Thursday 30 December 2021

Best and worst of 2021

The week between Christmas and New Year is the strangest week of the year. Nobody knows what day it is, but that's okay - time has lost all meaning. Normal meal times have been suspended in favour of grazing through all the leftovers, which may mean a cold turkey leg for breakfast and Christmas cookies for dinner one day, and a pizza and dill chips for dinner at 4 in the afternoon another. It's fine though, because it's the  week of the year where expectations are zero and anything goes

I always use those last few days to look back on the year that was, and then make some goals for the year about to be. There is magic in the dying embers of an outgoing year, and I think it's important to pause and give thanks, reflect, and say goodbye properly. 

Let's start with the good:

Puppies! We raised 21 puppies in '21. Despite the insane amounts of poo they created, it was the best thing ever. Here are a few videos:

(For more, go to my Youtube channel.) 

Mia. To nobody's surprise, we kept one of Dixie's puppies. Mia is almost 7 months old,  loves to swim, run, and chew on shoes, paper and my hot water bottle. She's a real adventure pup, up for anything, and the happiest dog we've ever had. 

Here she met her pack for the first time without her siblings around:

Here we're skiing together:

Vaccinated. I'm so grateful for the vaccine. It makes me feel safer at work and in life every day. I know it's a polarising topic, so that's all I'm gonna say about it. 

New hobby. I bought myself a kayak this year, and it was one of my best purchases. Lily and I have been exploring several lakes last summer, and can't wait to do more of it in 2022! 

Dusting off old hobbies. I quite literally dusted off some old toys and started using them again this year. I rollerskated all throughout my childhood, traded them in for rollerblades as a teenager, and then stopped altogether in my 20s. When I decluttered our basement this year I found them again and decided to give it a whirl. It's so much fun! I love the feeling of the wind in my hair, it's such a symbol of freedom. 

I also took my cross-country skis out for a spin a few times, and as soon as the deep freeze is over (it's currently -24 Celsius, brrr) I'll explore more trails. I might even go downhill skiing again, who knows? I haven't done that for at least ten years, but I'm up for some epic adventures. One of my goals for the new year is to play more in our gorgeous backyard of Merritt.

Peace. We've had some issues with a couple of people in the past, and it looks like we resolved them this year. And even if they should come back, I've started growing a backbone and I'm learning to stand up for myself, so let them come! (But honestly, I'd rather they don't. I like a peaceful life.) 

Weekends with Axel (and others). After the social desert that was 2020, we've had more company again this year! The kids came for visits including our grandson Axel, and we hosted or visited several friends. It was so good to hang out with loved ones again and made me realize how important connection is,  even for introverts like me.

The bad:

Natural disasters. 2021 was the year of the heat dome, the year Lytton burnt down, the year of record-breaking, horrible wild fires, and then just a couple of months later, unprecedented flooding that evacuated our entire town for two weeks. We were on evacuation alerts 4 or 5 separate times, evacuated for 5 days, and I spent the better part of the year driving past burning trees or under intense smoke, often being detoured because the fires were too close to the road and had to be closed. 

Last month I almost fell into the churning river that took down my beloved highway 8, and since November 15 we're almost cut off from the Lower Mainland, with only one route open that's incredibly dangerous in the current conditions. 

The stress brought on by months of uncertainty, worry and fear has been intense. Even though we were amongst the lucky ones who came out of both disasters intact, it was a sober reminder of how precarious life is. Things can change in a moment, and there is not much we can do about it.

The take-away from this is to live as fully in the present moment as possible, and enjoy the hell out of everything we have.
Because even amidst a pandemic, climate change, ignorance and unfairness, life can be achingly, magically beautiful. 
Don't miss a moment of it.



  1. It was a year for the record books!!! And like you, I'm learning a whole lot of lessons about inner strength and perseverance because of it. As a fellow introvert I also was surprised to learn how much I actually need human connection (just in smaller doses thank you very much, lol). Blessings to you and Rich for 2022 - let the adventures begin!

    1. Yes, let's! Here's to a year with no natural disasters, less restrictions, and more freedom and fun!


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