Look. You know how you’re feeling. You’re feeling like I am feeling. You’re tired, exhausted, worn out. You know that intellectually the close of 2020 doesn’t mean the magical end of the pandemic. You know that you feel foolish that back in March you thought that we would all do the right thing and be back to a place of normalcy by now. You know it’s gonna be another rough few months ahead. Yet, I still welcome the end of this awful, miserable, worthless year.
I welcome closing the book on this year and opening another one where we know there may actually be better days ahead. I welcome the chance to finally no longer see “2020” on the calendar I look at each day, where this one year has felt like ten years at once and time has had no meaning.
I pray for those who are hurt and dealing with loss at this time of the year. The loss that didn’t need to happen. I pray for those whose hearts are so callous that the staggering number of deaths this year were just “fake” and who seemed to not care to give a damn about anyone else.
I give thanks to the nurses, doctors, and scientists who worked so hard and risked their lives to save the lives of others. I give thanks to those who actually listen to science. I give thanks for the hope they give me that this pandemic will one day end and we will be able to gather with our loved ones once more.
I pray for those who have faced unfathomable loneliness this year. Where the simple act of looking at yourself in the mirror can cause you to break down in tears. I give thanks to The Mountain Goats and their song “This Year,” which has provided the background to many nights of crying. You can’t bottle that stuff up, you gotta let it out.
I pray for myself and the fact that this year has left me a bit more hardened and cynical of people. Particularly in the mornings when I drink coffee from my Mister Rogers coffee mug and know that he’d want me to feel my feelings, but also see the good in the good people who are making a difference right now.
I don’t have the answers for when it will be OK again. I don’t know. I wish I did. But I do know this year is–finally–coming to a close. It may be a few months–or even closer to a whole year again–before that “normal” we all crave returns. But it will come back. I hope you and your family have a wonderful 2021, good health, love, joy, happiness, and peace. Hang in there, you’re gonna make it after all. See you next year.