Thoughts From The Wilderness – Slip Sliding from 2019 to 2020

hangover3There is right this very moment, some exceedingly groggy and perhaps hungover bloggers that are unsteadily and perhaps with a significant level of befuddlement, typing away at a retrospective post on the year that was.

On the opposite side of the coin, however, given the expertise and professionalism found throughout the blogosphere, many of you will have your ever so thoughtful and sombre retrospective of 2019 done already. Written last week utilizing a sober-mind(or at least semi-sober) and now have it scheduled to hit the blogging world at some point today, if it hasn’t already been published by now.

Pat-on-backI can confidently and with many self-indulgent congratulations admit, this retrospection was written during the week between Christmas and today, January 1, 2020.

So, not so much groggy typing this morning.

Most “year in review” posts that I’ve read and I haven’t read all of them(insert your sarcastic voice here), often follow a semi-predictable pattern of focussing on highlights of posts throughout the year and then followed by goals, dreams and aspirations for the year coming up.

Realistically, in any “year in review” post, I’m not sure one can follow any other basic template, other than simply presenting a review of your past year. We may add to the mix life events that occurred and such, but in the end, it is still a review.

Screen Shot 2019-12-27 at 7.59.46 AMHonesty time here.

It’s the “basic template” and in some respects the whole “year in review” post thing that has my “pantaloons in a twist.”

And in that regard, I took a stab at starting to untangle my “twisted pantaloons” in this post last week.

Nevertheless, one thing that did come to me while thinking about putting this retrospective together was the word “theme.”

“Theme”, when used as a noun, has two meanings:

  • “the subject of a talk, a piece of writing, a person’s thoughts, or an exhibition; a topic”
  • “an idea that recurs in or pervades a work of art or literature”

making memoriesBoth meanings fit perfectly with a theme that seemed to evolve throughout the year and specifically in the later months of 2019 – making memories.

Making Memories

As I scrolled through the posts, I had written throughout 2019, and while pondering each one(some had more pondering than others), the theme of making memories seemed to rise to the surface.

Making memories when stripped right down, involves people. Our spouses, our children, our families, our friends and perhaps those we don’t even know.

It’s the people we love that are the most important. In fact, people are the most important things in our life. Not the gifts, nor the house or the “stuff” we work ever so diligently to acquire through our lives.

It’s people and making memories with them.

So, here’s my retrospective look back on 2019 from a theme of “Making Memories.”

Be sure to click on the highlight links to read the full posts.

February 6 – “Making Memories” 

This entry is important not just because I wrote it, but I believe it has a couple of universal truths attached to it.

And it is these particular truths and the meaning they hold, that one day we will either be thrilled to look back on them or exceedingly disappointed we don’t have them to reflect and celebrate on. The choice though is entirely ours to make.

The first is, that time marches on. It waits for no one. A bit of a cliche I admit, but true, nonetheless. Therefore, fill your time with things that won’t rust or fall away. Things that have true meaning and value.

The second truth is, people are the most important things in our life. Not work, not things, not “stuff.” People, plain and simple.

Lastly, this point is a kind of sub-set of the second one. And it’s a quote, “your most valuable family possessions are the shared experiences and memories that link your hearts together.”

That last point should make it simple and blunt enough that all of us should get the point here.

As you read through Making Memories, it goes on to highlight five elements found or important in “making memories” and why making them so important and necessary.

Get out there and male some memories.

October 27 – “Hope You Had The Time Of Your Life”

Oh, where to begin with this one.

If I had to choose a post from 2019 that would make me the proudest of “hitting publish” it would be this one.

Not because of outstanding writing, content, layout or any of that stuff. It would be all due to the “spot I was at.” Which in all honesty, was and not a very good place.

timeThe fall of last year was for the most part, not the best for me in terms of my own mental and emotional wellness.

The nub of it was dealing with anxiety issues on a daily basis, combined with feelings of self-doubt and “where do I fit in; not feeling like I was contributing much; my life wasn’t much to look back on” it all simply left me at a rather low point.

I had heard “Good Riddance – Hope You Had The Time Of Your Life” by Green Day several times throughout the fall months on the radio. Any lyrics, although written perhaps with a specific meaning originally, they can create a wealth of different meanings though to the people who hear and listen to them.

At that time, the song resonated for me along the theme of, “we only have one life to live; only one shot to do it in; so you better get it right.” And that when it is all said and done; and before you take your last breath, you can look back and boldly proclaim, “I did have the time of my life.”

Originally when creating the post, I planned to take the lyrics and intersperse a few pictures that would somehow correspond to the meaning of each verse.

It didn’t quite work out that way. In fact, it worked out far better than I could have ever imagined.

What made it a powerful and such a gut-wrenching post for me was compiling the pictures and I mean the many photographs found in the post. I simply started adding pictures I felt held meaning to me of past wonderful memories. And I kept going and adding until I felt I was done.

Some of the pictures were very important, like our daughter’s college graduation, to those of seemingly insignificant events like a hike along the Bruce Trail.

The point is, all of those pictures represent an incredible memory; lots of memories in fact. And that if today was that day I took my last breath, I could look back and say, not hope, but say, “I did have the time of my life.”

We often get stuck and spin our wheels in the present when things are at some low point. Digging ourselves deeper into some muddy bog, that we really don’t need to be in.

That was me.

So, I absolutely implore you to click the link for the post.

After that, start compiling your own pictures of those wonderful memories of days gone by. They could be from last week or ten years ago. Keep going until you either run out of pictures or emotionally you can’t select another picture.

Step back and take a look.

You’ll then see without a doubt, you “have had the time of your life” to this point.

December 13 – “The Importance of Christmas Traditions”

This one is similar in most respect to the post above from February 6 – “Making Memories”

Where it differs is in the importance of Christmas traditions.

As I wrote in the post if there is one season or time of year that yells out “traditions” it has to be Christmas.

Christmas traditions, like any tradition, involves people. Most often it is those people who are nearest and dearest to us.

In fact, a Christmas tradition can’t exist without the energy and power found within the hearts and souls of the people involved.

Those Christmas traditions we dearly and often eagerly anticipate are fueled by the wonderful and heart-warming memories those traditions have created over the years for us.

Twenty years from now, not many of you will be to remember the presents and gifts you received, but I can guarantee you will be able to remember those Christmas traditions, that became the glue that has bonded the memories and souls of our families and friends together.

So, there you have it.

lookingA slightly different way of looking back at 2019 from where I was sitting.

Obviously, there are other posts that are noteworthy(at least in my mind), as well as events in from last year that could have made the list for inclusion.

I didn’t include blog stats and such, because I’m not sure what they would add to the mix.

Having said all of this, one thing I pray you to take from this particular retrospection is simply this quote:

“your most valuable family possessions are the shared experiences and memories that link your hearts together.”

Go out right this very moment with your family and get creating memories in 2020 that will last a lifetime.

Lynn and I thank each and every one of you who took the time to visit for a while with us at “justabitfuther” during 2019.

We pray many great and wonderful blessings for you all throughout the entirety of 2020.


—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —


2019 – The Year In Review – Why?

It’s coming up quickly folks. In less than a week, 2019 will have come and gone. New Year’s Eve with all its festivities and over-indulgences will be a foggy and hangover suffering memory for many.

Another year will be in the books so to speak.

Three hundred and sixty-five check marks on the calendar all finished for yet another year.

2020The last one you ultimately check off on December 31, is going to set us up nicely for 2020 and all the possibilities the new year holds for both you and me.

Often, when preparing for these “year in review” posts, which by the way have already started to appear on my “WordPress Reader” feed, it has got me to wonder what the purpose of preparing and publishing them really is in the first place?

Could it be simply a significant case of overt self-indulgence and righteous self-promotion by the writer? Stroking the “old ego” to usher the new year in so to speak.

Look at all the neat things I wrote about this past year.

Aren’t I impressive?

You know, the links here here in this very post. It might be a great time right now, for you to click on over and read some of these extraordinary articles.


On the other hand, there is a distinct possibility that the post is for all intense and purposes is simply a compilation of how their blogging year went. And as well, how life and the intersection of blogging interacted or perhaps even collided at times.

More for themselves than their readers, but if it’s been written it, why not share it?

Sort of a laid back approach to the year in review.

“This year I had many ups and also a few downs when it came to my blog and blogging in general. The same things happen in my life throughout the year as well. Some high notes and a unfortunately a few notes that were somewhat on the low side.”


Or, it could be any other number of reasons.

So, what’s the point here?

Honestly, I’m not sure.

My question is; “why do we do ‘year in review’ posts in the first place?”

I’m not trying to bemoan those bloggers who work very diligently to create in-depth and often heart-tugging “year in review” posts.

I love to read and see the accomplishments and “not-so-accomplished” bits that other bloggers have made throughout the year. It’s thrilling and uplifting to read what their goals and aspirations are for the year to come.

A phrase I came up with that I often tell other bloggers and those within my relatively small circle of influence is “we sometimes need to see where we’ve been in order to know where we’re going.” If you happened to have fallen into my smallish circle of influence, then at some point in the past, you likely have been a victim of the utterance along with the somewhat “punchier language” which usually accompanies it.

Nevertheless, retrospection is a good thing.

lookingMaking and taking the time to look back, can highlight the “highlights” of the past year, but more importantly, it can point us back towards some of those “lower points” and goof-ups. It is often the lower points from which we can learn from and grow, both as bloggers and as a person.

Thinking about it for the moment, perhaps the question should be, “what components or ingredients should be included to create a monumental ‘year in review’ post for bloggers?”

Okay then. Help me out here!

What should be the “components or ingredients that should be included to create a monumental ‘year in review’ post for bloggers?”

I look forward to your suggestions and ideas.


—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —