High Points: The next year | AspenTimes.com

High Points: The next year

Paul E. Anna
High Points

So, I’ll bet this year sets a record for the most people waking up on New Year’s Day without a hangover. Oh sure, more people took up regular drinking in 2020 but the lockdowns and the social distancing surely reduced the usual celebratory imbibing.

I’ll bet the partying was significantly reduced.

That, my friends, is indicative of my new found sense of optimism. I have decided that we all should turn toward the light rather than the dark in looking at any subject. That in 2021 the best way to turn the page on the grimness of the last year is to look for the positive in all things and hope that the simple act of doing so will help change the script of our lives. Both personally and collectively .

I’m not sure what I thought 2020 was going to look like 366 days ago when I awoke on the first of the year. Of course, none of us had any idea that things would be so catastrophic. The concept of a global pandemic was the stuff of Hollywood movies. It never really crossed my mind that the year would be filled with lockdowns, sickness and death.

The biggest issue for me is that we simply did not handle the pandemic well. It became part of our national bickering, and to this day I still hear people who want to politicize and argue that 325,000 dead are not enough for us to come together and do the right things to fight this scourge. When I listen to pundits on local AM radio, yes you know who are, continue after months of this thing to disparage our only steps to stop it as limitations on their personal rights I get so infuriated.

But like I said, I’m over the negativity. I will do what I can to adopt a Pollyannaish attitude where I focus only on the good and let the bad slide aside. I’m going to change the way I see each day and not begin worrying about what could happen and start effecting change through a positive outlook.

I’m not sure what I would have done differently in this past year if I had fair warning of what was to come. But at the end of the day, that would be yesterday, I survived 2020. Despite all the upheaval, worry, angst and anger, the fact is I woke up without a hangover on the first day of the new year. That in itself is an accomplishment and I’m not sure I would have recognized that act of survival if all that was bad had not happened last year. The fact that we went through it perhaps gave it all a little bit of perspective.

Next year, I hope things are different. That the changes in government and the new vaccine and the economy and our sense of social justice make us all better people. We’ll just have to see. But if we all stay positive it might help. It certainly won’t hurt. And next January maybe we can all wake up with a richly deserved communal hangover.

Happy New Year, everyone.


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