With little fanfare and none of the traditional New York Times Square hugging and kissing, the year 2020 finally made its last appearance a few days ago. And not a moment too soon. The calendar insists the year contained no more than the standard number of days, but it seemed to have lasted several lifetimes at least. Although most of us were (safely) stuck at home–washing our hands, sanitizing surfaces, making sure we didn’t run out of the essentials, and mastering the art of Zoom–the year did have its bright spots, including a lot of writing progress and new books by several of the Eight Ladies.
The Romance Writers of America organization crashed and burned in spectacular fashion at the beginning of last year, but like the Phoenix, it seems to have risen from the ashes, changed and is, hopefully, better than before. It’s too soon to tell if the issues that led to the demise have been successfully addressed, but the new leadership does seem to be making an effort, which is an additional 2020 bright spot.
On a lighter side, though I spent most of the year writing-challenged and day-job busy, I did find time to master pandemic sourdough and to attend about a zillion-Zoom calls. My son and I also added “oil painting” to our accomplishments as we, with help from a Bob Ross video, painted landscapes with happy, happy trees over the holiday. Neither of us had painted before, but the results were recognizable, and we had a great deal of fun during the process. It was a good reminder that the journey is as important as the destination and that perfection is not really the goal.
Now that we’re firmly in 2021, a brand-new year with no (or few) mistakes in it yet, it’s time to look ahead at what is possible in the next 360+ days. Sure, the pandemic is still raging and looking to get worse with the post-holiday-spike before it gets better, but there are several vaccines in play now, which offers real hope leaves me feeling more optimistic about the future.
One of the things in my 2021, thanks to the motivation of Eight Lady Michille, is a focus on getting rid of “stuff.” For several years now Michelle has been getting rid of one thing a day. I joined her last year and was fairly successful, though my garage currently has a backlog of things just waiting for one of the local charities to be open for drop offs. Earlier this week, while waiting for my daily parade of repairmen to finish their tasks, I gave my bookshelves a bit of a going over. Since I have thousands of books, the results may not be visible to the naked eye, but I did manage to cull out several dozen books, which are now waiting for the library to be open for donations. Better yet, the remaining books are organized so I can find what I have. Here’s hoping that will help avoid the “buying something I already have” scenario from cropping up again.
Buoyed by the pleasant feelings following this successful cleanup effort, I’ve chosen Action as my focus word for this year. I have a tendency to get stuck in the “thinking” stage of projects–writing or otherwise–and never make it to the “doing” stage. I’m hoping the momentum that I’m starting with now, along with the positive feelings of accomplishment, will keep me moving forward. I’m not above a little self-bribery if I start to stall.
The second component of my focus for the year is Humor. If the past year has shown anything it is that humor can make even the bleakest times seem a little better. So, I plan to make sure that I spend at least some of my 2021 searching out the amusing side of things. Below is today’s bit of humor. I don’t know why, but that “Prime” bit at the end just cracked me up.
I hope you are all staying healthy and safe and that your 2021 is off to a good start and trending upward.