As 2021 swirls rapidly to an end and we prepare to greet another new year, it’s important that we pause and show some love and respect for all we’ve experienced, endured, and overcome the past 12 months. Most of us probably expected a pandemic-free year and a return to some sense of what we call normal.
Every time I hear Stevie Wonder sing “Someday at Christmas,” the classic penned by Bryan Wells and Ron Miller, I get misty eyed at their hopes and dreams for a world where there are “no wars, when we have learned what Christmas is for,” and “…when we have found what life’s really worth, there’ll be peace on earth.”
When December arrives, it means three things: the Christmas holiday is coming soon, it will be followed by a new year, and then, if we’re not careful, we’ll begin again doing more of what we did in 2021. How the next few days play out is strictly personal—if you loved everything this year, doing more of it next year works. If you’d like to make changes, that, too, is up to you, however, please allow me to offer a few suggestions as we move forward.
Let’s be good neighbors, create great neighborhoods
“Try to remember the kind of September, when life was slow and oh so mellow…” lyrics by Harry Schmidt and Tom Jones
I am desperately trying to remember this kind of September but the images, like memories in the corners of my mind, are fading fast and sadly, they’re not being replaced by slow or mellow thoughts. The lyrics from this classic song came to me as I contemplated the remaining days of summer, the beginning of autumn, a rapidly changing landscape driven by chaos and pandemics, and the challenges we face in the waning days of one of my favorite months.
Friends stand up for each other
Whenever someone begins a sentence with “Some of my best friends are Black,” or I don’t see color,” I move them quickly into a category that tells me if they define their friends by color or identifiers, they’re probably talking about acquaintances, not friends.
I admit I’m always looking for a reason to celebrate and National Make a Friend Day is a fine excuse. “Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold,” is all I remember of the childhood song from Girl Scouts but during February, it is the perfect instruction for a richer life.
What did 2019 teach us and what did we learn?
As we speed swiftly toward year’s end, it will be important to pause, reflect, and bask in what we know and all we have learned this year. Trust me, you know more than you realize though sometimes we get so busy being busy that we don’t profit from our mistakes and/or apply what we learned to become our best selves.