2021 in review

2021 has been such a strange year. Stranger, in some ways, than 2020, where I at least felt I got a few months at the start of the year to do things with freedom. A few weeks ago I found myself looking back on 2021 with a sense of disappointment - of having not done much, of having lost another year.

But here we are in December, a few days post-Christmas, and I'm naturally reflecting back on the year. Of course, there weren't any big life changes for us, no new house and engagement like in 2017, or wedding like in 2019, or new family member (of the canine kind) as in 2020. We didn't decorate every room in the house like we did last year, I didn't read double my reading goal, and I didn't get obsessed with new hobbies of cross stitch and bread making.

But for a year when most of it was spent in some kind of lockdown, or under some restrictions, there was a lot we did do. I wrote a few months ago about the lockdown habits I want to keep and I'm still doing most of them, we've had a full year of Bobby and celebrated his 5th Birthday in March and his Gotcha Day in June. We took him on holiday this year too! We've been  able to visit friends, go out for drinks and food, and explore new places in ways we weren't able to in 2020. I was even able to celebrate my Birthday and wedding anniversary a bit more this year!

So looking back, despite it not being the year we hoped it would be, there were a lot of wonderful moments too. Here are some of my favourite bits...

New job!

It's strange looking back on this time last year when I was working in the incredibly volatile aviation industry during a pandemic. I was furloughed for 3 months, then furloughed one day a week, and then by the beginning of 2021 I was down to working 3 days a week. But even so, I was happy in my job, enjoying the work I was doing and the team I was in.

So when I received a text from my recruiter asking me if I was interested in another opportunity back in February, I initially turned him down. Until he said it was for Pets at Home.

I absolutely love my job (which is predominantly email marketing campaigns for puppy and kitten customers) and I've never worked for a company I am so proud to work for. Pets at Home is such a fantastic company, and I've joined at such an exciting time. And I just love that my job is helping pets and their owners! I work in two amazing teams with colleagues I love to work with, and I love it so much I've even encouraged my best friend to come work here too!

Taking a sideways move was pretty scary, especially in a time of such uncertainty, but I'm so glad I did it. I'm so proud to work for Pets!

Buying a Peloton bike

I know it's a bit silly, but buying a Peloton is honestly one of the reasons I look back on the year so positively. It was a big purchase and we umm-ed and ahh-ed over it for weeks, but now I am utterly obsessed with it and I wish we'd done it sooner! We've had it for 5 weeks so far and I've just hit 50 rides. I'm planning a post in the new year all about it!

Racing again

God there is just nothing like being able to race again! This year I was so fortunate to run two 10Ks and a half marathon after nearly 3 years off from racing. I cannot wait to be back to doing two half marathons a year next year. I'll be starting my training for the Great Manchester Run again in a few weeks' time which will be my 10th half marathon, and I've got a 10K coming up at the end of January.

parkrun is back!

After being pushed back multiple times in the summer, we finally got parkrun back in July! Yes, I cried! I can't explain what it means to have it back and I can't wait to finally run my 250th parkrun in 3 weeks!

Bobby's first (and second!) holiday

In June we took Bobby on holiday with us for the first time for a few days in Wales, then in September we took him for a few days in the Lake District. Taking him with us has completely changed the kinds of holidays we have but it's so lovely to be able to take him to new places. I can't wait to take him away again next year!

100+ books read

In November I hit my 2021 Goodreads reading goal of 100 books and hit 90+ books read for the 4th year in a row. I'm finishing the year on 111 books read - I'll be sharing my favourites of the year (along with my favourite films, cookbooks and podcasts) in a post in the new week or so.

More work on the house

2020 was the year of major changes to our house, but this year we've also done some little jobs we needed to do. We redecorated our bathroom with a fresh coat of paint, new prints and new storage, finally got our kitchen tiled after nearly 4 years and spruced up our two office rooms. After four and a half years living here I think we're nearly done?!

Turning 31

While I'm still waiting to have the big celebration I had planned for my 30th last year, I did have a lovely 31st Birthday back in March, thanks to restrictions on meeting in gardens being lifted the day before my Birthday. Last year we couldn't do anything except see my parents' at their door step, so being able to do a National Trust walk and have cake in my parents' garden was just amazing. Fingers' crossed I can finally celebrate my 32nd next year properly!

Honorable mentions

Buckle and Boots 2021, visiting friends in Milton Keynes, lots of seeing friends and family and celebrating our second wedding anniversary.

As always, I'll be writing a post on my favourite books, TV shows, films, podcasts and cookbooks in the next few days so keep your eyes out for that!

Charlotte x


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