We’re here. After a year that seemed it would never end, December 31, 2020 has finally arrived.
Some argue the emphasis on a “new year” is an artificial and arbitrary one. The ancient Romans originally had a calendar of 10 months and 304 days, with the new year falling on the vernal equinox, which arrives in March. So, by their measure, we would have three more months to go.
Thank you, no.
Julius Caesar transformed a calendar that fallen out of sync with the season, giving us twelve months. In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII January 1 as the beginning of the calendar year, a move adopted by European nations. There’s more swings and roundabouts, but that where the midwinter switch from one year to another comes from.
Which brings us back to today. I’ve spent the last few weeks planning for 2021, cautiously optimistic but still wary. Much of that planning is forward looking, but there are moments when you look back to consider what you achieved and lessons learned.
I learned I need to be kinder to myself, to be more mindful of what I put on my plate voluntarily, because the world will serve you things which you do not have a choice but deal with. We have not been touched directly with the virus, but we are dealing with elder care issues which take more and more of our time. In the first half of the year, we also dealt with the slow decline of our oldest kitty from cancer, and that, combined with the elder care, sapped energy and strength.
Did I accomplish everything I wished for this year? No. I’ll wager you have a list of things left undone as well. But take a step back, and look at what you did do. I released two full-length novels and a short story exclusive to members of my mailing list. I created paperback editions of the two books. I learned how to do my own covers, and did one for a charity anthology. I did that against the background of the implosion of the RWA, a global pandemic, being in lockdown with a cranky old man, losing a beloved pet, and an election.
There’s a host of other things I won’t list here that served as road blocks, and I cried much more than I would have liked. There were tears of rage and frustration, sorrow for losses, and the painful moments of depression when the world around me was nothing but dark. It was only when I climbed out of the hole that I could see I had moved myself forward and achieved at least some of the things I set out to do.
If you’re in a hole of your own, I feel for you. Reach out if you can, and don’t turn away those who offer a helping hand. They’ve often been there before and know the way out. When the world holds just a bit of color, look around at what you managed to achieved in 2020 despite all the universe threw at you. It will be more than you thought.
Stay safe, stay healthy. See you next year.