2021 Word of the Year: Relearn

It feels pretty silly to be writing about the future when I have ZERO ideas of what it may hold. I don’t want to set a list of goals. Or think about all of the things I may or may not be able to do in the new year. However, I don’t think that there is any problem with setting an intention for the year. Or a 2021 word of the year. Something I can work towards to make my life better, both at home and whenever I rejoin the world.

Why I Chose Relearn as My 2021 Word of the Year

I was truly living my best life for the first 3 months of 2020. I’m not sure if that is just nostalgic thinking or the truth, but I’m rolling with it. In my pictures and posts, I see a woman that was learning to voice her desires in life. A woman embracing her imperfections. I was several months into therapy and had officially been diagnosed with PMDD (basically PMS meets depression). I was learning to cope with that and a lot of other underlying anxieties.

Also, I was on track to spend more time with my friends. My bestie had recently moved to the same state and we had been scheduling monthly visits. I had a clearer vision for my future and felt better established as a mom. The outings, projects, friend time, date nights, and even self-care time were amazing. I felt like 2020 was going to be MY year.

Obviously, that wasn’t the case. So I’ve decided that my 2021 word of the year is RELEARN. 2021 is about relearning the habits, mindsets, and lessons that I was living in early 2020. Relearning the lessons I was building my life on is something I can start from home.

2021 word of the year

I Want to Relearn Who I Was in Early 2020

This year sent me (as I’m sure it did everyone) on a roller coaster. At the beginning of 2020, I was KILLING IT. I was going to therapy regularly, setting goals and intentions for myself, and accomplishing quite a bit. I had several awesome blog opportunities, learned how to tile the kitchen backsplash, was exercising regularly, and was setting aside more time for myself too. These accomplishments had nothing to do with the year though, they were all me.

Relearn How to Take Up Space

In therapy, we focused on a lot of insecurities that I have. Including asking people for help and voicing what I actually want. When I look back at the start of the year I was voicing what I wanted more clearly. We went to restaurants that I wanted to eat at and did activities that I wanted to do. I tend to default to “whatever you want to do!”. Then I’m disappointed when I don’t get to have the experience I wanted.

It felt good to actually voice my opinion and preferences. The biggest example I can think of was my birthday last year. I’d been wanting to eat at this restaurant at one of Richmond’s boutique hotels, Quirk. The hotel is SO cute! There is a lot of pink and gold and it’s just a really cute place. I’d been to have drinks in the lobby and at the rooftop bar with friends. But had never been to the restaurant or the hotel with my husband.

2021 word of the year

So that is what I wanted for my birthday. Despite knowing that my husband has zero interest in going there. I’d suggested it many times for date nights, but it never happened. This time it was my birthday. So instead of finding an alternative I told my husband, “I want to go to Quirk for dinner on my actual birthday.” Followed quickly by an “If that’s ok?”. Of course, he would NOT let me back out of it or ask if it was ok a million times. He made the reservation and we had a great time. I was SO proud of myself, and happy, that I finally let myself make a decision and not people-please.

Relearn How to Ask for Help

The other area that I have always struggled with is asking for help. I’m fine asking someone to babysit for a date night or so I could go to the doctor. But never for anything personal or just for me. I had FINALLY put my insecurities aside and had my mom watch the girls a few times. I used that time to finish tiling, painting, and even photographing, our old kitchen.

I’d always had a mental block that house projects, or anything for my blog, weren’t important enough to justify asking for help. I believed that I had to be able to do it by myself while taking care of my kids. Since I wasn’t making money, therefore not contributing, then it wasn’t important. Despite how much I honestly enjoy it.

I was doing a pretty good job of fighting those feelings and proving them to be untrue. But they’ve crept up again. I need to relearn the behavior from last year. Then I can be confident asking for help when I need it. And not only when I feel like I deserve it.

2021 word of the year

As I enter the new year, I’m aware of how fortunate I was this year. My family stayed healthy, we purchased a beautiful new home in our dream neighborhood. My marriage flourished, and we got so much time together as a family. Time has been a precious gift. My stress and anxiety can rob me of seeing that. So as I relearn having a healthy mindset in regard to boundaries with others and knowing my own limits, I also want to learn how to slow down and enjoy the process. 

More Words of the Year


  1. Hi Ashley, Relearn is an excellent choice for word of the year. You are right in that we need to relearn the things that made us feel successful in homemaking, parenting, and being confident in our abilities regardless of the uncertainty around us. Thanks for sharing all this good stuff. Leigh

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