Four Words

I am no longer waiting for the other shoe to drop; It already did, and I survived.
I am no longer waiting for the time to be right; the time is always now.

I am no longer waiting for the mate who will complete me; I am grateful to be so warmly, tenderly held.
-Mary Anne Perrone

Welcome, 2020. It’s nice to see you. Are you excited to be here?

I had mixed feelings when I heard you were coming. Excuse me for saying this, but I don’t think you’re “all that”. I don’t believe I’m suddenly going to be a new improved version of myself. I didn’t make any resolutions; they leave me feeling pressured and bound. You are a year like any other. New Year’s Eve was a day and an evening and a midnight, just like any other.

I did not wake up determined to “start afresh”. I did not whip up a kale detox smoothie and post sunrise selfies (#newyearnewgoals). I did not attempt to leave my sadness and doubts and vulnerabilities and frailty in a previous chapter and turn to a new, unblemished page.

I simply woke on the 1st of January 2020 and breathed gently in and out, and kissed my daughter, and hugged dear friends, and ate and laughed and swam.

In the evening, after my daughter had fallen asleep, a tangle of sand and sunny hair and sunnier breath, I sat and lit a candle and pondered the decade past. I listed the most significant things that I had done or that had happened to me. Here are a few:

I trained as an editor/proofreader, qualified, and launched my own business. I had articles and short stories published. I started this blog. I worked sporadically on a novel and short story collection. I performed in major musical theatre shows. I lost a lot of weight and got fit. I faced the ghastliness of recurrent miscarriage and secondary infertility. My relationship of 18 years ended. I felt intense grief and guilt and sadness. I also felt the thrill of rediscovering parts of myself I thought had withered and died. I bought my first house. I travelled to my place of birth, Ireland, twice. My daughter was gifted a new baby brother, and I, a new child to love. My mother grew ill. My daughter grew more wonderful. I grew up. I grew strong. I turned 50.

You saw none of these things, but what you see is the person I am becoming because of them.

After farewelling the decade behind me, I wrote four words to welcome you.

Connection. I want to see and be seen, and to enjoy honest and loving connections with people who are good for me. And I want to be good for others.

Create. I want to create (write, mostly) and use my gifts to enrich others. I also want to create my own version of happiness instead of waiting for it to happen to me. The last year and a half has seen lots of stagnant sadness, and fear, and distraction. It’s time to move…

Forward. That’s it. Little by little, I will move forward.


So, shall we get underway? Take my hand. I think I’m ready.

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2 Comments on “Four Words”

  1. justformemandy January 2, 2020 at 6:53 am #

    Beautifully expressed. I wrote an earlier comment but lost it. x

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