Happy 2021. Sorry for the lapse in blogging. Not sure what happened in December…Thankfully we are done with this car crash of a year. I know the calendar changing isn’t going to fix everything, but it sure feels like it might help. Remember back in March when I was writing what we can do to get through? Ha! ]Last night I made myself festive and wore a satin skirt with a sweater and my mom’s 1960’s crystal bracelet. I had to give my holiday clothes a whirl even if it was to eat pizza and sit by the fire and play a board game. It was my kind of NYE. I’m not a big late night girl, never have been. I’d much rather be tucked up in bed with a book.
As crappy as this past year has been, we have gotten stronger, more resilient, less selfish and I think smarter too. We have been gifted with the time to stop and realize what the heck really matters in this life. Slow living was thrust upon us and it isn’t all bad. Everything else kind of fell away and frankly, some of that was good – and needed.
At my house, with all of us home- the guys with school and work and one beginning a new job, in our small home it has not been easy. We have had our struggles here. It isn’t all rosy. Things have been rough for young people and the elderly this year because of the isolation. They are missing out on so many life milestones and older folks on the connections. Some are just done living and working in their rooms.
Lawrence Wright of the New Yorker wrote the amazing and well-researched article called The Plague Year, says a huge part of our failure fighting this virus is the inability of us all to come together and to treat it like the enemy, as we have during wars and other catastrophes. Can you imagine if we had done this? If every American had worn a mask and not socialized? Just those two things alone would have made all the difference.
The positives of this pandemic year are we had a lot more time with our spouses and kids. There have been so many great interactions with our neighbors who we usually do not see so much in a busy world. The good/bad is also with no commitments or events we have more time to do what we want, and the strain of must do’s has been lessened. The holiday season sure was a lot less stress!
We are living with doing less, but maybe finding joy in smaller things. In a tragic year, maybe this is how we find our way back to real meaning in life? We appreciate everything more, especially our health, the people in our lives and the little rituals that bring joy each day.
Highlights of my Covid year..
I fit in time to patch my grandmother’s jeweled tree from the 1960’s. I posted this on my Instagram .I just treasure mine and loved it as a little girl at seeing it each Christmas at grandma’s home. Crafts, art and handiwork is something I have enjoyed trying this year and have brought some quality time in a year of repetitive tasks. I also tried an online watercolor class taught by my friend Heidi , and it was an enriching experience, probably the best thing I have done for myself this year, especially the time I had to mark off to paint for and hour or so each week. Muck around with something new using your hands in 2021, and you might find a few moments of zen in the craziness.
By the way, wear those vintage jewels or fancy things. You don’t need a party to have them bring you joy. I took my mom’s beloved Christmas bell pin out this year. Wear it for yourself. We need the uplift now! Honestly each time I saw it on my coat it brought me a little happy feeling. Mom was with me each time I went out with that coat!
Getting out of the house for a simple walk in our neighborhood has been enough to get through some days. Our family did walks before the pandemic, but it always was on a trail, or off in the car to some special spot. We have found a loop from our house that is 1/3 of a mile. It’s not a challenge, but it takes us through a park. We, the guys included, have trained ourselves to do it a few times a day, even if just to take a break from sitting. It may not be burning that many calories, but it’s been good for us to have a set route to just go to without thinking. It’s a break for the mind and doesn’t hurt the heart. I find when I do it, I can easily do it twice without thinking and it lifts me out of whatever funk I have, without much effort. Talking to a friend on the phone, or listening to music or a book while doing it is another treat for yourself. Just doing the walk with nothing, but the quiet is pretty darn good to calm the mind too.
Finding some humor..Jackson’s darling girlfriend Kristin got us this ornament which is a keepsake of what I hope will be a year we will never repeat, but it reminds me to find some humor in it all. We also have been watching old 80’s and 90’s film and stand-up comedians just to get a few laughs in a night. Once we pry the kids out of their room, old movies like Diehard actually sparked a lot of conversation and laughs.
I also have made an effort to call people. Yes I know the old fashioned phone! I had gotten out of the habit and fifteen minutes on the phone with a friend or family member is so nice. My brother also always makes me laugh. Thinking of calling someone? Just do it.
Cooking more. I made my Christmas lasagnas this year- one for my dad to enjoy also. It’s easy to make a double of any recipe to keep for later- or to share.
Max has been perfecting his home made pizza on the outdoor grill and we have gotten into a good routine of cooking at home almost all nights except one a week. I defiantly think we are eating better and finding it a joy when we tackle it together- and the guys clean up.
A bottle brush tree I spied in the window of our local home shop Harvest also made me happy. I brought it to our small cabin and put those tiny battery lights on it . We bought a tiny older kit cabin this year in Tahoe and are so thankful to spend family time here this winter. I promise to share more of it soon.
You readers and this blog community here has gotten me through this year. I cannot tell you how much you being here and your notes mean to me. I thank you all so much. I plan to change things up in 2021 and blog more, so stay tuned. That means treating this blog like a job, something I have struggled with as I usually put everything at home first. This year I plan to put some of my own things first. Anyone else feel the same?
I’d love so much to hear below in the comments what you got out of this last year and your thoughts. I hope it hasn’t been all bad.
Sending you love and wishing each of you a happy, healthy and love filled 2021.
Thank you for reading!
P.S. Someone asked where my satin skirt is from. I bought it last year at Banana Republic and they still have it- marked down plus additional off.