The Month That Was

January 2021 Reflections

January 2021 Reflections

It’s hard to believe that January is already done and we are now into the second month of 2021. I turned another month older in January and while initially apprehensive, I took stock and am truly grateful to be here. Before we fall headlong into February, it’s always nice to look back at the month that was January.

What I wrote in January 2021

I started a new writing routine in January and that helped me write two short story drafts. There’s still a lot of editing to go but I’m pretty pleased that I at least have something written. It’s felt like a long time coming and I’m glad to get those creative juices flowing and tell stories again. Even if it doesn’t go anywhere.

What I read in January 2021

I read 9 books in January, some of which I’ve reviewed on the blog and Instagram. Highlights were Infinite Splendours by Sofie Laguna, Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri, Sisters by Daisy Johnson, and Help Yourself by Curtis Sittenfeld. Not-so-bad reads included Leave the World behind by Rumaan Alam, Laurinda by Alice Pung, Girl of the Southern Sea by Michelle Kadarusman, and Afternoon Raag by Amit Chaudhuri. An underwhelming read was A Couple of things before the end by Sean O’Beirne.

On the blog in January 2021

I wrote a lot more on the blog than I have in the last few months. There were my weekly gratitude posts and some of the book reviews from above, but I also managed to get in a couple of posts on a new writing routine and talking about the things I do alone and enjoying my own company.

Health in January 2021

It’s been an interesting month for my health. I’ve been tired a fair bit but still plodding along. I am getting enough sleep but I think it’s more to do with not having a proper break and all the stress of 2020 and the ongoing uncertainty. I went to the gym 23 times in January and continued my strength training. I also hiked a little and went for short walks. However, in the last week, I’ve had some physical health stuff that’s cropped up and I’m getting tests to check out what it could be.

Mental-health wise, I am mindful of occasional feelings of emptiness and sadness for no reason. But, I have my depression management plan in place and even though I haven’t been to see my therapist who has been on leave this month, I have managed okay without spiralling. And it helped that I took stock on life the day on my birthday weekend while watching and listening to the sound of waves.

Life in January 2021

Life has been interesting in January. With the spike in Covid mid-December so close to home, I began to restrict my movements. It has got to the point where I’ve found it hard to plan or make decisions in January around social events and catch-ups. It was even hard to decide if I wanted to do anything for my birthday and in the end, a friend initiated the organising process because there are five of us with January birthdays. We ended up having a picnic in the park. I did finally venture out further than my 2 km radius and the nearest beach and January involved going out for drinks and dinners, brunches and lunch, hikes, new {to me} beaches, and just lots of reading and writing. I miss being spontaneous like before. I miss live music. But, I am glad we can do the little things.

Highlight of January 2021

The highlight of January was finding out a short story I submitted got shortlisted for publication and on the final day of the month, was published in the Better Read than Dead Writing Anthology 2020. I am awaiting my copy but it’s so exciting to be published again!

Lowlight of January 2021

The health issue that cropped up towards the end of the month. I am NOT good at being sick!

Lessons from January 2021

My biggest lessons in January came from taking stock of my life and realising and reminding myself that it’s the little things that make this life worth living. I tend to rebel against the ‘shoulds’ but at the same time, I am human and I succumb to the pressures about the narratives regarding the lives we need to lead. But maybe it’s okay to continue to live my life the way I already am. Because, it is filled with a lot of things to be grateful for.

That’s my reflections on the month that was January. As we embark on another month, I don’t see things significantly changing but I do hope restrictions continue to ease and I start to get out of my shell more. And maybe actually plan for a bit of a break some time.

How was January for you? Do share!

***Linking with Denyse for Life this Week and Vidya for her monthly Gratitude Circle***

Until next time,

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  • Jennifer Jones
    1 February 2021 at 10:17 am

    We are living in “interesting” times Sanch. Sounds like overall January was very kind to you. A birthday picnic sounds perfect
    Jennifer Jones recently posted…67 Things About Me at 67My Profile

  • Deborah Cook
    1 February 2021 at 11:48 am

    Congrats on the story for publication!!! And well done on the gym and walking. If. you need a break because of your health issues I hope you feel okay about taking one. I’ve had this annoying achilles injury for months and it’s felt really debilitating though I don’t even do much exercise normally. But the idea of walking any distance just feels overwhelming as I have to hobble.

    I’m really glad that you’re able to manage your mental health. I would really like to be more resilient in that respect and ride those waves. I guess I always know the lows will end but I’m not great at remembering the important little things that make life worth living.
    Deborah Cook recently posted…Expectations of othersMy Profile

  • Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid
    1 February 2021 at 2:15 pm

    So excited about your publication – yay you! I especially loved your birthday reflections, I think that although it may be an unusual year, I think it will be a fabulous trip around the sun. In contrast to your more than average bloggy activity, I’ve done absolutely nothing but I’m hoping to turn over a new leaf this month. Hope you feel loads better and get the answers you need soon x

  • Vanessa
    2 February 2021 at 10:32 am

    Overall … Jan was a bit hit and miss. Stress/harassment followed by sickness hasn’t been the most fun start to the year. Glad to hear the new writing structure is working for you.

  • Debbie+Harris
    2 February 2021 at 10:48 am

    I agree with you Sanch, the lack of spontaneity is hardest to take. Things we used to take for granted now need lots more thought and preparing for and still plans can fall apart. It’s certainly an up and down time for everyone and I hope you are feeling better soon. take care #lifethisweek
    Debbie+Harris recently posted…A travel photography challenge when you can’t actually travelMy Profile

  • Denyse Whelan
    3 February 2021 at 6:49 pm

    This being human is hard. I have found, like you, some times of just feeling empty or longing. I know that I don’t need to hook into these but they can be hard to dismiss. Anything health is threatening and takes away the feeing of spontaneity as well as via COVID. I would say the move to “that view” was a good one…but I also know you have NO lift working and that is not good at all.

    Thank you for joining us this week for #lifethisweek. Next time, the optional prompt is 6/51 Decision. 8 Feb. and I hope to see your next blog post there too. Cheers, Denyse.