Looking Back

It’s hard to believe it, but 2021 is almost over.  It’s been a rather strange year…not as bad as 2020, but not as good as I had hoped for either.  Like many of us, I had believed that this would be the year that marked the end of the pandemic, but this nasty virus seems determined to stay with as long as possible.  Still, we’re learning how to deal with it and making great strides in the areas of vaccines and treatments.  I honestly believe that eventually modern medicine will prevail, and hope that day comes sooner rather than later.

On a more personal note, it’s been a very busy year, filled with lots of peaks and valleys.  We were dismayed last Spring when we discovered that my husband needed to have a major surgery that early tests had indicated he could avoid, and discouraged when he ended up spending over 21 days in the hospital.  But we were thrilled this Fall when subsequent tests showed that his cancer is finally gone, and we began wrapping our minds around the fact that the cancer patient was now a cancer survivor.  Making that transition takes a bit of time, emotionally.

We had visits from out-of-town relatives we hadn’t seen in over a year, and were able to take a much-anticipated Florida vacation with all of our immediate family.  We were able to include my mother in our Thanksgiving and Easter dinners this year, and to gather as a family to celebrate her 91st birthday.  Those are among the many moments I’m grateful for, and were all the sweeter because I no longer take such things for granted.

This is also the year I was fitted with “Invisalign” braces to correct some ongoing dental issues, but I can’t honestly say I’m grateful for that because I discovered (after I handed over the check) that they are supposed to be worn for 22 hours a day and that I’m not allowed to eat or drink anything but water while wearing them.  Note to self:  always read the fine print before embarking on new procedures.  Still, when it’s all over and my teeth are finally aligned correctly I’m quite sure I’ll feel the gratitude.

FullSizeRenderBest of all, this was the year we added a new grandson to our family, and I realized once again just how quickly I can fall in love with a little bitty person I just met.  One of the nicest things about families is how there is always enough room, and enough love, for one more.

Wishing everyone a very happy New Year, with sincere wishes for a wonderful 2022 for all!

97 thoughts on “Looking Back

  1. You have a lot to be thankful for (Invisalign fine print notwithstanding)! I think we were very lucky that modern medicine came up with vaccines so quickly and that were pretty amazingly effective… it was the lack of global availability and, where available, misinformation that trip us up. Oh well, maybe 2022 is the year! 🙂

    Btw, I came across a thanksgiving soup recipe that reminded me of that soup you described in a prior post. I’d love to send it to you but I don’t see how to contact you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • We do have so much to be thankful for. I heard that Pfizer said it can come up with a vaccine specifically designed for Omicron in less than six weeks..how amazing is that? And I’m really hoping that 2022 is the year we get this pandemic finally under control. As for contacting, I’m not really comfortable putting my email address on a public blog. Do you do Facebook? I could private message you there with it. And some bloggers seem to have found it on my gravitar page, I think. Otherwise, if you have extra time, maybe post the recipe in this comment section? But I get it if you don’t have the time to type it all out, no worries! Thanks for thinking of me when you saw that recipe!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t blame you for not posting your email… I wouldn’t either. Have you thought of having a “Contact Me” link on your blog? I’ve found it useful now and then to have one (although I also get inquiries to write guest posts from people who are trying to sell stuff – which I ignore). I’ll try the Facebook PM avenue. Or, you could contact me through my Contact Me on my site link and I can reply with the recipe. I was just so surprised when I saw the recipe in an older cooking magazine I had.

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  2. Love your writing. Congrats on your husband and the baby. Exciting about the braces! They sure are different these days. Back when I had them, they were metal with brackets. I had my for 5 years. I sometimes dream that I still have brackets on my teeth! Isn’t that funny? Hope you have a great 2022!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I am so lucky that they have these kinds of braces now. I should only have them on for about a year, from what I’m told. Honestly, if I had to do metal ones for a long time, I think I would have passed. I’m trying to correct a bit problem that is putting too much pressure on my back molars and causing some issues. Have a wonderful New Year, Jessica, and thanks for your comment!

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  3. From what you say about the Invisalign procedure, it sounds as though you’ve started a diet, too — whether you wanted to or not! In many ways, you’ve had a fine year, despite the ups and downs, and the anxieties. Here’s to an even better 2022! (For some reason, that feels odder to write than some year changes – it makes me feel as though time is passing faster than I like.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • It can be an effective diet…I lost five pounds in the first two weeks! But then I went the other way: eating too much when I had them out because I knew I couldn’t eat again for several hours. Now I’ve hit a happy medium, thank goodness. Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love your annual summary, Ann – it was a lot that you went through. You’re so vulnerable and honest with your admissions. I hope the invisalign gets easier and that you will love the result. I did some cosmetic dental work this past year also. It’s an investment – I can say that much!
    Hoping 2022 is a much better year for everyone. Keep writing – I enjoy your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really is an investment in both time and money. My procedure is supposed to correct my bite problem that puts too much pressure on my back molars, causing pain and sensitivity. So I think I’ll be happy with the results if it works. And thanks for your kind words about my blog….Happy New Year!

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  5. Beautiful!

    I did Invisilign, too. Certainly eliminated snacking between meals and increased my tooth brushing. But because I stuck with it, I was able to go to a retainer after 8 months.

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  6. sounds like a compulsory diet Ann, you will be both grateful and a lot thinner 🙂

    Another cutie, you sure have a good looking family … and glad there is another cancer survivor, fortunately there are many of us 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Kate! And yes, it sure does discourage between meal snacking, but what I really hate is not being able to sip on a soda while I work at my computer or linger over a glass of wine when we go out to dinner. I’m a “sipper” not a “chugger!” And one of the first things I learned when my husband was diagnosed was how many other people had cancer and survived…..it really helped to know that!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, they didn’t mention that when they were talking to me about it. And I have 20 of those little support things they put on my teeth, which is way more than most people have to wear. But I’ll get through it, and hopefully it will correct my bite. Thanks for your kind words about my grandson!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a heartwarming post Ann (except for those Invisalign issues but I’m sure even those will sort out in time). So happy about your husband and how joyful to have a new precious addition to the family. Wishing you and your family good health, happiness and blessings in 2022. 💙

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Seems Invisalign are all the rage. One of my friends got them – and she is losing weight but really hates that she has to brush and floss after eating even a little snack – so she doesn’t! Anyway, your new grandson is a real cutie!!

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    • Yes, it’s a lot of work just to eat a cookie, isn’t it? In addition to brushing and flossing your teeth, you have to wash your braces out with antibacterial soap each time before you put them back in your mouth. And make extra careful you rinse all that soap off before putting them back in too…..I found out the hard way antibacterial soap tastes awful!

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    • Thanks so much for saying that, Bev! Because that was exactly the reason I started this blog: so people would realize that they are not alone navigating all the issues that come with aging and just plain trying to cope with a sometimes crazy world. It always helps me to know others are going through the same things I am, and I wanted to pay that back. Happy New Year!!

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  9. It is always a good thing to stop and remember, and this is the best time to do it. 2021 has been better, and I, like you, believe there is light at the end of the COVID tunnel with vaccines and treatments. So glad you were able to include your mother more. This time has been a very rough go for the elderly in feeling isolated. And, wonderful news about your grandson! Happy New Year, Ann!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know! I think the elderly have suffered far more through this pandemic than the rest of the population, and not just because they are more vulnerable to the virus. The isolation of the lock downs was horrible for them, and the rates of depression, suicides and even death from simply no longer having a reason to live have sky rocketed during the past couple of years. I’m so lucky that the retirement home where my mom lived took a humane stance: even during the worst of it, I was able to see her if she came outside and we wore our masks. That made all the difference in her attitude and ability to cope. Happy New Year to you and yours!

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  10. Ann! You would not believe the coincidence here. I decided to get Invisalign right before Thanksgiving (bad decision), and I also didn’t know about the 22hr thing, the “buttons” on your teeth thing, or surprise: we have to shave off .3 mm of your bottom front teeth. Somehow, I think all this not knowing isn’t a coincidence at all, but just know, there’s someone out here who feels all of your Invisalign pain.

    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s exactly the same as my experience! I got them put on the day before I had my family over for Thanksgiving dinner…really bad timing, because how do you cook if you can’t taste now and then? And I had 20 of those buttons! The dental assistant told me that was a lot. I asked if it was a record, and she said, “no, but it’s close.” (My daughter-in-law only had three when she did invisalign.) And they also had to shave a bigger space between my two front teeth. Have you noticed your teeth looking more yellow? I have…and they’ve only been on for less than six weeks!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. A lovely recap of the highlights of your year, Ann. For all the struggles, it seems the news is good. Congrats on your husband’s good health, your successful family gatherings, and the new love in your life. The great thing about love is the well never runs dry. May 2022 exceed our expectations! Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Congratulations on your husband becoming a survivor rather than a patient. My wife is in the middle of the cancer patient stage and we can’t wait until she can become a cancer survivor. It changes your mindset on what is important in life and causes you to appreciate things a lot more. I too, hope that 2022 is a better year than the last two years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so sorry to hear that about your wife! And yes, when someone you love gets cancer, you figure out very quickly what is, and isn’t, important. At this point the two of you are putting most of your time and attention into getting her well again…it’s a long journey, but you’ll make it! It helps to take it one day at a time, one treatment at a time, or at least that worked for us. I hope that 2022 is a terrific year for both of you and that you make that transition to “survivor” very soon!

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    • I think 2022 will be better, one way or another. We’re all just discouraged to be starting yet another new year in the middle of a surge. But we have made great strides in treatment and vaccines, and we’ll get there in the end. I’m glad we connected online too! I especially love reading about Monkey!

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  13. Ikr 2021 was not a good year for me at all. Definitely a hell of a year for me. Been dealing with a family situation I don’t wanna talk about it. And yes this pandemic is so annoying. I thought it was winding down but has gotten even worse now. Unfortunately it’s far from over with the way things are going right now. I’m tired of these masks too but unfortunately the masks aren’t going anywhere. Will probably be in masks for the rest of our lives unfortunately. Who would’ve ever thought this would be our lives now

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it’s hard not to be discouraged and to feel as if this pandemic will last forever…it’s certainly lasting much longer than any of us thought it would. But I do believe we will eventually beat it. And I share your feeling that 2022 will bring better things. All we can do is hope and do our best to improve our own little corner of the world, I think. Thanks so much for you comment!

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  14. Yay for your new grandbaby. For me, personally, 2021 was a huge disappointment. I really thought we’d get over Covid. There was a brief period around July 4th where it looked like that might be the case. But instead, I got Covid, was vaccinated twice, and then got Covid again. Basically, I spent most of the year feeling lousy. REALLY hoping for better in 2022. : )

    Liked by 1 person

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