For many of us, 2020 was not a great year. I could say the same, but what I really want to tell you is how it was a great year for me.
- I was lucky enough to travel to Australia at the end of January, just before the first lockdown in Toronto. I was warned not to go because of all the forest fires, remember when that was a thing? During my stay, I did not see a single fire, puff of smoke, or even a spark. What I got to experience was friendly people, beautiful cities, countryside, beaches, oceans, and scenery that was unbelievable, to say the least. For me, the highlight was being able to see a mob of kangaroos in the wild. After spending a week trying to spot them, I was fortunate enough to see a whole bunch. Ask me about the story, it was quite a funny moment.
- Despite being locked down, isolated, and bubbled, 2020 has given me a great appreciation for the important things in life. Health, family, and the bare essentials such as food, water, and a roof over my head. COVID and its effects have been far-reaching. My heart goes out to everyone who lost someone close to them this year and was not able to be with them or experience the moment the way they had hoped. Sometimes it takes a plague, pandemic, or natural disaster to make us stop and think about what is really important.
- My garage AKA The WoodShop has become my happy place. I have always loved my WoodShop but 2020 has allowed me the time to really enjoy making things, getting more artsy and less fartsy while turning wood into functional art and small piles of sawdust all at the same time. What I was reminded of again through all of this is that I much love to make things with my hands in a physical and tangible way, despite the fact that I live and work in a digital world.
I was commenting on a post the other day in a woodworking group I belong to on Facebook. The question someone asked was:
“Is it ridiculous of me to want a TV in my shop?”
I just thought that same thought this morning when I was in my shop. And then I thought… I need less screens in my life and more sawdust. Besides, I have enough distractions, I don’t need one more in the same room as my finger eating machines. I do have a Google Mini and the tunes are ALWAYS playing non-stop.
My realizations or takeaways as I like to call them…
I need to keep reminding myself of what is really important in life. Health, family, and basic essentials always come first! Netflix and toilet paper don’t even make the list. OK, toilet paper is on my shopping list, I’m not a bear!
Traveling and experiencing what the world has to offer is the gift that keeps on giving. It provides me with experiences that fill the moments with joy and provides a lifetime of memories I can reflect on. As I have heard so many people say, I would rather buy experiences than possessions.
I need my quiet place to retreat to and a hobby to keep me away from the screens. I love making stuff with my hands and will continue to do so as long as I can. I will open my doors again (when socially acceptable) to anyone who wants to stop by my woodshop to shoot the shit or better yet, cut some wood, make some sawdust, and hopefully create something with their hands. My next shop sign will be “More sawdust, less keyboards!”
As we all kick 2020 to the curb and usher in 2021, I encourage everyone to stop and reflect on what is really important, cherish what you have and be mindful and generous to the people around you near and far whom you can help.
I look forward to speaking, Zooming, and even hugging many of you once the powers that be say we can. Until then, stay safe, and best wishes for a healthy New Year filled with everything we need!
PS….if you haven’t done so yet today, thank a front line worker, even the ones you might not consider front line such as grocery store workers, gas station attendants, hardware store staff, the Amazon delivery person, and your local barista, if you still venture out for coffee.
Big Virtual Hugs