Sucking in air, we quietly utter, “Hello, 2021.” Forgive our lack of outright enthusiasm, but our relationship with the previous year was a bit strained.
We started out on good footing. Roaring ’20s theme parties were enjoyed on New Year’s Eve before 2020 arrived. Spirits and hopes were high. We felt like we were riding a good wave. But the relationship quickly soured. Issues began to surface. I suppose we should have considered history, specifically the 1920s — they came in with a roar and ended in a crash.
But alas, here we are, and with all due respect, we’d kind of like to know your intentions, Mr. or Ms. 2021. Pardon the bluntness, but before we go any further with this relationship, it would be settling if we could get a heads-up on what you’re preparing to fling at us.
Normally there’s anticipation about looking to the bright future. We are a nostalgic society and like to recall days when life didn’t hold so many concerns, though even the good ol’ days had their share of weight, grief and worry. Nonetheless, we also pride ourselves on the ability to set our face to the future.
Not your fault
Absolutely zero blame will be placed upon your shoulders, 2021. We won’t guilt-trip you. We realize that you are stepping into something that was left a mess. Personally, I know how that feels. I’m the mother of four children. I know what it’s like to clean vomit off the carpet.
We know that every relationship means compromise — give and take. We know we are responsible for attitudes and willingness, and that beautiful things can come from hard places.
But it feels like we’re dipping our toes into icy water. We realize that eventually we will have no choice but to plunge right in — no matter the temperature of the water. We would just prefer a bit of laying our head back in a relaxed position while floating around rather than frantically treading for the next 12 months of your calendar.
Just putting this out there so you will know that we may not have the desire to cuddle right up to you, 2021. We will be resilient and willing to make the most of each day. We will look for golden moments and opportunities to extend a hand. Maybe we’ll be the one who grabs hold of a helping hand. Who knows?
But just so we are clear, we are cautiously, optimistically cracking open the door. At the same time, we are whispering, “Come on in, 2021, we’ve been expecting you.”
McClain writes from Greenwood, Ind.