–by Mary Helen Darah
PUBLICATION DATE: Jan 18, 2021
I was so excited to kick 2020 to the curb and was equally thrilled to hear that our annual “Vision Party” was still going to occur in the midst of a global pandemic. Annually, a dear friend of mine opens her abode to post-holiday-frazzled women for a night of mapping out our goals and dreams for the year ahead. We arm ourselves with magazines, scissors, poster board, glue stick, Ziplock bags for items you might want to place at a later date and wine. We cut, paste and glue some visuals to a vision board in hopes of motivating us to greatness or at least not counting trips to the fridge as exercise. Some guests like to share and discuss what they have chosen to place on their boards, while others would require a military strategy to get a peek at their pasted desires. It’s all good. As my friend would say, “It doesn’t have to be a ‘kumbaya’ moment.”
Of course we had to adapt safety measures into our event. There were two sessions to ensure we could maintain social distancing and sadly there was not a communal charcuterie board within a mile of her place. Individual snacks, beverages, and supplies are the new norm.
The women began cutting out the traditional goals we tend to see every year such as exercising more, repairing relationships, learning a new language, traveling and reading more. I looked around the room after we had been snipping visuals out of periodicals and noticed something interesting and also deflating. There was not a glue stick in sight. Everyone’s hopes, dreams and goals were firmly placed into Ziplock bags and sealed shut. I began to inquire why no one had placed any items on her board. One woman said, “I’ve been dreaming of finally going to Europe but I’m also a realist.” The same held true for others. Getting a new house, meeting someone new, and socializing more seemed fruitless to place with the current state of affairs. It was also pointed out to me that “upgrading my style” has morphed into “try to get out of stretch pants once a week” and “spending time with family” has been transformed to “I need a break from you people.” I was saddened by all the Ziplocked dreams. Maybe it’s time we all unzipped.
Traveling is always a popular “cut-out” for our boards. I have not been able to get to our home in Canada since March of 2020 and missed out on countless adventures near and far. Does this mean a girl has to stop dreaming? No! Plan, plot and envision every detail. Research adventures online. One day, the world will reopen and you and your itinerary and tips on packing will be good to go.
Another highly favored item for us singles is finding a companion. The dating world was scary before it was possible to catch a deadly virus. COVID-19 has taken it to a whole new level. One woman kept her visuals of cuddling with someone special and holding hands while trouncing through a field of flowers firmly zipped. She asked, “How the heck are you supposed to meet someone masked up and six feet apart?” Well, here’s a thought. Maybe the person you can get to know is yourself. We can use this time, no matter what our marital state, to reflect on who we are, who we can become and where we want to be.
The most difficult thing to “unzip” during a pandemic in my humble opinion, pertains to food and exercise. I promised myself I would not turn into one of the most fascinating 11th century monarchs of England, William the Conqueror. Not only did he grow in power but from his to favorite pastimes, fighting and feasting, he grew in girth as well. William created an all-liquid diet (as in alcohol) and although slimmer, he died, not from his diet of wine but from falling off his horse.
It is time to unzip my diet and exercise goals so that I can remain in pants with zippers. Thankfully, being outside is said to be one of the safest options to visit with others. Get a buddy and hit the trails.
It’s been close to a year of allowing myself to believe that wine is considered a serving of fruit and that baked goods can be consumed on any day ending in “Y.” Even if you start small, MOVE and prove that every time your elbow bends it can be for a loftier reason-such as weight lifting, phoning an old friend, organizing a top shelf or yoga sun salutations rather than lifting a glass
We live in a world of uncertainty but we must keep dreaming for a brighter future. May 2021 find you unzipping your goals, whipping out a glue stick and firmly placing your hopes on this crazy board called life.
May you have a happy, healthy New Year!