What a year this has been! Most people are giving it the bum’s rush – out you go and good riddance! But for me, it’s actually been a very mixed year with some awesome highs and some real challenges.
When 2020 started, I wrote the word KICKASS! on the front page of my planner (yes, I’m old school – paper planner) and was fully expecting to have the best year of my life. The book was over half written. Cancer treatment was firmly in the rearview mirror and my hair was even starting to straighten back out from its crazy post-chemo curliness. I had been accepted to deliver a poster presentation at Low Carb Denver and I had booked a room at the convention hotel and booked my flights using my airmiles. This was also the year that I hit the big 6-0 and I had lots of major plans for celebrating that milestone. Besides Denver, we had plans to go to Germany for my nephew’s wedding (we’re his “Canadian” parents, as he lived with us for a year during high school), and that was going to blend into a week in Florence Italy with my best girlfriends for our combined 60th’s. At out local little theatre, we were already planning for Beauty and the Beast as our big fall musical and I was on deck to co-lead the wardrobe with my favourite “partner-in-mayhem”. I was anticipating having a blast.
Of course, all of that came to a screeching halt with the declaration of the pandemic on the very day that I was to travel to Denver for my first ever international low carb conference. As the lockdowns stretched into months, I had to pivot in order to keep moving forward. I switched to working partially from home. Stores and medical offices were closed except for phone-in or online contact. The church and the theatre were shuttered. All of my disabled son’s activities were suddenly cancelled, so he needed a great deal of support to understand and cope with the sudden emptiness of his life.
The truly bright spot in all this uncertainty was my book. I had finished the first draft of the manuscript in early March and sent it off to a couple of friends for a first read-through. Once I realized that the trip to Denver was a no-go, I took a deep dive into what the next steps were in self-publishing.
Holy crap!!! I realized right away that I was going to be in this WAY over my head. That’s when I reached out to Book Launchers, a self-publishing coaching company. The owner of this American company is a transplanted Canadian, so she was savvy about publishing and book distribution on both sides of the border. After doing my due diligence, I signed with Book Launchers and, although it pinches to pay the USD fees in CAD dollars, I have never regretted the decision to let them guide me through the process. I ended up with a very professional book that I can be exceedingly proud of. And they continue to help me with distribution and promotion in the post-launch period.
So, while 2020 has been the kind of year that makes everyone anxious, uncertain and lonely, it has actually been a pretty terrific year for me. I entered my 60’s in great health. I rediscovered a love of cycling. I had a fabulously productive garden this summer (thanks to being home to take care of it). We went on several camping trips and discovered (and rediscovered) some gorgeous areas of our own province. And I am now a published author and podcast guest.
Although I didn’t know it at the time, cancer metabolism turned out to be the hottest topic in the low carb/keto/health sphere in the second half of 2020. With the publication of The Cancer Code by Jason Fung, just 9 days prior to my own launch date, the conversations around a new paradigm of cancer understanding are happening everywhere. How cool is that?
Yep, 2020 was a KICKASS year for me in some ways.
2021 is going to be a year of growth and promotion. As I have been thinking about my goals for the coming year, the one word that keeps coming back to me is TRUST. Move forward fearlessly, TRUST-ing that good will come of it. TRUST in the process, TRUST in my own abilities, TRUST in the love of God (or the universal energy, however you understand it) to be present for us. And since I didn’t get to finish all of my kickass ideas from last year, KICKASS is also going to be a word for this coming year.
Happy New Year to you all! Let’s stay healthy and safe in the coming months until the vaccine has rendered the pandemic less dangerous. Find your joy wherever you can, find your peace inside yourself and in nature, spread love and service to others despite social distancing. There is still so much good in the world!