Life Doesn't Fit in a File Folder


As I tap out my Annual Year-in-Review blog-post, I am in quarantine for what feels like the millionth time.

How did this happen?

Well, in late November, I made plans to help someone who claimed to “not have anywhere to go” over her holiday break from college. For those who have read my memoir, you will remember that I benefitted immensely from the kindness of a stranger who took me in when I was at my lowest low, so – in an attempt to “pay it forward, ” I invited this person to temporarily reside with me.

           All Dressed Up & Nowhere to Go

As Julia Roberts said in the film Pretty Woman: “Big mistake. Huge.”

This girl showed up to my house with a raging case of COVID, and then, upon realizing she was sick, promptly remembered that she did, in fact, have a place to go: HOME. So she packed up her stuff, leaving me with bedding to wash, a bathroom to disinfect, and a direct exposure to COVID.

Anyway, tomorrow, it’ll be five days since the exposure. According to the latest CDC guidelines, asymptomatic people who have been exposed can self-test after five days, and – given a negative test result, folks can go about their merry way, as long as they continue to mask everywhere they go for the following 10 days.

I feel fine, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a negative result.

• • •

But I digress.

For those of you who have been following me for the last few years, you know I like to do these End-of-Year Reflections during which time I do a little look back. In fact, if you really want to be creepy thorough, you can check out Year in Review 2018, Year-in-Review 2019 and Year-in-Review 2020. While some of the things I reflect upon are pretty subjective, the numbers don’t lie.

I have to say that 2021 has been a surprisingly good year for me. After many years of suffering, I feel like everything suddenly turned on a dime and all of my cosmic debts have been paid. I have been reborn and I am truly grateful to everyone who has lifted me up and helped me to arrive to see this day which I never thought would come. While I always prefer words, I have to admit this is probably the one time of the year that I really like doing a little math.


1 – memoir published

(Click HERE to purchase PSYCHIATRIZED)

1,000+ – paperbacks sold

1,584 – ebooks downloaded

56 – audiobook downloads

Thanks to my friend Scott W. Fitzgerald at Roc Vox Recording & Production!

59 – Amazon reviews

9,588 – combined followers on all social media outlets

Up 921 followers from last year, I’m hoping to hit 10K followers in 2022!

2,727 – people on my mailing list

365 – unique pieces of artwork created* this year

383 – unique pieces of artwork sold* this year

318 – unique client sales

12 – private commissions

42 – Benzo Warrior Emotional Support Calls

52 – ZOOM art classes taught

Classes resume February 9, 2022. Click HERE if you’d like to learn more.

32 – memoir classes taught

7 – Podcast interviews

4 – public readings/speaking engagements

Many thanks to Tracie Glazer at the Hillel School in Rochester, NY; Renee McLain at Center of Grace in Manlius, NY; Tricia & Steve Kuntz at Fig Hollow Barn in Palmyra, NY & The Pittsford Community Library.

          Do Epic Shit

19 – best selling print: DO EPIC SHIT

9 – shows/festivals in which I participated

What a JOY to have been able to show in person at Fairport Canal Days, Themata, Bishop Kearney, Riveter Festival, Jack Craft, Purple Painted Lady Festival, Crafted and virtually via the JOYfilled Holiday Online Artist Market.

0 – First dates I went on

I had no idea how to do it before COVID, and I’m at even more of a loss now.


Some people make New Year’s Resolutions, but I prefer to select a single word to help guide me.

Between 2014-2017, my word was HEAL.

In 2018, my word was CREATE.

All I wanted to do was make and paint and sell and promote.

In 2019, my word was GROW.

(And I did!)

In 2020, my word was CLARITY.

Then COVID hit & I think many of us are finally starting to see how much we need to do to heal individually & collectively as a nation.

In 2021, my word was PURPOSE, and I truly feel that I stepped into my power in 2021. I know who I am and the reason why I am here on this planet. I’ve found a way to marry together all my interests — my writing and my artwork, my teaching skills & my editor’s eye, my creative spirit and my desire to help people into one incredible platform of goodness. Thanks to John Kissling for helping me to revamp my website!

In 2022, my word is EXPAND.

There are a bunch of things happening behind the scenes that I hope will come to fruition in 2021.

It is my intention to allow myself to move into these new opportunities without fear.

Last year I asked two questions:

  1. What can I change, realistically, given that COVID restrictions will likely continue for some time & the future is uncertain?
  2. How can I continue to thrive personally & professionally in this extremely challenging climate & culture.

I think I’ve done a really stinkin’ good job of thriving during these difficult times. I’ve managed to grow my business, maintain friendships, and even meet a few new people, too. I’ve been more willing to immediately let go of the people who can’t communicate clearly, aren’t feeding my soul, or just plain don’t show up for me in one way or another. Ending relationships is very hard for me, so I’m going to pat myself on the back for making progress in that area.

I am curious about how y’all are doing. What has worked for you this year? What has gone to shit? Please share your thoughts with me here, on Facebook, via DM or email. It always helps me to read your words, and – if you post publicly – chance are, your words will help someone else, too.


I’ll be announcing the winner of my FREE ART BUNDLE GIVEAWAY on 1/1/22 LIVE on my Rasjacobson Art FACEBOOK Page at 1:11 PM EST! Anyone who made a purchase in December 2021 is eligible to win, so if you’d like to find out if you’re the lucky winner, be sure you are following me there! (PS: I’ll also announce a few other totally random facts like who made the first purchase of the year and who made the last purchase of the year, weird trivia like that.)

Until then, I’m wishing you all Health & Happiness for the rest of the year!

See you in 2022.




9 thoughts on “MY YEAR in REVIEW 2021: OMICRON EDITION

  1. Renee, You touch my soul and always have.
    The best thing that I experienced this year is meeting and holding my 10 month old Grandson who moved with his parents back to the States.
    The most challenging was health issues that resulted in a successful surgery. I’m back at the gym which is a stress reliever and building back muscle.
    The most unsatisfying thing is I haven’t been either able or motivated to paint. I have been creative in other ways, though.
    I expect that to change once classes resume at the MAG and I can throw clay again. I’m learning to play Euchre, too.
    All the best! EXPAND in 2022!

    1. Hi Carol! I’m so glad that you go to see your children and hold that grand-baby of yours! I’m glad to hear that you’re on the mend from your back surgery, too. Don’t worry about not being motivated to paint right now. To everything, there is a season. And apparently, it’s euchre season! Stay happy & healthy! XOXO

  2. Taking the many months of Zoom art has been the best therapy for me. Thank you for pushing me to face a medium of art I have been too self conscious about.

  3. Renee, I recently framed the LOVE Birdie watercolor you painted with a light orange wood frame and hung it at the top of the stairs of our new wood cabin. Your artworks are all over my home and yoga studio and cabin, and I so enjoy the color and vibrancy and positivity they radiate. I read your book in a captivated state, oozing with empathy for you, during our summer trip to the Italian Alps. So glad we have remained connected since CSL our happy place. I’m working on our 2022 Women’s Wellness Retreat in Israel that we both hoped you would come teach at, but it seems the international borders are shut due to a crown-shaped virus. There’s always the future. keep shining your unique and beautiful light and expand… Love you!

    1. Dal, I have been meaning to get back to you. With the borders closed, it is obviously just an impossibility at the moment. I have faith that someday I will make it to Israel for one of your Women’s Wellness Retreats, and when I do, you will be getting a lot of long, weepy hugs, my friend.

    1. Thank you so much for your support, Rusty. Life has been weird not seeing you regularly. Hopefully, we can get together in February!

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