If the tradition was to wake up at 4AM to welcome the new year, I would certainly never participate, unless I was severely peer-pressured.
As a night owl of sorts, staying up until midnight isn’t an incredible stretch. I’ve become disciplined enough over the years that I can go to bed at a respectable time, respectable in the context of what’s accepted for one who has a 9-to-5 job.
That said, I fell asleep for a short while between 11:30 and midnight, waking up with plenty of time to watch the strangely psychedelic CGI celebration at the Space Needle. I’m still not entirely sure how I felt about it. On one hand, it was weird and hokey. On the other hand, I’m a huge Doctor Who fan, so weird and hokey is up my alley.
What I’m trying to allude to is that reflecting back on 2020 is similar: I’m not entirely sure what to feel. It had unexpected consequences, but many of those were positive for me. Knowing this past year was extremely trying and downright tragic for others while I baked sourdough in my sweats doesn’t sit well.
John and I were shielded from a great deal of the turmoil, which highlights the privileges he and I carry; that, in turn, highlighted how we both have a responsibility to use our voices, talents, relationships, and so forth to lift up communities around us. After a spell of not calling heavily on my studies in identity development and multicultural issues, I have been revisiting those concepts more and more in practice and in conversation, at work and in my personal life. It’s work that’s foundational to making a difference.
That said, something in me keeps nagging that I can do more, that I can have impact and influence, and frankly, I get overwhelmed. I have a few small steps I can take in my work, so I suppose I can start there and make a long-term vision. That seems manageable, right?
Beyond that, it feels like it’s time to begin writing more. I hit pause on blogging because my thoughts were primarily for myself, and injecting them into the blogosphere felt like I was simply adding to the noise.
I’m not an influencer, at least not in the way we use that word. (I can barely give John a sincere-looking smile when he snaps my photo over dinner, so why would I try to get the light just right on a Sweatpants of the Day photo for the blog? Too much effort for the return.) However, I was gifted with decent command of the written English language—maybe at the cost of not speaking multiple languages, but I will gripe about that later—so maybe writing is where I fit in.
Let’s start small, then. I’m writing this blog post after all, with no expectations. And so, I step into the new year with small steps, tempered expectations, and an optimism that things* will improve.
Happy New Year to all you early birds and night owls out there.