2021, the Year of Noticing
Nothing’s changed? Uh oh. Were you thinking it would? Don’t despair. Notice. If only I could take the way-back-machine to my youth and say, “Stop trying to figure everything out. Just take a breath. Look around. Absorb the world before you decide what it is. Sit. Be uncomfortable with not knowing the answer. Don’t despair. Notice.”
As this new year appears, we have landed our spaceship on a planet that we thought was in a different solar system. We passengers, of The Survivor 2020, are overwhelmed at being underwhelmed as we look out 2021's windows. This planet doesn't look any different than the last one. Like the girl in the teen flick, who loses her virginity to the tall dark-eyed astronaut, we say, “I thought I’d feel different in 2021, but I feel exactly the same.”
2021. You tall dark-eyed spaceman. Why didn’t you make the world better? Why didn’t you make us feel like an all-knowing woman?
We thought we’d landed our spaceship in a new world, and we have, but the climate is the same. Of course, it is, we say kicking ourselves. We couldn’t land somewhere in a different atmosphere! We’d die. What were we thinking?
So, here we are. Now what?
The trip was long. We’re still settling in. It’s not jetlag, but we’re tired. We wanted to sleep in the pods the whole way, but they malfunctioned and we were forced to stay awake the entire year it took to get here. Right now, we’re just pressing our faces against the windows. It’s hard to believe this planet will be any different, but it has to be. We’re different. Aren’t we?
As we prepare to venture into this new world, I have some advice, unsolicited advice. Don’t make any assumptions about this new place. Get the lay of the land. Smell whatever roses are planted here. Don’t think you know where you are. You don’t. None of us does. Try to pay attention this time. Don’t just blurt out what you know because someone should say something. It’s okay if you’re afraid. We all are. We just show it differently. Don’t despair. Notice. And good luck.