By Caitlin Kelly
One of the many challenges of working freelance, as my husband I both do, is having basically no structure at all to many of our days. When he works at The New York Times and United States Golf Association (his two anchor clients), we know what hours and days are committed.
But without setting up planned pleasures for ourselves, we often just end up working too much and even on official holidays.
So for the end of 2019 and heading into 2020 I’m going full steam ahead and making plans for fun, for culture, for travel.
Yes, it’s expensive — but without joyful things to look forward to, it’s just toil and sleep.
Especially after a breast cancer diagnosis, time is more precious to me than ever.
On the 6th, I’m headed to a service of candlelight and carols with a friend, at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, maybe with dinner beforehand at La Bonne Soupe, a terrific French bistro in business since 1977.
On the 13th, at home in Tarrytown, The Hot Sardines are playing — and I’ve been following them since the very beginning, having met their Canadian-French singer at a dinner party years ago when she was still a journalist. They tour globally and have had huge success.
On the 17th., we’re off to hear the New York Philharmonic play my favorite music — Bach’s six Brandenburg Concertos — the greatest hits of 1721!
In January, a friend and I have tickets to Porgy and Bess at the Met Opera.
A new colleague at the Times is a balletomane as well, so we’re planning to see some ballet with him in 2020.
I keep looking at sites for cottage rentals and just need to commit; I have been dying to spend time in Cornwall after the end of my favorite BBC series, Poldark, set there at the end of the 18th. century. I want to spend two weeks there, a week in London and maybe even another week elsewhere in the English countryside and October 2020 is the only time we can do it.
Thanks to my breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, the last six months of 2018 really disappeared into a fog of anxiety, tests, surgery, radiation and fatigue.
In 2020, I’m still tethered to doctor appointments and follow-ups in March and also have to renew my green card (which allows me legal residency in the U.S.), which we are told can take six months, so that also limits any international options until the new one is in my hands.
But the more art and culture I enjoy — whether paintings, drawings, concerts, ballet, opera — the happier I am. It’s why I wanted to live here, close to New York City. Not savoring its cultural riches seems silly to me.
What are some things you’re looking forward to?
35 thoughts on “Some things I’m looking forward to”
We are regular users of Sykes Cottages at least 2-3 times per year. They’re excellent. We’ve used them this year for the Cotswolds and Northumberland. We’ve also used Cottages.com and can thoroughly recommend them as well – we visited Norfolk with them this year.
Hey, good to know! We used them for our cottage rental in Donegal in June 2015 and loved it, hence our interest in using them again…if we lived in Europe, would definitely use them more! I don’t love flying, so getting across the Atlantic is always a bit of a hurdle for me.
They have Black Friday deals on which I think may have started. I had an email earlier this afternoon. Hope you find something nice. Happy Thanksgiving!
Sykes are good. I can also recommend Sawdays (https://www.sawdays.co.uk/britain/england/). They have a collection, including self-catering, of “special places to stay”, as their slogan calls them.
I should also have mentioned that October is half-term for schools in the UK – I think next year it’s the week starting 26 October so bear in mind that the prices for cottages and holidays in general will be higher, so the earlier you book the cheaper it will be. If you know the county you’re visiting google half term dates for that county. If you are planning on Cornwall or Devon they’re always very popular for half term.
Oh no. Thanks! I had no idea.
Let’s see. I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving with my family in a couple of days. The new Black Christmas and Star Wars movies are coming out soon, so I’m excited for those. Also, my mom, sister and I are going to see Nutcracker together, so that should be a blast. And the audio book for my novel “Rose” should be out soon, so very much looking forward to that.
That’s it right now. I’m not planning beyond New Year’s, really. Though I’m sure there will be plenty of things to get excited for as we get closer to 2020.
That’s a lot!
Oh, and there are a couple of musicals coming in the new year that I’m seeing. One of them is Jersey Boys!
Fun! I’m forever overwhelmed by choice here; when lucky, I can get discount Broadway tickets, which helps. I still want to see Come From Away.
I’ve heard of it but don’t know what it’s about.
on 9/11, when 100s of planes had to land suddenly, they landed in Gander, Newfoundland….
That sounds emotional.
Well, Happy Thanksgiving. Hope it’s something to look forward to.
You too! We’re at home having a quiet lazy day. Perfect!
I’m heading to my mom’s later. The whole family will be there.
Will do, and so do you.
Thanks….Just Jose and I at home. Perfect.
it looks like you have wonderful experiences to look forward to. in the coming year, I plan to head west to visit my sister in Arizona and perhaps travel around a bit with her, I’d also like to take a cooking class with a friend, and give the online dating experience a chance once again. who knows what could happen? and that is the best part –
That sounds great — Arizona is gorgeous. I’ve always wanted to take a cooking class but more intrigued by a film class and a floral design class, each within a half hour’s drive for me.
I’m heading for Georgia next week to visit my sister. She’s been talking a bit lately about taking up the guitar so I’m going to bring her one of mine. She has always had some mobility problems but she makes up for it with the incredible skill in her hands. I’ve been playing since I was twelve and have all the bad habits to show for it. I predict she will be kicking my ass in about six months. I sure hope so
Nice! That sounds like fun, for sure.
I love that you are deliberately making plans to put some joy into your life. I keep choking on planning our next vacation and I just need to do it. Money be damned :-). You are right. Life is far too short to sweat the small stuff. We have to move forward and trust. After surgery, I am looking forward to the small things. The first time I can take a hot bath. The next time I can finally have a cup of phenomenal green tea. And my first glass of wine and dinner out with friends :-).
It’s been a really tiring few years — and we have recently endlessly whacked with $$$$ surprises ($850 for a new dishwasher, suddenly, ANOTHER $1,000 into the 20 year old Subaru.) Not to mention total extortion YESTERDAY —- $150 cash as a suburban (!?) tow truck attached my car to its rig. I had not seen the VERY small and misplaced sign warning of this. Suffice to say it got so ugly they called the cops.
I am not on this earth to spend all my money servicing broken machinery!!!!
Hope you are OK…surgery?!
I have seen in my own life that when I commit to pleasure (and not $100, maybe a zero beyond that), the work and $ shows up…because I am not radiating resentment and wage-slave misery. We all deserve pleasure!
And planning for it adds to the delicious anticipation.
I agree with you. The universe seems to provide according to our sincere expectations. And yes, I am OK. Elective surgery that will provide me with a better quality of life :-). But tough recovery.
Oh, so sorry to hear this…please take as much time as you can to heal slowly and fully.
I’m new to the blogging scene and find it exciting to be part of this community! It has always been amazing to me that people everywhere are so resilient to whatever life throws their way. There is so much good and beautiful in the world and so little time to soak it all in.
In the Fall of my life I am starting out on a new journey as an emerging writer of Children’s Books. Since financing is a concern self-publishing is the first road I will travel down. Fortunately for me one of my sons is an IT guy and a have a daughter that is proficient in photography. Together we will venture out into the waters of systems, words, and illustrations.
Wish me well…
I will keep you folks struggling with health issues in my thoughts and prayers for healing and happy days ahead.
Am looking forward to,having swell moments ,during Christmas and an affordable year in 2020… Attending musical concerts and meeting more wonderful people…
Nice! Concerts are lovely — can’t wait for a few this month.