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1 January 2021

Over the years (and we just added another), we've grown fond of our New Year's Day ritual of taking out the Sharpie and a Post-it note to scribble a reminder to use the new year in our dates. Today was no exception.

The promise of any new year as one matures becomes overshadowed by the dread of losing those who are dear to us. That isn't helped by other worries, of course, including job insecurity, money problems and health issues of one's own.

Life can be difficult. If anything proves that, it was 2020.

That's why our little ritual with a pen and paper means so much to us. It's an act of optimism.

At the weekly newsmagazine where we worked for 30 years, the publisher would put up a similar little note to remind everyone which year it was. Wisely, he put it up on the clock in the production area. He knew everyone looked at that clock several times an hour.

There's no avoiding the year at a magazine. Almost every page that isn't an ad has the date somewhere, starting with the cover. You want to make sure it's the current date, not a year ago. And this little note did that.

It reminds us to be in the present and look toward the future. To think of the next play not the last, as coaches like to put it.

That's the only one in which you can make a difference.

With this little note, we remind ourselves and you that we can indeed make a difference in 2021. To our environment, our politics, our health. And if that isn't optimist, we don't know what is.

P.S. If you set a copyright notice in your camera, take a moment before you start shooting to enter the new year. As it says on this Post-it note here, "It's 2021!"

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