So I was hoping to have finished the read aloud edit of my short stories by now but it wasn’t to be. It seems that sometimes life likes to throw us curveballs. In my case it has been a family emergency. the details aren’t necessary, needless to say my focus has been elsewhere.

Still I’ve at least been able to start transcribing the NaNo draft to my computer and it is currently sitting at over 50000 words. It looks as though next year may be a year for two releases, even though I got none out this year.

And what a year it has been.

I was in the fortunate position that nothing about my job changed. I work in an industry that has to just keep going despite things such as pandemics. In that respect I have been thankful. Though to be completely honest when I am making enough money from my writing I will absolutely quit.

Still on the topic of work, I have spent most of my year acting in a more senior position and I recently made the decision to step away from that, now I have the choice. So many people don’t understand my decision. Here it is summed up in a question a good friend asked, ‘do I want a job or a career?’ The answer is a job, see the point about me walking away.

When I am in my regular job my work/life balance is better. I have less stress. It is easier for me to focus on writing and other creative pursuits and it is those things that feed my soul. Work is a job. It is something I do and I’ve proven I can to the senior position I just don’t need it.

It seems to me that some people out there are driven by their job title, they have to have a certain standing and will do anything to get it even if they really aren’t qualified. You know what? Good luck to you. Just don’t think a title gets you respect, but I hope it makes you happy. I would prefer to be doing the things that make me happy and we all know what that is.

Thing is I would have thought this year would have been the year that made people realise the value of the things that truly give your life meaning and bring happiness to it.

As we step into a new year and people do what they do at this time, don’t lose hold of what you gained having made it through 2020.

I understand there are probably some who say I can’t possibly understand not having lost my job. And that part it true. And admittedly the social restrictions didn’t effect me a lot as I’m not a very social creature. That doesn’t mean 2020 didn’t have it’s problems for me.

2020 reinforced to me that friends and family are a core requirement in my life. It showed me how valuable my creative side is to me. It pushed my budgeting skills and laid me on my face before God on more than one occasion.

We have two options I think, stepping out this other side into 2021. We can pretend things can go back to normal (whatever that is) and we have learnt nothing, or we can learn – see how in some places the earth healed as certain industries were shut down, see how deeper connections are what get us through because they hold the most meaning, we can remember to tell those we care about how much they mean more regularly because we sometimes don’t know when/if we will be able to see them again.

It would be good if we could see the interconnectedness of our actions, but it seems for some that may not be a thing. There will perhaps always be those who are more concerned with their own selfish desires than the bigger picture.

I hope for most of us at least we have learnt more about ourselves this year and what things matter to us. Stepping forward these are the things we need to hold on to the tightest.

As for me I will hold my family tight, continue with my writing and invest time in those friends who hold a place in my heart.

Bring on 2021. I have more things I need to accomplish.