AdviceHey, Bonita!

Good Riddance 2021

It is finally the end of the year, thank goddess. It’s been a long time since I wanted a year to end so badly, and that’s only because I now understand that good and bad times are not contingent on it being a certain year. Bad things happen all the time, and the only variable is how we choose to frame and react to the wet fart that is being alive in 2021.

That is, if you made it out of 2021 alive at all. We’ve all lost a lot of people this year to COVID and otherwise, myself included, and that doesn’t help any of us deal with the reality of going into our third year of living in a pandemic. I’m tired of getting zits from my masks and not hugging people. I’ve had to deal with some tremendous losses and changes in my life, and I’m sure that plenty of those things would have happened no matter what kind of year we ended up having. I could say a lot of things, but I’ll just say that I’m relieved to be turning the page on this year pretty soon.

I don’t have pale skin, but I looked in the mirror today and saw that I looked as close to “washed out” as a person of my complexion really could. Being immunocompromised, I have been sticking pretty well to social distancing for my own health and that of others, but that’s no reason to not get some sun on my face. I just haven’t felt like I’ve had time to even try to do any self care that’s more than a horror movie marathon on my couch, but who am I kidding? Time is all I’ve had for the past year, and I know I’m not the only person who’s sick of not taking advantage of their stretch on this planet. There are pandemic babies who are walking by now. I’d hoped we would be done with all of this, and by now I don’t even mind the idea of spending Dec. 31 alone on my couch. 

My own life has been crazy enough, and the happenings on the national stage have been absolutely no comfort to the more compassionate of us. I want to be positive and optimistic for you, I really do, but it’s hard not to look back and feel despair. I was supposed to open this blank page and write a missive encouraging you all to look back and smile at 2021, and to focus on whatever was good about this past year. I always threaten to make out with everyone in town on New Year’s Eve, but right now I can’t even pretend that I plan to go downtown at all when the time comes. I usually make some comment about summertime night swimming, but I’m too old to be jumping fences anymore. I only felt true FOMO this year when I heard about the dead owl at the Christmas parade. That’s how bored I’ve been. I miss the old Athens!  

I know that I am a drop in a flood of poor souls who are pulling themselves along to the end of the year—folks who just don’t want any more surprises. I know I can’t resurrect all of the loved ones I lost this year, or reclaim any of the time I’ve lost, but I hope that 2022 isn’t as brutal.  Between the unmasked, the un-vaxxed and actual Nazis, I have basically had it with 2021. It is my job here to make lemonade out of bad circumstances and find solutions for life’s woes, but I have to offer myself the same grace that I’d offer to any of you who just want life to get boring again. I’ve been through too much this year. So have a lot of you. 2022 is no guarantee that all of the bad stuff will end, but it’s a comforting vision that we’re allowed to have.  

So here’s to the end of 2021, and I’ll see you in 2022. Wear a mask and get vaccinated, if you can. This should have been over by now.

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