Ah, 2021. You were such an awkward year! You were the pimply kid with poor social skills. The kid you felt bad for and sometimes talked to, but who seemed to relish being awful. The nose picker. The creeper. The kid who made inappropriate comments whenever a girl got within firing distance.
You were better than 2020 (that psycho who tried to bring a gun to school) but I’m not grading on a curve.
Highlights of the Year
Getting vaccinated and being able to spend time with family and friends again.
Our roadtrip to Yellowstone during that little gap between vaccination and Delta.
Finally quitting Twitter! Taking the initiative to start a meetup.
Writing and publishing stories I’m proud of, including Cutting the Track and The Case of the Fond Farewell.
Lowlights of the Year
Insurrectionists tried to overthrow the government and hang the outgoing vice president. Worse, many Americans seem fine with it.
Delta and Omicron.
Health scares, although (knock on wood) the only consequence was stress and worry.
The sharp rise in urban homelessness, petty crime, and drug abuse have made parts of my beloved city unrecognizable.
The Best Art of 2021
Hands down, the most incredible art of the year was Bo Burnham’s Netflix Special, Inside. We’d been locked down for 9 months when it came out, and it hit me like two tons of bricks.
End of Year Tweaks
- I’m canceling the Economist. It keeps piling up unread.
- I’m switching back to pen-and-paper journaling. I have better intimacy with my own mind when there’s a pen in my hand.
- We invested in I-Bonds for the first time.
Would it thrill me to travel? Absolutely! Would I love to do certain things? Of course! But I’ve grown leery of setting expectations only to have them dashed. So until we have traction under our feet, the best I can do is take each day as it comes. But I can take heart from knowing whatever comes next, I can choose to face it with my humor and compassion intact.
And that’s the good news, isn’t it? These last two years have been hard, but we are still ourselves. We can still be the people we want to be. We can look the slow dystopia in the eye, laugh, and say, Not today, Satan!
We are not the world, and we can’t control the world. That’s so hard for me to remember. Yet deep inside each of us, something bright and beautiful flickers.
So I remind myself this day: Turn up the light, and be lit!
Happy New Year 🎊