January 2021

Although inevitable, 2021 seemed impossibly far away, didn’t it?

It was an incredible year mixed with moments of reflection, fear, and appreciation all at once and I’ve seen a lot of mixed messages on how people are greeting this new year. For some, 2020 couldn’t end fast enough and for others they were putting out the energy that 2021 would be evened out with positivity to make up for what we experienced in the year before.

For myself, I found that although 2020 totally ruined some travel plans of relaxation and adventure, I was still able to find joy and excitement in areas of my life by having so much time to myself without outside interference.

One thing I learned was how fast my self-confidence was hit when the new work from home conditions came into play. At the office, I tend to rely heavily on my personality or outward mannerisms to convey my level of professionalism because I realize that by appearance alone, I look like an employee who is too young to be given responsibilities.

But now, in an environment where most of us aren’t even turning on the camera for meetings anymore, I feel like my “work voice” has had a chance to develop faster than it would have if we were still in the office.

I’ve been forced, in a great way, to share my insight, opinion, and work efforts more openly through speech that directly pinpoints me as the speaker, rather than simply providing the finished work on and through a channel that doesn’t acknowledge me. Working from home has been challenging and yet, so rewarding for me personally.

I hope that this year my career (both publicly on the daily and privately in my blogger world) finds new strides to experiment with to ensure that I don’t lose this new found confidence.

Also this year, I unexpectedly had the chance to visit my family way more than I ever have since moving to Ottawa. Working remotely was never an option before and laptops/Wi-Fi were my only needs. So low and behold, I probably visited my family 4 times more than usual.

And that being said, we had a grand ol’ time at home. We bbq’d, we got great use of my parent’s new deck, had many summer night bonfires, and went crazy playing boardgames. I also had my first “stay-cation” by visiting my brother in August, where the time was spent cuddling dogs and getting into craft beer (I like sour beers now???)!

Lastly, knowing fully how much time would most likely be spent watching, consuming, and being influenced by media like crazy during all this time at home, I made the conscious decision to try and go back to old-school versions of entertainment.

I’m talking books! podcasts! adult colouring books! sudoko puzzles! being outside just to be outside! online board games! hilarious zoom calls with my gfs!, and dare I admit, a healthy dose of playing Stardew Valley.

I even tried to watch more documentaries and historical content to actually try and learn something rather than consume my usual reality TV/ cooking shows. I cooked new things too and pushed outside my comfort zone, but obviously that was always going to be a form of entertainment for me!

Needless to say, it was a refreshing way to get through the hard times of quarantine and pandemic and it reminded me that not everything I interact with needs to be via a screen, even though modern society definitely pushes us to do that more than anything else.

All and all, 2021 is now here and I am ready to view it in a positive light. We have a chance for new opportunities, a chance to continue some of our new healthier habits , a chance to remember that the world is moving on slowly but surely.

We need to remember that patience will make us that much more thankful when we arrive at a better place regarding the world’s situation, and although we cannot just resort back to our regular way of life as fast as it vanished, I’d say that 2020 was the “halt” that the world needed.

We needed to re-evaluate our everyday surroundings and actions, we needed to surround ourselves with people who accept the true you, and we needed to view every day as a blessing because we didn’t know what tomorrow would bring. So keep that positivity in mind as we move on through the months and perhaps 2021 won’t look so intimidating anymore.

Peace and good eats as always,