As the Christmas cards start piling up in our house (and let's not talk about what a mess the mail is this year), one message keeps repeating: Good riddance, 2020! And it's not just there, of course. I'm seeing it everywhere this New Year's Eve.
I know it's meant to be a lighthearted and cathartic way of turning the page on what has been a very difficult year. But I find it hard to swallow sometimes. Especially as I look at the faces of my friends' kids a year older now, and (mostly) smiling to the camera. Has it been a difficult year? Yes. Does that mean there was nothing worthwhile in it? Of course not.
We haven't been untouched by the pandemic, but how do I say "good riddance" to a year in which my one kid learned to walk, and the other finally started (sort of) talking and eating more than applesauce? For all the ways Covid has upended our lives, it's spurred growth, too (literally, in the case of my woeful attempt at gardening). When I was going over our address list for sending out cards this year, I realized how many neighbors I was adding to it; people we finally got to know because everyone was stuck at home this year. Others who moved in from bigger cities, bringing their little kids--now our playmates--with them.
Was it a hellish year for front-line workers? Yes. But when's the last time yards were dotted with hand-lettered signs saying "Thank you nurses. Thank you drivers. Thank you essential workers." I heard people thanking check-out clerks at the grocery store; wouldn't it be nice to see that last? I'm sure if you work in biotech or pharma, oft-maligned industries, you're holding your chin a little higher these days, looking at the swift vaccine development, the grandmas cheering that they can see their grandkids again, and thinking yeah, we did that. Or I think of this awesome interview we did with the Bryon brothers, who are seeing their new "Pasta Packs" delivery business take off after Nic lost his job in March.
I know people who have suffered terrible misfortune this year--like the loss of a newborn child--and I'm not sure even they would say "good riddance." That would seem almost too cavalier. If you lost a loved one to Covid, would you blot out your memories of 2020, or preserve them?
Anyway, I'm sure it'll come up a lot today on the airwaves or later on as people get ready to do a whole lot of nothing for New Year's Eve. But I'll try not to get sucked into muttering it myself at some point.
See you at 1 p.m!