New Year’s Eve Thoughts

Happy almost 2022! I’m still in disbelief that 2021 is about to end, how about you? We’re buried in snow here in Seattle, experiencing unfamiliar subarctic temps. I haven’t driven for a week, though my intrepid husband ventured out to attempt to swim in Lake Washington three days ago. It’s his thing. Similar to Wim Hoff — aka The Iceman — M is a devout believer in the power of cold water swimming to cure all ailments. He’s been doing it since the pandemic started and it appears to work since he doesn’t seem to succumb to even the mildest of sniffles. Be that as it may, I was relieved when he decided that 28-degrees was taking it too far and merely gazed at the freezing water for an hour while sipping his double espresso. I’ve declined all invitations to join him. I’m not a strong swimmer and barely enter the water in summer months, and I’m not about to plunge into an icy lake.

I do, however, love to walk in the snow. I take long, meandering walks every morning regardless of weather conditions and I’ve been reveling in the soft crunch underfoot these last few days. The photo above is K’s handiwork (rather footwork) when we went on an afternoon walk together — she looked adorable as she jumped in the snow to form the heart shape footprints. Speaking of footprints, I like to see evidence of dog owners and their pups early in the morn on still-fresh swaths of white. I find it charming.

The snow-covered scenery has been ethereal. Snow blooms:

And there’s this metal chair sculpture in my neighborhood that’s fascinated me for years. The practical side of me wonders why it’s in such a strange spot by the sidewalk, but I suppose it’s some deep artistic statement that I’m not understanding.

So. 2022. Are you ready? With school on break and all this snow, the pace of life has been extra languid in the latter half of December, giving me ample time to contemplate what I intend for the new year. And while I contemplated, I organized/purged many areas of our abode little bits at a time since we’ve been mostly homebound. Our Christmas was lovely and…muted, to be honest. It was just the three of us (four if you count Katara, the cat) with calls to faraway relatives. Everything has been hushed and muted. Our days roll idly from one to the next, like a snowball in slow motion. Right now it doesn’t seem like much is happening, but gradually the moments and experiences will accumulate and by the end of next year, perhaps we’ll be astonished by all that was felt, accomplished, endured, overcome. I’m full of curiosity.

What do I intend for 2022? I’d like to simplify. And to beautify (the home, my creations, everything). I don’t have grand plans, per se. I feel like I’ve achieved so many of the things I used to want, and now I just want to stay healthy and enjoy being alive. Like Katara here, canoodling up to the heat vent and snuggling with her stuffed animal, which we call “Kissing Coyote.”

And you? Do you have plans and hopes for the new year? Are you glad to say farewell to 2021? I think I’ll miss this year. It was a surprisingly good one, leading me to viscerally understand that circumstances never have to override my choice for joy. We have had times that many would call heart-breaking. We have had huge wins. Up and down, up and down. And through it all, I’ve strengthened my mental/emotional muscles to find meaning and appreciation in everything. Perhaps that’s what I most intend for 2022: to continue strengthening these mental and emotional muscles.

Alright, it’s time for me to tackle organizing the frightening utility room. I wish you and all your loved ones a happy new year, my friends! 

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