• jessrinker

A Year in Review

Joe wrote this lovely end-of-year wrap-up for our family and friends but we decided to share it here too. When I read it, I wondered who these people were that he wrote about. Surely not a couple that has moved every year since our inception because of financial instability or job changes. Or both. Surely not a couple who lost everything to a fire three years ago. Surely not the couple that was homeless and living with a parent while many of these books were being written.

But that's exactly who this couple is.

Sometimes I have these incredibly frustrating days. I'm the skeptic to Joe's optimist. I want to be further along; I just want more all the time. I'm 46, for christ's sake, and despite the millions of jobs/roles/gigs I've had throughout my life, I still haven't managed to secure a salary. (But my 23 year old has!) I can't pay for the new car I need, I can't pay for my kid's classes. Most of my books have been published during a pandemic, and therefore are a bit lost in the shuffle. The dream I had of what an author's life would look like was quickly dashed once I became an author. Or maybe it was just realized: it looks like someone wearing sweats and sitting on their couch.

A lot.

This is not a glamorous life, and it's not a windfall of cash, either. But it is still incredibly rewarding and I can't imagine any other path. (And trust me, I've tried many) Joe's letter reminds me to stop getting so hung up on the things that bother me, the things I haven't done yet, and remember how much life can change in a year or two. How even if all your "successes" are not yet realized, you can still be incredibly fortunate to have health, and so much love in your life.

For that is where we are truly successful. Through all of the chaos of blending families, moving, job changes, financial struggles, loss, publishing, rejection, and much more, we love with everything we have. There's nothing else that compares. I still want all those other things because I'm incorrigible. But I'm so, so grateful for the love. It's my wish for you that you have love, in any way that you need it.

Happy New Year, friends. Whatever happens, let's hold on to love for 2022.

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