You know that feeling you get when you have been driving alone in the car, when your eyes are fixed on the road, but your brain drifts off to another place? You might be replaying a conversation or a past event inside your head, running through that never ending list of things to do, planning the next birthday celebration, working through the latest family dilemma, or daydreaming about some grand escape. Your eyes are fixed on the road, but you lose sight of your surroundings. You blink, and you realize you have traveled several miles. Twenty minutes have passed, and you haven’t a clue what has transpired during that time. You don’t recall driving past the usual landmarks, and you can’t quite fathom how you got there. It is an unsettling feeling. You were there, but you weren’t fully present.
That is how I’m feeling about 2021. I vaguely recall how it began. Vaguely. I don’t remember New Year’s Eve or Valentine’s Day. I couldn’t tell you what kind of cake I ate on my birthday or what, if anything, we did to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. School ended and summer began with very little fanfare because my children were still enrolled in distance learning. There were a few milestones I do recall… standing in line for the COVID vaccine, the excruciating loss of my sister-in-law, my husband’s prolonged absence as he grieved with his family and then quarantined outside the home for several weeks, the day my daughters got their COVID vaccines, that phone call I received alerting me to the fact my sixteen-year-old was rejecting her transplanted kidney, rolling our suitcases through the ER as we checked into the hospital, the day we busted out of the hospital (kidney once again stable), my fifteen-year-old daughter earning a spot on a highly competitive volleyball team, the joy I felt seeing her play, the fear I felt when she was exposed to COVID, the relief I felt when those test results came back negative, painting my office (something I’ve longed to do for well over a decade), the pride I felt when my daughter passed the test for her learner’s permit, and more recently… carving pumpkins with my brother and his family on a crisp fall day beneath a shockingly blue sky.
While I can recall several highs and lows, there are huge chunks of time that are missing from my mind. It certainly doesn’t feel like eleven months have passed by. It is unsettling… losing nearly an entire year of your life. And, if I’m being totally honest, the same darn thing happened in 2020. I think these past two years will forever be known as the years we lost to COVID. Our calendars and our clocks kept chugging along, but our brains didn’t compute this passage of time. So many of the events that typically mark the passage of time were cancelled or muted. So here I sit… in November. We are hurtling toward the holidays, and I can’t fathom how we got here. Shockingly, this is my first and quite possibly my last blog post for 2021. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that.
I want you to know I am still plugging along with Shae’s story (book six in the Broken Series). I’m working on the final chapter now. My editor still needs to work her magic, but that likely won’t happen until January. If all our stars align, we will get this book to print in time for Valentine’s Day. I’m not going to lie. This book has proven a bit of a bear, given the competing demands on my time, but I am eager to share it with you. I will offer this tiny bit of insight… Do you remember way back in the final chapter of Beautifully Broken when Shae was riding her bike on the Potomac River Trail? She spotted Kri doing yoga in the park and stopped to tell her about that job opening at Seeds for Peace. It was the first time she met Kadyn, who was feeling all kinds of surly because Kri wasn’t answering her phone. Shae hugged Kri before they left for that scavenger hunt benefitting Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital. When she did, she whispered, “What I wouldn’t give to be you for just one day.” Well, her fairy god-author has granted that wish and then some. I can’t wait for you to see what I have in store for her. Stay tuned. February will be here before you know it!
Before I sign off, let’s pinky promise… No more years lost to COVID. Enjoy the holidays. Every. Moment. No more blinking and wondering how you got there. Live in the moment.
Woah, that sounds like the perfect New Year’s resolution.
Where’s that pinky?