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.
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).
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.
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.
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!