19 Jan 2021

2021: The Year Of “Expectation”

2021: The Year Of Expectation on vickiarcher.com

What is my “word” for this year?


Every year at the start I choose a word to act as a prompt for something I wish to achieve, aspire to, remember or simply bring to my life. There have been a variety of words since I started and I would say my success rate in managing to uphold their meaning is break even.

Last year, my word was balance. As the year rolled out what a word it turned out to be. When I struck “balance” as my goal of the year I was focused on strength, flexibility and movement as it transpired I worked on balance in other areas of my life. The yoga poses didn’t improve as I wanted but my work/life balance did thanks to forced time at home with periods of lockdown. The year that was 2020, forced me to reflect and act within new and restricted boundaries. I had taken for granted so many aspects of my life – many lacking in any balance – and realigning those has made for some changed ideas and practices.

So what about this year, 2021?

It’s a hard start here in Europe so I struggled to find my one word this year. I’m going with a broader definition; one to ramble around as I find my way. It’s “expectation”. This is my go-to this year.

I need to work every which way around this idea.

Our minds have been through a washing cycle or twenty this past year; what we understand has been thrashed, bashed and turned endlessly. My expectations have changed on a daily basis and with that has come periods of confusion and lack of understanding. This year I need to manage these expectations – to find a place of equilibrium – where change and disappointment can roll off my back seamlessly. To acknowledge, understand and accept is my blueprint when un-sort for change comes knocking. An expectation is wonderful when it contains the right kind of surprises; when the opposite is true, management is essential.

I’m not taking the joy out of expectation simply adding a little reality check.

At the same time as I want to moderate my expectations, I also need to build them up. Has this past year given us cause to question everything and expect the worst? I’m afraid so but that’s because looking back with hindsight can be unforgiving. Should we, could we have done much differently? Most probably but that’s a long lost luxury. Expectations require management, not blanket enthusiasm or negativity and a little bit of my “balance” I learned last year. I don’t ever want to be pessimistic or a half-empty glass type, never, but a dose of realism won’t hurt.

A more fluid view of expectation can avoid disappointment.

Disappointment is probably one of the worse feelings and we all had our fair share last year. I’m over that and want only to focus on what I can do. I’m delighting in where I am and whom I’m with rather than lamenting what I am missing. Of course, it’s a game and one to require ramrod discipline but I’m trying. Looking at sunny holiday destinations and what once was is not helping. My reality is now and it looks a particular way; I can run with that, adjust my expectation or find myself miserable.

I have chosen to work with what I’ve got. Most days its ok – not every day – but I’m winning.

This year I’m shaking up my expectations. I am expecting more from myself, yet I am realistic about the changes facing our world. Life isn’t like it was but it is pretty ok all the same.

That’s my expectation. xv


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Jacki F.

Happy New Year! I have been missing your lovely pictures and thoughtful sentiments and hoped you were OK. Wise words today, for sure. Here in the U.S. our “expectations” have certainly had a shake-up but my own remain optimistic. Trying to put my energy into wherever it can make a difference and, like you, keep expectations realistic.


I like what you are saying here about a more “fluid” approach to life. Nothing tangible lasts, mostly the abstract concepts such love, resilience, wisdom will only remain on the pages of our personal histories. Oh Vicki dear, I hope you are well as you move forward. We are hanging in there.

Linda Hammell

I expect with the New World Order moving in to destroy the average citizen’s lives, 2021 will suck way more than 2020. Good luck everyone.

Linda B

Happy New Year, Vicki! So lovely to see your post. I like the complex interpretation you have of “expectation”. Lots to ponder here. I particularly loved this sentence: “I’m delighting in where I am and whom I’m with rather than lamenting what I am missing.” I am in that place more and more these days!

Last year was such a roller coaster, with some lovely time, and also such deep dives into fear and despair, especially in the last part of 2020. It has been delightful to settle into our new home in the past three months; but the low point came in December, when my father contracted Covid and died. My heart is slowly healing from that loss.

The word I chose for 2021 is trust. I need to trust that I have the inner capacities to fulfill my personal aims, especially in the realms of artistic work and exercise. I have to trust that we will stay healthy. I have to trust that I will once again be able to travel to see my children and grandchildren, or they to see me. I have to trust that “The right thing is happening, and should be encouraged”–words from a placard that my aunt had on her kitchen counter for decades.


May I share that word too Linda. I, like you need to have faith and trust that I will see my daughter and Grandchildren soon too. We will will get through this and supporting each other is so important.Faith, hope and love and let’s add trust in there too.

Linda J. Styles

Spot on…you have captured what so many of us are experiencing in these uncertain times! Upward and onward! We need to learn from the past and look forward to better times now and in the future. With God and believing He will never forsake us we will survive!


A good word choice Vicki. Our expectations have changed so much over the past year and I’m sure will continue for a while longer. Our management of our expectations is constantly changing and we must move with this as well. Our balance of emotions I feel is like walking down a long path where we have to curve off because something has come along personally, regionally, nationally and globally that has taken us from our direct route. Yet we all focus at some point on how grateful we are for many things and our expectation is we will reach the end of the long road but we will have become a little more appreciative of its curves and whilst in these we can hopefully still see the way forward and enjoy what little pleasures we can gain from them. I also like the word ‘settle’; to settle my mind into what is happening around us; to settle myself into the new routines; to settle myself so any anxiety stays at a manageable level; to settle into my exercise routine and to settle myself into enjoying a world where everything is not for the taking but appreciating.

Judy Stout

Hi Vicki, Thank you for this post. I have read your blogs for years and this is the one that inspired me to comment. Yes, it’s uplifting to see beautiful photos, new makeup and clothing but these things seem so inappropriate in a world that has turned upside down. Your realistic process, of expectation, helps motivate us to navigate the challenges we are all facing. Stay well


do we need expectations even realistic ones or should we rather accept how it is because this we can’t change?
That’s the question I ask myself in this situation.


I missed you here a lot and was concerned that perhaps things weren’t going well – now I’m thankful seeing you are, like all of us, slogging along and doing the best we can with what we’ve all been dealt world wide!
My expectations revolve around health and wellness, for myself (so I don’t become a burden to others) my husband and my family, and of course my many friends and acquaintances scattered all around the planet. I can manage staying at home mostly, I am a busy person who is never bored, and being in the older age bracket I can survive at home knowing I’m not supposed to be elsewhere. This weekend we have scored appointments for our first vaccinations after much hard work as we live in a very heavily populated area. . . . . . . so I guess my expectations will grow the more when I feel a little safer.
Happy New Year Vicki dear.
Mary x


This is great news, Mary… I think the last year has changed us all greatly in so many ways.. and we have learned to adapt and make the best we can of our circumstances. I’d like to write more about how we have adapted… you have given me an idea :) Thank you!

Kate Granado

Hi Vicki, I’ve missed you. I also took a couple of weeks of shore leave from my endless sea of electronics. It was quite lovely!

2021, I like your approach to expectations, very well thought out. I, too, have always begun my year with a word. I really cannot remember when it started. 2020 was mindfulness And. I have to say; it got me through the year with many insights. 2021 is focus. I’m striving to improve a few specific areas, and focus presented itself, and I’m going with it.
Welcome back. I want to say how much I enjoy your writing. Gracias


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