Celebrating NYE with one of our last meals out

Well, it’s been 6 full months since we rang in the New Year so I thought it was a good time to review my resolutions for 2020 given that so much has happened in 2020 already! So what were my resolutions for this year?

– Review/cancel subscriptions we don’t use
– Work towards a zero waste lifestyle as much as possible
– Spend more time together as a family
– Don’t eat out at all unless traveling & generally eat well
– Less time on social media
– Design an at-home exercise program

I also had some loose goals that I wanted to achieve:

– Get out & enjoy nature more, preferably by walking with Mr. Tucker daily
– Create a quiet space in our lives for more creative pursuits: music, writing, drawing, learning how to knit socks
– Hosting monthly dinner parties with friends
– Save money to pay off our mortgage

Stretch goals:

– Gardening
– Traveling to see friends in other cities/countries

Boy howdy is this simultaneously hilarious & definitely not “funny ha-ha!” Of course, we traveled in February only to come home to a full on pandemic with lockdown happening on March 15th. So in some ways, the pandemic has helped us achieve some goals and has completely shut down some others!


Reviewing finances:

– I managed to quit my physiotherapy, my gym membership, and stop dyeing my hair or getting pedicures in the first week of March. I made the decision to just work on a program at home for exercise and Mr. Tucker and I started to walk outside daily right before everything locked down. My decision to be a swampbeast and to get my hair dyed to my natural colour & to do my own pedicures worked out well since we couldn’t do those things come March anyway. I am so glad I don’t have 6-inch brown roots with blonde ends!
– We have not eaten any meals out since our drive home from the airport from our trip in February. Since it was such an abysmal meal we had already resigned ourselves to double-down on our resolution to not eat out. So we ordered a bunch of local meat and to this day we cook every single meal at home. We did buy a lot more junk food in March-June though & drank way too much alcohol.
– I ended up quitting our Sunday New York Times subscription. While I absolutely love it, I ended up getting behind in my reading and it just gave me anxiety. While I may get it again, for now I am good with the website. Still, I did renew our subscription to The Walrus in June for another two years. While I let them pile up for 6 months, unlike a newspaper it was a comfort to spend a couple of days just reading through my accumulated issues. I haven’t renewed the kid’s subscriptions for their magazines but as it looks like we may be homeschooling this fall, I think I may end up doing just that.
– We have managed to save the 15% needed to prepay our mortgage & are working on saving another 15% to put down on our mortgage after we renew this year.


Health:

– Mr. Tucker and I did walk daily for a few weeks until the pandemic sent the kids home and I found myself supervising online learning. Still, we did open the pool in May and both Mr. Tucker and I have been swimming, stretching, and doing water weights daily since June.
– Mr. Tucker and I are cooking from home daily and since we bulked up on snack foods early on in the pandemic due to stress, we are now in a period where we are really eating much better. I feel like the summer has really contributed to this and so has our garden (more on that later).

Environmental:

– We have certainly reduced our in-home waste but the pandemic did cause our plastic use to go up and not by our own choice. Fear of transmission of Covid-19 caused many stores to ban reusable bags and containers. I hope by the end of this year we will be allowed to buy in bulk again using our own stuff.
– Not a resolution but it should be mentioned that we have used hardly any gas for the car and we’ve not needed to buy any new things since none of us are going anywhere.
– We built raised beds and started a garden & home compost! The garden is a cornucopia of greens and other plants are humming along nicely. It was a stretch goal but we are really happy to have our garden & compost for the garden doing well. We were a little worried starting out but every day I eat something from the garden and it is lovely!


Family & friends:

– We had one dinner party for friends in January and it was absolutely lovely. I was really looking forward to hosting more summer drop-in BBQs but again, pandemic. Still, we have had some socially distanced hangouts with friends but it has been difficult on all of us, especially the kids.
– Travel is out for the foreseeable future but I do get to play Trivial Pursuit online with the friends I would have traveled to visit, so that is a partial win.
– In June social media got so overwhelming that I just quit it and I have no regrets. Even though I periodically go back to facebook and as soon as I post something I am reminded of why I left. Everytime that happens I think of Winston in John Wick “Have you thought this through? I mean, chewed down to the bone? You got out once. You dip so much as a pinky back into this pond… you may well find something reaches out… and drags you back into its depths.” Yeah, pretty much.
– Spending time as a family became overwhelming as soon as the kids were home and learning online. Now that summer is here we are playing more games and having family swims in the pool where we just mess around and laugh.


Creative:

– Well, I mean, I am writing here, aren’t I?
– In April I found a cheap second-hand recliner online and had Mr. Tucker pick it up for me. He had his office, the kids had their rooms, and I had no quite space that was my own so I carved out a place in our bedroom so I could just read & chill. Friends donated a lamp and every afternoon after the kid’s schoolwork was done I just curled up there and read. I needed that time after helping the kids all morning.
– To be honest, I am spending the next half of the year on more creative pursuits. We had rented a cottage with two other families that we will bubble with and there won’t be any internet. The goal is to hunker down with Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and teach myself the basics of drawing. I also want to write here twice a week, start spending ½ hour on the fiddle daily & learn how to knit socks come this fall. I still have six months, after all.

So I am calling it a partial win. A lot of things have been taken out of our hands due to Covid-19 but we are lucky that it happened as we were headed into the summer months. We have a lovely outdoor space to enjoy for now & soon the kids will be able to play with the kids in their bubble. Who knows what the next 6 months hold but I am happy to say that most things are going well despite the challenges.


Summer sun peeking through the clouds