Oh hey there, 2021. Welcome! Along with many other people, I have eagerly been awaiting your arrival. With every ounce of my being, I have longed for your entrance to make everything better.
As absurd as it sounds, I think I talked myself into actually believing that on Jan. 1, I would wake up and all would be right in the world. No longer would we be in the middle of a pandemic with people longing for loved ones who have died, hoping for a miracle for those still sick, attempting to juggle bills with little funds, recovering from a lost job or cut in pay, struggling through mental health issues and swimming in fear for our country’s future.
All of that surely was going to disappear.
While I have my moments where I am gullible enough to believe anything, even I knew that was not really going to be the way that it worked. Just because one calendar year came to an end and that book was slammed shut and set on fire didn’t mean that the next year was going to start without flames.
The difference, though, in my opinion, is what I feel like every new year brings: hope.
It’s the ability to start fresh and refocus. It’s realigning priorities and diving deep into what helped make or break the previous year.
It’s a chance to unravel the spools of fear, gloom, pain, loneliness and darkness that trapped us and free us from the weight that has been placed on our chests during of one of the darkest years that many of us have ever experienced.
It’s a blank slate in our hands, reminding us that we can use any colors or utensils in our knapsack of abilities to create how we want our future to look. It’s an opportunity to see what is truly in our backpack of abilities and what is missing — and set forth a plan to work on and add those desired skills to our bag.
It’s a deep look into what we may need to shed and not take with us along the way — what is holding us down and not allowing us to flourish. Ultimately, it’s a leap of faith in putting down crutches or comfort — to truly trust ourselves and our decisions and abilities to freely fly into a future with far more feelings of felicity and warm fuzzies.
It’s clinging tightly to those things — people, events, moments, memories — that carried us through the rough patches of the year before and centering them as the framework for which we will build the next year upon.
It’s looking our failures of the year in the eye one last time to make sure the experience was learned from, then wiping our hands clean and extinguishing any reminder of self-doubt for the future.
It’s assessing our own worth, or rather, our belief in our own worth and raising that up the priority list. Whether it is simply silencing the fear of not measuring up or refueling the reminders that we are enough, it’s a refreshing beginning to refocus on the positive self-talk.
Maybe it’s getting our bodies moving again. It’s getting that feeling back of normalcy, routine, schedules and motivation. It’s remembering the effect that getting the blood flowing has on every single aspect of life and setting forth a plan to make it happen.
It’s thanking God for another trip around the sun and grasping for dear life on the coattails of Jesus to give out a swift nudge toward growth in faith, uncovering Godly opportunities and positioning positivity for the next 12 months.
So many of us, me included, got sucked into a sinkhole of one overwhelming thing after another unable to shake the shackles of 2020 from our hands. And while it would be utterly amazing if 2021 just came waltzing in and cleared the pain of the past year in just a day or two, the reality is that is not the way it works.
However, what 2021 can do is give us a fresh beginning, a new perspective of the things to come. It is our chance to put aside an awful year and pull ourselves from the rut of 2020 to propel us into a future where we get to decide how to embrace, love, create and live.
It’s hope. And it’s here. Let’s go, 2021!
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.