Bucket List – 2021

       It’s that time of year again – time to review last years resolutions (Bucket List 2020) and see what I’ve achieved over the past 365 days, and the answer is….not very much.   It’s not entirely my fault though – blame it on that little COVID creature we didn’t even know existed last January, or if we did, it was a mere rumor on the distant horizon.   While I was able to achieve some of my goals, most of them will be put back on this year’s list.     

Who moved the goalpost?

Exercise – I was more successful at walking this year, except for the month I hurt my back lifting the Pandemic Picnic table and the two months in the summer when it was too hot, but I’ve been diligent ever since, even in sleet and rain and snow…well we’ve hardly had any snow – two small storms which melted faster than Frosty. It’s been a very mild winter so far with daytime temps above freezing – I haven’t even worn my down parka yet. Perfect weather for walking, which gives me a daily dose of fresh air and music, and helps with the Cabin Fever.  (next weeks blog).  

Cabin in the Woods

Renos: The house projects never got done.   I was deep into quotes for new window dressings (shutters versus pull down blinds) when the March lockdown happened.  Same with the bathroom floor.  You would think with the pandemic things would be cheaper, but business was booming as everyone seemed to be doing home renos, but the main reason I didn’t proceed was I didn’t want anyone in my house measuring and installing and spreading germs.   It was bad enough when I had to get the furnace fixed in September, a job which involved two subcontractors (gas leak and new chimney liner) and three service techs.  They were mostly good at wearing masks, except for the guy who who kept disappearing on smoke breaks.   

Purging Possessions: The closets got cleaned out, but as the garage sale didn’t happen, most of the stuff eventually found its way back to its place of origin, including a whole bunch of Christmas decorations.  I’ve decided not to do a major cleaning-out this January as I normally would, better to buy a house with a big attic or loft. This shift away from simplifying was provoked by a simple comment someone made, “Why are you giving away all this perfectly good stuff?” (see blue lights at the end, so pretty but so ancient it came with a cord). If I do anything this winter, it might be my clothes closets. Someday I hope to be able to dress up again, and wear lipstick.

As for the rest – the low-fat cookbooks never even got opened (we needed comfort food), the new camera never got bought (required a trip to the camera store), the short story never got written (so not inspired), and I remain the last Netflix holdout in the country – lots of books got read though, more this year than ever.  (Thank God for library curbside pickup).  As for the shorter blogs, things started out well under 1000 words, but lately they have ballooned up to the two to three thousand mark again – with not much else to do, I wrote.

One bright spot this past year, was that my mother’s art exhibit went ahead despite the pandemic.   It’s up until next April, and even if not many people have visited, they put it online virtually – although they did such a great job with the display it’s simply stunning in person, all that color against dark gray walls.   Just after we did some local press in December, the province-wide lockdown started again – bad timing, but I did my first LIVE radio interview with a national news show – a nerve-racking experience, especially at that hour. I’m not a morning person but I set my alarm for 6 so I would be fully awake and somewhat coherent by 7 am.    My mother refused, as she said she would be too nervous, but I wasn’t about to turn down a producer from Toronto.  So add that to my agent resume!  

2021 Goals and Resolutions:

My first goal is to try and not get COVID before my turn in the vaccination lineup.   Our stats here were so low for so long that it was easy to go about doing essential things without too much excessive worry, but now I think I’ll revert to my hermit ways and my big three-week grocery marathons.   I don’t see general public vaccination on any large scale happening here until May at the earliest, so it will be a long cold winter spent hibernating. I have plenty of things to occupy my time though, reading, writing, blogging, and I may sign up for an online art appreciation course. Maybe a bit of TV watching – if you are a fan of Masterpiece, the mini-series All Creatures Great and Small based on the James Herriot books, is debuting this Sunday Jan 10 on PBS.

January is often a time for quiet reflection and my goals this year are tending towards the more philosophical.

Lavender in the snow….

Time for Reflection:   One of the striking things about this year is how much less rushed life has been.   Sometimes it’s good to slow down and be still, contemplate life in general and sift through what needs to be done and what is just busyness. Think about what’s truly important. Give thanks for each day, especially the small things we take for granted, like smelling coffee and breathing.

Christmas Card – CWL

Talk Less and Listen More: I used to be a quieter person, but my job for many years entailed extroverted qualities.  Leading such a quiet life this past year has brought me back to my quiet centre.  I’ve ordered Julia Cameron’s (of Artist’s Way fame) latest book, The Listening Path – The Creative Art of Attention. Creativity is a quiet pursuit, thriving on time and solitude, both of which we have in abundance this winter.   May this year be a creative one for all my fellow bloggers!

Have faith – there is light at the end of the tunnel….

(988 words)

25 thoughts on “Bucket List – 2021

  1. www.rosesintherainmemoir.wordpress.com says:

    After yesterday’s near fiasco in the U.S. Capitol (I’m sure you’ve heard the news), I’m more than ready to return to my usual introspective center. My “word” for this year is FRUGALITY, as exemplified in the godly woman of Proverbs 31. Not just in money matters, however, but in all other areas, including negative thought patterns and emotions. So far, it’s been quite an interesting project until a moment of near panic when I heard the news of insurrection in D.C. Praise be to God, this incident died down overnight, but that may not be the end of it.

    I’m more than ready for a good spell of buried-in-snow cabin fever with a bowl of soup, a good long book (currently reading A COLUMN OF FIRE by Ken Follett), Charlie by my side.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Oh I was glued to the TV/news yesterday….we live in scary times. I’m relieved to see they certified the vote, disappointed and bewildered that so many Republicans still objected, and anxious that it might flare up again as he has so many angry supporters. Finally at 11pm last night I turned the news off and read my latest issue Jan of Victoria Mag. – just to have something beautiful to reflect upon before bed. Frugality is an excellent word – I was thinking about waste when I was making rice pudding out of the leftover rice the Chinese restaurant insists on including in their takeout. But frugality of emotions and negativity and bad news is good too. Funny I’ll be blogging about Cabin Fever next week…in the early pioneer days! Stay safe Jo!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ally Bean says:

    I didn’t accomplish much that I was planning on doing in 2020. Like you I was going to exercise more & do some home renovations, but none of that happened. Nor did we travel like we planned. HOWEVER we are healthy so I won’t complain.

    I loved All Creatures Great and Small when I read the books. I remember it being on TV, too. Thanks for the head’s up. I didn’t know Cameron had a second book out. Will look for it. Her Artist’s Way changed the way in which I thought about who I was and gave me the courage to try a new thing called “blogging.” 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      I like sharing tidbits that others might find interesting. So much of what’s on TV is mindless stuff that I prefer Masterpiece shows. I like the Julia Cameron books too and have read most of them, including her sequels to the Artists Way, although I never got into the morning pages stuff. I esp. liked the 2016 one for middle aged people. It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again – discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond. It most inspired me to start writing again. I read her memoir years ago and she’s had such a difficult life that I wondered how she could write such inspiring uplifting books.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. brilliantviewpoint says:

    Congratulations on making it on the radio! Even though it was early, I bet it was fun. Did you have to answer audience questions too? Laughed when you said your goal is not to get COVID — same here. Although, I work for a hospital. I got my first shot for the vaccine today. Second one in 2 1/2 weeks. They said tomorrow I should feel some pain in my arm. The second shot though, might have more symptoms, they don’t know. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      No the radio interview was not exactly what I would describe as fun! although I wasn’t that nervous I was worried more about being concise and getting the points across in the time limit allotted – I ran over a bit. Lucky you, getting the shot already – did you get Pfizer or Moderna? They haven’t even started any essential/hospital workers here, just in Toronto way…the roll out has been very slow as cases skyrocket.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. annieasksyou says:

    You packed a lot of stuff into less than 1000 wds! I’m impressed that you’re keeping up your exercising even in sleet, etc—but do be careful of your footing,

    I keep trying to do all those tidying up, getting-rid/of chores. But I fail miserably,

    Good for you adding radio interviewee to your resume. Ya just never know the turns life will take. Regardless, you did a nice thing for your mom. Is there any way for me to access the exhibit?


    • Joni says:

      I don’t go out if it’s slippery – heavens what if I fell and broke a hip or something! But I’ve walked in rain (a light mist) and snow (flurries) a few times – and one day when it was semi-slippery I walked on the grass at the park and that was okay. I’ve given up on the tidying/cleaning out chores until after the pandemic is over – there’s no point if I can’t clear it all out and no one else is seeing my (dusty) house now anyway – my cleanlinest standards have fallen considerable. My blog is semi-anonymous, so I don’t want to post it here, but I’ll send you a virtual link through your contact page – watch for it and let me know if you get it. Joni


  5. Anne says:

    What a thought-provoking piece! I kept myself far too busy during the first months of the pandemic last year – my to do lists were long and I was far too hard on myself (probably to make up for the disappointment of shattered plans and the longing to see family). This year I am resolved to be kinder to myself. What needs to be done won’t go away, but I will fit in what is comfortable to achieve every day, make time to read, to walk, to swim while it is hot, to do crosswords, and to write when I can. The baskets of laundry can continue to leer at me and the spider webs will be attacked, the garden will be attended to – each in their own time 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Thanks Alison! Happy New Year to you too! I think that mini-series might have already aired in the UK, as we always seemed to be 6 months behind with Downton Abbey and Poldark etc.


  6. Linda Schaub says:

    I’ve not abided by any of my resolutions and will start anew on Monday. I did not start on January 1st as I figured, like I always do, to start on the first business day after the holiday. When I’m retired (whenever that will be), that crutch will be gone. 🙂 I’m happy you’re walking more – it is the perfect balm for the last 9 months … it aged all of us I believe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      It’s been beautiful walking weather this week. Hope it continues. Are you only posting once a week now? I’m caught up on Reader again tonight and even manages to write 3000 words today on my project.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Hi Joni – I have been leaving here earlier at night and trying to get to bed at 10:00 p.m. – one New Year’s resolution for getting more sleep. And another NY’s resolution was to only post one long post and one Wordless Wednesday post per week until I get caught up here. You are the only one that remarked on it although I did tell several people I regularly interact with. Friday night I shut off my computer as to social media and shut off the news … it was a long week at work, the news of the week and the incessant robo calls … all drove me crazy. I ate dinner and came back and watched two episodes of Mad Men.
        Was gone 4 1/2 hours yesterday walking (yes it was beautiful and only 23 degrees F, but so clear out and sun for a change) and took my car for a short run. I’m trying not to go to the gas station to fill up due to COVID, but it needed a run – 10 miles only, no pictures after I left the Park. I have to start the stretching exercises … lots of things happened this week, including losing internet at work, issues editing over the phone, just will start tomorrow. I actually HATE that I have to post less to keep up here … it seems counterproductive but it is rude to expect people to read my posts if I am two or three days behind on theirs. I got nothing done in the house this weekend though I intended to … I just stepped away from everything because I know the weather sooner or later will be crummy and I can’t do walks for a while. I am hearing a mixture of rain/snow on Thursday, yet it will be 41 degrees. Hopefully no snow … they say we’ve had two more inches of snow than a normal Winter at this time and two degrees higher temps. That seems odd, but every time we’ve had snow or freezing rain, but snow mostly … it has melted away in a few days. We still have a little bit of snow on the shady side of the street but just on lawns. I have checked out the PBS show for tonight … I can indeed watch it online and and also can go back and watch any episode from any PBS Masterpiece Theatre in the past. I can forward you the e-mail that shows how to view interviews, etc. if you want. So debating now whether to watch it now “live” or watch like I am watching “Mad Men” … a few episodes at a time for continuity. I’d also like to watch ‘Sixty Minutes” tonight or at least listen to it on the radio – it is always broadcast on my radio station at 7:00 p.m. As of now, I’ve not written my post for tomorrow yet. You are very productive!!! I’m looking forward to today’s walk … got 5 miles in yesterday and hope to do that again today. I like stepping away a little bit right now … I have enough photos to use for posts to get me through April as of now, maybe even longer than that. I planned it that way in case we had bad weather as they predicted lots of wintry precip this Witner and due to COVID, I did not want to be visiting gas station all the time. So I will intersperse my longer trek posts with Council Point Park posts. Plus February will be Valentine’s Day and Blogiversary posts … I think I am set for a while. I have only come on here a few minutes every morning to clear SPAM … I came here to respond to you to tell you about PBS … I will forward the newsletter now, in case you want to read interviews.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s