I hope that your holidays were happy and fulfilling, and at least came close to what you hoped they would be. Mine were wonderful because I spent them with many of my children. I saw ALL of my children just before the holidays, and visited them in their home cities. And we were only missing two at our Christmas table, which is not bad at all since 6 were there, and I had seen the other two just before. As I’ve been saying for the last 6 weeks, I toured around the country visiting my children before the holidays, and twelve family members stayed with me for Christmas, so the holidays were very merry this year. Compared to the only Christmas in my life I ever spent alone during the worst of the pandemic, six thousand miles from my children, this year was a real celebration, for which I am deeply grateful.
And considering that we spend months planning and preparing for them, the holidays fly by all too quickly. And a day or two after they end, the silence in the house is deafening, after a week of laughter and music, and having my children all around me. And now just a few days after Christmas I am back at work. I realized recently that my life has always been a merry go round of wearing different hats. The life of the mother of many children, and all the worrying, excitement, occasional drama, and errands that go with it. It has been my full time day and night job for all of my adult life, since I had my first child at nineteen (the same year I wrote my first book). So I have been a mother above all, with my kids and my family as my priority and where I spent the lion’s share of my time, running from one activity to another. And then there was always my ‘secret life’, the writing I did and loved, while everyone was asleep at night. I ran around with my kids by day, and once everyone was in bed, I wrote the books. it gave an additional adult dimension to my life, I had an additional occupation, to add to my life as a carpool/soccer Mom. And between books, I was an ordinary housewife, a role I’ve always really enjoyed. There is great satisfaction in having a list of tasks to do, and accomplishing most or all of them in the course of a day. You can actually SEE the results of what you planned to do—whereas it is years before you hold a finished book in your hand. My children gave me the greatest joy, my work has given me a sense of accomplishment, and my home gives me great satisfaction, making it a welcome place for all who come through our doors. And now once in a while, for a very short time, the magic dust of ‘stardom’ catches my attention for a moment, and always surprises me. It is the role I am least familiar with, and very quickly, with just a small dose of it, I skibble back to my role as a mother, or to my typewriter. The stardust of celebrity always feels unfamiliar to me and is a mystery, although I’m grateful that people like my books, and for my success.
And now, having come through Christmas, it will be New Year’s in a few days, which is always a time of taking stock, or where one’s life is, and if you’ve lived up to your expectations of yourself in the past year. It’s a time when one can promise oneself a better attitude, or better results, or being kinder, or braver. New Year’s is a time of introspection, and not just partying. With my children grown up and busy, I used to give New Year’s eve parties, and in recent years, I find it a great time to work. It’s cold outside, the weather is bad, everyone is tired after the holidays, and I have to admit, I’d rather be at home, working on a book than out partying and trudging through the snow to get there.
So ring out the old, and bring in the New….a new outlook, a new year, new hopes and expectations and dreams, and projects and plans. A new year is exciting, and it’s a way to turn the page, and start a new chapter—which I will literally be doing on new year’s eve!!!
I wish you a New Year’s eve that meets your expectations and is the way you want to spend it, out or at home, in a ballgown or pajamas. And I wish you a magnificent new year, bright shiny or new. Don’t give up your dreams, hang on to them, or dust them off and revive them, and may the new year fulfill all your hopes and expectations!!! May be it be a healthy, happy, fun, productive, exciting year for you, in the best possible way, and may the magic of a new year touch you and fill your heart with hope for the coming year.
May it be a year filled with joy, good luck, and happy times, surrounded by the people you love and who love you!!!
with all my love, Danielle