Raise your hand if you remember that crazy year 2020, when all manner of challenging stuff happened that redefined how you viewed science, culture, politics, family gatherings and toilet paper. Keep it up if you stayed up all night on Dec. 31, just to be able to say you literally turned the calendar page to welcome the new year.
I’ll be honest: In my 64-plus years on this planet, the 365 days that led to Jan. 1, 2021 were among the more interesting to which I’ve been a party. I use the word “interesting” not just because this magazine is rated “G,” but because I truly believe in the axiom that contends that the measure of a person isn’t how many times he/she falls off the horse, but, rather, how many times he/she gets back on.
Granted, both our falling and re-saddling skills were put to a major test during 2020 – the fabled Rose Bowl had to be moved to Arlington, for crying out loud. But, when we look back on the year that just was, we probably need to answer an important question:
Are we going to be defined by the challenge or how we responded to it? The answer will go a long way toward defining how this year goes. And probably how the next few years go. And maybe, even, how our future in general goes.
One of the great parts about the term “new year” is how it begins. New denotes “not old,” so we are, in the process of turning a calendar page, granted permission to view what is to come in a more favorable light than how we measured what was.
New also implies freshness. When you turn to page 38 for our annual feature, “New Year, New You,” you’ll see that we purposely chose images for the article that reflect that sentiment. Few things – and virtually no dates – represent a fresh start better than Jan. 1, and in that story we show you nearly a dozen practical means that will lend freshness to your life.
Here are three more I would suggest you consider in this, the year 2021:
- Call a friend who has been affected, either directly or indirectly, by COVID-19 and ask how they’re doing and what you can do to help him/her do better. You’ll both feel better after the conversation and after any subsequent actions that are spawned by it.
- Remember that the country has three colors: red, white and blue. And it works a lot more efficiently when we don’t define our neighbors by the former and the latter hues. They’re our neighbors – as in “love thy neighbors,” for crying out loud.
- Make a point to strike up a conversation with someone you have previously defined as “different from me.” I believe you’ll be surprised that you’re not as different as you think.
I also believe the both of you – and the lot of us who resolve to actively embrace a fresh start this month – will have an interesting 2021. And that’s “interesting” in an entirely different way than was its predecessor.