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It's 1:13am on January 1, 2021 - and seemingly nothing is different.

I'm not sure what all the big hullabaloo was about.

Yea, 2020's over! Welcome 2021! Woo hoo! So we woo hoo'd. But the clock didn't care.

What does a clock care?

Can a clock cure a pandemic? A fractured societal infrastructure? A polarized "United" States? A family? A livelihood? A well-being? An emotional state? A bank account? A child's schooling? UPS delivery? My WiFi?

Last time I checked - at 1:22am - a clock could not. It could just tell me what time it was.

The reaction to that time was up to me.

So, I'm writing.

Mike is sleeping (God love him) among two big dogs and a puppy. All five of our combined children are with their other parents for this holiday, and we missed the New Year's midnight celebration by four minutes because we were watching the season finale of Season 2 of "Yellowstone" and lost track of time like one does while binge-watching a show.

I look at the clock now, and I've begun to cry. Don't feel sorry for me. My mom used to call this a "good cry". Crying is cathartic. Crying is the shedding of an emotional state. And Michigan is an emotional state. Plus the other 49 (give or take since I last watched the news).

WebMD agrees:

So what emotions am I shedding?

  1. "Yellowstone"

  2. I miss my kids -- this is always #1, but putting "Yellowstone" first was funnier

  3. My friend, a mother of two, just lost her job

  4. I'm sad that 2020 was not what I had planned - but hey, if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans

  5. Things I can't write about

I don't like to recall too much about #5 or it would trigger some Post Traumatic Stress. But, as Dr. O has coached me, we call it Post Traumatic Growth. Which is how my new website came about.


And that's how our lives are transitioning from 2020 into 2021 as well: from stress to growth.

But when, exactly?

A clock does not care.

It's 1:29 am.

I put on Mike's big work boots, untied, and trudge out to the dock. His heavy boots crunch the frosty snow, my arms wrap around me as if they know I'm both cold and in need of a hug.

The are no clocks out here. Unless you count astronomy. I like Cassiopeia the best (the shape not the story).

It's stunningly quiet. I stare at the varied constellations.

And I think.

Maybe too much. But that's what writers do. We think too much and we feel too much. So writing is a lot like a "good cry" where we shed our emotions. Except instead of tissues we use type.

Because if we feel things, other people feel them, too. So why not share ourselves with one another? Why else are we here?

I'll share my writing if you share your tissues, okay? That's the deal I make with my students.

My job is to teach.

But my life's calling is to write.

It always baffles me when people ask, "So, what do you do?"

Like a job defines our souls.

Why not ask, "So, who are you?" But even then most people reply with their names and job titles.

"Who are you?"

"I'm Jane Doe. I'm a paralegal."

That's basically an abbreviated resume. And that's not tissue-worthy.

Why do we do that?

Maybe because it takes time to figure out who we are. It takes time to progress from stress to growth.

It takes time. But a clock does not care about time. Unless he's Cogsworth from "Beauty and the Beast". How cute is he? I'm buying one for my desk.