The Portland Crew:
Barb, Marissa, & Amanda
Barb’s got a few mountains to tackle in 2021…
She wants to set aside time to do more of the things she enjoys. “I am going to dedicate more time to Keramika Designs. I would really LOVE to start a huge hiking commitment called the NH 48.” This consists of hiking all 48 4000-foot mountains in New Hampshire. “My other goal is to finally finish the construction on the second floor and move into the brand spankin’ new upstairs–a project that began on Easter and taken much much longer than planned.”
“Looking back, I realized that though our social time was limited, the best memories I have to reflect on were memories I shared with others. Overall, I think this year has put into perspective how important it is to put effort into reaching out to others. As a result, FaceTime, Skype and Zoom ended up being very valuable resources that allowed me to connect with many friends, as well as my family across the ocean.
A furry addition to the year 2020: “We added another four-legged floof (named Hank) to the fam that’s been keeping us on our toes all year long. Even though we are often frustrated with training an intelligent and energetic dog, we wouldn’t change a thing.
Amanda’s New Year’s Resolution focuses on some key parts of life: joy and gratitude. “To laugh every day and be grateful. Those really deep belly laughs have been popping up more often. It’s amazing!”
She’s full of talent, energy, motivation and spontaneity, and these are the things that have fueled some of her favorite memories this past year, including the last play she performed at Mad Horse in January, The Effect. “It was a fantastic play. Super challenging emotionally, great storyline, amazing cast-mates, brilliant director, awesome production crew. I didn’t realize it would be my first and last of 2020. Since then I’ve written, shot, directed and edited my own material so I’m pretty proud of that.” Also, as an avid hiker, Amanda reflected on her amazing hiking adventures with her partner, Brendan.
Favorite spot visited in 2020: Grafton Notch State Park! A gorgeous park with hiking, caves, moose and waterfalls!
One thing she’s learned this past year? “I’ve learned that by going vegan, I’ve pretty much erased my migraines, and my vertigo spells have lessened! I’m feeling better than I have in a really long time.”
Hey there, I’m the writer! Last (but not least) I’d like to share my New Year’s Resolutions with you:
- Keep track of my reading. I’m an avid reader, and though I feel as though I flew through numerous books in 2020, I realize that–as captivating as many of them were–I can’t recall them all. In 2020, I began an Instagram page (@readsbyriss) dedicated to reviewing and recommending books, and I plan to stay on top of posting new reads more often…and maybe even begin a blog of my own.
- Incorporate intentional movement and exercise into my weekly routine. Since I was young, I was an athlete; playing sports like softball, basketball, and volleyball. These team sports kept me active through all seasons, and I think the toughest part was transitioning from group-based exercise to individual. I strive to motivate myself more, try new things like cycling, yoga, and running as well as looking for SAFE activities to do with friends.
- Call/write letters/communicate with loved ones more. With a year like 2020, I had moments to reconnect with friends I hadn’t been in touch with as often as I would have liked. I plan to put more effort into these long-distance friendships, because that connection is important to me. And similar to Marie, I need to call my grandmother more! She deserves it, and she’s a lovely lady to chat with.
- One of my top goals: EXPLORE MORE. I know long-distance travel is not something I can do anytime soon, but I’d love to at lease explore Maine, a state I’ve lived in for almost 4 years and haven’t even seen a fraction of.
My favorite memory of 2020? Well, I have a few.
One would involve our newest *furry* family member, Lucy. A German Shepherd mix rescue, we adopted her from the Greater Portland Animal Refuge League on my birthday–and playing with her was a lovely way to celebrate.
Another was my fiancé and I’s first camping trip together (with BOTH dogs) at Moosehead Lake, a place I had never been before.
And lastly? We were planning to have our wedding on September 26, 2020 but due to COVID-19 and not wanting to put anyone’s health at risk, we postponed it to 2021. On that day, we ventured to North Conway for an intimate, mini weekend full of hiking, dog snuggles, and celebrating a “woulda-been” moment that we are still looking forward to having this year.
2020 felt like a blur before I wrote these memories down. I’m grateful for these moments, big and small, and happy I’m able to enter 2021 on a positive note.