Many families are pivoting this holiday season, and my family is no exception. We pivoted for Canadian Thanksgiving, American Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and now Christmas. This week, we canceled plans to gather indoors, put up a tent on the back deck, and decorated it with colorful lights to make an outdoor seating area for my son and his friends to gather safely. I strung more lights on the front deck to create a cozy seating area for my parents when they visit. (Thank goodness for a half-price sale on lights at my local hardware store!) We’re no longer having dinner inside, but lunch; chili in bowls with bread that we can eat on our laps, hot chocolate, and a chocolate log roll for dessert. We’re reacting to the fact that things aren’t what we thought they would be and then adjusting with as much creativity and cheer as we can, for our son, for each other, for ourselves.
Pivoting is a big theme in my life, and it’s a big theme in The Wise Women. The novel asks— What do we do when life doesn’t look the way we thought it would? We’ve all been there, and it can be crushing. But it can also surprise us—open us up to new possibilities we hadn’t considered, feelings we hadn’t explored, reserves we didn’t know how we had. And because life doesn’t stop for us to figure out how we will react, we go on, muddling our way through as best as we can, finding clarity along the way. We change our expectations; we abandon old ideas of how things are supposed to be, adjust, make the best of things, pivot.
This year, I’m pivoting from what should be to what is, and what is, is truly amazing. I have so much to be thankful for—and I’m grateful for all of it. We’re going to hunker down with flowers and chocolate and croissants and books and movies and emerge in a new year filled with the promise of brighter days.
Wishing you all a healthy holiday and a wonderful new year.