Measuring A Year: Sticking to the Plan (Kinda)
Beginning With Poetry

Measuring A Year: The Highlight Reel

Here we are . . . sliding into home base on the very last day of 2020! As we prepare to bid adieu to this total dumpster fire of a year, I'm wrapping up my "annual review" with a look at my highlights of 2020.

Highlights, you say?

Yeah. Highlights.

Because in the midst of this absolutely shitty year, there ARE highlights!

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Before I get started on highlights, I want to offer this . . . I don't know what to call it, exactly . . . disclaimer, maybe? Acknowledgement? Anyway. I am aware - every minute of every day - how fortunate I am; how well-equipped I am to handle "staying home" during a pandemic. I have Tom, who is not only a calming presence but also damn good company. I live in a comfortable house in a safe neighborhood. I am surrounded by Plenty -- food, projects, tech tools, resources. I am healthy. I don't have children at home to worry about. Tom's business is safe from pandemic pressure, and he worked from home already, so we didn't even have that adjustment to make. Truly . . . an embarrassment of riches. I have much to be grateful for. And I know this. 

(It's been a hard year for all of us.)

On to those highlights . . . 

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I made some Astonishing Personal Discoveries in 2020!

  • If I wanted to (and I don't), I actually could do that Project 333 thing Courtney Carver is always going on about! (Choosing only 33 items of clothing - including coats, shoes, jewelry, and accessories - to take you through a 3-month time period.) Personally, I still don't get the whole arbitrary-ness of Courtney's number 33 (I am a Questioner, after all), but I've always appreciated the concept. And now - thanks to 2020 - I know I really CAN live in 1 pair of leggings for a week. (Courtney is obviously not a knitter, though.)
  • I also can go out and about my life - even in my (albeit limited) public appearances - wearing no make-up and sporting terrible hair! I don't care. No one else cares. So liberating! (As much so as letting my hair revert to it's natural color, post chemo.) There is no need for vanity during a pandemic.
  • Days can go by without my needing to use or refer to my planner! I used to drag it with me everywhere - because I needed it and used it all the time. But now? I can just schedule (those rare) future "things" without even looking at my calendar . . . because there is so little ON it. So. Weird. (Even still, after all these months.)


Total Game Changers that got me through 2020: 

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We had a Pandemic Dividend (an unexpected bonus) to celebrate . . . 

  • Late last February, we were convinced Jenny was . . . near the end. At almost 13, she had started having what we thought were seizures or a stroke. A vet visit, though, indicated she was actually experiencing Old Dog Vestibular Syndrome (yeah - it's a real thing and it's really called that). Basically, she had vertigo! It took a while for it to clear up -- but it did. So now, she's a deaf and partially blind almost 14-year-old dog . . . who's survived 2 knee surgeries, anal cancer, and Old Dog Vestibular Syndrome. As part of her vertigo treatment, our vet suggested short walks (she hadn't been able to go on walks for a while), so Tom started by just taking her down the street a little way each day. This was challenging -- because vertigo; she fell down sometimes and it was so sad. Anyway, Tom kept at it, gradually extending the distance. And now - at the end of 2020 - Jenny and Tom join JoJo and I for a one-mile walk around the neighborhood every afternoon! Although Jenny still keeps her head kind of turned to one side, the vertigo has cleared up. Jenny . . . is in better shape than she has been in years, and it's looking like she may make her 14th birthday in April!

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My most proud achievements of 2020:

  • Becoming the official bottle-capper for FNM Brewing (Tom's home brewing operation)
  • Perfecting my technique for risotto
  • Learning to pronounce "epidemiologist" (That word just never rolled off my tongue. . . )
  • Serving as a Michigan election inspector


Lightning Round:

Best investment of 2020:

  • Peloton
  • home wifi network upgrade

Never thought I'd . . . 

  • wear a face mask in public
  • know so much about the US electoral processes in so many different states

Thought I'd miss more than I do:

  • the gym

Miss more than I would've thought:

  • the casual nature of the Before Times (the ease of making plans, going out for a drinks or meeting for coffee, just stopping to chat with someone you meet out and about)


Best TV watching:

Best book:

Best things I made:

  • those (damn) bunnies (Did I ever tell you the little girls named them Margaret and Penelope?)
  • all those (damn) face masks

Garden delight:

Favorite Peloton instructor:

Best new podcast:


Oh, 2020.

What a ride . . . 

You've been a year for the books, for sure. Lots of crap. Lots of sadness. Lots of heartache. 

But, if we're open, lots of lessons, too. Silver linings.

2020 gave me the time and the space to think and learn and reflect. Left to my own devices, I'd never have cut the cord to so many commitments I thought were important. I would never have dared to live without my planner. I wouldn't have considered working out at home. Or learning to make risotto. Shoot . . . I wouldn't have grown out my bangs!

But here I am, hanging in there and doing . . . okay. I'm healthy -- and I'm determined to stay that way. I'm strong and I'm resilient. I'm more than a little bit mad (working on that). I'm ready to move forward.

Bring it!

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Happy New Year, my friends.

Thanks for being here and hanging out with me this year! 








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What a deep well of highlights here. And I love seeing you in all those pictures! Jenny's story chokes me up... Her & Tom's afternoon mile is HUGE. Kudos to all three of you for pressing on! It's harder with big dogs, for sure. Just the thought of her falling on a walk... so tough. (We had a Newfie with bone cancer....the walking had to come to a close for him, sadly.) Celebrating silver linings with you here. Enjoy your NYE, however it will look. I'll be thanking you as we send our wishes up! xo

Dawn Lee

What a great post! I had a wonderful dog that looked a lot like Jenny, she's been gone around seven years and I still miss her every day. I love your selfies, and your hair is gorgeous! Thank you for all the lovely posts, and Happy New Year!

Teresa Monzon

Happy New Year to you and your family!!
Your posts are always so poignant and insightful.
I look forward to them every day.
Thank you


This is a very cool post; it almost felt like I was having a conversation with you! I love seeing the many moods of Kym in your selfies, I'm hearted by Jenny's treatment and how well she is currently doing (though I do think the cause of her vertigo deserves a much more respectful name), and interested to see how many silver linings you found and things you can do without. (Ditch that planner!) I am also mad at plenty of people because I can clearly see that other countries have managed to control the virus far better than the US, but we are just too selfish and ignorant. (But I digress.) Thank you for being such a good friend, for lovely posts, and for being here. Happy New Year, Kym!


Thank you for a great perspective. Looking forward to your wisdom and introspection in 2021.


Happy New Year, Kym!! BRING IT!


You did it. You made me cry. Happy tears though. Here's to sticking 2020 in the closet, down a hole, in the freaking fired up dumpster. Here's to another year of friendship, reading, knitting, exercising, walking the dogs, making the best of all that we have. And your hair is GREAT! xoxoxo


There is SO much to unpack in this post, my friend. You managed to make 2020 sound like the most marvelous year of personal growth ever. And maybe, in some ways, it really was. Thank you for being a voice of wisdom and reason in a crazy world. I appreciate you and I love you and I really really hope that 2021 finds us in the same room together, drinking beer and laughing at the absurdity of all the stuff we thought actually mattered. XOXO


Now I am putting take more selfies on my 2021 list! Love these. I would also be happy to see senior shopping hours and curbside pick up last forever. Happy new year


It's so good to hear that Jennie is still with you. You and Tom were smart to try and help her through the worst of times. Your hair looks great! Looks like you're through the worst of the grow out. I had a fabulous book year. That is where my mind and my (extra) time went. I stayed off the computer and away from the news and it really helped me cope. I had to cope because the anxiety was too debilitating. What I miss most is that casual time of getting together with friends serendipitously. I miss people, in general. sigh


Fun post.

Being a dog person I am so happy for your Jenny! Isn't it wonderful that she can now enjoy a nice walk again.

Wishing you and Tom all the best in 2021. We will make it one for the record books and hopefully in a very good way.


What a wonderful post! It made me reflect on all the good things and silver linings of the past year and has given me hope for 2021. Best wishes for a Happy New Year to you & Tom!


Such a great post and perspective! Glad for Jenny! I have an older dog and he was diagnosed
this year with mitral valve insufficiency. I was heart broken. With meds, he is doing well and loves
his walks. My younger dog was able to eat something, as we walked and ended up with
tapeworms. Gross, yes! So, I have been busy with dog issues, during COVID. They are the best and
make me happy every day. Happy New Year! LynnIL


Happy New Year, Kym. With all the challenges, it as very nice to see that you still have your smile.


What a great recap, and I am with you on the over-abundance of does make this perspective so insightful! (and yes... I too can do the tiniest wardrobe known to man. Frightening how abundant my closet was before all this began, and it has changed my thinking for making that I don't think will every be altered, even once "normal" is back again. I nodded to the hair/makeup thoughts... yep, absolutely. And it just feels so damned good! I am with Carolyn on getting all teary eyed over Jenny's success this year! GO JENNY! My eyes are overflowing for her!

Happy New Year! XO


This is such a great post, Kym. It sounds to me like you came to some really wonderful and useful realizations; I think we've all undergone a massive reorganization of our priorities and what's most important, and I hope it's for the better. Jenny's story is so touching, and I suppose her sticking around for this new year is one very good thing to come out of 2020!


Yeah! Bring it on!! Silver Linings ALL over the place. My personal favorite is Jenny. So glad she is better and able to join you 3 for walks. Happy New Year Kym! I look forward to sharing 2021 with you.

kathy b

Aww Jenny the dog! How wonderful the progress she and you have made! I loved your list. Thank you for sharing such personal thoughts on a difficult year! I love your hair. We, too, are so very blessed. We haven't seen our son in over a year, but we will. When I do visit him, I will do so calmly and with open excited eyes. I am working on my travel anxiety. My daughter is gong to get to realize her goal to work for library science. She's going to be great. We are still 4 cats, no dog. But that could change! I pray we all stay healthy. Blog friends keep the world from being too small right now!


An absolutely lovely post! In every way.
Here's to a new year full of possibilities.
Wonderful news about Jenny

Blogs kept me close to the English speaking world when I lived in Asia. During 2020, though I am now in the US, they have kept me close to others. A part of my day I look forward to with a smile.

Wishing you all the best in 2021!


Thank you for a lovely looking back post. 2020 was a year I hope never to repeat ... and yet there were silver linings: new (mostly good) habits, lots and lots of learning, and truly getting to the core of what matters most. Happy New Year, Kym!

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