Tuesday, December 31

Top 3 Tips for a Very Happy New Year

Location: Trenanthia Cottage located in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada (90 min north of Toronto)
person's face smashed against glass
As the year draws to a close, it’s time to look back on the highlights and convince ourselves that everything we did was in total alignment with last year’s New Years Resolutions. If I’m being completely honest, the only one I really kept up with was “don’t sleep on my face so much”.  A praiseworthy accomplishment, so I will go right ahead and pat myself on the back.

I’m fond of celebrating milestones big and small, and reflecting on the many lessons and little nuggets of wisdom accumulated along life’s journey. So on that note, what better time to get all deep and introspective than the holiday season?

Here are my top 3 tidbits I learned this year and will be keeping in mind for next. Ponder, share, and add your own to the list.

Connection is Everything

Wait! Don’t grab a barf bag just yet! It might be a cheesy cliché but the sentiment travels far beyond the rhetoric of a Lifetime Christmas special starring Jason Priestley. When you’re surrounded by people who love and support you - and hopefully you are - there is an unbreakable bond that is so special but sometimes so easy to forget. Remember those long car rides up to the cottage when you and your siblings made up games to pass the time? Or Sunday night dinners with your grandparents? Or maybe that time when Santa accidentally “forgot” to fill your stocking on Christmas morning and your mom had to shoo you back to bed so she could “call him” on his cell? Erm, that last one didn’t happen to me either (cell phone? what was that?). Well, the point is that as I grow older I become more and more aware that connecting with people is so important. I’ll be taking time to bond with them and show my appreciation!


In this Insta-era of all things digital we’re so caught up in our techie toys that after awhile our iPhones start to iSolate us from more important things. There’s nothing wrong with a WiFi connection, but every now and then taking time to focus on your personal, real-time connections can be refreshing and invaluable. Many of us Muskoka folks can agree that spending time outdoors and enjoying nature is absolutely priceless - plus, it doesn’t eat up any of our data. Whether it’s sitting by the lake with my toes in the water, huddling around a campfire with marshmallows on a stick, or walking through the snow covered forest, I’ll be taking some time to unplug and get lost in the beauty around me.


Have you ever noticed that some of the strongest connections we make can be found in the most unlikely of places? A simple chat with the lady behind you in the supermarket turns into pen pal letters and annual holiday cards. A simple click of a button virtually reconnects you with your high school sweetheart. If all of the viral BuzzFeed memes this year didn’t convince you that this world is full of crazy surprises and unexpected delights, look no further than, well, everywhere! This year, I’m going to engage with my surroundings, strike up conversations, get to know my neighbours both out and about and across the lake. Starting up a new sport or hobby is a great way to meet people and share fun adventures with friends, so I’m getting to it.

Here’s wishing you all a Happy New Year full of connection, engaging and byte me’s!