A new year, a fresh start, a blank slate. 2021 brings with it the opportunity to set some new goals, and begin the next 365 days with a fresh mindset. It’s important to set aside a moment–whether it be the few minutes you take to sit and eat breakfast before heading into work, or the afternoon of your day off–to pause and reflect on this past year. 2020 was a heavy one, but amidst the chaos and uncertainty, there are memories of hope, joy, happiness, and relaxation. There may be many, there may be few. But in order to put the past behind us and start afresh, it’s a kindness to yourself to find those positive instances and REMEMBER them. It’s a nurturing “retreat” for your mind. Follow this by setting your goals, intentions, and habits for the new year, and set yourself up for success. Lisa-Marie, Andy, and Marie, along with some wonderful staff members accompanied me in this exercise, and in a way the act of sharing these New Year Resolutions made this experience even more meaningful.
Lisa-Marie & Andy Stewart
Andy has set three specific goals this year:
- For the Home–Clean out the basement and the attic.
- For the Business–Get the files in order.
- For Himself–Read more!
Reflecting on the importance of communication, especially in a time period defined by quarantine and separation:
After hearing that a long-distance friend had passed, he realized he hadn’t set aside time to reach out and talk to them. “To address my regret, I vowed to call my friends when I think of them.” Since then many friends have received calls from him out of the blue. “Even if it was just a quick ‘Hey, I was thinking of you, hope you are well’ message on their voice mail.”
One thing to take away from the year 2020:
Enjoy friends and family every chance you get. And luckily, though many events were rescheduled or cancelled this past year, he was still able to watch his son marry his life partner. A simpler, smaller ceremony, set along the southern Maine coastline on Goose Rocks Beach, was the perfect way for their family to watch and (safely) be a part of such a monumental moment.
Lisa-Marie’s New Year’s Resolution focuses on her business and her team.
“My resolution for this New Year is to help my employees shine, the way they have supported our small business and helped us persevere.”
“They have each shown their own individual strengths throughout this past year, skills and talents that got us through. They never gave up and I am so grateful for that. This coming year I hope to be able to help each of them grow as the business grows and adapt to this ever-changing world. The incredible team behind Lisa-Marie’s Made in Maine is my bright spot of 2020 and I look forward to showcasing their skills and talents in 2021.”
2020 has shown Lisa-Marie what a strong and supportive staff she has in both shop locations. They have worked together from the beginning of this pandemic and never wavered throughout our ups and downs. “I know 2021 will still have some challenges, but with their support we will be okay.”
Marie Stewart Harmon
Marie’s New Year’s Resolution focuses on her body’s well-being.
“ to take better care of my body, specifically with yoga. I had the most body-confidence and felt the strongest in my body when I was doing yoga 4-5 days a week.” After not practicing regularly for years, she’d love to make yoga a regular practice again, not just for physical improvements but for the benefits yoga has on both mental and emotional strength. “After having surgeries on both my feet in 2019, and the healing that took place in 2020, I am eager to seamlessly move in and out of the oh-so-gratifying downward dog!”
During 2020, Marie was also able to check off something on her bucket list. “After an actual decade of telling my husband that I would take him to Morse Mountain in Phippsburg, we finally made it. This is one of my favorite places on earth and after not having visited for about 15 years, I made the trip–twice!! Once in the summer with a dear friend lounging on the beach with snacks and dips in the cold Atlantic, and once on a foggy fall day, donning hoodies and basking in the natural beauty of marsh with the changing foliage as a backdrop. Both days were beautiful in their own way.”
What did the value of technology and communication teach her? “That good god, I MUST call my grandmother more! As my last remaining grandparent I recognize how lucky I am to still have her in my life. And in this time where it’s safest for me to stay physically away from her, calling her on the phone and chatting for a few minutes is the best I can do. I miss her so much!”
The Bath Crew:
Featuring Irene & Kay
Irene started off by saying she didn’t think she had any “real” New Year’s resolutions. She then continued to tell me what she hopes to do in 2021, a perfect way of setting goals (AKA resolutions) for a healthy, happy new year. “I do plan to spend more time outside when that is possible, and I look forward to hugging family members and friends when that is possible, too! And I hope to sew a few more quilts for family members I haven’t yet gifted.” Irene make quilts for births, birthdays, weddings, and graduations for her family and close friends. This skillful hobby of hers is something she continues to reflect on.
“One of my quilting projects this year was inspired by all the ties my husband Joel wore when he worked in schools for 45 years as a psychologist, school counselor, assistant principal, athletic director, principal, and administrator of a career and tech high school. He had over 100 beautiful, fun and some silly ties!” When Joel retired, she cut them down and made him a huge “re-tie-rment” quilt. But she still had many ties left! “I decided that each of his 3 daughters, plus one daughter’s partner, should also have a lap quilt of some of his ties, and tried to include the ones they had given him.” She called this project “Family Ties.” It was very important to her–she’s really missed gathering with them, celebrating holidays, having family fun. “I wanted each of them to have a gift of love sooner rather than later – who knows what could happen during a pandemic? And one thing the pandemic and my husband’s Parkinson’s diagnosis has taught me is to not postpone joy.”
Kay reflected on many wonderful memories and experiences she had during 2020, one of which is a new furry family member: a Weimaraner mix rescue from Arkansas. His training and adjustment to northern life is coming along nicely. “However, there’s one problem: Banjo is a stealthy counter surfer! HE is training US to place food far from his scavenging nose. So far we’ve lost a plateful of burgers, a package of hot dogs and half of an apple pie…breaking my favorite pie plate.”
2020 was no match for her yearly Christmas traditions. For more than ten years, 15–20 of Kay’s 1962 college friends have met in Freeport for a Christmas lunch. “Not to be squelched by COVID, we Zoomed. It was wonderful, and those who live too far away to drive were able to join us for the first time. Who says 80 year olds aren’t tech savvy?”
At the beginning of the pandemic, Kay decided to grow her hair. “I now have what I call my ‘COVID Shag!’ Haven’t had hair this long since high school.” She says that the day of her second COVID shot will be haircut day.
As 2020 transitioned to 2021, she shares a beautiful memory: “welcoming the new year in a very special way that I envision will become our new tradition…just the two of us slow dancing in the kitchen,” *cue romantic slow dance song.*
Stay tuned for Part 2 of Lisa-Marie’s New Year’s Resolutions,
and remember to stay healthy, happy, and hopeful this year.