Planning for 2021

Looking ahead. Lake Champlain, Vermont. Photo by Martha Reynolds.

The first few days of this new year have felt, in many ways, like another year entirely. We were all so glad to be rid of 2020, and then 2021 hit. An attempted coup on our democracy, the pandemic raging and getting even worse, delayed vaccinations. With all the chaos and uncertainty around us, are you able to make plans for this year?

I’ll admit, 2020 kicked my butt as far as writing goes. I’d put about 30,000 words down on my new novel, The Summer of Princess Diana. I’d traveled to Switzerland in early March, and, with the help of my friend Barbara, had found the house where I’d spent a summer playing nanny (au pair) to a toddler. I took a couple of photos of the house and the memories came flooding back. And then, just three days into my trip, the president announced, erroneously, that he was closing the borders with Europe. My husband phoned me at my hotel at 2:30 in the morning (Swiss time, but yes, I was awake and had watched the speech on CNN in my hotel room) and pleaded with me to get the next flight home.

So I did. Because as much as I love Switzerland, I love my husband more. I checked out, took a train to Zurich, and handed over an additional $1,200 to secure the one remaining seat on an Aer Lingus flight from Zurich to Dublin to Boston. I was acutely aware of my surroundings, but I still had to stand in crowded lines and sit very close to people I didn’t know. I’m amazed I didn’t get sick.

So, for the rest of 2020, I stayed home a lot. You’d think I could have written three books, right? The situation affected everyone differently, and for me, I wasn’t able to write.

So here we are in January, anxiously awaiting the removal of the worst president in American history (yes, he is the worst – there isn’t any debate. He incited an insurrection because he couldn’t accept his loss), and awaiting the installation of a new administration that will be faced with daunting challenges. We wait for vaccines for everyone, so we might get back to some sense of normalcy. We hope for our economy to rebound, for people to get back to work, for kids to go back to school and try to make up for a diminished year of learning. We want to dine out, to go to the movies, to travel! Yes, we want to travel. And hug.

I’m planning, because I’m trying to be hopeful. I have been involved in editing manuscripts for others. It’s satisfying work, and the money is good, but I’m still not writing. And I want to write, so I have to carve out some time each day. I’m plotting out my 2021 theme for this year’s Blogging from A to Z Challenge ( – those posts are written ahead of time, and I’ve participated since 2012, so this will be my 10th year. I’m chairing the Association of Rhode Island Authors’ annual anthology again this year, and that means being busy in the coming months. Editing, chairing, blogging, reading, and writing. And walking! I can’t sit in this chair all day.

I hope you’ve made plans for this new year. Don’t call them resolutions if you don’t want to. But look ahead, continue to have hope (I know, I cling to it sometimes, but hold on tight), and stay with me. I promise to have a new book for you this year.

Be well. Stay safe.

Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today. – Thich Nhat Hanh

17 thoughts on “Planning for 2021

  1. Amen Martha!!
    Hope!!! I hope for a day to hug my family and friends. I hope for a day to see smiles not masks, to go out out to dinner, to the movies, a ball game or to a friends house.
    As a healthcare worker I am lucky to have been able to get the vaccine, second dose on Friday. As a vaccinator at the hospital I work at, we have been busy since 12/16 vaccinating hospital staff, police, firefighters, EMT’s.
    There is hope but only if we can get people vaccinated, and that people get the vaccine when it is available. It will take time but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We will still have to take precautions for awhile but there is Hope!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean, thank you. And thank you for doing what you do. I’m sure you could have retired by now, but you’ve chosen to stay and dedicate yourself to helping others. I so admire you, and for you, I stay home and wear my mask. xxx


  2. Your insight, words, and caring have hope rising up off the page! It is remarkable all that you are living each day. Turning 70 has me clinging to each day, embracing the sunrise, a walk around our beautiful Lake each morning with my dear husband, and all the little joys in life that can be enjoyed in spite of all that surrounds us. As James Taylor so profoundly sings, “The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time,” and 70 seems to sing those words a little louder in my ear!!! Thank you for all the time you give to us, it is greatly appreciated Martha!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Martha (and Jim). I love hearing from you and knowing your plans and hopes. We are cautiously optimistic that we’ll all be vaccinated soon, and we do hope that’s before too many more people are sickened. Stay healthy and a safe, happy 2021 to you both. Love, Nancy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good morning Martha, I agree with you about Hope, Hope is my word for this New Year, Hope is what we have to cling to. Hope for a better year for sure. God is Good and with God there is Hope. Have a great week and may you and Your family have a Great and Very Blessed New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wishing you a happy and healthy 2021, Martha!

    This will be another challenging year, but with an improvement in government things should begin to improve. Fingers crossed!

    I’m sorry to hear about your inability to write. With me, it’s the inability to read a book. I still read the newspapers, but my head won’t stay focused on the printed word long enough without boinging off into a different stratosphere for me to read a book. I find myself at the end of a page, realizing that not a single word has permeated my distracted mind. I’m sure that once life, and the world, settles down, both of us will recover. Again, fingers crossed!

    Hang in there!

    Liked by 1 person

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