My favorite thing is to laugh. And nothing has given me more cause to engage in my favorite thing than 2020 memes and videos and quotes. As a new year beckons, we’re becoming a little more brave and a lot more funny. Like the passengers of an airplane that’s crashed into the ocean, who’s been scooped up by lifeboats and on their way to land.
We are enthusiastically and almost breathlessly waiting for the new year to walk down the isle and divorce us from the horror that is 2020. We say things like ‘this year though’ or ‘what a year’ or ‘I wish this year would pack its bags, buy a tube of KY and go make love to itself’.
You get the point.
But something occurred to me this afternoon. What if 2021 does not magically tip the scales of fortune? What if 2021 is nothing of an improvement on 2020? What if 2021 is worse than 2020?!
This thought perturbed me greatly and I’ve been pondering it for hours. I’m not sure I have another 2020 in me. I’m not sure those around me has another 2020 in them and I damn sure don’t think my country can survive another one.
How am I supposed to be excited about 2021?
If this toilet-contents of a year has taught me anything, it’s this: Expect anything. A little change won’t kill you. Your friendships exist on a level beyond what you deserve. Don’t be so bloody comfortable.
So I’ve decided to let go of the expectation that 2021 will kiss my ass with golden lips. The moment the clock hits midnight tomorrow night, I am not turning into a rich, thin genius. Microscopic pathogens are not disappearing from Earth. Politics is not shedding the infected scabs of corruption. The hole in the ozone layer is not growing a sphincter and closing up. Bias and discrimination will not fall off the planet like two ping-pong balls rolling off a table.
But 2021 does represent a second chance. I could handle working from home even better and ace online teaching from the get-go. I could speak a little more elegantly to peanuts in public places who refuse to wear masks…persuade them instead of shaming them. I could be better at checking up on friends who struggle with loneliness, loss and fear. I could be a better friend. I could be better at exercising at home and I could eat like a human instead of a sperm whale.
I could remember…no, I could live like I’m privileged enough to still have a job and food and a home: with gratitude and graciousness and a little less moaning.
The coming year with its new-car-smell could very well be wonderful. It could also be horrendous.
But if we are better, I believe everything is going to be okay…