Friday, January 1, 2021

2020 Retrospective

January 1, 2021

We've welcomed another New Year! Never did I dream, back in 2008, that I'd still enjoy blogging here at Between the Keys. That's the key - I still enjoy it. 

Life is a constant experience of change. We all saw that in the year just past. 2020 will not go down in the personal history of many people as a "good" year. And yet we have arrived here today triumphant over many adversaries, real and imagined. What I wanted to accomplish in 2020, and what I was actually able to do, are poles apart. And yet triumphant is the only way to describe how I feel. 

I wanted 2020 to be the year I once again made writing a priority. At the beginning of 2020, my partner's health had improved, my mother's condition had stabilized, I'd closed the door on settling my step-father's estate, and my finances were aligned in such a manner that I could, and still can retire at any time. I penned a cheery little poem to welcome the year. Little did any of us know what was ahead. 

Enter Covid-19 and its devastation. The heart has been ripped out of so many families by what I firmly believe is man's combined avarice and stupidity. Something sinister lies in the center of this pandemic and I don't believe it's a bat. 

2020 delivered the most massive changes I've ever lived through. Never did I expect I would live to see the shelves at the grocery stores be empty. My thoughts continually turned to my grandparents and what life must have been like for them during the Great Depression.  We were ordered by our government to remain home unless we were considered essential personnel by an employer. We are still under orders to wear a face-covering in public. Life in the United States changed rapidly and drastically and I fear it has been forever altered. 

The 2020 Retrospective

January 2020 saw me back to the writing. I had a work in progress, The Quest, and was keen to get it finished. In February, we began to hear bits and pieces about a serious outbreak of a new virus in China. The news escalated until in March we were all suddenly under stay-at-home orders and the rush was on for toilet paper. Seriously. The Great Toilet Paper Shortage was also upon us. 

Late in 2019, I began a new blog, Holly Tree Manor, to chronicle our rural life. It wasn't until the end of January that I decided to keep it going. It's hard to judge if it's the sort of thing anyone would be interested in, but it's important to me to journal these days. 

 April found me working from home. I again contemplated retiring but didn't want to lose my employer-paid health insurance. I penned a reflective blog entitled What We Will Remember and attempted to get some work done. 

In May I finally realized that part of my problem was grief over the loss of my writing buddy, Chris Grover. The approaching anniversary of her death left me questioning why I continue to write when there are so few writers left from the time I was first published. They say writing is a lonely profession and that is correct when no one around you speaks the language. 

But summer was here. There were fawns, fledgling hawks, fox kits, and for the first time in years a growing garden. My employer decreed I needed to once again work in the office, which did not please me but I went. By the end of summer, I was canning produce and developing a "prepper pantry" to be more prepared for the next wave of Covid-19.  By the middle of October, it was clear the second wave was upon us, and once again I was able to work from the safety of my home office. 

The middle of October also saw The Quest published! I cried with relief to have the project finished. The last thing I wanted was for 2020 to be the first year since 2003 I didn't publish a book. At the close of 2020, I'm working to finish a
Rayne Forrest manuscript. It's almost done and I do wonder why I didn't finish it sooner. I suppose I got sidetracked on all the KC Kendricks books, but taking a journey back to my writing roots is good for me.  

Not all of 2020 was contentious, but our presidential election certainly was. If I ever doubted (and I did not) that politics are a sham, 2020 proved it over and over again. Our Constitution weighs in favor of individual rights. Everyone remembers that. No one seems to care for the responsibilities that come along with it. That's all I can say on that subject. 

I can't see into the Year of our Lord Two Thousand Twenty-one. I wish I could. All any of us can do is go forward in faith, one day at a time. I hope you'll stay with me on my journey. 

KC Kendricks

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