Thursday, 12 January 2012

New Year, New Chapter

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

New Year, New Chapter

A week or so into the new year and I'm still a bit dazed that it's actually here. I love to have goals set for each year and to review the year past, to think about what I've learned, achieved, discovered. However the end of last year was a bit of a blur for me, My husband retired just before Christmas, so leading up to that we had lots of events, celebrations, goodbyes etc. It was a great climax for him after many years working in disability services and achieving some wonderful things. I'm very proud of him. But the idea of retirement - while we've thought about it a great deal - is still a little surreal. It's been harder for me to plan for this year and to set goals knowing that Neil's retirement will bring changes for us both, and waiting to see what he want to do in this first year. So it really is a whole new chapter of our lives and to be honest I have mixed feelings about it. While there will be great opportunities for us to do things we haven't been able to do before, I have grown used to many hours through the week where I can decide what to do; write, read, spend time with friends, work around the house, reflect, pray. I'm not sure how having a man around much of the time will affect all that, and I'm praying that God gives me grace and understanding and patience. Looking back there have been other periods of time in my life where changes have brought a new chapter of living and as I reflect on them now I'm grateful for the new things that God has done in my life through them. One of them of course is writing, and I cannot now imagine life without that, so in a very real way I'm excited about what God may have ahead for me as well as for Neil.  
One of the things I am pleased to have achieved in the past couple of months is a re-edit of my very first novel, Suzannah's Gold, and now thanks to Rochelle that is available on Kindle. So that's one of my goals achieved and a pretty good start to my year! As I reread Suzannah's story I was struck again by the tumultuous changes that were forced upon this young girl who was transported at the age of 12 to the other side of the world. It was the terrifying and seemingly hopeless situations that Suzannah found herself in, that inspired me as I wrote that story about my great great grandmother eight years ago. Her challenges make mine seem insignificant. And so I will face this new year, this new chapter  of my life, with excitement, gratitude, curiosity and faith. If I must let go of some things, if I get frustrated or impatient, I will remember 
Suzannah, and I will be reminded of how blessed I am. 
I'm sure you will all have your challenges for the year ahead as well and I pray that there will be many blessings for us all. 
I will not be around in February as Neil and I are going to the Antarctic for a month. That's been his retirement dream for quite a few years. No doubt it will be a wonderful experience for us both and I'll probably be full of news about it when I next blog. Carol  


  1. What a wonder season you are entering. Congratulations on rereleasing Suzanna's Gold. I hope you enjoy you time in the Antarctic

  2. Carol, congrats on your kindle book release! Wow, your trip sounds amazing & Antarctic would be an interesting setting for a book! Have a fabulous time :)

  3. I'd love to see the Antarctic. I actually talked my father into putting his name down for a flight over Antarctica, but it didn't happen. I find the barrenness, openness and untouched terrain (as with other deserts) to be akin to a different world; in fact, it's the closest we can come to being on a different planet. It should be a good source of inspiration.

  4. God bless you and Neil, Carol in this new phase of your lives. I love your plan for approaching it-- with 'excitement, gratitude, curiosity and faith'. Sounds good to me! Yes, it will be a big adjustment and I can understand your feelings, but it will all fall into place under God's hand. Have a wonderful trip.

  5. Thank you all for the encouragament Yes I do feel like I'll almost be on another planet, Peter, and I'm praying that it will be a time of inspiration as well as a rest from all the day to day commitments and interruptions. I find these far away and quiet places a great spiritual experience so hoping to hear from God.

  6. Thanks for your post Carol. It is certainly a year of changes for you isn't it? I can well understand your wonderings about the retirment years - but am sure God will continue to surprise you and bring fresh joys to you and also to your marriage. Enjoy the Antarctic. Wow! Sounds wonderful. And well done on starting the new year right!
    Blessings and all the best to you,

    1. Hi Carol,
      You are both going to have such a new and interesting year. I'm looking forward to hearing about your trip to the Antarctic! What a stunning holiday. As for Kindle books, I'm finding the electronic age of books more and more exciting.

  7. Congratulations on the release of Suzannah's Gold, Carol. The year ahead will no doubt be full of challenges and wonderful warm moments for you as your husband begins his retirement. All the best for your trip to the Antarctic. I'm not a cold weather type of person, so I'm inspired by your trip into the depths of the Antarctic. I look forward to hearing about it on your return. Blessings.