And, greetings, 2021! Like a brand-new baby, we have been waiting for you, for almost nine months now. It was about March that we all watched life unravel, and, well, we kind of feel you took your sweet time in getting here. 2020 turned out to be kind of a downer for most of the world so, 2021, whatever you have up your sleeve, we hope it is not some creepy virus, murdering hornet or anything else that might trigger us in a negative manner. Go easy on us, 2021, for we are weary.
As we near that beloved countdown to New Year’s Day, watching the ball drop on New Year’s Eve (or pineapple depending on where you live) has taken on new meaning. And, so has pretty much everything else. 2020 was the year to learn to throw all expectations out the window because, guess what, something new is always coming around the corner. Sure, that could have a negative connotation, and to be fair, this year was pretty darn negative. But the unknown has its upside also.
Just the other day, a neighbor did something nice that left me entirely taken aback. To provide background, I am not overly friendly with my neighbors. I do not have their telephone numbers in my phone and only know their last names because occasionally the mailman mixes up our bills. Yes, I have lived in the same house for 17 years, and nope, still don’t know them well. But, for whatever the reason, out of the blue, my neighbors who have been on a “nod and wave” status for all these years decided to go out of their way to do something for me. And, just as peculiar it spurred me on to go out and get a congratulatory gift for the birth of a different neighbor’s baby. I do not know those people either and imagine they were just as surprised by my gesture as I was of our mutual neighbor’s. Either way, a small surprise snowballed into other acts of kindness.
A great thing about 2021, besides the fact it is not 2020, is, if lucky, we will all have the opportunity to do things better this year. I know, there are those pesky things called “resolutions” but who has the wherewithal to make a resolution after this past year. Weren’t we all resolute enough in 2020? I mean, the way we handled a pandemic and all, the energy to put forth to making major changes now seems senseless. What if, instead, we all worked on small ways to live better, do better…just be better in general. Let me give you some hard examples, using my own inadequacies as a baseline.
Trouble making ends meet financially? Do the hard work and make a budget, write it down and truly see where you are getting into trouble. Cut out one small expense that is not serving your health and well-being. Over the course of a year, simple math makes “small things add up.” I think about relationships and how we just ignore those that make us uncomfortable. What if, against all our shyness and hesitations, we made the commitment to say hello to strangers or try to interact with somebody new. And instead of a pricey gym membership– because who likes to sweat next to others these day– what if all you did was walk for 10 minutes a day? If you are sedentary, that simple action could lead you on the road to saving your life, literally.
2021 is not the year to think big. In fact, we should probably just focus on doing something slightly different given the traumatic and rocky year we just had. Making small conscious choices with our words, time, money and even a friendly hello can alter the course for another individual. We never know what a year might throw at us (Ahem, looking at you, 2020.) But if we can be resilient in the everyday choices we are making and know our little steps are leading somewhere, not even a pandemic can sway us. Or murder hornets. Or a crazy election. Or…. Oh, never mind. Happy 2021 everybody!
Photos from Deposit Photos