What 2021 taught us.

New year 2022 and old year 2021 on sandy beach with waves

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. ~ Alan Watts

I always start my annual New Year’s Eve post with the same sentiment, happy amateur night! My neighbor Jack Wrigley originated this line, at least in my experience and I’ve always thought it perfectly encapsulates the evening. I’ve haven’t gone out to a party for New Year’s Eve in over 30 years. In my early twenties I made the scene a number of times and it always seemed to go the same way. People, overly dressed, drinking at a level they were not accustomed to (amateurs) and getting more loaded than they normally do. This always led to far too many sloppy drunks, somebody puking on my or my date’s shoes. Even worse, far too many drunk dudes with bad manners or chip on their shoulders. I don’t suffer idiots, even drunk idiots, so it seemed every New Year’s Eve I would end up escorting some idiot out of the party, or have to walk away from a ridiculous potential fight. So I packed it in some time ago in terms of New Year’s Eve celebrations. By far the best New Year’s Eve (NYE) celebrations I’ve been part of have involved a few friends and a fire pit. So happy amateur night however you celebrate.

Every year teaches us something and 2021 was no exception. But I want to start with NYE a year ago, I remember the sentiments twelve months ago very well. We were excited and ready for the pandemic to be over, we had fond wishes that 2021. Fairly quickly that optimism faded as we all watched in horror as rioters stormed the capitol on January 6th. We all got re-acquainted with COVID via the Delta variant and found out how vulnerable our global supply chain truly was. We’ve seen even something as wonderful as a COVID vaccine become the subject of further political polarization. Hell, Betty White even died today a few days short of her 100th birthday. A universally loved star whose death sort of contained the feeling of the whole year.

So what are the lessons that 2021 taught us that we need to take into 2022? The first is to temper your expectations. I’m not big on this one, I without a doubt have always been a dreamer and believe that you should dream and dream big. I’ve taken on big adventures in my life and done things in ways people didn’t think could be done. I’ve been able to do this by not ignoring reality and thoroughly planning those adventures. So dream, but don’t ignore reality, keep your expectations within the realm of the realistic. Which 2021 taught us meant that you can’t ignore COVID, find ways to achieve and do the things you want to do but be realistic about what doing them in a COVID world will mean and do them safely.

We were also reminded by 2021 of that universal idea that the only thing that is constant is change. And 2022 will bring loads of it of course, as any other year does. I hear the term the new normal, stop looking looking for normal, embrace the idea that things will change and adapt to make the best of the new world that we are in, we are never returning to the old normal. I know you’re tired, I know you’re stressed, but it’s time to accept the changes in our world, embrace them, do the best you can and find new ways to provide a happy life for you and your family.

So Happy 2022, a year where you will learn to adapt and make the most out of our new reality and find a happier you. ~ Rev Kane

About Michael Kane

Michael Kane is a writer, photographer, educator, speaker, adventurer and a general sampler of life. His books on hiking and poetry are available in soft cover and Kindle on Amazon.
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