Tradition leads most of us to proclaim, if only to ourselves, a few resolutions at the start of each year. Since a year like no other just ended, the year ahead requires more than resolutions. As I listened to retrospectives over the past weekend, it hit me that each of us really needs a personal strategy as we enter 2021.
Just adapting to change might not be enough. And, letting experts suggest how we all should behave as vaccines enter the picture is not sufficient. Passivity about the future and assuming it will all work out may not actually get us back on track. In fact, whatever track we were on might actually be gone.
Pessimism this is not. Actually, a 2021 strategy should be one filled with opportunities, taken in carefully measured proportions. The strategy should look forward, mindful of discoveries from the past year. Consider, what did you enjoy doing more of that you want to continue doing? What did you stop doing that really does not need to be restarted? Did you declutter? Did you begin a new hobby or vocation? Did you reach out more electronically to people you can begin later in the year to connect with in person?
There is no one approach to the next 12 months for everyone. So, an individual strategy that addresses what you want most and care most about really should be a focus during these first few days of January.
For me, riding bicycles again is on the list. It was a great joy during the summer and a new ebike has just been assembled in my garage for riding here on the Eastern Shore.
Slowly and carefully travel is being planned. But, travel with meaningful adventure to enjoy museums or wildlife that can be photographed or involving a lifelong love of sailing.
Locally, part of my strategy and something widely available to most, includes visits to museums. The Academy Art Museum and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum near me have taken extraordinary measures to allow safe numbers to view their respective collections and exhibits. After the year just past, these familiar places begin the renewal we all need as we enter 2021.
I like the concept of launching into something new. And, that something presented itself during the past year working with a young film producer – the son of a close friend. Over a few months of discussion, it has been energizing to think about how important stories can be shared through film in ways that go beyond current offerings. So, assisting with the production of films could be in my future and that is something I never would have expected to be part of my personal strategy in the past.
What has always been part of my reflection on a new year is that resolution about weight loss. Indeed, over decades it’s helped me lose over a hundred pounds. Trouble is by summer, it creeps back on. So this year, the strategy is to cook more and eat healthy. I have always enjoyed cooking and gifts this year included some great new cooking items.
Probably the realization reached by many is that having a strategy for the future involving people about whom we care is highly desirable. It’s more than just being social. Sharing experiences with people that care about you as you care about them seems more important than ever as we enter 2021. Who would have thought that the surest way to make this possible rests with a vaccine. But, it does. So, my strategy, and I hope yours is to get the Covid vaccine as soon as it is available. Then, the most important elements of my strategy for the months ahead become possible.
Craig Fuller served four years in the White House as assistant to President Reagan for Cabinet Affairs, followed by four years as chief of staff to Vice President George H.W. Bush. Having been engaged in five presidential campaigns and run public affairs firms and associations in Washington, D.C., he now resides on the Eastern Shore.