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I’ve never understood the hype surrounding New Year’s Eve. I’ve never understood the idea of being excited about one year rolling into the next. Even when Y2K was about to happen, although I found it interesting to be living through a millennial changeover, I wasn’t really excited. It seemed to me that January 1st, 2000 would be pretty much the same as January 1st, 1999.
And, sure enough, for me, it was.
But somehow, this New Year’s Eve was different.
Over the past few months, whenever I heard someone say “2020,” I found myself remembering TV ads featuring the sound of a ticking stopwatch, and Barbara Walters’ unique voice introducing the news show, 20/20. I must have heard a thousand of these ads over the 25 years she hosted the show. I mentioned this to my daughter, Alison, and she said every time she hears the number 2020 she thinks of eyesight—perfect eyesight. Regardless of what the number 2020 brings to mind, it seems most people agree that there’s something weighty about it . . . something special.
This New Year’s Eve found my family about a mile from home at a catering hall with a band and a buffet and a few hundred strangers. It was exactly how I wanted to spend the evening—my whole family together, eating, dancing, having fun. It reminded me of many of the big Italian weddings I’ve been to— minus the bride and groom. As I looked around the room, the faces seemed oddly familiar . . . as if these people were family. I felt such warmth and good will in the air. People were being so kind and polite and friendly to one another. I found myself hoping everyone was having a good time, and hoping that they’d all have a happy and healthy 2020. I noticed a woman shivering, so I lent her my wrap—she was so surprised and appreciative and it made both of us feel warm! It made us feel like friends. It was just that kind of night.
What a perfect way to begin a brand new year.
As the dancing stopped for a few minutes, and the band leader counted down the seconds to midnight, for the first time ever on a New Year’s Eve, I was filled with excitement. Never before have I been so utterly thrilled to let go of one year and embrace the next.
I’ve been hoping and praying for so many things . . . not material things like a new car or an expensive vacation. No, I’ve been pining for deeper, more satisfying things, things I probably couldn’t adequately explain here—so I won’t even try.
And somehow, I am filled with hope that by next New Year’s Eve, some of these deep dreams and desires will have been granted.
As I remember what my daughter said about 2020 making her think of perfect vision, I’ve decided that I will look into the coming year through a lens of hope, allowing it to magnify the good that comes, and willing it to dissolve the lens of fear I so often choose to look through.
I hope you will too.
Wishing you a blessed and beautiful 2020,
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