COLUMNS

Steve King: Turning the page to 2021

The Suburbanite

Yes, 2020 was a virtual mess, literally and figuratively.

We all get that, so there's no use complaining about it anymore. It serves absolutely no purpose. We can't change it. It's history -- thank goodness.

Steve King

Now our focus – all of it, every single ounce of it – has to be on the here and now of 2021. That's the only thing we can control.

And with that, then, I am greatly encouraged – and perhaps you are, too – about what the new year might well bring. We are making strides to make the new normal look a whole lot like the old normal, only better because of all we've learned over the past nearly 10 months about all kinds of things concerning our lives and livelihoods. We're a lot smarter.

But even more encouraging is the way it seems many people are approaching 2021. They – at least the ones I talk to and hear and see in various media forms – are hopeful, and in some way cases very much so. In fact, I don't recall a year that has been welcomed with as much hope as this one.

Usually, the new year – after all the hoopla of watching the big ball drop on Times Square and New Year's Day itself – gets the ho-hum treatment. The new year seems a whole lot like the old one, and the one before that, and the one before that, and the one before that and so on and so forth. And when, along about October and November, we begin to look forward to the next year, we do so knowing that it will be pretty much the same, too. It was a "Groundhog Day," and we were OK with that because nothing was broken.

Last year changed all that – and in a big way. It robbed every one of us of most, if not all, of the foundations on which we stood, sometimes pulling them right out from under us, causing us to go into a free fall. Nothing was the same, and that bothered us greatly and, in fact, still does in a lot of ways.

As such, we've learned to appreciate things much more so now, realizing that nothing is given and it can all be taken away in an instant with little or no warning. Even small aspects, such as being able to give someone a hug or shake their hand, will never be taken for granted again. We'll welcome it with open arms.

The expectation of such – getting most of it back anyway before this year is done – has caused this audacity of hope. And that is good, for hope is 180 degrees the other way from hopelessness, especially the kind into which we sunk in 2020 before the weather even got consistently warm. It was the coldest spring ever, built on the chills up and down our spine as the disaster played out before our very eyes.

If things work out the way they look they will, then by the arrival of the warmth ln 2021, we will begin to see the fruits of the optimism we now have.