Always moving forward

My hubby and I don’t generally make much fuss about New Year’s Eve. We’ve had some great celebrations over the years, some wacky ones, and quite a few quiet moments at home.

I remember the great Y2K fizzle on NYE 1999, when nothing happened as the computer clocks ticked over to a year ending in three zeros. Quite a few people globally had freaked out over the big changeover, including a friend from high school who, with her hubby, sold their super-successful business and went to live completely off the grid somewhere on a farm. We had our parents over for a special meal with a premium bottle of champagne, which I snagged months ahead of time based on predictions that the world would also run out of the fizzy beverage. Even though none of the doomsday predictions came true, it was a strange feeling to enter both a new century and a new millennium, and we wondered what lay ahead.

There have been highs and lows since then, as there always are. My parents lived through World War II in Europe, and carried the after-effects of that experience through the rest of their lives. Although they talked openly about it, I still can’t even imagine what it must have felt like to watch each new year tick by without resolution for six long years. They were resilient, though, surviving incredible hardships and emigrating to Canada afterwards. They met in a hospital in Windsor, where my dad was a patient under my nurse mom’s care, and went on to build a new life together.

Life always moves onward, and some New Year’s Eves are more cause for celebration than others – today will be one of those. We’ll all be happy to put 2020 to bed.

Inspired by a recipe for making Won Ton Soup from scratch that I stumbled across, I’ll be cooking Asian food for dinner. Our local best option for takeout Chinese food hasn’t been as good during the pandemic, but I’ve got easy recipes to make at home. (I have a vast collection of recipes for all occasions, in cookbooks and gathered from magazines as well as the internet.)

Over the past few months there has been a noticeable rise in food prices, although I was at the grocery store yesterday to pick up a few fresh vegetables and noticed a lot of sales as well to help buyers out. For this meal I’m using up a lot of ingredients we’ve had stocked up for a while instead of splurging on expensive new foods as we would have in other years – 2020 became the year we spent our money more wisely.

Along with many others, we tweaked our home nests to make them nicer places to spend a lot of time in, explored the joys of slow and deep cooking (our niece started making her own sourdough, and I spent a day and a half earlier this month making demi glace from scratch to give rich flavour to a goulash soup my hubby wanted for his December birthday), and found new ways to share quality time with friends and family safely.

As Canadians we hope for a less tumultuous four years of politics in the U.S., and to reconnecting with our American friends and family in person down the road. The entire world has been our home for our entire marriage, and we really miss it.

While we spend the limbo of these winter months waiting for our vaccine and nicer weather to arrive, the Action for Happiness website has a Happier January calendar full of daily actions that you can download and follow.

Tonight we’ll toast to new adventures in coming years, and to all my readers I wish you peace, health and resilience for 2021. To smoother waters ahead!

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I started Lion Tail Magic as a way to help people recapture the adventurous spirit of their childhood -- exploration, curiosity about everything, and a belief that anything is possible if you want it and are willing to work towards it. I am a travel coach, professional speaker, writer and endlessly curious world traveller.

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