Looking Forward

Sunrise over a lake

When the sun comes up tomorrow morning, we will begin a new year. What will you do with that new year? I am thinking I would like to make a list, rather than resolutions, of things I would like to do in the new year. That way, I can look back at the end of 2021 and see, very concretely, how much I was able to complete. In addition, a set list can provide focus which can lead to completion as well.

My theme for the new year is “Making Good Use of What I Already Have,” but there will be a few items that fall to the fringes of that theme. And if you don’t see the connections, well, maybe it’s the fringe on the fringe.

Here we go:

  1. This one is kind of a resolution: Bring the garage door opener when we go shopping. The deal is, since we are down to one car, and that car does not fit in our garage, we park it on the street. However, we store some of our groceries in our one car garage, and our kitchen is accessed through the garage door. It’s very helpful if we remember to bring the garage door opener along when we go shopping, but we always forget. We want to change this in 2021. This is an easier resolution than a resolution to lose ten pounds.
  2. Set up the ping pong table in the garage and play. We’ve had a ping pong table in our basement since we moved in. When it was set up in our basement, it became a catch-all, so we folded it up. We haven’t used it for, I don’t know, maybe eight years. Since we have an empty one car garage and we don’t anticipate buying a second car soon, let’s make good use of that space and the ping pong table!
  3. Complete my Scrabble skill building puzzle book. I got this book a couple years ago for free when we volunteered at a book fair. The intention is to improve my Scrabble game, as Dan and I do like to compete in Scrabble tournaments. My goal is to complete all the puzzles in the book by the end of the year.
  4. I want to set up a craft work/storage area in our home. While I probably won’t work in one area on my hobbies, my craft supplies have expanded since I retired. I want to set up an area where most things are housed, and I can work there if I would like. My goal is to use things we already have and spend minimal money to set this up.
  5. Gardening. Last summer, I tried growing tomatoes, a number of herbs, along with my usual flowers. I got about 30 cherry tomatoes, and the herbs died. This year, I’ll continue with some flowers, but instead of growing the tomatoes and herbs, I’ll spend my time figuring out why the plants in our side yard don’t do better. These plants are some kind of hydrangea, but hardly flower, get black spots on the leaves, and generally just don’t do well. Is it the soil, the water, the sun? This year, I hope to figure it out.
  6. I want to decide what to do about my Massage Luxe membership. I love massages and have been a member of the monthly club for years. I received a number of gift cards for Christmas 2019, but because of 2020, I haven’t used them. I “froze” my membership, meaning it only costs $5 a month. What do I do going forward? When making this decision, I’ll need to balance my sunk costs, my love of massages, my frugality, and the knowledge that I did just fine this past year.
  7. We need to set up annual billing, rather than monthly, for our trailer storage. Now that we’ve had our trailer two years, and we know we like the storage facility, we can save a bit by paying in advance for the year. We do this with our car insurance. This seems an easy way to save money to me.
  8. WordPress. I want to continue to improve my blogging skills, so I am setting the bar to learn one new skill. That skill is reusable blocks. I’m not sure reusable blocks will be useful to me, but I since I like the idea of upcycling, anything reusable sounds like something I would like.
  9. KitchenAid. I’ve continued to use my new appliance and to make new recipes, and I want to continue on that path. I’m thinking in 2021 to purchase a spiralizer. The idea is to make zoodles, – kind of like spaghetti made from zucchini. Sounds like a summer project.
  10. Finish my secret project. Yes, dear readers, I have been working on a secret project. I can say no more, but please be assured, when I complete it in 2021, there will be a corresponding blog post. I am not quite sure when in 2021 it’ll be completed, so you’ll just have to keep reading!

Of course, I hope 2021 holds much more for me – more travel, family time, learning and giving. And, of course, I’ll continue my current projects – like the dollhouse and this blog. I’ll continue my quest to live up to my ideals and aspirations and to make the most of each day as best as I can.

What are your hopes for 2021? Any plans, resolutions? Whatever they are, I hope your 2021 holds all the good things you want and more!

So, Good-bye to 2020, Happy New Year, and Here We Go!


  1. I like your, plans versus resolutions idea, Betty!

    This year, I’ve decided to sum up my resolutions in a few focus words: perspective, resilience and choice. My plan is to make these resolutions every day, not just on January 1 (here’s hoping)🙏🤞🖖

    I also have a focus verse of Scripture for 2021. It is Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, in word or deed, Do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks through him to God the Father.”

    Enjoy 2021! I look forward to reading about your adventures in travel and frugality.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I have use of a spiralizer that belongs to my daughter (while she lives her young adult nomadic life). The blade is VERY sharp. There are warnings about. Even so, I cut myself when attempting to pick up the blade out of the dishwater. Otherwise, it is cool how it works and what it can do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. The best part of clearing out the clutter is that you can see what you have and make good use of it! Also, maybe someone else can make good use of what you didn’t need. Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Betty, you have given me an idea – thank you. We too are retired and belong to a community organisation that caters to Over 50’s with day trips, workshops and regular classes on all manner of topics. I’m going to suggest a Scrabble Club as an occupation for the oldies. Unfortunately, I can’t play with my daughter as she is too combative. Excellent idea 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Good luck with this idea! Maybe you can write about it on your blog. We have a very informal group in St. Louis that plays – but we haven’t met since Covid. I look forward to playing in person again. Happy New Year!


  3. Zoodles! An awesome invention, yet not very filling.

    I think the garage door opener is a great idea as well. I always have mine, it is very handy.

    As for resolutions, I have to think about what I want. Truthfully, I haven’t given it much thought. I made most of the changes I want. Maybe find more time to cook and clean. All I do is work or write. 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like the idea of making a list, never though of that before. If I did I guess I would have only one item on it “Live life to the fullest”. May you accomplish all of your items on the list, may life grant you the best in the New Year. Keep healthy, safe and may God continue to bless you in the New Year

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for those wonderful wishes. Every day, in every post you write, I see “Live life to the fullest” right there, in between the lines. 🙂 Happy New Year, and all the best to you and Barbara in the coming year!


  5. A nice post. We all hope for better things in 2021. I never make New Year’s Resolutions. I have no secret projects to finish, but I have many things I hope to accomplish in 2021. Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy New Year to you, too, Peggy. I am a list maker. It helps me to focus, and it relaxes my mind as I no longer have to try to remember my tasks. It’s all written down. Now, you have me wondering what you’ll be accomplishing in 2021. 🙂 I look forward to reading your posts in 2021!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. That sounds like a very ambitious list. My husband and I also struggle with the garage door opener. We have a huge garage but park on the street. Remembering the garage door opener and the shopping bags on any given day seems to be beyond us. 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy New Year, Betty. No real resolutions here, either. I love the garage door opener challenge! I try to make Mr. Smith do a “mental checklist” before leaving the apartment. I am curious how the one car lifestyle is working and VERY curious about your secret project. Let me know how the WordPress challenge goes. Technology is not my strong suit, but I would like to learn more. Here’s to a happy, healthy 2021!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are fine with the one car lifestyle. I always have plenty of things to keep me busy at home. We do most things together. It’s nice to have only one car to maintain. No car for the kids to borrow when they visit, but they can uber or rent a car if needed. I can honestly say I do not miss having the 2nd car. I’ll have to add a “mental checklist” idea to heading out the door! I hope you enjoyed your New Year’s Eve, and best wishes for a happy, healthy 2021!


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