I originally shared this in my December email newsletter, but I wanted to share this with you here, as well:

I’m certainly not the first to make this comment, and I know I won’t be the last, but… 2020. Wow. What a year.

I have so much to be thankful for, and I hope that you do too. My list includes: personal health, family members’ health, good relationships with family and friends, work I love, plentiful food and shelter, and spare time for relaxing pursuits.

Which includes fishing.

Fishing?!?! If you’d told me at the beginning of 2020 that at the end of 2020 I’d state that I’m slowly (very, very slowly) taking up fishing, I’d have laughed.

I didn’t fish as a kid. I went fishing once as an adult with my dad, caught some fish, brought them home, took a guess at how to clean them, and cooked them up, probably by frying them. I don’t really recollect because that would have been about twenty years ago. It never crossed my mind to go fishing again.

But as I shared earlier this year, I had a chance to go fishing this past summer with our younger daughter. I was reluctant to go fishing, but I’ve made it a policy that when one of my kids wants me to do something with them, I say “OK.”

Turns out that I found it so relaxing that when I learned I could go fishing at a lake near the cabin we rented over Thanksgiving (observing every possible COVID-19 safety protocol, I promise!), I jumped on it. Before our mini-trip, I even treated myself to my own very basic rod, reel, and tackle kit.

I didn’t catch a thing (even the fish were socially distancing—ha! ha!), but I enjoyed it even more the second time. Setting the line. Casting it. Watching the ripples. Reeling it in. Trying again. Ahhhh. The ultimate in doing nothing, while at the same time doing something, and outdoors at that. I’m, um, hooked. (Sorry. I can’t resist bad puns.)

I did have a moment of frustration, though, when my line got caught under a flat rock. I didn’t want to cut the line and lose my hook and lure. My daughter had great advice… “Just wait. Maybe move from where you’re standing. But eventually, the current will probably change and help your line get free.”

She was right. And later I thought—what a metaphor for 2020 and going into 2021. Tangled, frustrating, situations… but with a little patience and time, hopefully the current will change, and life will get a bit better.

For 2021, on a global level, I’m looking forward to vaccines that will help us out of this pandemic. And on a personal level, I’m looking forward to the release of THE STILLS and to my new column in Writer’s Digest Magazine, “Level Up Your (Writing) Life,” which will debut with the March/April issue.

Oh, and I’m looking forward to more fishing!

Wishing you and yours safe and happy holidays, and a joyous 2021.

Stay well,