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2021: Focusing on my own needs

For me, 2021 started the same as it did for many others, with a corona lockdown. You couldn't eat out, have a Christmas dinner party, celebrate New Year's Eve, go shopping, or go to a movie etc. Unfortunately, the start of 2022 is not much different from 2021. Nevertheless, we are going to have a beautiful and positive year, corona or not. In 2021, I have decided to focus on my own needs and I want to tell you why you should put yourself first too!

Let’s look back on 2021

Work, work, work and uh work…

In terms of my career, I received a new assignment in January 2021 as interim practice manager for two locations. The two locations presented an enormous challenge, but I dared to take it on. The assignment was successfully completed in September 2021. This was quite an intense period.

At the same time, I was also busy with my teaching activities. Around February 2021, I was approached to develop a module for new teaching material. Yes, another new adventure, I thought. Although writing new teaching material has cost me quite a lot of time and energy, it was a very educational experience.

In terms of career, this was one of the busiest years ever, full of challenges and great adventures. I learned a lot from it. I remain a workaholic.

Life is like a train journey; people get on the train and people get off the train

As if work wasn't busy enough, there were also some challenges to face in my private life. In 2021 I came to the conclusion that it was better for my own peace and condition to distance myself from certain family members and friends. Some have chosen to distance themselves from me, which has been very painful. One moment you can have a family bond with someone and the next day it can suddenly be over. The reason for this is still unclear to me for some of these people. However, I have come to realize that life is like a train journey; some people get on and ride until the end and others get off half way. It was a turbulent year when it comes to relationships.

In addition, my parents sold their house and they decided to settle in Belgium. Unfortunately, the search for the perfect home in Belgium is not over yet. To relax, my parents opted for a short holiday break in Suriname.

Covid-19 can't keep me from my love

As you know, I love to travel. Travel became a lot more difficult in 2021, but not impossible. It soon became an obligation to vaccinate against the coronavirus if you wanted to visit certain places.

Given my lupus, I am very careful with vaccinations. In fact, I always have been. I am not opposed to vaccinations, but I was afraid of the effects on my autoimmune disease. First, I had several conversations with, among others, my rheumatologist, to investigate whether I could have the vaccination. I decided to get vaccinated and, luckily, I haven't had any side effects so far.

In June 2021, I was therefore able to go to Gran Canaria. Finally, I got some ‘me time’. In August 2021, I went to Suriname for 3.5 weeks. For me, Suriname feels like coming home. I had a great time with my family and friends. It was a really special holiday. To top it all off, I chose to go to Tenerife in November 2021. Due to the busyness of the past year, I really needed to recharge.

Putting my needs first

In early 2021, I started to feel very restless due to some relationship issues I was having. Fortunately, I was able to process these negative feelings. I worked a lot on myself in 2021 by, for example, delving into self-love and taking time for myself, and, of course, the healing process. Sometimes you have to just deal with the blisters and get through the pain. I have come out much, much stronger and I am grateful that some have let me go.

My interim assignment ended in September 2021, so I decided to take a break for two months. During this period, I could fully focus on my education and on myself. This gave me more time during the week, which made it easy for me to pick up my old social contacts again.

By now I have had enough time to relax and to really be myself again. I entered the new year full of freshness and new energy. Every morning I get up in good spirits. I try to get the most out of every day and I hope to make 2022 an unforgettable, but above all a great year.

Cheers to 2022!

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