The last sunday of 2020! here we are, together. Thanks for joining me to close out this year. This sunday sips will be a little different as I take a moment to reflect.
The year that reminded us what was really important. In a year full of bad, bad, bad, we started looking for the good that much more and appreciating it. I typically try to avoid all things trashing 2020 cuz i get it. We’re all living it. But 2020 is just a number. It’s not the reason or the catalyst or even the problem. It’s just a number to mark a very polarizing year in history. a lot came to light this year and now we’re all left with the same question…what now? Now that the number is changing while many things wrong in this world will not, what do we do? How do we handle it?
Forward. As best we can. By keeping one foot in front of the other and trying to make our next step more confident, more sure, more purposeful…toward a better future where we have learned from our mistakes. one where we know who and what we don’t want to be because we’ve been there. we’ ve seen it from experience and now we know better. knowing what not to do is more beneficial sometimes than knowing what to do. you may not get it right the first time but as long as you’re willing to try, that’s what counts. and as long as you’re not trying the same thing and expecting different results…even better.
The year of we.
Our family gave up a lot this year like many others. And my kids didn’t give me any pushback. They sacrificed so much for the well being and safety of our family as well as others and not once did they give me attitude or resentment. The five family members under our roof became a team. a team that had their differences but still worked together for one common goal and i’m so proud we were able to pull through stronger than when we started. Not only did my children not rebel but they actually flourished. They’re doing better than i think i would’ve done as a child. They pitch in every day to help in ways I don’t even expect of them. They see firsthand ALLLLL that goes into running a household because they’re exposed to every aspect of it every day now with no breaks at school or friends’ homes and they appreciate what all goes into their lives. The grocery shopping, the cleaning, the time I need to decompress (maybe the most important for everyone’s well being lol)—they’ve done an amazing job stepping up to help me and my hubby with it all. This year above all others has been the year of “we” instead of a year of “Me”. Every holiday we spent together in 2020 there were tears. A lot of tears. Tears of joy. Tears of gratitude. Our family was very fortunate to be able to have a year of “we” and we knew it. We knew it and we never stopped feeling immense gratitude for it. Not once. Our summer was spent at home with no vacation for the first time in I can’t even remember when but we tried our best to recreate our best memories from previous trips. We made our own drive in movie theater in our backyard instead of going to our usual summer hang out. My kids hosted a book signing for me on Mother’s Day when a big book signing I was supposed to attend got cancelled. My hubby and i had more dates in our bedroom with take out than we’ve had in years at actual restaurants (don’t get too excited, it still wasn’t a lot haha) but we made more of an effort. And as New Year’s approaches this coming week, I think we will do one hell of a job ringing in the new year together as well.
This next year i’d like to try to publish two books instead of one (okay, yeah it was my debut and it was halfway through the year haha. Trust me I’m not being hard on myself, just a little optimistic.) There are authors that can pump out a new book every 2-3 months…I’m not there. Not yet anyway. With three kids home full time for the foreseeable future, I’m barely able to accomplish what I have so far. My last book i wrote which was largely during covid took 7 months. the two before that were 3 months a piece. The book i’m currently writing…i’m not sure yet but I’m hoping it’s somewhere between those two timeframes to give me the option of actually completing my goal of publishing two books in 2021. whatever happens, I won’t put out anything I’m not 100% in love with. That’s a promise. If i’m not dying to read it and reread it, I won’t be expecting others to either. I run my bookmark business the same way, i only put out product I’m proud of. That much I do know and have no problem sticking by it.
Speaking of my bookmark business, I’m not sure what’s going to happen with it. My original plan was to keep it up and running for as long as I can but covid really affected my small shop much like a lot of others. At times it was so slow I considered closing it down altogether, then other times it was so busy I worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up with everything else going on. Luckily I handled both situations as best as I could and made it out the other side just fine. Such is life as a small business owner i guess and going forward I’ll just need to watch how 2021 unfolds to know for sure what the fate of Booktickets by Ashley Marie will be. I love making bookmarks. I love the entire process so it’d be extremely sad to not be able to continue with the bookmark shop but like I said, I’ll have to see what this next year has in store. I’m not closing any doors yet, just keeping an eye on them.
In between all the holiday festivities with my family of five, i’ve been sneaking in episodes of Outlander still. I do so love that show and can’t believe I’ve gone the last year without catching up on Jamie and Clare. Such an oversight honestly. I even made a pinterest board because I’m obsessed. See it and other boards *HERE*.
I haven’t had time to listen to anything other than Christmas music but i’m ready to get back into some new songs. I need some gut-wrenching, soul-searing songs. Let me know if you know of any good ones. I’m always looking for new songs to write to and love the emotional ones best. Shoot me an email with any recs firstname.lastname@example.org. I got some new headphones for Christmas too so I need to fill my head with some haunting melodies. Bring on all the feels!
The next time we meet will be a whole new year and a whole new month and hopefully a whole new outlook on life. i wish for you and everyone is that your 2021 is bigger, better, healthier, and happier overall. Another year of we hopefully where we actually get it right. Happy New Year! Stay safe and enjoy your upcoming week.
Happy Sunday! I’m sitting outside on a beautifully mild day writing this and I cannot wait for more of these days. The weather says Fall . . .
Is it Fall yet? Sorry, it’s just that we’ve had such a wet summer here in upstate New York with mild temps throughout and it . . .