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Ready to ring in a New Year!

We’ve all heard the jokes and seen the memes. We have learned the art of social distancing, and we all now know how to measure 6-feet by holding our arms out.

Some of us have realized that our mothers did not teach us proper hand hygiene (we never sang “Happy Birthday” at my house unless there was a cake with candles), and we know that the most comfortable way to wear a mask is not necessarily the safest.

We are over 2020.

In November, a family published an obituary in the Terre Haute Tribune-Star which opened with the statement that their deceased loved one “would like to let you know that … his work here is done. We think he did it to avoid going into another year like 2020!”

And recently, the Washington Post published the responses of readers who had been asked to characterize the passing year in one word. The top three descriptors were: Exhausting, lost and chaotic. Others in the top 20 were surreal (fifth), relentless (tenth) and nightmare (eleventh). Two respondents who chose not to follow the one-word rule submitted dumpster fire and a television show that never knows when to end.

We are SO over 2020.

That said, celebrating the start of 2021 only because it’s not 2020 seems far too gloomy for New Year’s Day. How does one find the inspiration to move into the new year with hope and not just move away from the old year with a sense of relief?

Not finding much inspiration from within, I posed the question to Google and was directed to that compendium of wisdom, Parade Magazine, where I stumbled upon an article titled “Ring in 2021 with 100 of the Best New Year’s Quotes.”

New Year’s fireworks

Authors range from Taylor Swift to Plato, and the quotes in the list are both humorous and sardonic, philosophical and oriented toward New Age thinking. Each time I’ve looked at the compilation, different quotes have seemed just right for the day. I promise not to print the complete list, but let me share a few that today seem most apropos to the beginning of this new year. (For the complete list, click here).

Here’s the sampling:

  • An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves (William E. Vaughn)
  • Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous new year by believing. (Sarah Ban Breathnach)
  • No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again. (Buddha)
  • Let our New Year’s resolution be this: We will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word. (Goran Persson)
  • I close my eyes to old ends. And open my heart to new beginnings. (Nick Frederickson)

And what Sister of Providence could conclude such a list without quoting Mother Theodore? Here are her words for us today:

“May this year which we have just entered be a happy one for you, for all of us.”

Happy New Year from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods!

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Sister Lisa Stallings

Sister Lisa serves as vicar of the Sisters of Providence leadership team. After teaching junior high and high school, she spent twenty years ministering in music and worship in parishes in Chicago, Kentucky and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

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1 Comment

  1. Sabrina S Falls on January 1, 2021 at 10:35 am

    Thank you, Sister Lisa, for starting our New Year off with a chuckle and a smile! May 2021 fill our hearts with good humor, laughter, and joy –the best* of medicines! Happy New Year to all!

    *as well as music!

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