Friday, January 8, 2021

Happy ANEW Year! – Courtesy of the Prefix “re”

YAY! and finally: our New Year is here!

2020 no longer banners our calendars.

This year’s start, though, is different from all others.

Since my one-year-ago post sharing my Rx for 20/20 vision, 

my eyesight required emergency refraction.

I count my blessings daily, if not hourly, that COVID-19 

literally infected neither me nor my family, at least up until 

this moment, and that friends and colleagues who experienced 

otherwise survived without serious after-effects.

I remain forever grateful my losses to date remain few.

My heart holds a place for those unable to say the same.

Still, figuratively? If I was to KEEP keepin’ on, in body, 

in spirit, and especially in my life’s work – teaching, coaching

and writing, the corona virus forced me to see my world – 

everything and everyone - anew. 

When it came to looking, back no longer did the job.



      Definition of re

      1: again: anew retell

      2: back: backward recall

This past year,

whenever Stuff demanded figuring out, so some part of my life – 

i.e. the story I was living, would work as needed, my M.O. became:

re-examine who and what was important, adjusting my camera lens 

 to better focus,

re-assess obstacles and available resources,

re-consider options, NO MATTER HOW SCARY, 

re-imagine desired outcomes,

•then begin anew with mustered courage.

Were some days better than others, some efforts unsuccessful? 

You bet!

Was I able to get every single aspect of my life working? NO!

But there was always tomorrow, a new day waiting.

The prefix “re” ensured I kept keepin’ on.

                                                      (Used with permission from Karen Ritz)

Recently, Karen Ritz’s beautiful illustration above of Mary McCarthy’s

oh, so true words prompted me to revisit 2020’s happenings.

And, lo and behold! As I saw the year anew, I saw me anew, too!

Like any Heroine who proves different for her Journey, I, too, proved 

different for the story I’d been living.

For one thing, I realized my ability to endure, despite whatever.

“I’m still here,” as Elaine Stritch famously sung.  

For another, I now know I’m able to face down my fears, especially 

those technological in nature.

And like any Heroine, I, too, returned home with something better than 

first sought. I began 2021 with buckets of proven courage.

                                                (Used with permission from Karen Ritz)

The Good and the Bad, the Ups and the Downs, the CrazyCrazy 

challenges – all contributed to a newer, braver me.

Now, whenever Stuff needs figuring out, so some aspect of the story 

I’m writing works as needs be, I’m rarin’ to go.

And that includes the 8th iteration of my current picture book 


I just rinse and repeat my 2020 Covid-19 M.O. 

I found the perfect prefix to adjust my vision, 

to adjust my verbs from focus to imagine.

I found daring and boldness, no matter the unknown, so my Reader, 

too, can be different for her Journey.

Thanks to Sylvia at Poetry for Children for hosting today’s Poetry 


Here’s to your stories - both those you are living and those you are 

writing – and finding, however challenging, at least one Silver Lining!

Happy ANEW Year!

Esther Hershenhorn


Welcome, welcome to our ANEWEST Teaching Author – Zeena Pliska!

You can read more about her here.  


Carmela Martino said...

LOVE this post, Esther! It's so uplifting. Just what I needed today. :-)

Linda Mitchell said...

Happy New Year! So far, 2021 is a bit of a disappointment for me. But, I'm hoping things turn around in about 11 days or so...or at least begin to turn around.

Esther Hershenhorn said...

Thanks, Carmela and Linda, for your posts in these CRAZYCRAZY Times.

And, Karen Ritz's beautiful images are available in note cards!