The Great Reflection

About this time every year, I begin gathering my thoughts and impressions, in other words, I start to reflect. Deliberately. How did things go this year? Am I happier now than this time a year ago? Did I leave things better off? Do I owe an apology to anyone? This annual reflection is a no-joke look in the mirror. We all probably started this year filled with hope and a couple of feel good resolutions, right?

For example, I fully anticipated celebrating my 70th birthday calling an Uber to pick me up from some exotic beach location close to the mid-equator, but hey, 2020 happened. So I settled for some socially distanced Korean takeout served by a guy in a mask named Harold. 2020, whoa Nellie.

We have all discovered and experienced the unimaginable, stuff you read in a history book or thru the eyes of a fiction writer. But no, this year was an all-you-can-eat buffet. It was divisive, hurtful, grotesque, funny, even hilarious. If you need a reminder of just how funny, reflect on your toilet paper procurement habits mid-year. Yes, you.

Not surprisingly, I’m already seeing a lot of chatter about vigorously kicking 2020 to the curb. Setting it ablaze like the dumpster fire it is. On more than a few occasions I used language I learned as a salty sailor to describe my disdain for this year. It seemed every single piece of news, gossip and banter were prefaced by first calling 2020 to the woodshed and then grabbing [Insert topic] and blistering its ass.

I’ve been thinking (reflecting ) about it and I have decided to act as the public defender for 2020, pro bono. So, if it pleases the court…

The evidence will show 2020 was and is, as an inanimate object, incapable of harm, intentional or accidental. Did bad things happen? Undisputedly. Did bad things happen in 2019, ‘18, ‘17, et al? I would remind you of the fear and gloom as we approached the year 2,000. I actually served on a Y2K committee to help plan for the greatest cataclysm to modern society – the crash of computers and the loss of d-d-d-data!! I suspect Bill Gates is still chuckling over that cluster-gaggle. I mean, a language based on 0’s & 1’s, come on.

Before we blame whatever bad occurred this past year on this past year, consider who 2020 was dragging along, kicking, screaming, eye-poking and sharp elbowing. We probably could/should have behaved better. For example, the next time Bio-Tech thinks they need to create a humanity killing bug in some lab, maybe they will just say, “Nah, let’s just go to happy hour.”

As my skillet bottom continues to become better seasoned, I hope and long for wisdom and discernment. That’s what reflection is about, for me anyway. So 2021, you better pay attention to what we did to your little brother 2020, and don’t make me come back there.