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2021: An uncharted adventure

As we boldly go where no one has gone before, we step into the future battle-fatigued, but hopeful and excited about a fresh start in this new year.

Realists will tell you that the Swarovski crystal ball that was lowered in Times Square at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve is not a mystic’s ball that predicts the future. Likewise, the flashing 2-0-2-1 numbers are merely a visual indication that 2020 is over, but they are only an electrically charged symbol that did not blink and eradicate the virus.

Even the bright-eyed optimists understand that there is no genie….no wizard behind the curtain who can erase the lingering aftereffects that many who have contracted the virus continue to experience. Nor can the flipping of a calendar page lessen the grief of those who lost loved ones to its ravages in 2020

Just as our country rose from the ashes after 9/11 in 2001, we will pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start afresh this year.

Vaccines are arriving daily that we hope will shield us and provide an armor to strengthen our immunity.

Every day brings renewed hope to the horizon, if we find and count our blessings. During particularly daunting times, it’s sometimes difficult to recognize even the most minute goodness around us. Sometimes you may need to find a quiet place and search your mind and heart for even the tiniest upside to your circumstances.

Oprah Winfrey once suggested that during such times, we keep a Blessings Journal (or jar) in which you write down 5 good things that happened to you at the end of every day. At first, you might struggle to think of 5 good things. You might have to resort to making up things such as ‘The expiration on the milk is still two days out.’ But as you commit to making your daily entries, you find yourself looking for good every minute of every day, if only to complete the task. In doing so, you train your eye to SEE the good and positive impacts on your life. It becomes easier to count your blessings.

We’ve met the challenge of the pandemic head-on. But, just as the world was never the same after 9/11, we must remain vigilant. Already, we’re seeing mutations of the virus that are lurking in the shadows, gaining strength, and preparing to continue to attack  whenever there is a perceived gap in our resolve.

We can’t (and won’t) go back to ‘business as usual’ just by the roll of the days on a timepiece. We must continue to take precautions in our day-to-day life and protect our friends, neighbors, loved ones, and all those with whom we come in contact by using every tool in our arsenal.

The path of 2021 is ours to choose and our responsibility to ensure its success.