December 31, 2021

2021 Was A Year Of Opportunity

It turns out that there are some years when you may want to pretend your bed is a stasis chamber and stay in it until a better year comes along. 

2021, on the surface, looked like one of those years. What a mess. 

However, I am glad I didn't miss it. If I stayed in my warm and comfy bed for the last 365 days I would have missed all kinds of opportunities.

In times of rapid change and turmoil one can try to avoid or deny the adversity swirling all around, or one can choose to get up and sift the opportunities out of the rough stuff.

That is what we did. We got up this year, day after day after day, and capitalized on a few things that have improved our lives greatly.

Here are some that come to mind:

1) We learned to live without a vehicle, and we found we like it. A lot.

2) We made stronger connections with people in our community. Getting rid of our vehicle helped.

3) We got off processed foods almost entirely, and because of that spent many glorious hours together in the kitchen cooking up the best food of our lives.

4) We enjoyed the increased isolation caused by pandemic restrictions. Extended periods of uninterrupted living were appreciated. I forgot the date, the day of the week, and sometimes the month - it was all kind of irrelevant. I would almost like to have forgotten the year as well, but that was harder to do.

5) This year's garden was a success and we preserved more food than ever before.

6) We experimented with new ways of storing food without refrigeration, like packing beets and carrots in forest moss in a bin in our unheated garage.

7) Joining a local organic food buying group has allowed us to become less dependent on the big box grocery store with its long and wobbly supply chains.

8) We revived our efforts toward finding an affordable home to make our own, and have a line on one or two possible choices. Our goal is to not have to spend most of our income on rent any more. And have a bigger garden.

So, thanks 2021. You were a year of great adversity, but also great opportunity.

Did you cash in on any pandemic-induced opportunities over the last year? 

If not, don't worry - you will probably have lots of chances for positive change in 2022, which may turn out to be as "interesting" and challenging as this year.

Is it too late to put my jammies back on and order that stasis pod?

Happy New Year, and thank you for your continued readership, friendship and comments. 

"If you can do something about it, you don't have to worry. If you can't do anything about it, you don't have to worry."


  1. Anonymous1/01/2022

    Although I'd been aware of it, I finally took the step and requested a plot at a community garden about a mile from my home. And I got a plot! So along with my small garden plot at home, I'll have much more space for growing food, plus the benefit of being part of a gardening community. Also, even though this does mean some waste on our part, we replaced our dead refrigerator (which was just a refrigerator, no freezer) with a new model that is more energy efficient and has a freezer. So along with our small chest freezer I now have more freezer space for preserving some of the food I grow this year. Learning about all forms of food preservation is one of my goals for 2022. Lastly, and probably most important, I learned over that last two years how nice my home, yard, and neighborhood are. Sure it's in the suburbs, so not next to a beautiful forest like you have Gregg and Linda, but there are many gorgeous trees in our area as well as many nice parks. And my own backyard is nice with lots of plants, trees, birds, squirrels, a few raccoon, a skunk that comes by now and again (such a cute animal), occasionally a rabbit, and not often, but sometimes we find a lovely salamander under the wood pile. This year I plan on improving my backyard for the birds and pollinators. I feel very grateful.

    I wish you the best of luck this year, and fingers crossed that one of the leads you have on a new home turns into something wonderful.

    - Mary

    1. Upward and onward! So many good things that are so nice to hear. Wishing you a happy and prosperous 2022.

  2. Retiring in a pandemic year had me rethinking a lot of things I thought I wanted to do when I got here. Travel? As memory recalls, it really is exhausting - is that really how I want to spend the last third of my life? Besides, there is much of this beautiful country I live in that I haven't seen or experienced to date (perhaps one of these days my backpack and I shall show up on your doorstep at tea time). One of the encouraging things I am beginning to see around me is enforced contentment evolving into true contentment. My personal new year comes with the first shoots of green and the swelling of the buds on the trees. Thank you for your continued writing and encouragement - always a cornucopia of food for thought. May 2022 bring only good things for yourself and Linda

    1. What a tumultuous time to retire. But good timing, it seems to me.

      True contentment is an honourable goal. It can be done anywhere by anyone.

      Linda and I wish you a happy New Year.

  3. I love to read about how well your garden is doing Gregg, and how you and Linda are enjoying the bounty from it. Nearly 4 years into our new home and my garden is also finally really producing a good amount, and the fruit trees now tower over me! This last year has been stressful even here where we have not suffered as much as other countries. Both myself and my husband lost our mothers very suddenly within the last year, and that has been very difficult to come to terms with. We were both essential workers during lockdowns and trying to mange that with the children came with it's on set of issues. This year I am committed to a No Buy/Low Buy year again- not that I spend much anyway, but I am REALLY knuckling down as my dream of having our own small self sufficient block is calling me hard these days. I am home with the children again and despite our reduced income, am feeling positive we can achieve our goals...if not this year, within the next few years. We don't borrow money, so we're doing it the hard way! I hope you and Linda have a fruitful year full of happiness and health :)

  4. Anonymous1/01/2022

    Peace and contentment to us all as we enter this new year. I am sure it will have its challenges, but we have the power to choose our perspectives - that makes all the difference! It will be a wonderful year. -Erin

  5. I thank you both very very much for being here in this blog for us. I wich a great 2022 for all of us.


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