by Jenifer Garey

As I think back on all that had happened during 2020, I was having trouble finding the right word to describe what could be around the corner in 2021.

My wish is that we all can return to what we call normal (do we really remember what that was?).

My plan is to move into 2021 with a positive attitude and set goals for myself that will allow me to think about what could be, maybe a new and improved version of me (don’t we always start each new year with that goal?).

I anticipate the need to be creative in terms of how we spend time with friends and family (bonfires in January anyone?). 

Finally, I expect that everyone in my bubble will come to accept all the changes in our world as the new normal.

As I worked through all my random thoughts to find the one perfect word, I struggled. So, I dug a little deeper into my buzz words. You know those words, right? The words that we all have and reserve for our most serious conversations. These are the words that we use to remind ourselves that change is impossible to avoid and ok to embrace, the words that we use to tell our kids everything will be ok, the words that we use with our parents to remind them that this too shall pass, and the words that we use to encourage others to look beyond the past and instead look to the future. While the struggle to find this one word was real, it was also easy. My buzz word is HOPE.

For me hope is my buzz word that replaces all others and can act as a noun or verb. Hope is the one word that I inject into all those important conversations to inspire others. Hope is the one word that I hang onto as I move forward so I can continue to believe in my ability to wish, to plan, to anticipate, and to expect. So, I would ask that you join me in this journey with hope. Hope that will extend to all us and give us the courage to hope for societal change, hope for an end to a global pandemic, and hope for humanity to be kind to one another. With hope, anything is possible in 2021. May your holidays be merry, bright and hopeful!  

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