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.
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.
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.
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 AL.com newspapers.
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My mom tells me that thinking on the negative side does not do us any good…so you may as well try and think positively and find the bright side of everything….I have tried to do so….2019 was not so great for me; however, thinking positively got me through it all and I did look forward to 2020….uh well, as disappointing as it was I say..I look forward to 2021….it may be a rough ride too, but I refuse to think negatively….I do miss my time with my son and family and my very large family…..hate the masked outdoors visits…I want to hug them…a lot!
Okay….so far as the Gators….we are not that bad!…I love the Gators and hope that Trask wins the Heisman…but I wish your team greatness too in the coming year!
Merry Christmas Leslie Anne!
P.S. My son and family adopted a rescue dog during Covid…we love her!
And I hope Mrs.Hilderguard awards you another optimist award! 🙂
My husband predicted the first person to comment would be a Gator! Half my family went to U of F, so this time of year doesn’t feel right unless half of us are irritated! So glad about the rescue dog, and of course, there’s plenty of good happening if we just look for it. Thanks Shirley, I think you are on “team optimism” too!
Shirley, you really deserved a great 2020 after all you went through in 2019. But you got your beautiful, fabulous kitchen…I was just looking at my pins of it the other night! I’m glad you are doing well!
I truly understand. Mom had a stroke in May, laid off from job in July, started new job in August and lost that first of December. I try to be positive and look for the glass half full but sometimes it’s hard to maintain the optimistic attitude amongst all of the doom and gloom. Family member want to be careful so gatherings are much smaller and I so miss seeing the little ones. Sure hope 2021 will be a turning for all of us.
Hang in there (kitty cat!). We’ll all be there with you. Good things are out there yet!
I went to outdoor church this morning and it’s was below freezing ( Jesus suffered on the cross for me, so I cannot complain about a little cold), I’m home snuggled under the blanket with my beloved dachshund, chili is simmering on the stove, I have my Christmas tree lit…I’m feeling very blessed and peaceful.
Yet another optimist in the room. Good for you. Enjoy the peace!