I’ve started this goal post several times over the last few weeks. As early as late October I was making plans for a year that was not 2020. Aside from the obvious society-wide issues, 2020 had a lot of personal highlights. I had my first solo show. I coped with a pandemic. I moved. I got a pair of new pets. I kept my job while my employment had layoffs. I struggled with six months of the busiest I have ever been. I did a six-month art mentorship. I won my first award at WSO.

In the last couple of years, my goals–or at least the way I approached them–have shifted. With Mom’s sickness and death, I tried to give myself a lot of room. And I’m not saying that’s bad or that I want to go back to my old way of doing things. But I’ll admit I’ve had some anxiety about moving forward.

The 2019 approach was too touchy-feely for me. Adding some concrete items this year was helpful, but it’s still not feeling exactly right. A friend writes a great post each year about her intention word. My word for 2020 was “change” and I feel like maybe that was too powerful. I worried about this, and even December 31, I hadn’t chosen a word. Then, when I went for a walk this morning, a word came to me and I’m going to accept it. Joy. That’s my word.

So, I’m left with simply writing down what I needs and want to do. Here goes.

Area 1: Health and Fitness

  • More about this below

Area 2: Mental Health

  • Find a source for yoga and/or meditation and go to it
  • Remember that alone time is an important part of my mental health.
  • Do NOT overextend yourself (be on boards, volunteer too much)

Area 3: Painting

  • Put out 12 newsletters in 2021
  • Keep my website current
  • Write at least 52 posts
  • Enter these shows:
    • WSO Spring
    • WSO Fall
    • Enter the Equine Art Show (Emerald Downs)
    • AAEA
    • NWWS Spring
    • NWWS Fall
    • Western Fed
    • Emerald Art Center
  • Workshops:
    • Roaring 20’s
    • Dawn Emerson
    • Peggy Judy

Area 4: Everything Else

  • Stay employed
  • Reading: Goodreads 2021 Book Challenge – 72 books
  • Continue nose work with Key, working toward NW3 and elements
  • June: Montana / Colorado trip
  • Explore the Hallie Ford art museum
  • Visit the Salem carousel
  • Bird watching: Beat my 2018 bird species total of 176. I’d like to get to 100.
  • Knitting: Finish a project. Any project…
  • Participate in the 2021 NaNoWriMo; consider doing some editing on past projects.


Almost every conversation this year has had a component of “I’m so tired” in it, sandwiched between some new challenge the pandemic has brought and, far too often, news of loss. While I cannot control any element of the pandemic and certainly not death, I’m drained by feeling mown over by random events. Every moment feels like a choice between tears, a temper tantrum, or sleeping for the next 20 years. Fair enough, and a normal reaction. But there is also a lot of research about the power of simple actions to increase happiness. It’s time for me to deploy some of these actions.

Like many people, I’ve put on weight this year. Sigh. I’m as heavy as I’ve ever been. And boy, do I feel it. My breathing is bad, my feet hurt, my clothes are too tight. And I feel completely helpless to change the behavior that has led to this. I know what has to happen. I even have some of the tools at my disposal. But it feels too hard.

Recently, a friend posted this cartoon on my Facebook wall.

The idea of doing things for “future-me” struck a code. I’m going to try to think of it like that.

To that end, today I’ve hit my 10,000 steps, purchased groceries, and planned my meals for the week. Tomorrow (Saturday) I’ll do my food prep for the week and then I’m going to eat the food. I also downloaded the 1-second-a-day app and I’m going to try to use it as a journal for this. I have WW and I’m going to use it.

I know I won’t be perfect. But future-me needs some love and attention. Joy will come with small steps.