So here we are, starting a New Year after a couple of tough years. We thought 2020 was hard, but then we lived through 2021. And now we are entering 2022 with a bit of trepidation, and a strong dose of hope. Could it be that this pandemic, this discord, this era of hatred will actually end this year? Is it possible that this year will bring the change we have all been waiting for?
When I was in Jr. High, I was on the Cheerleading Team. We would arrive at a game all dressed and ready to go, thinking that our cheers would somehow arrive at just the right moment to change the outcome of the game. We felt part of the game even as we cheered from the sidelines.
And that’s almost how it feels at this moment as we enter 2022. We can almost hear the cheers when we walked into this new world. We went back to in-person last year, bringing out old wardrobes and pushing back the sweats and t-shirts of 2020. We got vaccinated, and learned to love and live with those whose ideas are different than ours. We figured out where racism raises its ugly head in our own past and present life. We learned to walk into spaces where masks were mandated and where they weren’t. We found out that good restaurants could make take-home food and drinks. We got closer to those we live with, and put distance between those we don’t. Some of us have’t seen our friends in a very long time, though we have followed them on social media. We have learned to navigate the news of new variant and changed instructions. We have shaken off the initial fear, and entered the world that will never be the same. And we did all that with silent, self-talking cheers from the sidelines. We hear the whispers of the Encouragers to keep moving in a new-normal kind of life.
So, here we are saying, “Come on, 2022!” We see you. We know you are here. We can feel your pain. But despite the struggle of the recent past, we are ready for you. We invite you in to our lives. We open the doors of the future because we have hope that it has to be better.
Come on, 2022! We have been waiting for you.