End of 2020

Finally! Its the end of this year. We will all be glad to see it go.

There are so many things that I could reflect on about this past year but I really want to try to focus on the positive. That’s not to say that I haven’t had really rough days like everyone else. I tend to feel things deeply and have had times of fears and tears. Yet there is always something positive. This year we just needed to look harder.

I worked on my novel steadily until just before Thanksgiving. That is a huge accomplishment for me and I’m very happy with the work I got done. I finished two complete drafts. Then in November I realized that I have a huge flaw in the story and need to fix it. With the holidays coming and after working on it nonstop for the year, I realized that for the first time since NaNoWriMo 2019 that I didn’t have the energy or the drive to work on it. I also felt that I’ve been looking at it so closely for so long that I didn’t have a good perspective on it anymore. So I’ve taken a break. Which has been a good thing because just last week I finally have an idea of how to fix the problem. I think I came up with this idea because even though I wasn’t physically writing, I was still mulling over the story. So now I’m debating about working on it or just giving it to beta readers and see what they have to say about it first and then dive in again. I’m leaning that way because I’m sure they will find things I don’t see and then I can tackle it all at once with renewed energy.

I discovered that working on this book has been a wonderful escape from the world this year and that has been a gift.

Surprisingly there have been some good things from this year.

-To know that I need to get outside and enjoy nature more. I got to do quite a bit of camping this year which was really a sanity saver for me. It was amazing to see how many people have discovered camping this year because it was one of the few things we can do safely. I have never seen the campgrounds as full as they were this year. And most of the places I went did a fantastic job of keeping people safe.

-This year gave us more time to focus on things that make us happy at home. For me that’s organizing more, digging out old hobbies and projects and working on them. Really focusing on my home.

-I discovered that there are good things about wearing masks; like you don’t need to worry about pimples, stray whiskers or food in your teeth.

-I have learned so many new programs and apps for both work and home. Who knew we would become such experts at video chatting with people? That we would need to think about things like lighting, sound and background noise. How cute has it been to see all the cats and dogs peeking at everyone? Or one of my favorites was the disembodied arm that appeared to float behind one person in their virtual background?

-I appreciate what is important to me more than ever, like family and friends, and to never take any of them for granted.

-To be caring and considerate to others because everyone has different comfort levels. And on top of that despite how much time we have been dealing with this virus, we still have good days and bad days which I for one, never expected to still be happening.

-To respect each other.

-To always be as kind as we can be.

Now that this year is at an end, I think we can all agree that it has been full of learning opportunities. I remember thinking before the year began how interesting it would be to live in the year 2020. 20/20 is perfect eyesight. I thought it would be a good year to focus on clarity. Who knew that we would be forced into seeing things we never wanted to see? But I think in many ways it’s been a year of clarity. As a world we have all learned to see many things clearly, whether we wanted to or not. But I also think it has been an amazing opportunity to look with open eyes at what is really important in our lives. Not just individually but as a world.

Hindsight is 20/20. Time will tell how true that is.

I wish you all a good 2021. I wish everyone good health, good family and friends. I wish continued growth and happiness for all of us.

Happy New Year!

Creative, Fun and Playful 2017!

The start of a new year is always refreshing. It fills us with hope, inspiration, and goals. It sounds like there is a lot of relief that 2016 is over too. I hope that the new year has started well for all of you. It can be a lot of pressure if we make difficult resolutions. I’m not doing that this year. Instead I’m going to do more enjoyable things.

56-icicles-begonias

Ornaments, lights and begonias

I love the holiday season. Between the gratefulness that Thanksgiving represents and the spirit of giving and serving others that Christmas represents, how can I go wrong? Well, things can go terribly wrong if I get caught up in the material craziness that the media says is the important part of these seasons. If I stick to the real meanings then I enjoy it. I love the lights, the music, the wonderful tackiness of holiday sweaters, decorations, flowers,

Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus

food and goofy gifts.

Most of all I love spending time and sharing all of those things with family and friends.

Unexpected gifts are very sweet; especially cards and small, thoughtful items that the patrons at work gave to me. I never expect those and their kindness fills my heart.

I also love that my kids, who are now adults, put so much thought into the things they get for my husband and I. (Okay, maybe one or two things I asked for specifically but they did really well!)

My biggest surprise was my husband giving me an antique typewriter! As soon as I put the paper in it and started typing I was immediately pulled back in time.  The unique sound of the keys hitting the paper brings back amazing memories!

Another gift I’m excited about is a new camera.  I have been making do with the camera in my phone and there are times when that just isn’t good enough. I’m amazed by what this camera can do and am slowly learning all the ways to use it. Between the user’s manual and the software manual I will be learning new things for a very long time. I hope to include more photographs in my blog posts. But don’t expect greatness! I’m just having fun!

What do I look forward to in 2017?

Creativity. Being more creative. In any way I come up with. Writing, of course. Photography. Coloring. I may even dust off my old sewing machine and see what I can make with that. How about drawing and painting? I plan on painting walls and old furniture. That’s all creative. No pressure. Just playing like children do. Having fun with it.

Play. I want to play more. We don’t do that nearly enough as adults. My brother sent me a new game called Codenames,6-codenames which we played on Christmas day and it was a lot of fun. I loved it because you need to use words to win. My daughter got the picture version of it and we switched back and forth. Talk about being creative and playful!

All of the responsibilities of life take up so much of our time so we need make more time for more fun in life.

Creativity and play. That’s it. Nothing fancy.

How about you? Do you have creative plans for the new year? What playful things would you like to do? Whatever you decide to do, have fun with it.

Happy New Year!