On New Year’s Eve in 1999, I attended a small party at my friend Jon’s apartment in Hillsborough where I waited with a dozen people to see if the world would end when the ball dropped on the new Millennium.
As Gen X’ers, we all took a somewhat nonchalant approach to a potential apocalypse, summed up nicely by our generation’s bard Kurt Cobain: Oh well. Whatever. Nevermind.
And when the world didn’t end at midnight, all of us then-20-somethings at the gathering sighed and took tequila shots then immortalized the moments with pictures on disposable cameras.
I never envisioned there would be a more anticipated New Year’s Eve in my lifetime.
Obviously, I was wrong.
As we approach the end of 2020, we will all hear the same general sentiment regarding a year that will exist in infamy: Good riddance, 2020, and don’t let the door hit you in the ass.
Let’s face it, it has been a horrific 12 months for most of us.
In the past year, all of our lives have been upended in multiple ways. For starters, a global pandemic has ravaged the planet leaving millions of Americans jobless or homeless or without health insurance. This is on top of the death toll which has currently claimed 339,000 American lives.
Millions of small businesses, especially in foodservice, were forced to close as Americans throughout the country quarantined at home, packed on weight and stared into the barrel of mental illness.
Meanwhile, we’re watching the most inept president in American history play Nero’s fiddle while the nation burns and he clings to baseless allegations that our democracy is rigged and he won an election he clearly lost to President-elect Joe Biden.
On Capitol Hill, politicians from both sides of the aisle have been playing games with the stimulus money that so many people desperately need right now in order to survive.
The nation has also watched racial tensions reach a breaking point in 2020 as police brutality was unmasked — pun intended — and citizens took to the streets in the middle of a pandemic seeking justice and reform.
Still, it would be remiss to not mention the courage and compassion we’ve seen from our nation’s first responders and the collective efforts we’ve seen by communities banding together to reimagine the way we educate our children and to help those in need.
In a “normal” New Year, many people will set resolutions for self-improvement; however, maybe this year we put them on hold and concentrate mainly on the need to survive and be kind to one another. As far as the other stuff, the diets and gym memberships and saving accounts and the books you’re going to write…
Oh well. Whatever. Nevermind.
Maybe this year we need to go easy on ourselves. We’ve lived through a historical horror flick, and the fact that you’re reading this right now means you made it through this year. We made it through this year.
It will certainly be strange watching the ball drop in an empty Times’ Square this year. At 45 years old, I will likely pour a glass of champagne and kiss my wife then say goodnight and goodbye to 2020. There will be no tequila shots, no pictures or celebrations this year.
And as far as my predictions for 2021?
Oh well. Whatever. Nevermind.