I started with a daily collages of pools I swam in. There were so many, I got all the way to March! April I started on bodies of water I’ve swam in.

2019 was probably one of the most profound years of my life. It started with reading Jon Kabat Zinn’s Wherever You Go There You Are. I used a lot of his lessons to get me through some hard parts of 2019. New’s year day I made a resolution to create one collage a day, which continues. Those five minutes or so a day I spend doing this creative task has spiralled into a creative outlook at everything. In 2019, I knit many baby blankets, drew on my holidays, played piano better and in the summer I started writing a novel which I continue to work through every morning. Working on my mental strength was a higher priority in 2019.

Celebrating birthdays together.

My friendships with several women in my life have grown closer. They bring me joy, advice and always a good laugh. I sometimes feel I don’t show my appreciation enough for them being in my life. I will make a point of doing that more in 2020. Sometimes life gets so full that the important people get left behind. I want to do less leaving behind.

My sister’s 40th birthday dinner.

Test riding a tandem bicycle. Unfortunately it wasn’t a good bicycle for long tours which is what we had planned to use it for.

I dropped two classes that I didn’t enjoy teaching in the Spring. In my 15 year career as a fitness professional, I feel lucky to be able to make a living with the classes and clients I enjoy teaching. I’ve managed to ‘clean out’ all the classes that weren’t bringing me joy. The universe has (so far) always given other opportunities to replace the ones I don’t want. I love how that works out.

In May it was warm enough to sit outside on my walks. This was on my way to visit a friend in Mississauga on a very rainy day. I was underneath a bank’s awning eating my breakfast because it was pouring. I got a visitor.
Hanging with friends.

One of the many selfies I took at my end destination.

One of the physical/mental accomplishments I impressed myself with was completing outdoor workouts in all weather. Twice a week I ran to 2 different work locations. I ran most of the time in the dark where I’ve encountered various animals (rats, coyotes, racoons and skunks…all of which ignored me), all weather conditions (-30 to 30+ degrees, rain, snow, wind, ice and humidity), and all moods and physical abilities. I never considered myself a runner but now I can officially say I am.

One of the best lake swims of my life. Charleston Lake.

My birthday week I had booked off, only last minute did we come to a decision on where to spend it. In March I had made a goal to walk to Kingston but Chris looked at the route and decided it was not a nice walk and didn’t want to do it. I had trained to do a 25 km a day walk, since it was so last minute, we both agreed on renting a car and visiting Ontario parks in the Frontenac region. The new goal was to hike in a different park and swim in a different lake everyday. Each night I’d come back and draw the lake. The weather was perfect. The bugs and crowds were gone. Often we had the whole lake to ourselves. The best swim was in Charleston Provincial Park. The hike in the park was also pretty awesome.

Turning 46 was harder than I expected. I came back from vacation and suddenly blood results started to show concern for my doctor. I felt stalled and uncertain about what I wanted from my life or my career for a few months. I kind of went with the motions of life but not always there whole-heartedly.

Greta Thunberg becoming famous changed my world. Suddenly all the waste reduction rants I was giving and living by that caused discomfort in people was becoming acceptable. She’s been my inspiration in a world that’s gotten so grim.

Thanksgiving thoughts at the cottage

In the fall, I got an opportunity to teach cooking to children through the Eco-Programs at High Park. It was a lot of work but very satisfying. I got to use old skills and learn lots about west Toronto and High Park. I’m happy to be doing it again in the winter term.

High Park Eco-Program straw bale kitchen with a green roof and solar panels. It’s been an amazing experience being here.
Kohlrabi harvest salad and the rest of the kale before putting garden to bed. We doubled our garlic planting for harvesting next year.

After months of using two broken phones (one phone that only worked as a phone and another phone that was used as an iPod). My digital life was a mess. I caved in and bought a new smart phone (Android). I’m not attached to it but it’s nice to have a mini computer and music streaming more conveniently.

Sunrise from our window. Shot with my new phone and its fancy camera.
Friends at the start of our annual Winter Solstice walk. First sunny Solstice in many years.

As 2020 approaches, I’ve been thinking about my hopes and dreams for the next year. How will you improve this year? What do you want to do more of in 2020?