In my entire life I’ve never looked more forward to a New Year’s Eve than I have this year including the years when I had fancy, dress up events to attend. I’ll bet most of us can say that in this year of the World-Wide Pandemic, Mother Nature Gone Wild and our Bat-shit Crazy Politics. 2020 needs to be thrown on the heap of history with the hope of better things to come.
This time last year I started the year out with an actual Good Things Jar, fully intending to add a note each day of something good that happened that day. That lasted until March when my state got our first covid-19 lock down. By mid-summer I emptied out the jar to repurpose it. I hate admitting that, but facts are facts. Usually I keep my commitments to myself. (Well to others, too, but the point is that the Good Things Jar was another good thing in a long list of good things that went badly in 2020.) Since I was a teenager I’ve faithfully written New Year’s Resolutions. After widowhood my resolutions morphed into the then new fad of having a one word Mantra to live by over the next year. I loved the mantra idea and should have stuck to it. Better yet when the Good Things Jar bombed I should have revived one of my past Mantras. My mantra of ‘courage’ that I used the first year after my husband died would have worked for 2020 because it took courage for me to roll out of bed each morning and stay focused on my move to the continuum care campus while the building project got shutdown due to the virus. Or my past mantra that was inspired by Wood Allen of ‘Just show up’ could been bent to fit the trials and crud that came with 2020.
One way I will celebrate tomorrow night is to watch a movie that has become a tradition on the last day of December since it was first released in 2011. It’s a comedy romance titled New Year’s Eve and it centers around the ball dropping at Times Square on New Year’s Eve. It gets stuck and the woman in charge of the drop steps forward and makes a touching speech that in the shadow of 2020 sounds almost quaint. “…As you all can see, the ball has stopped half way to its perch. it's suspended there to remind us before we pop the champagne and celebrate the new year, to stop and reflect on the year that has gone by, to remember both our triumphs and our missteps, our promises made and broken, the times we opened ourselves up to great adventures... or closed ourselves down for fear of getting hurt, because that's what new year's all about, getting another chance, a chance to forgive. To do better, to do more, to give more, to love more, and to stop worrying about what if... and start embracing what will be. So when that ball drops at midnight, and it will drop, let's remember to be nice to each other, kind to each other, and not just tonight but all year long.”
I still love that speech but I’ll be the first to admit the ‘what ifs’ of 2020 haunted me, I embraced them in a hug so tight that it felt like I was super-glued to all that went wrong in the political world, with the world-wide pandemic and with acts of God and how all three of those things converged in what felt like I was a small sailboat being dragged down into the Bermuda Triangle. So on New Year's Eve I’m metaphorically going to ER to get that super-glued hug unstuck like the time I super-glued my eye shut and had to go in for emergency eye care. Oh my God, did that hurt! And to this day I still wear safety glasses whenever I use glue. Super gluing your eye shut doesn’t do any permanent damage. If only we could say the same thing about all that went wrong in 2020. But we can’t. Lives and homes were lost to fires, floods and hurricanes. Millions of people have died because of the world-wide pandemic. Jobs and businesses were also lost to the virus. And we can only hope that our very democracy has not been damaged beyond repair from having the most corrupt and self-serving president in our history these past four years. My hope is probably echoed across the world, that we’re leaving all that behind in 2020 and we get a cleaner slate starting out 2021. Note I didn’t say ‘clean slate’ because we still have still have to mop up a few major messes from last year.
Back to what I plan to use for a mantra or New Year’s Resolution for 2021. I’m going with ‘Hope, Health and Moving Forward.’ And that means I’m nurturing the hope that all our lives will improve as we get the virus under control. The ‘health’ in the mantra means I need to step up and be proactive to get my small health issues under control before they mushroom into something bigger---my arm, foot, weight and, of course, avoiding the virus. And the ‘moving forward’ part of my 2021 mantra means every day I need to keep doing what needs doing to facilitate my move to the continuum care campus in August. ©
HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!