Thursday, November 5, 2020

2020-The Year Anything is Possible by Sally Shupe

I’ve been thinking back over the year, and what’s happened, and have come to the conclusion, anything is possible this year! From the pandemic that shut everything down to murder hornets to a super storm named after me 😊 we’ve seen it all. It is so easy to get caught up in all the storms around us. But in the midst of the storms, the pandemic, the rough patches of our lives, God is still there. What we choose to do with our time, is our choice. What have you chosen to focus on this year?

At first, I was focused on figuring out how to work from home. I’ll admit, it took me a while to get adjusted. If you’ve got kids at home, home schooling was a big adjustment.

But the other day, I was in a Zoom meeting, and it changed my perspective. I had hope again, a change in focus. We had planned a trip to see our son and his wife. My colleague stated that except for COVID, we probably would not have planned as long a trip. She was so right! In normal times, I would have taken just enough time off to stay a few days and rush right back. I would not have slowed down or even thought about taking a little more time to enjoy my stay. That opened my eyes. What other things had changed or happened over the course of the year that I hadn’t really paid attention to?

Two events stick out in my mind. We had to put two of our pets to sleep over the summer-- Our 14-year-old Jack Russell, Pumpkin, and our 22-year-old cat, Sassy. But then I got to thinking. Since I was working from home, I was able to spend so much time with them. I still miss them so much, but I’m so thankful for the extra time I had with them. I’ve also been eating better. Since I’m at home, I’m able to prepare healthier lunches and snacks. I’ve been exercising more. Not having the commute back and forth gave me extra time. And let’s not forget having to learn Zoom and other computer programs! What are some things you’ve had to adjust to or struggled with?

How many of you attended virtual writing conferences? I got to attend three or four writing conferences, since they were being offered online. They were awesome and I learned so much. I submitted work to a couple of contests for the feedback. Thinking back over the year, I accomplished so much more than I thought I would or did.

What are some things that you’ve experienced over the past year that you’re thankful for? Did you make it through each day? Did you get that one room cleaned out? Did you start or finish a story? Did you submit a story or get published? Think on these things. Let’s not get mired down in the disappointments, the uncertainty. Let’s be thankful, rejoiceful, cheerful. Share a smile and a word of encouragement with the next person you meet. If you’ve struggled through this year and can’t believe it isn’t at least 2022 already, it’s okay. God hasn’t forsaken us. He gives us strength to face each day. If you’ve thrived during this time at home, that is great also. Let’s finish this year strong. What is one thing you’d like to accomplish before this year is over? Share below so we can encourage one another. Let’s make 2020 the year anything is possible. Reach for your dreams!

Sally Shupe
lives in southwest Virginia with her husband, has two grown kids-a daughter still at home and a son not-so nearby, and a whole bunch of pets: four dogs, three cats, a rabbit, and birds at the birdfeeder (and the mandatory snowman when the snow cooperates). She is an aspiring Christian author of small town contemporary inspirational romance, with two completed manuscripts and several more in progress.

When Sally’s not writing or working full-time, she is a freelance editor for several authors who write fiction and nonfiction; students working on dissertation papers; a copy editor/content editor for several e-book publishing companies; performs beta reading for various authors; publishes book reviews; is a member of ACFW; and loves genealogy, running, and crocheting.

Sally publishes weekly blog posts that can be found through her website: https://sallyshupe.weebly.com/, and she posts on the first Thursday of the month at https://seriouslywrite.blogspot.com

19 comments:

  1. Thank you for this inspiring post, Sally. I'm sorry about the loss of your pets. As we chatted about previously, we've both discovered more time by working from home and not dealing with a commute. It's relieved a lot of stress for me. I hope to get through my current edits and finish NaNoWriMo, but I also want to keep my focus on the special moments in life that in the past, I sometimes overlooked. By the way, I thought of you when Hurricane Sally rolled through! :)

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    1. Hi Jill! I'm doing NANO this year too. We'll see what happens. My son and his wife live in the panhandle of Florida (where we're visiting right now!) and I told him I tried to get Sally to come say hi. He said he was disappointed she didn't lol. But then she brought cold and snow to my area in Virginia.

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  2. I, too, attended virtual conferences. I miss greeting people in person, but definitely have benefited from the virtual meetings. I appreciate the time and effort that goes into organizing online events. :-)

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    1. Hi Melissa! The virtual conferences were an unexpected bonus for me. I learned so much and was very impressed with how they worked out. I thought it would be hard to get to know people virtually, but it wasn't.

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  3. Sally, your perspective is excellent! At the start of the 2020 lockdown, I was completely panicked. But looking back, I am blessed. A new grandbaby arrived safely after many concerns. We are able to video chat with our other grandkids. After missing the deadline for a contest I planned to enter, I managed to submit to a different on....and the results were encouraging. Like you, I “attended” writing conferences I wouldn’t normally have experienced. Thank you for the reminder to focus on the positive things God has planned for us!

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    1. Sherida! Thanks so much for your comment. Sometimes those missed opportunities bring better ones. So thankful! I'm not able to travel to conferences that are for the most part too far away, but this virtual option has been wonderful!

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  4. Thank you for this thought-provoking post, Sally. I love your perspective. I've gotten (a little) more organized this year. And I realized how blessed I am to have all my kids and grandkids nearby. I also finished another novel, but I will admit it was harder to concentrate than in years past. Lots and lots of prayer went into this one. I'm sorry to hear about your beloved pets. Glad you got to spend more time with them.

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    1. Hi Laura! There's been lots of time for prayer this year. Most days it still seemed like there wasn't enough time, but the time we had was good, if that makes sense.

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  5. I'm a hermit by nature, so working from home is no chore -- and I certainly don't miss that commute! But I'm fortunate enough to have a garden and a puppy, and not everyone has these blessings.
    These last few weeks have been stressful, it's true. Publishing a book right before an election is a great distraction--I can obsess over the Amazon ranking instead of obsessing over the news--but it's not enough to insulate from all the drama.
    This week, my goal is to make a list, the last thing I do at night, of things that I am grateful for. Thank God for the blessings I have received. And practice kindness.

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    1. Evelyn, so true! I love working from home, once I got into a routine. I could never leave home and be happy lol. Yes, publishing a book can be very distracting. Congratulations! I like the idea of making a list of things to be grateful for!

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  6. I’ve attended three online conferences and have another this weekend. So thankful foe the opportunities and connection with writers.

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    1. Hi Deena! I thought it would be hard to connect with others through virtual conferences, but it ended up not being the case. I agree with you! Very thankful for the connections.

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  7. Last month's excruciating decision to put our 15 1/2 year old Smooth Fox Terrier to sleep (who would have made fast friends with your Jack Russell) still has my insides shredded. Though I've struggled to write at my desk without her there napping on her pillow at my feet (tissues, please), I am grateful for God's prompt to stay in the saddle as he is sovereign over all that 2020 has thrown at us. It's a calling that must be answered faithfully, no matter the swarm of events we face. Great post, Sally.

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    1. Mary, I am so sorry. I'll hold the tissues for you as I need them as well. It is so hard to make that decision. And even when you know it's time, it's still so hard. My chihuahua Milo is 13. He never leaves my side. He's at my feet, on my lap, beside me, under my feet (lol), always right there. I so dread that time. We've started playing hide n seek. He'll come in from outside and I'll be hiding somewhere and he'll look for me. Most of the time, he can't quite find me, but it's fun. The last time I went for a run up and down our road, he hid behind my car! When I came around the side to find him, he took off running looking back at me. He's so fun. Will be praying for peace and comfort for you, Mary.

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  8. Hi Sally, I loved this post. Putting a positive spin on a hard year is a great way to look at things. I’ve been blessed to be healthy, to have a garden to enjoy, and to not be alone through all of this. Also, I’m retired so I don’t have to go into work or work from home.

    I will admit to missing traveling and my many outings with friends and family. I have a new great nephew I’d love to meet but I’m keeping him and me safe.

    I’ve attended two virtual conferences and way too many workshops to count!
    It’s amazing how God blesses us in the toughest of times.

    I need to get busy revising! 😂

    Enjoy your vacation and spending time with your son and daughter-in-law.

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    1. Terri, thanks so much for your comment! Sometimes it's the little things that mean so much. A new way of doing something, a new experience, hope you can meet your new great nephew soon! It is so nice getting to spend time with them! We just cooked dinner together and it was so fun!

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  9. And I’m so sorry about the loss of your pets. It’s heartbreaking. We lost both our Westies this year, one in March and the other in July. I’m still devastated.

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    1. Oh, Terri, I'm still thinking about you and your loss. It's so hard. They are our closest friends.

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  10. Amazingly (as a worrier) I’ve had peace through Covid. I enjoy being home. Well not 24/7. There are things about it I don’t like but life isn’t always what I want. God has it and whether all this was necessary or induced I’ve seen upsides. More family time for the young with children, restaurants are not crowded, people are discovering nature. Zoom opportunities and testing makes us stronger. I’ve been more intentional reaching out to those who need to know they are thought of because I care. And great time to read more. Thanks for sharing your post.

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