January 2022 Reflections

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #54! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, or tea, or hot chocolate at my coffee station and let’s chat.

Week 4/ 52

On January 2, 2022, I wrote that this year, I continue to focus my energy on Health, Home, and Leisure to live a healthy and enriched life. The last weekend of January is a good time for me to reflect on January happenings.

White birch trees and a clear blue sky on January 4, 2022
White birch trees and a clear blue sky on January 4, 2022

Health

In January, I consistently completed my wellness routine: Some outdoors (cycling, walking) and some indoors (practicing meditation, language lessons, strength training, and yoga). Taking care of my health every day is second nature to me. What I’m mindful about is to keep my exercises fresh by making small changes to them at least monthly.

On extreme cold or snow days, I use a new-to-me dance cardio workout at home as a substitute for cycling outdoors. The workout with upbeat music is fun. It keeps my brain and body engaged, improves my coordination, boosts my mood, and is good for overall toning.

On normal winter days, I continue exploring my corner of the world, enjoying Lake Ontario, cycling or walking on recreational trails, and visiting Toronto’s parks and neighbourhoods. The trails are quiet on weekdays in winter, allowing me to savour the beauty of the season.

Ice and snow in Toronto Harbour on January 25, 2022
Ice and snow in Toronto Harbour on January 25, 2022

Home

The new year started on a bright note. I finished my first community food drive on January 4 with 350 food items collected and delivered to a fire hall. It was rewarding to see the donations lifted and placed in a big Daily Bread truck to go to the food bank.

I had four virtual happy birthday celebrations with my family and a dear friend. We’re geographically dispersed so virtual gatherings work. I also took friendly walks with a senior neighbour.

I worked on purging, recycling and improving my physical and digital space. As a result, my home is more organized and I regain some space. I feel satisfied with the progress I’ve made in January.

Leisure

Similar to my Health activities, I take a balanced approach to leisure: Some outdoors and some indoors. In January, my outdoor time included exploring beautiful nature, discovering amazing park murals, watching birds, and listening to bird sounds along the shore of Lake Ontario.

My indoor leisure time was spent on listening to music, reading articles, books and blogs, writing blog posts, hosting the weekly Weekend Coffee Share link-ups, and sharing my stories, photos and comments with my blogging community.

Blogs I wrote:

Books I read: Listed by author’s last name; asterisk indicates new-to-me authors.

  1. The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis *
  2. The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth
  3. A Separation by Katie Kitamura *
  4. Heart Berries A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot *
  5. Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill *
  6. Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto *
  7. We the Animals by Justin Torres *
  8. Navigate Your Stars by Jesmyn Ward, illustrations by Gina Triplett *

Overall

January has been a calm and fulfilling month for me. I’m thankful for my good health, my cozy home, and all the good experiences and joyful moments in January.

How has your January been?

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79 thoughts on “January 2022 Reflections

  1. leannelc January 28, 2022 / 8:28 am

    Hi Natalie – it sounds like January was a lovely calm and fulfilling month for you. I like how you’ve mixed things up with your exercise routine to allow for the change in weather. Also really interesting to see the snow and ice in the harbour water – it fascinates me.

    Like

    • Natalie January 28, 2022 / 10:55 am

      Hi Leanne, I thought I’d include a photo of Toronto Harbour frozen in winter for my blog readers who live in warmer climate to see. The harbour doesn’t freeze every winter but we’ve had some extreme cold days this January. On that day when I was by the harbour, people were able to skate, ski or walk on the frozen surface. Have a great weekend!

      Like

  2. Dan Antion January 28, 2022 / 8:56 am

    It sounds like you made the best of the long cold month starting 2022, Natalie. It looks like you’re focused on the right things. I hope you have a great weekend and begin cruising through February.

    Like

    • Natalie January 28, 2022 / 10:59 am

      Hi Dan, I go with the weather flow and that seems to work well. I look forward to cruising through February. The sunset time is already much later than on New Year’s Day. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Maria January 28, 2022 / 9:48 am

    It does sound like a very beautiful and fulfilling month for you. The beginning of January was wonderful with some time off, a great beginning of the work and school year…and then Covid hit us. My daughter and I have been ill (therefor no coffee share last week,) we are on the mend now, but are still not back to our former strength. I am grateful that we both were in such great health to begin with, now we’ll just have to work to get back to that.

    Like

    • Natalie January 28, 2022 / 11:02 am

      Hi Maria, I’m sorry to hear you and your daughter have been ill with COVID. I hope you’re feeling better every day. I look forward to your coffee share post whenever you’re able to blog. Take care and have a restful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maria January 29, 2022 / 2:15 am

        Thank you so much ❤

        Like

  4. Ally Bean January 28, 2022 / 9:50 am

    Well, funny you’d ask about my January. I just posted about it today. Let’s say it’s been less than I’d hoped for. But glad you had a good one. Your photos are beautiful as usual.

    Like

    • Natalie January 28, 2022 / 11:04 am

      Ally, I hope my comments left on your blog and my blog post cheered you up a little bit. Take care and have a nice weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ally Bean January 28, 2022 / 11:10 am

        They both did indeed. Thanks for joining in here. I love hearing from you, oh sensible one!

        Like

    • Natalie January 28, 2022 / 5:11 pm

      Thanks, Gary. Have a great weekend!

      Like

  5. Jill Weatherholt January 28, 2022 / 11:32 am

    If you had the time, which you don’t, you could hire yourself out as a professional organizer, Natalie. I’d be first in line for help with my digital space…ugh…it’s a mess! My phone is exploding with photos. January was great, but it went by in the blur. I’m getting excited for spring. Your photos are stunning! Thanks for your inspiring post. Enjoy the weekend!

    Like

    • Natalie January 28, 2022 / 5:14 pm

      Jill, I’m looking forward to spring, too. It motivates me to delete some digital images, to have memory space for new photos of flowers 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend!

      Like

  6. Sue from Women Living Well After 50 January 28, 2022 / 1:14 pm

    HI Natalie, a well balanced and calm January for you. I love the start birch trees against the vivid blue sky. Also I was surprised the lake was frozen. It looks beautiful. I’ve not read any of the books on your list so more to add to my TBR list. Enjoy February and thanks for hosting #weekendcoffeeshare.

    Like

    • Natalie January 28, 2022 / 5:17 pm

      Hi Sue, Winter has a quiet beauty that I appreciate. The harbour doesn’t freeze every winter but it did this January after some extreme cold days. On sunny days, the reflections from the ice and snow are brilliant. I need sunglasses to protect my eyes from the brightness. Thank you for linking up. Have a beautiful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thistles and Kiwis January 28, 2022 / 2:03 pm

    Your January sounds both productive and full of good, positive things. The first half of the month was good for me, but the second…well, just say ‘toxic workplace’ and Omicron is now in NZ,,,,anyway, February is nearly here and it is still summer! As usual, love your photos.

    Like

    • Natalie January 28, 2022 / 5:22 pm

      I’m sorry to hear about the toxic workplace. It can be draining. Omicron has been spreading here prompting the province to re-introduce public health measures since January 5. They’re gradually lifted starting from January 31. I hope for a kinder February for all of us. Enjoy your summer!

      Like

  8. Astrid January 28, 2022 / 2:14 pm

    I am so happy you found some ways to vary your exercise routine by, among other things, doing the indoors cardio workout on snowy days. I am also glad you are able to enjoy birdsong even in January – I was surprised to hear it recently too. Maybe it’s just the fact that I hardly get outdoors that I hadn’t really noticed it.

    Like

  9. Janis @ RetirementallyChallenged.com January 28, 2022 / 4:33 pm

    I’m amazed at the ice in Toronto Harbour… do people walk out on it? This January has seemed like a long one for me but it appears that you have accomplished more than I have 🙂

    Like

    • Natalie January 28, 2022 / 5:31 pm

      Yes, people walk, skate, ski on the frozen harbour this week. I took some photos with people on the ice but they were far away and looked like tiny dots in my photos. In this harbour, they’re warned to do it at their own risk. The harbour doesn’t freeze every winter so when it does, it’s a novelty.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Lydia C. Lee January 28, 2022 / 4:41 pm

    The ice and snow on the harbour is amazing. We don’t get that here. I saw it in Oslo. I found it quite beautiful.

    Like

    • Natalie January 28, 2022 / 5:33 pm

      Good for you to have seen winter scenery in Oslo. On a sunny day, the ice and snow are brilliant. I need sunglasses to protect my eyes from the brightness. Toronto Harbour doesn’t freeze every winter so when it does, it’s a novelty.

      Like

  11. Jo January 28, 2022 / 5:19 pm

    I had to read the caption on that bottom photo twice. The idea that the harbour could freeze is so strange – but beautiful. Another well balanced month for you.

    Like

    • Natalie January 28, 2022 / 5:35 pm

      We had some extreme cold days this January. Toronto Harbour doesn’t freeze every winter so when it does, it’s a novelty. People walk, skate, and ski on the icy lake.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jo January 28, 2022 / 5:45 pm

        It’s so starkly beautiful.

        Like

  12. Debbie January 28, 2022 / 6:37 pm

    I love seeing the different climates we have Natalie and the harbour looks amazing all frozen like that. I also like how you mix things up in your workout routines depending on the weather, upbeat music and dancing is so good for many reasons as well as being fun! Thanks for linking up with bus for our #2022wotylinkparty, it’s great to read about everyone’s goals and reflections. We all live such different lives but it’s what makes this blogging community so engaging.

    Like

    • Natalie January 28, 2022 / 6:55 pm

      Hi Debbie, What so fun about blogging for me is that we get to share our stories and photos and learn from the blogs we read. Thank you for the link-up. Have a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Retirement Reflections January 28, 2022 / 10:16 pm

    Hi, Natalie – Health, Home, and Leisure are such important areas of focus. As usual you are rocking all three! Thank you for your continued leadership in the Coffee Shares. This is greatly appreciated.

    Like

    • Natalie January 29, 2022 / 1:16 pm

      Hi Donna, I’m grateful to be at this stage of my life and enjoy life to the fullest. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement.

      Like

  14. BernieLynne January 28, 2022 / 11:11 pm

    Your calm January, fulfilled with your words, seems about a million miles from the one I have just experienced. I just soaked in your colours, pictures and especially how you worked to keep your words and workouts fresh. Take care. Bernie

    Like

    • Natalie January 29, 2022 / 1:18 pm

      Bernielynne, I hope my blog post and photos offer you some stress relief even if just a tiny bit. Take good care of yourself. Thank you for dropping by. Have a nice weekend!

      Like

      • BernieLynne January 29, 2022 / 8:49 pm

        Just finding the 30 mins to read some blogs was a welcome calm plus your great photos.

        Like

        • Natalie January 29, 2022 / 8:55 pm

          That’s good to hear. You’ve got a weekly date with me as I post every Friday with some photos 🙂 All kidding aside, I hope you reserve a block of time for yourself every day.

          Like

  15. Ju-Lyn January 29, 2022 / 12:40 am

    What a January you’ve had! I am so glad to have shared some of the highlights with you … lots of fun art, and that Food Drive – so inspiring! and snowy scenes from Toronto … it really is a different world from Singapore!

    Like

    • Natalie January 29, 2022 / 1:24 pm

      Ju-Lyn, I know, right? Our climates are totally different, especially in January! I was thinking to post more of my photos of ice and snow on my blog when it’s winter here. I look forward to reading you post and seeing the lush green scenery in some of your photos. Have a wonderful weekend!

      Like

  16. Susanne January 29, 2022 / 7:08 am

    Hi Natalie, you’re such an inspiration with everything you do for health! The photograph from the harbour is beautiful – looks so cold, but peaceful somehow. I wish you a lovely week!

    Like

    • Natalie January 29, 2022 / 1:27 pm

      Hi Susanne, I value my health the most so I put some of my time and energy to maintain it daily. We’ve had some extreme cold days and one major snow storm this January. Winter is usually quiet here and I enjoy the peacefulness of the season while it lasts. Have a wonderful weekend!

      Like

  17. Antoinette Truglio Martin January 29, 2022 / 8:12 am

    You have been busy in such a creative way. I am so glad to virtually join you.

    Like

    • Natalie January 29, 2022 / 1:28 pm

      Thank you Antoinette for your lovely comment. I look forward to reading your coffee share posts. Have a wonderful weekend!

      Like

  18. Writing Sparkle January 29, 2022 / 9:45 am

    Great coffee blog Natalie. It is wonderful to hear that January was calming and fulfilling for you. I wish all the best for February as well.

    Like

    • Natalie January 29, 2022 / 1:29 pm

      Thank you Shari. All the best for your February.

      Like

    • Natalie January 29, 2022 / 1:31 pm

      With sunshine, calm winds and proper winter clothing, I feel quite comfortable being outdoors in winter.

      Like

  19. Kirstin January 29, 2022 / 6:42 pm

    Sounds like a great month Natalie. I’m working on my post for this week now, along with making my grocery list. haha!

    Like

    • Natalie January 29, 2022 / 7:01 pm

      Thank you, Kirstin. I look forward to reading your coffee share post.

      Like

  20. Terri Webster Schrandt January 29, 2022 / 7:30 pm

    You are a very balanced person, Natalie, and probably the most balanced person I know. We are a lot alike in these ways (I could be more balanced). You got a lot of reading done as well! I have done some reading while using my elliptical but I end up walking the dogs more than anything these days. That shot of the ice in the harbor looks gorgeous, if daunting! We are due for snow as early as Sunday morning, on top of what is still laying around. Thanks for that hot coffee!

    Like

    • Natalie January 29, 2022 / 8:18 pm

      Thank you, Terri, for your kind comments. I try to build balance and moderation in my health and leisure activities. By doing that, I enjoy them more and look forward to doing each of the activities. I hope you don’t get too much snow or icy conditions so you can safely walk your dogs. This month we had some extreme cold days and the harbour is frozen as shown in my photo. People were out walking across it and skating on it.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. E.W. Bennefeld January 29, 2022 / 7:34 pm

    Glad to know that you have enjoyed your activities in January. I have been stuck inside while it’s been so cold. I am looking forward to National Haiku Writing Month, which is February, with another poem-a-day opportunity. I have resorted, finally, to my Supple Body exercise book (pub. 1999) to work out a new 10-minute exercise plan for daily use.

    Like

    • Natalie January 29, 2022 / 8:21 pm

      Lizl, It’s good to do some exercises daily and there are many that we can do at home. I’m glad you’ve got your Supple Body exercise book and National Haiku Writing to look forward to in February. Have a nice weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. csuhpat1 January 29, 2022 / 10:09 pm

    Sounds like you had a wonderful January. I hope that you have a great February.

    Like

    • Natalie January 30, 2022 / 9:48 am

      Thank you, Patrick. I hope you also have a great February.

      Like

  23. Scribble and Scran January 30, 2022 / 11:31 am

    Nice round up and like the idea of the dance routine, I sneak a few moves in whilst I’m cooking. More whiles no one is watching 🙂 That Harbour sure looks cold!

    Like

    • Natalie January 30, 2022 / 2:24 pm

      Dance is fun and good exercise. Dance like no one is watching is liberating. Many adults become conscious and stop dancing which is too bad. When Toronto Harbour freezes, yup, it’s cold 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Janet Alcorn January 30, 2022 / 12:34 pm

    Sounds like you found a nice balance of productivity and self-care this month! I’ve been trying to focus more on exercise and healthy eating this month, because I fell into some not-great habits late last year. So far, so good!

    Like

    • Natalie January 30, 2022 / 2:26 pm

      Well done, Janet, with your exercise and healthy eating this month. Any day is a good day to start building good habits. Keep up your good work in February!

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Suzanne@PictureRetirement January 30, 2022 / 1:04 pm

    Natalie, I love how you adjust and carry on in spite of your brutally cold weather. Wishing you sunshine.

    Like

    • Natalie January 30, 2022 / 2:33 pm

      Suzanne, Nature and the four seasons here teach me the meaning of ‘impermanence’. Nothing lasts, including cold weather 🙂 I’ve gone out for a walk today and it was beautiful.

      Like

  26. Diana January 30, 2022 / 8:32 pm

    The white birch tree photo is so beautiful! I just Love it and I love your post as you reflect on January. Thank you for the coffee and I so enjoy seeing your journey in this life through your photos as you share such beauty where you live! ❤️

    Like

    • Natalie January 30, 2022 / 9:13 pm

      Hi Diana, I try to remember to look up when I’m outside exploring 🙂 We have tall and beautiful white birch trees here. I’m glad you liked my photos. I look forward to reading your coffee share post whenever you have time to blog. Have a wonderful week ahead!

      Liked by 1 person

  27. salonuldecreatie July 19, 2022 / 7:20 am

    Great stories! January was amazing also for me although my work contract ended in January..But it was not my path and I managed to get over it quickly. I started the month at an amazing farm-hotel with my boys and it was magic as we also found wild mistletoe. Some time later my partner bought me a new aloe pillow that is amazing and I started to plant things for later in the year. I’m also reading several books at the same time and am taking care of my plants & trees. I work a bit online and work offline for movies and series, having small roles. I am also writing currently and I hope t publish a children story soon. Good luck with everything & take care of yourself!!

    Like

    • Natalie July 19, 2022 / 9:10 am

      Thank you for your visit and comment. It sounds like 2022 has been good to you and your family. I hope the rest of 2022 exceeds your expectations.

      Like

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