I don’t think I’ve personally ever had such a rotten first couple weeks of January. Obviously, we’re all living through some things at the same time (the ongoing pandemic, the coup that is dragging out, remote schooling), but it’s been worse than that. I’m not just talking about Grant’s ongoing, flat-out refusal to poop in the potty, unfortunately. We found out that my mom’s cancer is back. The week before Christmas she had a routine check-up, and the results came back Jan 7th. So, it’s been hard to focus, make sure the kids are on their calls, make sure they’re doing their homework, pay attention to the things that need my attention, and also do things like exercise and eat right.
There was never really any question that 2021 would be much like 2020. It was nice to pretend that all bad things would end in 2020, because we’re wired to look for endings and beginnings. But so much of the terrible things going on right now are directly rooted in centuries of racism and a national movement away from education and science. They’re not going to change because the date changes. We’re going to have to drag ourselves forward, through all the terrible things if we want things to actually get better.
I think things will get better. I think there will be pockets of joy in 2021. I don’t think things will be fixed in 2021. I don’t think things will be “back to normal” ever, and I think that’s a good thing. It’s going to be a long(er), hard fight to eradicate racism and the white supremacy that reaches into the highest seat of government. We need to outlaw white supremacy and its symbolism, then follow-through on those laws. We have so many caring dedicated educators, and we need to pay them fairly and actually value their work as highly as it deserves and not nickel and dime it away. We need to rebuild our education system so our public schools are well-funded and the best schools in the nation for every kid. It’s ridiculous that any kid goes to bed hungry. We can fix that, and we should. We can’t do it all in one year, and I think large portions of this year are going to be really, really hard, particularly with all the COVID deaths still to come. It would also be nice if we could cure cancer this year, but maybe that’s asking a little too much. We really aren’t able to gain any kind of distance or remove from the problems before us (or we won’t fix them), so it’s going to be a grind.
We just have to put one foot in front of the other, for as long as it takes. So, ok, 2021, let’s get a move on.