It’s New Year’s Eve! Hallelujah.
I’ve been trying to avoid complaining about 2020. It won’t do any good. It won’t change anything. And despite the overall dumpster fire this year has been, I’ve personally experienced a lot of good. I’m a contributing author of Midwest Road Trip Adventures, making this my third book, and I’ll have my copies tomorrow. (Now that’s a good way to start the new year!) I spoke at Discover America, the virtual Travel & Adventure Show. I spoke at libraries. I’ve nearly finished writing my fourth book, and it will be out in January. Even though my son moved across the country, I feel like we’re closer than ever. He gave his partner a promise ring, and well – she’s a keeper.
It’s been a year of personal growth. I am more in tune with what I want my life to be than I’ve ever been before. That’s a function of being home since March, but it’s also because of the biggest change this year has wrought:
Talk about forcing reflection. Hearing that diagnosis, and then going through the physically catastrophic treatment, is a recipe for slow down. Don’t just slow down. Stop. Reflect. Breathe. Feel.
Cry. Laugh. Cry some more. Pray. Love. As hard as you can.
I have received more love than I knew was possible. It’s coming from everywhere. Close friends, acquaintances, and people I’ve never met are showering me with support and kindness. In return, I’m giving love like glitter. I’ve realized that there is no need to be stingy with my “I love yous.” I’m telling close friends, acquaintances, and people I’ve never even met that I love them. But you know what? It’s true! Love isn’t finite. It isn’t pie. It’s a good gremlin. Just add water. Or, in this case, affection, expressed.
And my husband. Jim. I knew he was strong. I knew he was kind. Even knowing everything I know about him, he has continued to surprise me with his selflessness and his dedication, his pure gold heart. He is indefatigable. He is love.
As midnight nears and we begin a new year, I know that nothing changes just because the clock switched to 12:01am Central. It’s already 2021 in some parts of the world. Have things changed? Is everything suddenly better? I’m betting the answer is a big fat no.
Even so, I confess that I love those symbolic new beginnings: Mondays, the first day of the month, the first day of a new year. Penning a new to-do list in my planner, tackling new projects and goals, those have always been calendar events. But one thing this year has taught me is that the calendar is what I make it, and every moment is a new beginning. Every minute is a chance to make better choices, which decide what the future will be. Every second is the only chance to experience that moment.
It’s New Year’s Eve. I’m leaving 2020 with sparkles and one of my favorite shirts that I can finally wear again (another good thing this year has brought is less of me!) with a wig to match. I’m giving the year a hearty thank you for everything good, and welcoming 2021 with optimism, gratitude, and infinite love.