry, and may enable the autonomous vehicle and smarthouse industries, and more – or not, because it hasn’t succeeded, yet.
  • hoped for re-retirement, then saw it fade
    • Saw the potential for my net worth to rise significantly, then fade, but the echo remains and may manifest itself this year. Hopes or plans?
  • Social Security
    • Started receiving Social Security and aghast at how similar the interactions were to those of bill collectors.
  • bought a new 2016 Jeep
    • …because my truck broke down once too many times.
  • donated truck
    • And made sure it went to a non-profit that could use it rather than simply sell it.
  • credit score
    • When I had to replace the truck, I learned that my years of financial efforts got me to the highest credit score the dealership had ever seen. And confirmed that with various independent sources.
    • With a credit score like that I realized I could get a Home Equity Line Of Credit against my house, which meant I didn’t have to sell it. Yes, I was that close to moving off the island.
  • hiking, again
    • I have a Jeep again! Hiking has commenced. Snowshoeing and skiing are anticipated. I am also following my doctor’s written prescription to go on one hike per week, at least. (They knew I wasn’t likely to follow their other advice, but this one I’d do. Unexpected bonus: my knees feel better. Go figure.)
  • retired more anxieties
    • It may be using debt, but I was able to start un-deferring some deferred issues.
  • shook my head at the news
    • Duh. Ongoing.
  • wore masks, washed my hands, kept my distance, conditions permitting
    • Sigh. Ongoing.
  • dancing
    • Was even part of the graphics for a Goosefoot dance poster. (and wondering why they don’t have a graphic of two geese dancing.) But aside from that, not enough dancing. See above. 
  • resocializing
    • Practice. Practice.
  • tried to laugh
    • Practice. Practice.
  • tried to listen
    • Ironically, easier in person because body language means so much.
  • missed hugs
    • Some day. Hopefully soon and part of a long series of celebrations for all the hard work we’ve all been through.
  • worked too much, played too little
    • Even my doctors told me so.
  • …and thinking that I missed something.
    • And not worrying about the fact that I did.
  • Ah, but I’ve been told that we can all get back to work and be busy in 2021 2022. Eep!

2021 – Part 2

Making fun of the bad and sad and mad times. But as I said above, maybe that’s best shared with the folks that will get the jokes – and who knows what it took to get through.

Thanks for coming along for the ride. I hope you enjoy your list, too; because I look around and see such impressive people handling tougher challenges. That’s a skill that will be in demand as we enter into whatever new normal is coming.

About Tom Trimbath

real estate broker / consultant / entrepreneur / writer / photographer / speaker / aerospace engineer / semi-semi-retired More info at: and at my amazon author page:
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