Hello world. Welcome back to the new old life that we packed away (for the most part) last March. Right around this time. For some of us, that meant losing a lot of our 'normal'. Jobs. Freedoms. Hugs. And for so many, dear ones. We mourn together.
Some of us found ourselves in the middle of things, if we do work that is 'essential' to basic human need.
So for all of us, I say - thank you for your compassion, your caring, your hard and sometimes unimaginably difficult efforts. And your sacrifice. We are here today, because you were there.
For me personally, 2020 brought an unusually strange dilemma. After moving all of my personal belongings from my flat in London to what I thought would be 'temporary' storage in Milan, Italy while I found my next home, I hopped over to the US to visit my friends and family. I had a ticket back to my new home dated April 30th, 2020.
The funny thing is that I left Milan on January 13. A week later Covid was in the country. So either way I would have been sort of stuck. I'm a person who has learned that surrendering to what is works better than fighting what won't change. So I stayed with friends for a short while, then moved to a rental house with my two and a half suitcases and a whole lot of gratitude that I was healthy and safe.
The work I had planned for my first year of retirement was no longer feasible. But I was back in my home country and an election was looming, so I poured my energy into making calls and texts to help the cause. That felt like something important.
The rise of the Black Lives Matter movement also moved me to become more involved. I supported groups large and small any way I could. Black Votes Matter depends on support from all of us to help voters who are often afraid or unable to figure out their local process. This organisation does so much to help them and will continue, with our help.
And finally, for the first time in my life, I didn't have a full time job. (Terrifying and Exhiliarating all at once. Yes, with capital letters). So I signed up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) - an annual challenge for authors to write fifty thousand words of fiction in a month. I had an idea for a story, so I sat down on November 1 and by November 30th I had more than beaten that goal.
That piece of work became the first half of my new book "My Grandmother's Ghosts". This time, I'm taking a more traditional publishing route. Translation : I'm in the process of researching agents, writing a query letter, and working with a technical editor, along with reading and doing some rewriting to polish the manuscript. This book stands alone, but will have two sister books as there is so much more story to be told! Yes! I'm writing a trilogy!
Since my surname is Finn, I often think of the movie with the same title as this blog. It's the story of an older man who decides to take some new chances. I can relate. And I'll admit when I find myself starting over (again) I often use these words to encourage myself.
So here I am, taking a leap, and believing that if we do, we can begin again any time we like. Here's to your new beginnings , whatever they may be!