The image above was made in 2021 and I thought it would be a good metaphor for the hopeful start of a new year—bright and beautiful.
Many writers have chosen to look back on 2020, warts and all. The good parts are about how much closer many feel to their fellow man, how many are coping, and how many have discovered new interests, including spending more time with their families.
On the other side of the coin, many have found it easy to write about all that was wrong in 2020. I think they have a lot of material to draw upon.
I can’t be bothered to make notes about 2020. I don’t need to, as it will be an indelible mark in my brain for the rest of my life.
What I thought would be more enjoyable is to write about my personal hopes for 2021. You may identify with similar wishes. Regardless, I’m looking forward to an improvement.
Most importantly, my wife and I look forward to returning to normal socialisation with our family. This includes sitting on the chesterfield reading stories, getting to know our youngest grandson who was born last February, activities with all our family including walks and cycling. Hopefully we can again have normal Thanksgiving and Christmas family festivals with everyone, together, around the dinner table.
Gathering with friends also around a dinner table or doing things together with them again is high on my list. I’ve missed being physically together with our friends a lot.
Next, my birthday. Good grief, 77 this year! To put that in perspective, I was born during the second world war. What a very long time ago that was.
On May 16th last year, Leslie and I had our 50th wedding anniversary. We kept thinking that we could still have a good party sometime in the summer, but as we all now know, that was impossible. We had such great plans! This year, it is our 51st, and, most likely, there’ll be no celebration with family and friends possible for that either. Maybe we can have a blow out in 2022 and make up for it all.
"The marriages that worked best were those in which the unity still permitted of some separateness—not a ranting independence, but a firm possession by both man and woman of their own souls."
In the past, during the spring of most years, we’ve travelled to the west coast to get to the ocean again and visit some good friends. Might this happen this year? Wouldn’t that be nice.
My creative efforts with art will continue. In fact, my arts have been my mental life saviour over the past twelve months. I plan on continuing to make use of that motivation. and tackle more things on my creativity to-do list. I’ve been told that I shouldn’t announce what I’m “planning to do” until I have something to show for it. I guess that announcing all these aspirations of mine will be called ‘reckless abandon’, but here I go anyway.
New photography projects, which I want to be more about people than landscape.
Getting my book that I published last year, Come Home Jack, into the bookstores at The Nanton Bomber Museum and The Hanger Museum at McCall Field in Calgary. I was planning to do that last spring, but then they had to shut down a lot of their spaces so I didn’t think there was much point.
Getting to work on a new book of fiction.
Submitting a couple of completed short stories to Canadian writers magazines.
Attending painting and photography exhibits in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and BC.
Finally, and this is a definite because I have everything already prepared, I will be showing my photography at a solo exhibition at the Alberta Society of Artists Gallery in Calgary. That will be exciting, although there will need to be some allowance for an alternate viewing approach if the virus restrictions are still upon us.
I have been doing my best to keep a semblance of physical fitness over the past year for this ageing body of mine. I’ve missed the use of the fitness centre at the Cochrane Sports Centre, but I did as much walking as I could and plan to keep that up in the new year. A few of the activities I look forward to in 2021 are:
Having the Cochrane Men’s Walking Group functional again with three walks every week on the various trails around our town. Additionally, I hope we can get back to walking together with the camaraderie that we’ve had for so many years.
Hiking in the mountains without having to search for parking at the trail head. I like all the seasons in the mountains, but especially the Fall.
Doing more road cycling than I did this past summer. I was deterred somewhat this past year as I recovered from my heart operation, but by mid-summer, I was feeling pretty good on the bike. I thought there were an inordinate number of new cyclists on the roads, which was good to see. I look forward to an opportunity to connect with other riders once I’m on the road again. I especially want to do a few rides from Banff to Lake Louise again, albeit at a slower pace than I used to.
That’s enough. Even accomplishing a portion of those objectives will be a positive result.
One more thing……
This week marks the anniversary, if that is even the right term, of my cardiac event. During the same week, one year ago, I had a triple bypass operation on my heart. Scared…..you bet, but I’m still here and, as you can see from above, looking forward to the coming year. I’ll be thanking God and the surgeons for the rest of my life.