I’m taking stock of my life as the 2020 year-end holidays slide from future to present tense. This has been a year like no other in my lifetime. Perhaps the same is true for you. We have lived through a series of events we never imagined, and our world is changed. The thing is, for me it’s been a great year, one of the most remarkable years of my life. I published two books, fell in love and moved back to living in the country, which I have dearly missed since 2016 when I sold my farm. At a moment when so many people are troubled and suffering, I am on Cloud 9. But it’s not forever. I’ve been on Cloud 9 before. All things pass, the good times and the bad times. It’s that cycle that gives us perspective and builds our resilience.
The worst year of my life was 2008. It wasn’t that long ago I was 54 and passionate about farming. Then my husband of 32 years was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer, and just 3 months before he died, he introduced me to his mistress, a secret affair that had been going on for years. Obviously, our marriage wasn’t perfect. Nine days after he died, my mother died. That series of events cost me my sanity. Immersed in grief, anger and depression, I didn’t believe I would ever be happy again. I didn’t believe in myself. And I certainly didn’t believe in love. For years I tried to write about it, but my emotions were blocked. My feelings were buried in coping mechanisms. Excavating my inner world for a memoir was excruciating.
My memoir was not finished when I started writing my blog in January 2019, but I really needed a distraction from pondering my unhappy past. My blog turned out to be good therapy. Writing about my life helped me understand myself. I became more fluent in the nuances of my own feelings, and that flow enabled me to finally finish my memoir, which was published in March 2020, and titled “How I Made a Huge Mess of My Life (or Couples Therapy with a Dead Man).”
Of course, my memoir came out just as the pandemic became a public health emergency. Then in lockdown with bookstores closed, no book tour, and way too much time on my hands, my social life moved to Facebook and by happenstance I reconnected with a guy from my youth. Now we are living together quite happily, and our relationship feels like shelter in the storm of world events. To keep myself busy, I decided to mark the milestone of my 100th blog post with the release of an anthology of my top 50 posts written between January 2019 and October 2020.
My 100th blog post is today, Wednesday, November 25th. For 100 Wednesdays in a row I have posted a piece of writing. My second book, out this week, includes 54 illustrations by my friend, Brenda Rose. It’s titled “I Could Be Wrong: 50+ blog posts, short reads, big laughs, wit & wisdom” and it’s a group effort. Without readers like you encouraging me every week, I wouldn’t be here celebrating my accomplishment. Thank you so much for your support.