Well before COVID-19 made a mess of 2020, people turned to social media to curse the outgoing year. It didn’t take a pandemic that upended society and mangled time so that many days felt like forgettable weeks. Usually it just took a cluster of celebrity deaths to start blaming the calendar.
“First, Philip Seymour Hoffman. Now Harold Ramis? 2014 can suck it!”
When I see “Death to 2020” pop up on Netflix amid shorter, blunter sentiments, it strikes my ears and eyes as trite, even if it’s true. We should’ve kept our powder dry for a year like this one.
2020 sucked. We’re going to be dealing with the ramifications of this year for a lot of the next decade, and we can only try to steel ourselves with our best guesses.
I went the entire year without seeing my family. I didn’t get to say goodbye to my friends when I left New York. It took about seven months in Nashville before somebody learned I existed in a non-business transaction. I’m an introvert by nature and often welcome solitude, but the extent of the isolation from living that dead-end host life registered unfamiliar feelings. On one end, a melancholy that comes and goes. On the other end, the strange exhilaration from simply being recognized by face and name.
And I’m probably better off than most. Perhaps some scars will linger due to the unprecedented nature of it all, but I imagine even a painfully gradual return to normal life will resolve the biggest issues, and I’m hoping I’ll find myself surprised and delighted by previously mild joys. For others, the path back isn’t nearly as straightforward, whether it’s due to unimaginable grief, economic hardships, or what else this catastrophe inflicted.
When it comes to the 2021 season, I’d love it if we never saw another game with zero fans in the stands, even if the season has to be delayed to make it work. The conditions of the 2020 season worked remarkably well for something that was made up as it went along, but it’s no way to baseball, especially as the economic model of team-building becomes increasingly disconnected from fan satisfaction. Take it from somebody who realized how few in-person interactions he had over the course of 2020: The lack of direct, nearby feedback isn’t healthy.
Happy New Year, everybody. I hope you made the best of a bad hand in 2020, and nobody should feel inadequate if they didn’t.
As always, spot on.
There is a 13th century Sephardic New Year’s prayer/poem in the Jewish liturgy which ends each verse with the wish that we “end a year and its curses and begin a year and its blessings”. It always seemed apt, but never more appropriate than today.
And thanks for making White Sox fandom a little bit less lonely for all of us this year.
In a year where life was experienced through screens more than any other to date, having good places online to gather (however you define gathering) was important. Thank you for providing that, and here’s hoping that is more a supplement than a foundation to the way we experience 2021.
Wonderfully put, Jim. Cheers to you and your loved ones. Here’s to a normal-esque ’21.
Beautiful thoughts Jim.
This is very true. I am so lucky to live a few blocks away from two of my brothers. In difficult days, I can just walk to their house for a cup of coffee and a quick chat. That coffee tasted better than never during 2020.
I am so happy you got a dog. Like you, I also welcome solitude, and being with your pets while in solitude/meditation is the best kind of solitude a human can get. You will remember this.
2020 was not great by any measure, but coming here every morning was a joy. In some measure, it made my day better. I wish to you and yours, the best of the best for 2021. The same to all the contributors of this blog, Ted, Patrick, Josh, and Frankie and Chief. And everybody that comes here to read, comment, and participante in White Sox deabtes.
Thank you for the many welcome disruptions of my 2020 reality.
I’m late to the party once again, but Happy New Year to all. I was doing so good with working out last year until March 13th. I tried once the gym opened in June; I couldn’t do it, it was too unnerving. I just started back up again this week with mask and hand sanitizer in tow.
My wife and I were limited going to our cabin in WI. In fact, at one point were weren’t sure if we’d be turned around at the border (we weren’t). We made it a point of only dining outdoors, albeit very limited compared to the past and no bar visits (great bars and people abound the area). We made it up there probably 10 times. The best part is it’s pretty secluded so it was easy to be disconnected.
We cancelled my mother-in-law’s week long 70th birthday celebration in MI. The whole in-laws family along with all the grandkids were going to attend.
I hadn’t seen my mother for 3 months until the retirement home allowed masked guests to visit in a gazebo outdoors in June. They cut that off in October with the surge in IL & I’ve seen her once (last Saturday) through glass doors. We’re talking on the phone a few times a week.
Just like everyone else, we adapted through much difficulty. We’re making the best with what we have and continue to count our blessings. I hope everyone at Sox Machine is doing well too. To better futures.