Elaine Zhou | Associate Editor

Photo Source: Medium.com “In the Sands of Time”

Three. Two. One. 12AM. 2021!!! I listen for the ruptures of laughter, the buzzing vibrations of the New Year…except this year, there are no fireworks. This year, there are no crowded parties, no big gatherings. This year, our faces still glow, but only by the flickering light of a warmly lit candle in our own homes.

The New Year is lacking its usual grandeur, but it is marvellous nonetheless. We are still safe in our homes, safe with our loved ones. And that in itself is a cause for celebration.

Looking back at 2020 while safely tucked at home for this new year, our minds likely flit between major events, only to settle on the biggest headline of them all: COVID-19. We may feel filled with frustration, sorrow, or regret for all the things that could have been, all the experiences that could have happened without COVID-19. But there must have been good memories we have formed (or powerful lessons we have learned) only because we’ve been confined to our homes. 

Moments like these are unique to each and everyone one of us. They are the day you pulled out a recipe book for the first time in years and set about to make a savoury dish. They are the grand smiles on the faces of your family members when you called out “Done! Ready to serve.” They are peering out your window sill in awe of how  illuminating, how pure, how full of hope the dancing snowflakes looked in the billowing wind of Christmas Eve. Perhaps it was  the moment during the pandemic when you reached the revelation of just how important family is. Or a turn of thought from thinking how lucky you were to have survived COVID-19 to thinking how significant your good health and well-being are to anything you want to do in the future.

Whatever they are, just the thought of them must bring a smile to your face, a glow in your heart. Please hold tight to these trickles of sand-like, 2020 memories! Feed them and let them grow in the warmth of your heart to blossom for this blank slate of a new year. Else, you may pass 2021 in the burden of 2020’s frustration, sorrow, and regret. Else, you may let these heartwarmers and valuable lessons slip away from your grasp and then go back to remembering 2020 for only the upsetting things, just as you feel a slight thump of loss in your heart when the sand in an hourglass dribbles to its last. 

And now you must be wondering: I’ve looked back positively at 2020 as you’ve said, but how can I optimistically yet realistically look forward into 2021? Check out “What did 2020 Teach Us About Friendships” by Lilly Stewart, “New Year’s Reservations” by Faye Rozario, and “New Year’s Resolution: Give Up (Passive) Hope” by Alex Trachsell.

Let the trickled time sand of 2020 and the trickling time sand of 2021 keep that twinkle in your eyes, that smile on your face, until the clock ticks down again. Three. Two. One.

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