Annnnnd ... That's A Wrap!

What an unexpectedly crazy year it’s been! 2020 has been defined by so many trials and challenges! For some, there have been life-destroying trials and challenges … for others, not so much. It’s also been defined by lessons and blessings. For some, there have been life-affirming lessons and blessings … for others, not so much. I count myself as being incredibly fortunate to be on the “not so much” spectrum in both categories!

Experimenting with graphite powder. This abstract kinda defines 2020 for me! Emotions all over the place!

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That’s not to say that life hasn’t been quite challenging for me over these past 10 months! It’s been really tough not being able to babysit my grandkids, not being able to visit as frequently as I used to with my family, not being able to physically hug my loved ones and not being able to get together in person with friends. It’s been bittersweet to have to postpone my first major solo art exhibition in an art gallery, and to have to cancel so many other art-related activities I was looking forward to.

These Birch trees don’t know the meaning of social distancing!

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But, while dealing with these difficulties, I’ve also recognized that I’ve been extremely blessed, because I’ve not suffered from any serious health or financial issues, and neither have my loved ones. Not a day goes by that I don’t give thanks for that … and not a day goes by that my heart doesn’t break for everyone who has suffered as a direct result of this pandemic. 😟

A little calm in the midst of the storm.

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2020 has also blessed me with some valuable lessons. It’s given me some much needed time and space to be able to slow waaay down. Previous to the pandemic, my life was so full and on such a fast paced trajectory that, at times, I felt I was sure to crash! LOL While my life is still pretty full, I’ve been able to structure my time in such a way that I’m not left feeling so breathless all time, from rushing from one thing to another. I’ve learned the importance of really pacing myself and taking the time I need to take care of me.

Little Girl and her Bear arriving Nowhere.

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I’ve also learned this past year to let go of some things I’ve been hanging on to that were not exactly serving my best interest. 2020 sort of rammed home fact that life is truly precious and time is finite, and I’ve come to understand that some things … and some people … are not my responsibility and simply are not worth my time and should be released without feelings of guilt. That realization has given me a truly beautiful sense of freedom.

Sketch of the Ottawa River.

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So, while 2020 has been a year of pain and fear, lack and loss, adversity and negativity, for me it’s also been a year of deep gratitude and appreciation for the big things and the tiniest things and, most especially, for the things I’ve always taken for granted.

And so, the journey ends.

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The experiences of 2020 have also inspired me to really consider what’s most important to me, and has allowed me to strip away and purge that which no longer gives me joy or peace or fills a positive space in my life.

Drawing of a scene from Petrie Island

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In many ways, it’s been a year of exploration, of realizations, of clarification, of beauty and of renewal. For years I’ve believed that my thoughts create my life, but never has it been more apparent to me that life truly is what I think, and thereby make, of it … no matter what my outer circumstances may be.

A sketch of the hummingbird I later did a refined drawing of.

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And so, while I am glad to see this most memorable of years come to an end, and do not bid it an especially fond farewell, I do feel at peace with 2020 and am so grateful for the growth it helped me with.

Baby Hummer

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I am looking really forward to 2021 and to sharing my goals for the upcoming year with you soon! Wishing you all a most beautiful and blessed new year! ❤️

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