Expectations of the new year.

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Expectations of the new year.

2020 is about to end. The world is shouting in chorus, “good riddance!”. With that said, what do we expect from 2021? The vaccine has already been rolled out and the world’s anticipation is gigantic. With only a small percentage of people worldwide carrying anti-bodies, the speed of the vaccine’s arrival is almost a miracle. Something we’ve longed for, especially this time of year. Still, is the vaccine the answer? There’s a new strain out now which is 70% more contagious than the Corona virus we’ve gotten to know. This strain is much more contagious but so far not deadlier than the original virus strain. This is good news, in the middle of all the bad news we’ve been forced to live with for almost a whole year. Still, what happens next? Will we tip-toe through 2021 even with the vaccine available to more and more people? The questions may seem limitless, generating more questions but also some new insight. F.ex., prior to 2020 there were things that seemed rock solid. Like the access to any type of work. Take the 19-year-old I talked to a couple of years ago. She was moving to New York from Texas. “I can always be a waitress while studying and going on auditions”, she chirped. Yes, she wanted to be an actress. Not so anymore – not in New York. She moved back to Texas a couple of months ago. The restaurant she worked in closed their doors in 2020, with so many others. Prior to this epidemic taking hold, did we think the thought that entire areas of business and commerce would go under? That they would exist no more?

The girl from Texas drove back home again, terrified of flying. Imagine that, airlines in jeopardy! Did we ever think that this was a reality, prior to the month of March 2020? That taking a flight could make us sicker than we’ve ever been before. I have several friends who have worked in the airline industry and today they are forced to find something else to work with. Against their will, completely. 

Prior to March 2020, did anyone ever think the thought that they couldn’t visit their grandparents? Or even their parents? That something as innocent as a visit could actually put their loved ones in the hospital? Or send them to a destiny even worse? No, thoughts like these would seem futuristic. Hellish. Beyond impossible.

The thing that hit me first, in the beginning of this epidemic, is how fast all of us fell in line. How fast we adapted. Before I knew it, all of us put our masks on. Our hands may have been clenched in our pockets, but we did it. If we were fortunate, we were able to work at home, and we did so without complaining. We started to wash our hands an almost absurd number of times a day. We stopped hugging our friends. We stayed away from strangers. We started to social distance as if we’ve done nothing else our entire lives. Our smiles, behind our masks, went unanswered. Faster than fast, we became the future we didn’t think could or would happen, at least not in our lifetime. All in order to stay healthy, to stay alive, to protect ourselves and our families. What has this done to us? Who, or what, have we become?

Will life ever be like it was? Do we even want to go back to how things were, before this virus became the boss of the world? Or more importantly, CAN we go back to how our lives used to be? With the enormous change all of us have encountered it would be almost strange if we would, could, or even should. Whether we like it or not, we’re not who we used to be. We see things differently, we certainly live differently, some people’s lives have changed so radically they don’t know where their next feeling of joy will come from. Others have a new lease on life – going to bed and waking up with a deep gratitude for what was and for what they are working diligently to keep. There’s no telling what 2021 will look like. We only have our hope. The hope that slowly but surely, we can go back to a life lived fully. A life void of fear. Where life is in demand and the thought of death has been kicked to the curb. Perhaps 2021 can offer us this – less sadness, less anger, less judgment. More respect and more gratitude. Much more. Let’s not go back to how things were. This would be futile. Let’s make our future lives great. Let’s make ourselves great, or greater. Let’s take the experiences we gathered in 2020, even though they were against our will, and make them mean something. Let’s pick out the lessons we’ve learned from and let’s take those with us into 2021. We will surely become better people for doing so. If not, if we decide to go on as usual, we haven’t’ really learned a single thing, have we? And that would be such a disfavor to all those who are not here anymore to see the new year arrive – and for those who will forever love them.

~ Maria Pollard

Founder, Great Happens

Crush Covid: https://greathappensinc.com/collections/all

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