I think this sign says “Welcome to 2020”.

I had a great boss years ago, Jack Callahan. One of the first things you learned, working with Jack, was what the word “Interesting” meant to him. It meant that he hated whatever you had just said or proposed…as in “Don’t ever bring that up again!” You might say…”Jack, I think we should increase the advertising budget by 50%”. If his reply was “Interesting”…you would then need to work on polishing up your resume for the rest of the day. It was a chilling word to hear from Jack.

2020 was an “interesting” year for me. Late 2019 was the precursor…the yin and yang of being in China in mid November and then almost getting trapped in Wuhan by Covid, arriving home to the birth of a new grand daughter, Julia, and the death of my mom, Coleen. And then this steaming pile of crap, called 2020 unfolded for all of us. But…it too was filled with contradictions.

I have hated the way that it unfolded…never really revealing it’s true self until late in the year. “Oh, we are going to have to shut down for a couple of weeks…make that a couple of months…make that most of the year.” “Oh, we might have to reduce our travel…not travel…lock ourselves in the basement.” The information and disinformation was the worst…still is. Let’s be honest…the situation is really unknowable. And yet, people with medical degrees, high school diplomas and fourth grade educations are speaking to the press all over the world and each one of them seems absolutely sure they have all the answers and that the rest of us are idiots. Net result…confusion, frustration and no end in sight.

To be clear, I am in the “at risk” zone and have and will continue to take a conservative approach…limiting my contact with others, wearing a mask and not traveling…and I will take the vaccine tomorrow if offered. However, I respect your take on what you need to do…just do not impose it on me. I am going to protect myself and I honestly do not think you, nor any of us, really know the right answers. This is a complex, medical emergency that continues to emerge.
I am actually quite forgiving of our politicians from the left and right…because I know for sure that they do not know, for sure.

So, yup…a year that sucked. However, it is also a year in which I wrote three books…including a best seller, dozens of blogs, edited and shared hundreds of photographic images that others seemed to enjoy. A year in which I got in better shape physically, despite my advancing age. Got much better organized at home. Rested up more than in any year ever. Got to focus on the things that really matter to me in life. Spent a lot of time talking on the radio to audiences all around the country. Did things differently. So…not a total loss.

What was a total loss for me was not spending more time with my children and grand children, the death of a few life-long friends (made worse by not having the closure of a funeral to attend), a marriage or two missed and friends not visited.

So…bring on 2021! I am done with this steaming pile of 2020. I know that there are big challenges yet ahead, some significant danger…and a lot of hope that things will normalize at some point. Whatever happens will happen…and I will remain thankful for every single day.

And I have some thoughts on what is still ahead. I will wait til next year (2021) to share those thoughts with you. For now…Happy New Year to one and all and may 2021 be the year we all dream it might be…full of improvement, normalcy, calm and happiness…and, please God, good health.

Aloha.