The nicest thing happened to me on 31st December. Val Portelli emailed New Year’s wishes for me:
- A secret writing space
- Trained housework fairies
- Self cleaning and ironing clothes
- Self cooking and washing up meals
- Empty, peaceful train journeys
- Supportive work colleagues
- Considerate offspring
- Strong anti-bodies as soldiers for ailing relative
- No plot holes, and
- A successful writing year
Thankfully, I already have number 6. Numbers 2, 3 and 4 are sadly unlikely but I’m hopeful for the others.
How can it possibly be 2020?
To me the Twenties are the 1920s – an apparently golden age full of possibilities between the War to end all Wars and the Great Depression; a time when things appeared to be getting better as people entered a brave new world.
Unfortunately, the problem was in the word ‘people’.
A hundred years later and it’s hard to see what we’ve really achieved. The last decade seems to have unearthed political extremes, better means of communication but less listening, more openness but less courtesy, more globalisation but less tolerance, the means to see the world in virtual reality without realising if we’re not careful, that’s all we’ll be left with.
Looking back on a decade which started with economic collapse and ended with ongoing political unrest and environmental disaster, and on a personal level has included bereavement and worry about the health of loved ones, it’s easy to feel depressed.
But on the plus side, it’s been the decade when my children grew into delightful young people, my husband and I have been employed, our health has been good, I started writing seriously and I met loads of new people some of whom are now among my best friends.
Looking at 2019 itself, I checked my 31st December 2018 blog and found it nicely vague.
There were ‘targets’ in my head and I achieved most of them. I published Murder Durnovaria and The Seaside Dragon, I took part in organising and running the first literary festival in my town and with Liz Hedgecock, I published The Case of the Fateful Legacy and The Case of the Crystal Kisses. I couldn’t however, finish other projects without resigning from a demanding day-job. That’s not currently feasible.
Being typically human or at any rate me, it wasn’t till I reflected that I realised I’ve been so busy feeling like a failure for the things I couldn’t finish to feel pleased with what I did achieve.
And for 2020? I could be as vague as I was for 2019 but instead I’ll be a little more specific. All things being well I hope to:
- Publish two books
- Learn to crochet
- Maybe join a choir
- Live more sustainably
- Be more spiritually aware
- Get on with clearing attic
But as for today, I think I’ll follow my friend’s lead and send you some wishes for 2020.
- May you find space and time for creativity in whatever form that works for you
- May you find space and time to connect with the world around you and maybe beyond you
- May you feel loved and able to give love
- May you wave goodbye to the things that dragged you down in 2019 and find things that lift you up in 2020
- May your joys outnumber your worries and if not, may you find comfort through the worry
- May you realise that your very existence is part of the jigsaw which makes the world tick even if that sometimes doesn’t feel blindingly obvious
With the very best wishes for the New Year and many thanks for reading!
Words copyright 2020 by Paula Harmon. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission. Image by Kranich17 from Pixabay
Val Portelli’s book recommendations for 2020
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