Yesterday I was driving in my car when it suddenly hit me that when midnight strikes on New Year’s Eve, things are not suddenly going to go back to normal. When Joe Biden takes the oath of office in a little less than three weeks, we will not be emancipated from our seasons of despair that enveloped us over the last year.
There is still much to do and a lot of difficulty awaiting us.
I think all of us have been anticipating the end of our grueling 2020. But we are going to enter 2021 with the stink of 2020 still embedded in our clothing and stuck to our skin. There is no magic wand. We will still have to rely on our wits and our resiliency. We will still have to lean into the discomfort and find our ways forward.
So these are my hopes for 2021 (in no particular order).
I hope that our kids can return to school safely and begin the process of learning and growing again in a nurturing environment among friends and mentors.
I hope that those students who are on the cusp of graduating can enjoy their final few months celebrating with classmates and receiving the honors that come with a job well done.
I hope that our leaders are given the tools and resources necessary to allow them to distribute vaccines in a fair and reasoned way so that by Independence Day we have achieved herd immunity.
I hope that as Americans we can come together as a single community with a shared goal of defeating this COVID-19 virus, regardless of political persuasion, so that we can begin to live the lives we choose to live.
I hope that politics as entertainment becomes a distant memory, and that we return our focus to the people we love, the matters we care about, and the delights that life brings to each of us.
I hope that the Supreme Court becomes something we hear about, not something we care about.
I hope that soon we will be able to travel again and experience all of the interesting foods, folks, landscapes, and climates that make life worth living.
I hope that Zoom becomes a convenience to enhance our lives, and not a necessity that commands our lives.
I hope that restaurants come roaring back with creativity, vision, and love, and each of us gets the chance to savor the simple pleasure of sharing a wonderful meal with friends.
I hope that this century’s decade of twenties roars like the last century’s decade of twenties.
I hope March Madness is the greatest March Madness ever.
I hope that when the umpire announces “Play Ball” this spring that the stands are filled to capacity.
I hope that those who have lost the loved ones they have treasured can mourn the loss with families and friends in a way that honors the lives that have passed.
I hope that the air stays as clean as it was in March and April.
I hope roads get converted to boulevards of green space.
I hope that the dogs we adopted last spring bring years of love and companionship while we toil in new ways at home.
I hope that we have learned about what is important and what is just noise.
And I hope that we all have a Happy New Year.