Hello 2016 … er, um … 2021

I started to write a New Year’s post last night … it began like this …

Well, my friends, we made it through this year of sheer hell.  Most of us have survived not only the coronavirus pandemic, but also the pandemics of hatred and stupidity that have taken over our newsfeeds and the headlines in every major news source.  Sadly, I must remind you that a ‘new year’ is but a manmade contrivance to help us keep up with our lives, not an actual reset of events.  That said, I think 2021 will start just as 2020 ended … with a raging pandemic and political chaos; with people dying by the hundreds or thousands, with a megalomaniac and his bootlickers attempting to turn this republic into an autocracy by overturning our votes.  Nothing changes just because when the clock strikes midnight you pop the cork on a champagne bottle, kiss your loved ones, and turn the calendar to January 2021.  You won’t wake up in the morning to find that Donald Trump is in prison and that we actually have an intelligent, concerned president.  You won’t wake up to find that you can now go out for dinner, take in a movie, or pop over to the mall for a bit of shopping without wearing a mask.  You still won’t find toilet tissue, Lysol, or Clorox disinfectant wipes on your grocery shelves.  You will still be limited to two packages of meat at your local grocery store.  You will still be worried sick about sending your child back to school.  And more than 1,813,000 people will still be dead worldwide of a virus that is nowhere near being controlled. 

Um … not quite the tone I was shooting for, but very much an honest assessment.  Then, I began to wonder what my New Year’s post five years ago, the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016 was like, so I went digging around in the archives.  I think you will find my words kinder and more hopeful back then, plus I think that, knowing what we know now, you will find some humour in it! 


I do not quite understand why it is, but most of us welcome in the new year with great hope for the next 365 days, almost as if we believe that the slate we were using for the past 365 days was wiped clean at the exact moment the ball hit bottom in Times Square, and we are now starting afresh with new hopes, new dreams, a clean slate on which to write a new story, a better one.  Okay, okay … I am not going to be a the one to dash those dreams, those ethereal images that you are seeing with such joy.  Life will see to that soon enough, probably when you awaken in the morning and turn on the news, pick up the morning newspaper, or boot up the computer.

Do you make resolutions at New Year’s?  I do not, so I am always curious about people who do.  Oh sure, I hope that I can do better at certain things than I have in the past, but that is pretty much a daily hope of mine.  Do people who do make resolutions start thinking about their resolutions a week in advance?  A month?  I once had a friend who made his resolution on the morning of January 1st … same resolution every year … when he awakened with a massive hangover and resolved then and there to quit drinking, effective immediately.  His resolution usually lasted for about 12 hours.  Have you ever made a resolution and actually kept it throughout the year?  I don’t think I personally know anybody whose resolution was anything other than a dim memory by January 31st, so I am curious if some people who do make resolutions actually do manage to keep to them.

I do not make resolutions, but I think about, based on the past year, what the year 2016 might bring.  It would be lovely, and I am sure some say this is their hope for the new year, to think that within the next twelve months we will see peace and prosperity around the world, an end to wars in the Middle East, an end to racism and bigotry in our own nation, more love and tolerance, less hatred toward our fellow man, and an end to the highly annoying facebook memes that attempt to compress complex socio-political issues into a single sentence.  Who wouldn’t love to see an end to ISIS, Boko Haram, al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations?  These are dreams we could all share, even if we are divided on who should be the next president of the U.S.  But sadly, just like the person who buys a lottery ticket and goes to bed dreaming of a new home, a new car, and telling his boss “I quit”, when we look back a year from now, I am pretty sure those problems will still exist, others will have joined them, and people will still be … well, human.

Filosofa is not a cynic, contrary to what you may think.  I am actually known in my circle of friends as quite the optimist … annoyingly to some.  But I am a pragmatist, a realist, and as such I do not live in a world of dreams.  One of the readers of this blog commented yesterday that we need to say to ourselves, “okay, the world is a mess … now how do we fix it?”  I like that attitude. So, while I do not make resolutions, I do have hopes.  Unlike hopes for world peace, an end to all war, etc., my hopes are that people will start asking themselves “what can I do to make the world a little bit better?”  And then start looking for answers.  The answers are all around you, if you just realize what the question is.  Many years ago, my answer to this question was, and still is, to treat everybody as human beings.  These days, I try to make a difference by writing, in hopes that I might be able to make just one person think about things that matter.  Most of us, realistically, are not in a position to bring about world peace.  We cannot all be Mother Teresa or Gandhi.  We cannot all be leaders of nations.  But we can make small differences within our own small spheres of influence, in our community, in our neighborhood.  We can volunteer one day a month at a homeless shelter or food pantry, we can help a neighbor who is struggling, we can donate unwanted clothing or food items to the poor.  We can find ways to fight violence without resorting to more violence.  We can talk a little bit nicer to people, say “good morning” and “thank you so much” to the young person who bags our groceries.  Think that doesn’t make a difference?  Think again.

So my hope for the new year is that we all try very hard to find the small things that we can do to help people we come into contact with every day.  No, it will not end the conflict in Syria, it will not eradicate Iran’s enriched uranium supply, and it will not remove Donald Trump from the presidential race, but a lot of little deeds add up to making the world just a little bit better.  You can be part of the problem or you can be part of the solution … your choice.

In closing, I wish each and every one of you a year of peace within your own family and circle of friends, good health and that you be able to meet all of your needs.  Happy New Year!

46 thoughts on “Hello 2016 … er, um … 2021

  1. Thank you for sharing and Happy New Year!.. 2020 was not a year of hell but one of learning, it were a year to evolve, a year for one to determine what path one wishes to take…“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” ( Maria Robinson )… 🙂

    Your chance to live is now, so what are you waiting for?
    The world is yours for the taking and so much more.
    Endless possibilities are forever at your disposal.
    The chance to live another day is life’s golden proposal.

    Never let anyone tear you down,
    And never let anyone steal your shine and make you frown.
    So will you sit in the shadows and let darkness win again?
    Or will you rise up and make the light your friend?
    (Hollianne Boucher)

    Or, as Mark Twain said; “It is not the size of the dog in a fight that matters, it is the size of the fight in the dog”.. (Mark Twain)… 🙂

    Until we meet again, may 2021 be all that you and yours wish for it to be and each and every day be filled with peace, love and happiness… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy New Year, Jill….
    I don’t have a great feeling….but some of that is personal reasons…so maybe I’m wrong…
    I just hope, as a country, as a people of the far right persuasion, that we haven’t gone too far down the rabbit hole to climb out. We’ll see…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peaceful New Year to you, too, my friend. I completely understand, Mary. I don’t have a great feeling, either. In fact, I have a bad feeling in my gut, and I think of that old saying, “It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings”. 18 more days to go … how much can be destroyed in 18 days? Try to hang in, my friend, as am I.

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  3. Your words from five years ago are still just as valid and meaningful, perhaps even more so, as things seem to have got worse rather than better since then! I share your hopes for improvements, and if you don’t already know the song I think it might be worth your giving ‘Things Can Only Get Better’ by D-Ream an airing! Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interestingly, I predicted after the November 2016 election that if Trump could be impeached within his first year, the damage would likely be minimal, but that if he served his full term, the damage he inflicted would take decades to repair. Sadly, it seems I wasn’t too far off. I don’t recall that song, but will check it out in a bit. Happy and Peaceful New Year to you, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

        • Some of what has been broken will never be put back as it was, but my hope is that it will be made better than it once was. I think we have to learn from the Reign of Trump and put in place more safeguards to protect us against ever having such an autocrat in the Oval Office.

          I did check out the song, and I had definitely never heard it before. Interestingly, it did not chart at all here, though it did quite well in all of Europe. I wonder why? Yes, it is relevant.

          Liked by 1 person

          • That’s a good thing to hope for, and it would be great if it happened. Given Biden’s age I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a one term President, so hopefully he can establish the ground for President Harris in four years’ time.

            I think there are many songs like that, that don’t travel across the pond well – in both directions. Here, it has suffered a little by being adopted as the Labour Party’s campaign tune when they won the 1998 election. That gave us Blair as PM, his support for the Gulf War and all the controversy over it.

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            • You’re right about Biden’s age being a factor, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Kamala Harris becomes president before the end of his term. While I do hope for Joe to serve the entire four years, if Kamala takes over, say in the last year, it might not be an altogether bad thing … might be the only way this nation will ever allow a woman for president. Hillary lost, in part because she wasn’t warm ‘n fuzzy enough … even women voted against her because she was all business, not soft. Sigh. But, right now I’ll just be happy to go to bed at night and feel that the nation is in good hands. It’s been four years since I could do that.

              You’re quite right about that. Every now and then I play one that was wildly popular here, only to find it didn’t even chart in the UK. And I know it goes the other way, too. Yes, I can see where using a song for a political campaign could doom it! Funny, I was discussing Blair and his not-so-nice wife with another UK friend, David, not long ago and I learned quite a bit about Ms. Blair!

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              • I hope he runs the full term too, though you could well be right about that being the best way for Kamala to take it on. Not all female leaders are as good as Arden or Merkel though: we’ve had Thatcher and May, one being the most divisive leader we’ve had until now, the other being the most ineffective!

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                • Ahhhh … it’s funny the emotions just the mention of the name Thatcher evoke! From a distance I respected Thatcher … yes, she was tough and immovable, but she was also smart and didn’t take any guff from anyone. As for May … I don’t think she was given half a chance, but I did think her heart was in the right place. I cannot help but think she was, hands down, more suited to leading the nation than Boris is. But, what do I know … look at what a bloody mess my own country is in!

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                  • She is what we call Marmite (look it up!). Very strong feelings for and against her – I detested her! May was ineffective, Johnson a triumph of ambition over ability. We’re now in a third national lockdown and things just seem to be getting worse. But at least Johnson isn’t certifiable, as far as I can tell.

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                    • Oh, I don’t need to look it up … I’ve heard all about Marmite from other UK friends! Blech. 🤢

                      You and Roger should get together … he hated Thatcher so much that even today, the mere mention of her name sets him off! I liked Teresa May, thought her heart was in the right place, but she didn’t seem able to stand her ground. As you say, she was ineffective. BoJo … well, the fact that he cozied up with Trump in the beginning did not raise him in my esteem, and his bumbling demeanor is more laughable than anything. But, I will give him credit for at least taking the pandemic seriously and attempting to stop the surge of cases and deaths. Now, a question for you … do you think Boris will last much longer?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Marmite is great, you should try it!

                      Your comment about Johnson taking the pandemic seriously is clearly based on a comparison with Trump, as it isn’t the generally held view here. Too little, too late, ignoring the clear advice of scientists until things got so much worse than they need have done. We are now in our third national lockdown – but that is where we should have been before Christmas, if he had been capable of taking decisive action.

                      As for whether he’ll survive, I fear he will. He has a large majority in Parliament and has purged his party of many of those who were anti-Brexit, thereby reducing internal opposition. I’m hoping that a real threat from Scotland to break up the Union might do for him, but it’s a faint hope.

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                    • Seriously? Nobody else I’ve talked to from the UK even remotely likes it, so methinks you might be pulling my leg!

                      Yes, you’re right … I was only comparing BoJo’s response to Trump’s, and heck … when compared with Trump, even Bozo the Clown comes out looking like an intellectual! Too little, too late, and now look at the death toll, the strict lockdown. Sigh. Thing is, though … there is no lockdown at all in this country, even though on average we are seeing around 3,000 deaths PER DAY! Trump could care less right now, as he’s only focused on trying to overturn the election results, and state officials know the people will just defy their orders anyway, so we keep running around spreading more and more germs. I’m still staying home, just for the record.

                      I don’t envy you guys heading into uncharted waters with Boris at the helm. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that some development will give you better leadership.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Not at all! I really like it, especially in a cheese sandwich. As I said, it’s a symbol of how simple things can divide us.

                      Lockdowns would never work there would they? Too many going out for a march and with their guns complaining it infringed their liberty, without a care for anyone else. Given that our population is about a fifth of yours, you can imagine how I view today’s reported figure of 1,000+ deaths here.

                      And all at a time when we’re led by a buffoon. We really do need help!

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                    • Heh heh … I hope NOT to read about the Marmite Wars in the UK!

                      No, the states that tried lockdowns, including my own, ran up against a barricade of citizens claiming that their “civil rights” were being violated. There were armed protests in the streets, people attacking store employees who asked them to wear a mask, and large gatherings at churches and in other venues just to prove they could defy the law. Of course, it did not help that Trump mocked those who wore masks, lied about the seriousness of the virus, and encouraged people to ‘get out and get on with your lives.’ I do monitor your death toll on a daily basis, for I have many friends in the UK, yourself included, and it worries me. Keep safe, my friend.

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                    • We’re much too polite to do that. Just a bit of ‘tut tut’ when someone disagrees with us 😉

                      I have followed the way things have gone there. Trump has far more than yesterday’s four lives on his hands.

                      Thank you for your concern. I live on my own and I’m going nowhere! You take care too 🙏

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                    • We’ve become much less so in recent years: the referendum campaign and ongoing Brexit battles have divided us to the point here where abuse is much more common, in real life as well as on social media. A sad reflection on modern life.

                      Keeping my fingers crossed that things can now calm down there.

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                    • We’ve had our Trump, you’ve had your Brexit .. both outcomes of the populist movement that has its origins in both the Arab Spring movement and climate change. I wonder how long humans can survive on this planet at this rate?

                      Thanks, Clive … it is calmer now, but with an air of expectation, as in waiting for the other shoe to drop. Perhaps we are just paranoid and there is no ‘other shoe’.

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  4. “Let our New Year’s resolution be this: We will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word.” – Göran Persson

    Wishing every day of the new year to be filled with success, happiness, and prosperity for you. Happy New Year.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Well, it’s almost time so here goes. A very Happy New Year to you and all your readers- family as they are-I hope we all reach 20th intact and see a steady hand at the helm to help control the Coronavirus. There are fireworks going off outside and I hope it’s killing the virus as we speak.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, dear David! You’re so right, my readers are like family and I cherish each and every one of them. I think we will breathe a collective sigh of relief at 12:01 p.m. on the 20th, but until then, chaos will likely reign … let’s just hope we all manage to make it to the 20th without jumping off a tall building! Fireworks were going off here, about 5 hours after yours, and drove the poor moggies under the sofa. Sigh. Wishing you a Happy and Peaceful New Year.
      Cwtch Mawr

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Just for the record, I have kep my last New Year’s resolution for over 40 years now, and see no need to break it yet: I resolve to never make another New Year’s resolution. Easy as eating pie, if you have a pie.
    But in honour of the time, I will say that December 31 is the one day people who live with cats can rejoice with a “Holy shit, I don’t have to clean another cat box until next year!” Have a good one.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. There’s an old saying, Jill, from baseball great Yogi Berra. I’m sure you’ve heard it: It ain’t over till it’s over. I just read a thread on Twitter from Bill Krystal that kind of made my hair stand on end. The moron was supposed to attend his New Years Eve party at Mar a Lago tonight but decided to head back to D.C. today. Hmmmm. Hey, it’s probably nothing. But…..

    Liked by 3 people

    • I got notification of your comment, so I went and read Kristol’s thread … I’m with you, my friend … nothing … NOTHING would surprise me with this ball of slime who calls himself a ‘stable genius’. I keep telling David that even though I know Congress won’t overturn the election results, I just have this bad feeling in my gut. The hotel the Proud Boys were planning to stay in is closing from Jan 4th – 6th for ‘safety and security’ reasons. Yes, I’m nervous about next week … both the runoffs in Georgia and the Congressional certification. Sigh.

      Liked by 3 people

  8. I make and break resolutions every day. Each day, of course, is the start of a new year, but not a new calendar, right? So perpetual merry new year to you, with hugs and wishes for a better day every day. Stay optimistic and snarky. Cheers

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  9. No resolutions…just wishes & prayers! Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year! Wishing we lived closer to each other and could hang out…. once in awhile! I enjoy your blog so much! Always looking forward to your posts…You and Jolly, too! You make a difference!!!! Love you!!!!! 💙

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    • Thank you, dear soul sister! I would love living closer to you and being able to hang out … we would have such fun! Jolly and I thank you for your kind words, and we wish you a very Happy and Peaceful New Year! ❤

      Like

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