As we stumble through the last few days of 2020, I am starting to think about what I want from 2021. I remember the last few days of 2019 – Oh, the plans I had! Little did any of us know that a submicroscopic particle, a teensy weensy piece of genetic material 400 times smaller than the width of a human hair, could completely disrupt life as we knew it.
Resolutions seem futile in this topsy turvy world of border restrictions and fast-tracked vaccines, but there is beauty in intention. This new year calls for aspirations of a different kind. I will not be concerned with exercising more, travelling more, eating less sugar, or any of the usual tropes. We don’t know what 2021 will bring, and if I’ve learnt anything this year, it’s that the only thing we have the power to control is our reaction to the stuff being hurled at us.
My promises for 2021:
Share wine with friends whenever I can
I don’t think I ever realised just how precious connection is, until it was torn from my grasp. I used to cram activities into my social calendar with such nonchalance. There is nothing quite like the geographic prowess of comparing 5km radii with your best friend, and negotiating hour-long intervals to ‘catch up’ over a socially distanced walk, for reminding you to cherish connection. The potential to sip wine with a dear friend in real life now rivals the childhood excitement of Christmas. Thank you 2020 for this perspective.
Buy local wine
Australia started the year with bushfires tearing through some of our wine regions, then the pandemic shut down all tourism. Just as that began to recover, strained relationships with China saw wine tariffs increase and export opportunities plummet. Our wineries are suffering and it is our patriotic duty to help. Buy Australian wine, visit charming cellar doors, shop at friendly farmers markets, stay in cottages set amongst the vines, graze on lush platters of fresh produce paired with local wine as the sun set spray paints the sky.
Fill my cup…
Only metaphorically. This is my trick to encourage mindfulness. Halfway through the second Melbourne lockdown it occurred to me that one of my major mindfulness practices, something I used to do frequently, was missing in action – tasting wine. When swirling a glass to unlock aromas, inhaling the scent, and thinking about the sensations and memories it conjures, I am completely present and engaged in the moment. Small pours allow room for the swirl, and a reminder to savour. This simple action replenishes my energy in the same way a bubble bath, or a long walk, or a Netflix binge does for some. Give it a try.
Drink more of your favourites
This was on my list of resolutions last year and I failed because I forgot that my favourite tipple, Champagne, isn’t just for celebrating. Champagne, the real deal, from the region in northeast France, is my favourite wine. For you, it might be zippy Prosecco, or tangy Sauvignon Blanc, or rich and spicy Shiraz; whatever you love, vow to drink it more often. While the jury is out on just how healthy wine is, there is no disputing its potential to enhance pleasure when savoured and appreciated. So max that pleasure! To tweak Marie Kondo’s delightful philosophy – whatever you choose to drink should spark joy.