Happy New Year :: 2019 Reflections and 2020 Resolutions

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To be honest, I felt a bit anxious about writing this post given it is the first of a new year and of a new decade! Before sharing my resolutions for the year, let me first start off by wishing you a truly wonderful, healthy and lovely year ahead, filled with love, joy, self-awareness, nurturing relationships, new knowledge and mostly, adventure!

Since we really shouldn’t create resolutions for a new year without first reflecting on what was accomplished or not from  the previous year, let me resume mine now (you can read here my intentions for 2019). I am happy to report that we definitely made 2019 a year to remember (No. 5).  It was a milestone celebration year for my husband and I; our 35th wedding anniversary in February!  We marked the occasion with two events.  The first was our spectacular trip to Paris, taken in May (about a week or so after the unfortunate historic burning of the Notre-Dame Cathedral) and the second was the purchase of a Tiffany True diamond ring, a three decade upgrade realized!  Also, in August, my husband, daughters and their husbands, our grandchildren and my father-in-law visited Prince Edward Island.  We rented a gorgeous cottage and created beautiful memories, mostly at PEI’s finest beaches and just being tourists.  It was  a magical trip and one I will forever cherish. I realize that I haven’t done a blog post on either of these trips, so will definitely commit to do so!  I challenged myself to be more vulnerable (No. 4) and created this post & this one, but I still have a lot more work regarding setting aside “perfectionist” tendencies (No. 1) and did little to report on with respect to Nos. 2 & 3, hence why they are carried over for 2020.

With respect to starting a new decade, and given my age range – realistically, it will be harder to achieve in later years – the focus of the next decade will be to fulfill my greatest desire, which is to travel.  Specifically, I have always wanted to live in Europe (country not yet decided) for an extended period of time and really do a lot of travelling within the continent.  My husband and I haven’t quite agreed how to make this happen, but it is on the top of our list!  I would also love to cultivate a creative passion that can, ideally, be turned into a source of additional income.

Given this context and without further delay, below are my resolutions for 2020!

  No. 1 – reduce time spent on instagram

Many have already put into words, more eloquently than I, the merits of distancing oneself from social media activities and consumption, therefore I will not repeat what I am sure you already know. But I will share my reflections on how social media has affected me, as I had to be honest with myself on what I was getting out of it. Sadly and pathetically (in hindsight), instagram scrolling would be the first and last activity of my day, not to mention the hours in between.  It would dramatically put me into a mood of self-doubt, induce a tail-spin of possible purchases and I would use it to look for ways to creatively apply what I liked from others to my own presence on instagram.  All of this are matters that are really not important in the grand scheme of life. Being retired for two and half years now, it was also a way to offset loneliness/boredom, which may be seen as a benefit, but there are other more worthy ways to address this issue.  Also, when I reflect back to the simpler times of flipping through a print magazine and being inspired by editorials and thoughtful articles, compared to the instant gratification nowadays of copying an influencer’s look or acting upon on their recommendations, I’ve come to realize I have lost all sense of self.  Being aware how social media affects me was the first step in addressing it. Therefore, to help me achieve this important goal, I plan to put into practice the following:

  • a morning ritual of writing my goals and affirmations for the day, followed by yoga, meditation and a nutritious breakfast. In the evenings before bedtime, writing out what I am grateful for and reflecting on how to improve and/or what thoughts I have permitted to dominate my mental wellness.  With the exception of journalling, I am already doing the others, so swapping out instagram for journalling seems practical, but I know that it will take dedication and commitment to actually fulfill.  As such, I’ve ordered this journal to help me along.  This practice will also feed into self-discovery and improvement journey.
  • follow only instagram accounts that truly inspire me.  What do I mean by that?  There are only a few influencers/bloggers whom I follow that have this perfect way of sharing, without giving off that vibe that they are a never ending commercial.  Then there are interior decorators, artists, creators whose photographs, or work are jaw-dropping in inspiration.  These are the accounts that fuel my creative side and that I will spent my precious time looking at for no more than an hour or two, total, throughout the day.
  • read more and consistently.  This has already started, actually.  I completed three novels (post to come) and have reserved five others from my local library, two of which I am first in the queue for, which means they will be made available to me imminently; can’t wait.  Committing to reading has so many benefits, one of which is that it will, by default, reduce my time on social media.

No. 2 – less words, and more action

Enough said. Haha.. but seriously, a lot more planning, in written form, but more importantly, execution! And to help me along, I also purchased this planner, from the same company as the journal above.  It will no doubt help me to achieve the resolutions below.

No. 3 – become more cultured

When I think about it, it is surprising how little I know.  The arts, photography, food, wine, fashion, design, movements, history, these are all areas that I am deeply interested in but have no in-depth knowledge of. As mentioned above, we aim to live abroad which I realize is the best way to become cultured.  So to help me plan our travel journey, I will undertake to deep dive on certain subjects and write blog posts about these interests; a somewhat more elevated version of my “spotlight” blog posts.

No. 4 – identify my “true” creative passion and perfect it

  I’ve tried painting and love it, but don’t practice enough. I still have a deep passion for photography, but have not mastered it by any means whatsoever.  I get loss in time – too much so, because of I lack some skill sets – tinkering with visual images, seen in this post and this post! So, I plan to undertake further photoshop training and possibly delve into coding (so I can make design changes to the blog myself) and graphic design, as I love typography and creating layouts & collages.  This past December resulted in completing a challenging project (three machine and handmade stitched dolls for our 5 year old granddaughter as a Christmas present).  While I don’t plan to make any more dolls (I am not really that kind of grandmother!) sewing did resonate with me, but I would need to take lessons. There are other projects in mind too.  So to help me with all of this and possibly identify which of these mediums is my true passion, I ordered another book, see here!

No. 5 – diet & exercise

My diet, which I am happy to announce, is plant-based (as of December 2019).  Those close to me will know that I went vegan about 10 years ago for about 4 years before re-introducing dairy, then on occasion, fish into my diet.  Well, I am switching back. You may have heard of the Netflix documentary “The Game Changers”? If not, I highly recommend you view it.  My mother’s health took a dramatic turn in November, a brain stroke which was due to 100% plaque blockage in her right artery and 40% in the left.  Thankfully, she is at home now, adjusting.  I cannot stress how much health and diet are tied together.  Another Netflix documentary worth viewing – Forks over Knives – delves more into the data as to why a plant-base diet is the answer to this type of disease, as well as many others.  Thankfully, my husband is on board too and so we are now in a honeymoon phase of exploring new recipes and foods together.  I plan to share this journey through instagram stories and save recipes here to the blog.  As for exercise, I have always gravitated to yoga and am so happy that it has become entrenched as part of my morning routine; my goal for 2020 is to become much more flexible and perfect certain poses.  Also, mentioned in a previous post about integrating another program in addition to my yoga practice, in reality, haven’t actually made it part of my routine yet, so I’d like to do that as well.

I think I will stop there!  Wish me luck and I encourage you to keep me accountable!  Would also love to hear about your resolutions, so do comment, if you are so inclined.

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