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47: Next Year

At this time last year I was in Tofino as part of my weeklong 40th birthday extravaganza, and 4 years ago today I saw Temple of the Dog at a little venue in Seattle. This year, I’m planning to walk over to the bakery across the street and see if I can get a day old cake for half price.

Anyway, I’m not really bothered by the lack of festivities this year. I’ve settled into my homebody life quite comfortably, so as long as there are sufficient baked goods, I’m happy enough.

I am starting to think ahead to next year though, not to my birthday, just to the year 2021 as a whole. And not because of ‘2020’ and how I can’t wait for it to be over – I find all those posts on that topic quite annoying actually, because a calendar year is just a set of days we made up for ourselves so I’m not expecting a switch to flip on New Year’s Day and suddenly everything will be different.

Every year I come up with a list of goals and plans for the coming year. This year was supposed to be a Depth Year, among other things. Despite having all the time in the world on my hands (or maybe because of it), I wouldn’t really call that goal a success. (I did one Depth Year update here.) The only thing I really followed through on was my stained glass project, which I hope to have installed by the end of the year.

I think I did make excellent use of my time though, just not doing what I had intended, which is fine. I also had other goals, like ‘buy no unnecessary things’ which I did quite well with, but more about that in a month or so.

The reason I like to make a list of goals for each year is it gives me something to work on, and even if I’m less than successful, I am usually still keeping these ideas in mind and sometimes that is enough for the time being.

So here are some of my intentions for next year, we’ll just have to wait and see how it goes:

Finish upstairs renos – How many times have we said we’d do this? It’s even in our plans for the Christmas break, but I’m not expecting we’ll finish during that time so it’s staying on the list. Hopefully this is the last year for this goal. I’ve made an itemized deficiency list that, on paper, looks like it should be easy to work through by spending a few hours here and there. Being able to check off every little task should help.

Take Indigenous Canada course – This is an online, free course that has been made ‘famous’ by Dan Levy (of Schitt’s Creek glory) who took the course and has been promoting it online. I’ve lived here my whole life and I know very little about how we got to where we are today, so I’m going to try to learn.

Make garage into studio – Very excited about this one. I’m hoping to get started in the spring with step 1, which is emptying out the debris and junk and then I’m excited for step 3, which is having a nice quiet place to work on art and, theoretically, exercise. (I got a sweet deal on an upper cut bag from a gym that had to close during the pandemic, so I now have most of the equipment, just not the space, to set up my own HIIT circuit.)

Artist’s Way 13-week exercises – This is the year that I’m going to ‘unlock my creativity’ or something. I got this book out of the library a while ago and only read the introduction, but it piqued my interest. Since it’s a 13-week long commitment, I started looking for a copy of the book for my own and found one on Marketplace for $4. It was in downtown Vancouver, so a helpful friend of mine picked it up for me and is holding on to it until I can get it from him. (Perhaps he is unlocking his creativity right now! I should ask.)

All of the things I’ve listed would have fit in well to a year of being in lockdown, so if everything does turn around in 2021, that will likely throw a wrench in my plans because it will be hard to fit in any of these things around all the dancing and live jazz. I wouldn’t complain though.


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  1. I am looking forward to following your progress Julie! I think I should probably take a look at that online course myself. The more my kids ask me questions, the more I realize I don’t know about our country’s own history. I highly recommend the garage studio/gym space – the ONLY space in our new house that is ‘99% DONE’ is the gym in the garage and pandemic aside, it is a lifesaver to have that space to clear one’s mind and recharge.

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  2. It will be good to look back on this year and have some positive things that we have accomplished. The Kitchen redo was one mostly done by us and levelling the retaining wall and painting the fence (done with the help of young friends) This is a year that we all wish was done, but 2020 will still infect 2021. Let’s hope for end next year. You are so right to try to find way to keep somewhat productive not just for the accomplishment but for your souls.


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