Oh, I’m still here, even though my online presence has somewhat dwindled. Why? Simply a case of stepping back and taking a breath. A very deep, COVID-free breath, I’m thankful to say.
This year has been horrible for many and challenging for most, but I’m hopeful and grateful that an end to the suffering is near. I personally have lost two friends to this dreaded pandemic, while several others have suffered a myriad of side effects, but we continue to stay safe.
Yes, “we.” In the midst of mayhem, joy came to visit. In June, Mr. Right popped the question, and I said a resounding “Yes!” And in September, we moved to a home near a lake and to a county with significantly less cases than good old Dallas. With very few “full-timers” living out here, and an 8-mile drive to groceries, quarantining has been a breeze. So, it’s me, Mr. Right (aka John), two indoor cats (Lucky and Chula), and an inherited outdoor cat (Fluff) who is precious when he’s not swallowing mice in my direct line of sight.
There were other changes, too. I shelved my podcast, Girlfriend, We Need To Talk, in March, but I still toy with the idea of bringing it back. I so loved connecting with interesting women from around the globe, but the onset of COVID overwhelmed me, and I couldn’t bring my best self to the project. I don’t like to say that I’ve grown more accustomed to it since, but I suppose, in some ways, I have. Complacent no, but accustomed yes.
I did spend those early months tweaking my second novel, and I’m about to do a final tweak as we speak (or type/read, as the case may be). But one of my greatest pleasures of the year has been learning to draw. Furloughed from my day job in the spring, I decided to participate in a 5-day virtual workshop, Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain, based on the work of Betty Edwards. My interview with her was beyond inspiring, as I’d longed to work through her book of the same name for many years. Between that conversation and an interview with Nancy Rosen (the artist behind Grace and Frankie), who told listeners, “You can’t talk about it or think about it. You’ve got to do it,” I took the jump into something entirely new. Now I can’t stop! It’s also meditative, creating art. A few hours a day when the weight of the world’s current state is lifted and – dare I say – almost forgotten.
I know this blog post is longer than my usual few paragraphs, but it’s been a while, and I’ve missed you. And WELCOME to a long list of new Control Switch readers who I’ve been blessed to hear from this year. Many from Australia, which is beyond cool. I’m so glad you’re here.
So, let me wrap up by saying this:
Many of our hearts are heavy this holiday season. Too many looking at empty chairs; others unable to travel to family. My dad and extended family are in Canada, and I haven’t seen any of them since this time last year, but I want all of us to stay safe. It flat out sucks, but we can do this. We need to. I pray that each and every one of you remains healthy and vigilant, as well, and that you find new ways to enjoy the season.
What’s next? That second novel will get finished, I promise. And I plan to keep on drawing. I have a beginners, virtual painting class starting soon, as well, and I’m excited at the thought of playing with color/colour. I may share the occasional work with you, because there’s a story behind a lot of my pieces, and I love telling stories. 🙂 I’ll also be rolling up my sleeve for a vaccine as soon as I’m able and visiting those I love once they’ve had theirs too. Beyond that, I’ll let inspiration visit me when it’s in the mood. Maybe it will hang out for a while, take a load off, and sprinkle magic dust on my workspace. You know, the kind that clings to the surface of things and brings new ideas to life? That’s the thing about inspiration. You have to leave a door ajar, just in case.
And I’d love to hear from you. How was your 2020? What comes next for you? You can comment below, or send me an email at Leana@Leanadelle.com with the subject line, SUMMING IT UP.
Love you all, and I wish you a 2021 filled with joy, health, love, and a door cracked open just enough to allow in magic.