Reflections 2021 #atozchallenge ~Letters from the Heart


Reflecting on the end of a challenge. One door closes another one opens. What was good? What was bad? What was ugly?  What can be done different? How can things be better?  



Through my Letters from the Heart series I’ve learned a lot about myself.  Other years I’ve participated, but not really participated. It was nice to reconnect with some past bloggy buddies as well as making some new friends. This year I put a little more effort into getting to know my fellow bloggers and what they stand for.  Networking, because isn’t that what blogging is? Bonding with the homogeneous.

As the years pass, as we write and interact with others, we change. Our writing changes, our moods change, our habits change.  Hopefully for the better.

Statistically speaking, I had visitors from 25 different countries, which I think is really cool. I received more comments than I could keep up with and trust me that count is not high.  I found that if you reciprocate, you tend to get more comments.


I really had it in my head to visit every single blog from the Master List. I didn’t do very well at this.  I found myself drawn to certain blogs which I loved.  It happens. Blogging is a clicky little world and you can’t avoid clicks. We all have the same number of hours in a day. What do you want to use those hours on?  I choose to spend mine on things that I enjoy. Unfortunately it didn’t leave a lot of time for exploring and finding new blogs. A few times I did visit blogs that I wouldn’t normally visit, but really didn’t find them enjoyable.  I left comments but for the most part if I didn’t get a response or at least and acknowledgement that I visited, I did not return to the site.


Which brings me to the things I disliked.  Some of the website links were not user friendly.  A few of the websites I visited I found it to be a chore to actually find the A-Z challenge. Once I maneuvered my way to the actual post it was fine. But still it was an inconvenience that took valuable minutes out of my day. Others neglected to even post at all. If I visit a blog and can’t easily find my way around, if there is no indication that it’s part of the challenge, or  if I can’t find where to leave a comment, chances are I’m not going to visit again. Also if I visit more than once and have to enter my name, email, etc. every time to leave a comment, I probably won’t comment a second time.


What to do different? I had intentions of participating in the Road Trip. Unfortunately what I need to do is focus on areas where I need to improve before taking on another commitment. I think I jibber-jabbered about how we all have the same number of hours in a day, and we get to choose what we do with those hours. One of the things I noticed through the challenge this year is it’s much more enjoyable when you form a relationship or bond, per say, with some of your fellow bloggers. It’s important to reciprocate when they take the time to make a comment. I plan to take my own road trip.  I want to go back through all of my comments, not only this year, but all of the previous challenges, and respond to every comment that I neglected. Wish me luck.


How to make things better? Free advertising. I’ve included a few of my favorite bloggy buddies’ buttons to the right of the site. If you would to share yours send me your info. I’m at yahoo (everyone really is). We are the world of information. Knowledge at our fingertips.  What do you want to share? (Crackerberries discretion of course). I think that’s what this world needs: more sharing and just being kind. And if you think of it throughout the year, pop in on some of the bloggers you hooked up with and just say “HI”.  A random comment or nod might just be what someone needs to make their day.

That’s my take.  What’s yours?  Have you thought about what your theme for next year will be?  Be sure to leave your reflection link or blog link in the comments. I promise to do my best to come visit you and leave a comment back.

Have a great day!


20 responses to “Reflections 2021 #atozchallenge ~Letters from the Heart

  1. Phew, we made it!
    Congrats on a great 2021!
    I agree with the good, the bad and the ugly,

    What happened in 2014, I can’t see a badge?

    Happy Friday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welp the 2014 badge disappeared when I was updating my smiley social media icons…aren’t they cool I want to make them ROUND. And then I got looking to start at the beginning of A-Z challenges to see who I didn’t respond to and I couldn’t find any 2014 (I was blogging on some other platform apparently). I’ve sent Arlee a message to see if he could update the master list….I’m no fibber I’ll admit when I’m wrong.


  2. I’ve always said I wanted to take part in the A to Z challenge, but I never take it on. It’s such a commitment and I feel like I’d drop off and not finish. I run a few challenges, and it can become hard to try and keep up with everything. I know I need to refresh things on my own blog and be more interactive as well. Have some ideas that maybe will bring me out of a multi-year funk! Maybe one of these years, I’ll actually tackle the A to Z Challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ironically, I’ve only just found you through Janet’s reflection post, but it seems I missed a good one going through these last couple of posts. I hope I’ll come back for more!
    Great summary of how visiting makes us feel, not always easy, but when it clicks, it’s great!


  4. First, I know I’ve been a slug-a-bug in visiting. With all the time available to us, I felt that I just kept running out of time throughout April. I’ve got my list on belated blog hopping; know that yours is on there.

    I agree with your “ugly” section. Really deep searching for the AtoZ posts? I’ll pass unless the content is freaking amazing. Finding where to leave a comment? Same deal. It really comes down to, as you mentioned, user-friendly sites. I’ll add the extra work and TIME to that.

    Thank you so much for including Tale Spinning (my photo) on the Really Cool Blogs sidebar. I’ve read many of them, but not all. Need to change that.

    As to next year? I’m always “Aaaggghhhh” by May, and then when March happens it’s “Aaaaaghhhh” time again. I never really seem to know what I’m going to do (or if) until that second “Aaaaaggghhhh” hits.

    Liquid Time will tell. Here’s my Reflections Post:

    Read you soon


  5. A very nice, innovative way to round up the challenge.
    I gave Reflections a miss because there are too many things competing for time.
    Though I must confess, I couldn’t read all your posts, I enjoyed the ones that I read.
    And thank you so much for stopping by my blog and for those lovely comments. I appreciate it a lot.
    Take care and stay safe.
    My latest post: Pandemic facts and emotions

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I really enjoyed your posts Barbie. Especially the one about your friend (growing up with selective mutism).
    And also felt thrilled to read about your daughter’s news:)
    Have a wonderful summer.
    Here’s my post:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arti thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate that nudge about Rachel, I do need to reach out to her and you reminded me. Thanks about the good news too…she is making a blog so watch for that…I’m sure she will let me share. I’ll be over to see your post shortly. Have a splendid day!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, you brought up something I forgot to mention in my reflections post! There blogs where I would have to search for the A to Z post, and after a while, I just closed out those sites and didn’t bother.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know what you mean…and you know what is worse, Lisa? When you go to comment back and you get this message: is no longer available. The authors have deleted this site. It’s a little frustrating. Have a great day.


  8. Great recap. I agree about visiting blogs and not knowing where to find their A to Z post. I also appreciate your generosity to promote other bloggers. That is so kind. You did a great job!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I really liked reading your blog this year. I’m glad I found yours. It was one of the few blogs I followed consistently. You were very insightful in your letters. I liked the idea of writing letters to yourself as a theme. I may choose to do that next year. Not quite sure where that will take me, but I’m willing to give it a try. And thanks for reading my entries. It’s always nice to get a new audience member.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Barbie,

    I’ll give you an amen to all of these points. A few years ago, I gave up trying to visit everyone on the Master List and I do look for bloggers to connect with on a personal level. Most of my commenters are bloggers I’ve connected with over the years, many of them only visit in April then gone for the other 11 months of the year but there are a number of them who are my loyal buds. You’re so right the challenge is far more meaningful and fun when you build a friendship in the process, like we did this time. I’m pretty sure we’ve crossed path in previous years but my memory is rusty. We do change on many levels and learn much in our blogging journey. The way we do things this year may be different next. I’m looking forward to what you’ll share next year. You are planning on doing the A2Z in 2022, right?

    One thing I’ve done in the past is if I have trouble finding a person’s post, I will bring it to their attention and if they don’t fix the issue then I may not visit again. Time digging around someone site to find what should be easy peasy is a huge suck of your time. That’s why I stressed for A2Zers to leave a direct link in comments because that way you can’t ever go wrong with not getting a return visit. And then there are those who sign up to do the challenge and then do nothing. Come on, folks be responsible, tell the co-hosts to take your name off the Master List!!

    Alright, that’s it for now. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You’ve been a real peach to get to know this year and like you, I’m thankful for the closer connection we made this year and look forward to growing our friendship.

    Have a funtastic week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We all learn so much. You never know I may be responding to a comment you made from years back that I neglected (wouldn’t that be ICONIC?) I agree with your stressing the direct link…I’ve got to remember to add that to my comment notes! And I absolutely will be here for next year (God willing). Wouldn’t miss it. ♥


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