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Celebrate in 2021

Here we are on the cusp of a new year. I feel like I’m standing on a precipice, shivering with anticipation, excitement, and a little fear. We’re all more than ready to abandon 2020 even though none of us know what 2021 will look like. Where I live, we’re in lockdown for at least the next twenty some days. It may be extended. Will we be wearing masks until the fall? Is 2021 shaping up to be more of the same? No, I don’t believe so because there’s hope that everyone will be vaccinated by the end of 2021 and we’re closer to the end than the beginning. We’re all hoping to celebrate in 2021 at some point.

We all need something to look forward to, don’t we? I’ve been reflection on celebration as I think about the year past. The loss of life has been tragic and the numbers staggering; the message that life is short, has hit home. If I were to choose one word for the next year it’d be celebrate. (Click the link if you want to find out why I don’t choose one words anymore.) If I wanted to do a hashtag Insta-series it would #celebrate2021 but I’m not doing either. (Well, I might use that hashtag. Maybe you’ll join me?)

What I’m choosing to do is savour moments: both big and small. To be present wherever I am rather than ticking off the next thing. To participate first rather than first document. This year, even though we may be locked down, I’m going to enjoy the cup of coffee on the patio, appreciate the brightness of the sun’s rays, and breathe deep the aroma of cookies baking. I’m going to take advantage and appreciate that my boys are around, and we’re all healthy. 

I’m going to celebrate the milestones like birthdays and other achievements with words, maybe presents, and once we can be together again with friends and family. We do celebrate these things but I’m choosing to be more mindful of these moments. I’m not into big or fancy but marking days with intention, especially during these weird times, is what I’m proposing. 

The stay home orders last spring also gave us permission to relax and rejuvenate. Did we take advantage of it? This year I feel more energetic and optimistic that maybe I can be purposeful in choosing goals. 

2020 provided a silver lining for me and I realize how fortunate I am. Many frontline workers have been working tirelessly for months. I have two sisters who are nurses. People have struggled with the isolation. So many have been sick or lost loved ones. I don’t say this lightly but I am grateful for the gift of staying home. As an introvert, I like being home, my anxiety calms, and I can do what I love and what energizes me—read, and write.

One of my projects I finished last spring was the novel that I started in November. After writing The End, I went back to the beginning and rewrote it, then sent it out to my awesome beta (first) readers and then revised it again. Finally, it went to my editor. It’s a companion novel to Exit Stage Right and tells Shelby’s story. Why her? Because readers (you) asked and then Shelby tugged my elbow and said “Pick me”. How could I refuse? Face Off is releasing in 2021. Here’s a little teaser:

She’s an elite ballerina. He’s an NHL prospect. After years of hard work, their dreams are within reach. Both want to win. Both feel they still have much to prove

In 2021, I’m going to celebrate the hard work that went into writing a book. I’m going to enjoy the satisfaction of doing something I love. Bonus if it provides readers with an escape for a little while. 

I’m raising a glass to my peeps—my beta readers, my writing groups, my editor, and project managers—because without them it wouldn’t happen. Team Willcock lets me spend hours in my office and they look past the dirt in the house, and help with dinner. Pandemic or not, I have much to be grateful for.

I’m also thankful to you for reading, for encouraging, and cheering me on. I haven’t really blogged a whole lot in the last few years because I’ve been writing novels and I’ve been wrestling with issues. Thank you for staying. 

2021 is already shaping up to be good. Will there be problems? Of course, because that’s life. But there’ll be blessings too, and those I plan to enjoy.

Wishing you a very happy, healthy and safe New Year. I pray that it will be a new and different year, wherever you find yourself. Blessings and good health for the new year and may you bless those wh bless you and enable you to share your blessings with those around you.

I’d love to hear what you plan to celebrate in 2021.

Happy New Year!