Nothing good about 2020

December 5, 2020


Nothing good about 2020 - Leslie Anne Tarabella

Being voted, “Most optimistic” in my graduating class at Miss Hilderguard’s School of Charm for Happy Young Ladies, I should be able to look back at 2020 and think of all the good things that resulted from a bizarre year.  But I feel drained of all cheerful thoughts and want to wallow in sadness with a bowl of macaroni and cheese. Miss Hilderguard would be aghast. 

Nothing good about 2020 - Leslie Anne Tarabella

I’m tired of hearing others say we should be thankful and joyful in the face of gloom. “Hang in there!” the kitty cat poster says, but I say, “throw the dumb cat out because it must be bad luck.”  Can’t everyone just admit this year was terrible and we’re weary of all the bad news? 

There was not one single good thing about 2020. 

Except, I know a few of the babies born were cute — just a few, and people learned the art of relaxation by baking bread and writing poetry. We organized closets and started exercising and some even found a way to fall in love while socially distanced. 

Prodisee Pantry feeding the hungry - Alabama

But nothing else was good. Not one single thing. 

Although now that I think about it, groups formed to sew masks and feed the hungry. Some volunteered to keep their neighbor’s children while they worked odd jobs. Others started mowing their elderly friend’s yard for free and repairing children’s bikes so they could ride around in the fresh air. 

But nothing else was good. Not one single thing. 

Nothing good about 2020
Image by E. Hopper

Except that the people with crooked teeth loved wearing masks. It was a great equalizer for them. And if I’m honest, I was pretty happy that my favorite college football team didn’t have to play the Gators. Oh, how I loathe that school and they loathe us right back, but it would have been a sure pounding, and escaping a wretched death in their stinky swamp was a true blessing. That’s worth a big prayer of thanks — the kind you kneel down for. 

But nothing else was good, so I’m not going to join the simple-minded crowd marching around Perkyville.  

Of course, there were those who adopted abandoned pets, clea

ned up parks and read more. And a high note for me, speaking of reading, was the release of my new book, “Exploding Hushpuppies” (you knew I’d work that in sooner or later), and I also survived testing positive for COVID. That was definitely good, another kneel-down moment for sure. 

But absolutely nothing else. 

People are reporting they’re happier now that they’ve slowed down and don’t have to run from one activity to another. More people are reading the Bible and exploring their family history. We’re writing real letters and calling long forgotten friends to catch up on news.

Every year sees both good and bad, and 2020 was no exception — other than the bad things were repeatedly blasted in our faces everywhere we looked. The storm of negativity swirled so constantly, it blocked out the positive things going on right in front of us. We somehow missed how God’s love was repeatedly put into action by worn-out, stressed-out human beings. 

Maybe 2020 wasn’t so bad after all. Maybe joy bubbles to the surface even in the worst of times. And maybe Miss Hilderguard owes me another optimist award.

This story first appeared in newspapers.

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