What to say about 2021? What am I looking forward to? What plans can possibly be made? How am I going to meet the first year of the new decade?
2020 packed one hell of a wallop, as with everyone there were things I couldn’t possibly anticipate. The year, even before COVID-19, held plenty of lessons and I learned a lot about myself – and about those in my life. By the time the year came to its end, it left me with a life-sized Tetris game – how do I want the pieces to fit back together?
As always, with the help of friends, family and Colette Baron-Reid, Susannah Conway, Danielle LaPorte, Ali Edwards, Gretchen Rubin, and Elise Blaha Cripe, I was able to really look at what was working and what didn’t work for me in this extraordinary year. I’ve picked up the pieces of my shattered heart determined to keep it open and welcoming. I’ve made huge decisions toward a new life where I am inviting in only those things that will fulfill and sustain me in the life I want as much as I need.
So far, 2021 looks like:
WINTER | Claire, Cole and Chloé will each be looking to apply for Master’s programs in their varied fields of interest to start in the fall. The whole online school thing has worked, and not, based on their personalities. It’ll all sort itself out. There is zero pressure on any of them to do anything. | In the meantime, Claire continues to work at MedCan, Cole is thriving in his Content Strategy postgrad certificate program, Chloé will write her dissertation toward her Masters degree in History from the University of Edinburgh and Caden will continue toward his sociology degree at UofT. | The lockdown is scheduled to last through late-January which has Ethan “stuck” in Scotland with Chloé (not a hardship for either of them); and, has delayed the move and renovations at my new home by about a month. (Just breathe, Lee.) | The NHL hockey season will start and it will no doubt prove interesting with the division changes this year. | Cole will turn 24 and move with me and the dogs from Oakville to Southampton. He has a sweet set up, a coach house above the garage. | Renovations! This will be the first kitchen I’m able to design for myself. This new home is going to be fabulous! | The reformer Pilates machine will be delivered. I’m excited to use it every day. | The granite (a nod to his stubborn nature) memorial bench for Bill will be designed and installation plans underway. | I have a few projects on the go, starting with the birthday card idea. | I’ll walk the dogs daily to get the mail almost a kilometre away from the house.
SPRING | Chloé returns to our new home. | Photo Walks will be underway each weekend in April and May as I explore Southampton – hopefully with friends. | Cole will start camping and I will start to worry about wolves and bears. | Planters will be filled and the garden will be designed. Many peonies will be added and hopefully a few Japanese maples and dogwoods. | The kids will get their hot tub as well as kayaks, paddleboats, a fire pit and whatever other summertime entertainment they need. The only absolute “no” is anything with a motor. | I’ll get my twinkle lights strung through the back yard. | Caden turns 21 and nineteen days later, Chloé will turn 22. | I’ll continue to walk the dogs daily. | I’ll spend time settling into the new house, putting everything where I want it to go and what doesn’t work will be purged and not saved “just in case”. | I’ll host a big ‘books and belongings’ sale to get to know my neighbours and give all the proceeds to a local charity. | I hope to start women’s gatherings on the new and full moon, following natural cycles – for learning, creating, journaling, sharing stories and offering support. I think we all need more of that.
SUMMER | I’ll welcome family, friends and friends who are family to our new home as soon as it’s safe to do so. I believe it’s ambitious to think it’ll be summer, but I like to be optimistic. | To that end, I’ll take the COVID-19 vaccine when it is made available to me. | Will the delayed Olympics happen? If they do, I’ll be watching. | Acclimating the dogs to our new neighbourhood should prove entertaining. | I have set aside the whole summer to make intentional gemstone and crystal jewellery, hopefully out on my front porch watching the water. My plan is to stay open to learning new techniques and welcome the inevitable mistakes. | I hope to remember Bill by scattering his ashes in the Bellisle Bay in New Brunswick. I’ll honour his request and have only our eight kids and our combined menagerie of dogs in attendance. | If the bench is ready, it’ll be unveiled and a dedication ceremony will be had with our friends and family. | No matter what, I’ll spend as much time as possible outside at both my new home and at the beach. | Summer will end just after my 57th birthday.
AUTUMN | Once the weather turns cooler, I’ll focus my attention on transcribing Bill’s copious number of full journals. | I hope to attend a writing retreat with Brian Henry back at Arowhon Pines. | Back to school season starts again. Where will they be? Who knows? | I dropped the UofT course in screenwriting as I purchased the new house and put mine up for sale. Now that things will be more settled, it’s time to revisit this, the final course I need for the completion of my certification. | It’s time to collect all of my photographs and make oversized coffee table books. I don’t have enough wall space to hang much, but I can make as many books as I want! | Thanksgiving will be spent in Cape Cod, fingers crossed. | No doubt the push for a Skidoo will start! | Claire will turn 26. | Other than that, who knows? Autumn is impossibly far away.
AMIDST IT ALL | My daily practices of meditation, oracle card pulls, morning pages, VOXXLIFE patches, ASEA drink and 8+ hours of sleep every night will keep me in flow. | I’ll write toward the completion of my novel, every day. Consistency is key and to do that I have to show up. | With the new reformer Pilates machine in my home, I’ll have no excuses to not use it every day. | I have set an hour aside every day to transcribe Bill’s journals. Given the number of volumes, this is going to be a huge, time-consuming project. | Novels will be read, at least 2 each month for pure enjoyment. | I will post to the blog as consistently as I can, offering fun and uplifting content. I promise to always show up as my authentic (read: flawed) self. | Tucker and Finn will be walked and fed and groomed and well-loved. | My home will be 100% exactly how I want it to be. | I will try new recipes as well as new restaurants. | My One Little Word® (Brave) will be explored with supporting words: magic and joy. | Health continues to be a priority with my focus on: move more. | I will play with my camera as much as possible and explore the Light & Airy app as well as Instagram. | I will be more active in my online store adding new products. | I will see more movies and binge watch more great shows. | And I will read, I’m hoping to complete at least two novels each month.
There is an overarching plan for each season and I expect, like all years, there will be various degrees of success and failure. Add in the extra uncertainty that 2021 will no doubt be a continuation of 2020 with the pandemic being a primary focus, plans will simply have to be open and flexible. I know that sometimes I provide myself with too many options, but that’s just how I roll. I need structure and variety in my every day so that I can be laser-focused and distraction-free when it comes to executing big and small projects from start-to-finish. I also know that it’s not always the big projects that bring the most joy or sense of accomplishment. I’m looking forward to the year ahead, whatever it may hold.
Right after Christmas, Cathy Zieske posted a new digital layout template in her shop so, as always, I had to get it!