Dear 2021: A Look Back & Ahead

Dear 2021,

You sure started off with a bang! Covid vaccinations have arrived! In February you decided to play a fun little game of “ how to get a vaccine appointment?” I got lucky: after only 4 hours on the computer, I was able to nab 2 appointments an hour out of the Twin Cities. I felt like I won the PowerBall … smarter than Mark Zuckerberg and wealthier than Elon Musk. My adult children snagged their shot in a random pharmacy in a shady strip mall in North Dakota 4 hours away. Oh 2021, you must have loved watching people scramble and scratch their way to secure a golden ticket more valuable than the one in Willie Wonka.

Because our homes were now our businesses we all got accustomed to looking very professional from the waist up while wearing drawstring pants and fuzzy footwear. It was actually kind of great … until I finally stepped out fully vaccinated to attend an in-person meeting. Did you know that pants with zippers shrink while hanging unused in a closet for months? Damn near lost consciousness wearing them that day they were so tight.

My eyes are permanently bugged out from watching so much Netflix in 2021. I know more about Queen Elizabeth and that cast of Royal characters than I do about my own family. I don’t play chess but when I lay in my bed now I see knights and rooks dancing on my ceiling because of hours spent watching The Queens Gambit. I even took my college-age grandson’s recommendation and watched the entire series of Squid Game through clenched hands and one eye shut. I knew then I had reached a new low point of insanity…

So here we are … 11 months past the first shot, 10 months past poke number two, and 90 days post booster! We made it! Take that, 2021! We beat you at this macabre little game you created. We can unmask, go back to work, to a restaurant, bowling, shopping, movies, dancing, sporting events, travel, anything our little hearts desire. Wait a minute … what’s this? Omicron? Just when we think we’ve checkmated you (learned from The Queen’s Gambit) you throw us a curveball? Back to the masks? Back to Instacart delivery? Back to sweat pants on zoom meetings? (Fun fact: sweat pants never shrink). So this is how you want to end your year-long reign huh? You’re passing the baton to 2022 and saying “May the Force Be With You.”

So, 2021: you’re a real piece of work. You brought us to the heights of hope and now challenging us once again. You weren’t all evil. Babies still screamed their arrival in the world, lovers tied the knot, billionaires soared into outer space paving the way for regular folks paying coach fares to follow one day.

We welcome 2022, the new kid on the block with optimism, determination & hope. Whatever this new year brings I’m personally ready. Bring it on. but please: If you can do it with kindness and a bit less fury than your predecessor we’d all greatly appreciate it.