An Open Letter to the New Year

 

Dear 2020,

I am afraid we may have gotten off on the wrong foot, and I mean that quite literally. You see, I woke up bright and early on your first day in existence and went for a long run in the cold dark morning. I could have easily partied all night and rang in the new year like a lot of friends I know, but no, I decided I was going to start the new year with a bang, conquer the cold and embrace the suck of the early morning just to prove to you that I meant business this year. But no, you had to go and push back and two hours after running more miles than I really should have (did I mention it was cold), my right foot began to hurt. No, I am not blaming you entirely on this little medical mishap, but I am saying you could have been a little more promising. 

Anyway, my foot is feeling better, not that you asked, but I am telling you anyway, you know, as my passive aggressive way of making you feel a little guilty. But let’s move on for the real reason I am writing you this letter. You see, you are new around here, and we humans, we kind of had a shitty 2019, oh hell, who are we kidding, the “teens” decade wasn’t necessarily the best on record. For one, no one really knew what to call it. Was it the “teens”? The “tens”, hell, I don’t know, but it was simply too confusing. Secondly, decades are remembered for their music,  you mention the 70’s, and every grey haired hippie in Austin has a conniption fit talking about how “great that shit was” back then and let’s not even start on how bomb (that means good in case you are still trying to catch up on earthly vernacular) the 80’s were. Don’t get me wrong, I have the Eagles pandora station dialed up, but seriously the music was maybe remembered well because everyone was half naked and fully “baked” , and who doesn’t want to remember that time in their lives. 

Sorry, back to you. Like I was saying earlier, a lot of people have high hopes and expectations about a new year, and you, my friend, are not only a new year, but the beginning of a new decade too, and hey, 2020 is just cool to say. What I am getting at is that you are a welcomed friend to all of us…no need to play all tough guy and try and set a tone here. We love you man, and we want to have a great year with you, so knock this silly shit off. Look what you have at your disposal so far? You have a new Stars Wars movie out that doesn’t make me want to write a hate letter to Disney, and speaking of Disney, have you seen Baby Yoda? I mean, how can you not love a little green hairless Chihuahua with big eyes and the ability to lift things with his thoughts!! You also have the fact that the Patriots are not in the playoffs this year, so right there 99% of the population is in a good mood. This year has so many fun things at your disposal, let’s make this the beginning of the Roaring 20’s all over again, except for that little thing called the Depression at the end of it, we can totally avoid that again…please.

You are new, I get it, and you just want to come in and make sure you are well respected from the get go. Have you been reading too many self help books talking about setting firm boundaries while you were waiting your turn to be a year? Just be cool man, let me give you a few tips to become the greatest year…like ever! First, you can’t kill anyone really famous and beloved, that is an automatic check on the bad list. So if you have any ideas of taking Betty White, I tell you right now, you are truly F@#ked, and no, I am not kidding, I personally think Ryan Reynolds himself will assemble an army of fellow Canadians that will Nice you to death, eh. 

Secondly, we really need to work on this music thing. Like I said earlier, decades are founded by the music they produce, so let’s get to it man. You already have a great head start with the Jonas Brothers back on tour, but I think we may need to dig a little deeper and get some new acts going. Let’s start with country music. Like the great Charlie Daniels once said, “if your goin to play in Texas, you gotta have a fiddle in the band”, but instead of just Texas, let’s just make it a global proclamation shall we. Country music has been such a disappoints the last ten years, I really don’t think you can make it much worse. I don’t even listen to the radio anymore. The last time I turned it to a country station, I wasn’t sure if I hadn’t accidently hit a pop station instead. As far as other music goes, let’s just get some lyrics that make sense, some artists that can actually sing, and let’s bring vinyl records back and outlaw CD’s, let’s just say they are bad for the environment or something like that. And let’s lets bring back Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole, oh, and Charlie Parker. 

Thirdly, Fashion. Quick, think of the 80’s. Didn’t you just love the colors and the looks. I mean, you could totally go to a funeral and rock a  white suit and pastel socks in the 80’s and people knew you were a man of substance. But we got to do something, this whole…well I don’t even know if there is fashion today, and that is my point. You basically throw everything you own on the floor, and then just randomly pick something here and there. People are wearing long socks as scarves for pete’s sake. I can’t even. 100 years from now, people are not going to be throwing “teen” “ten” (see, there’s that damn naming the decade problem again) parties and knowing how to dress. NO!! They will still be throwing 80’s parties (1980’s, not 2080’s). So you have a chance here to do some major impressing, because trust me, it won’t be too hard to improve on what we are doing now.

Fourthly, hoverboards. Do you know how freaking long I have been waiting for my hover board? I can’t even watch Back to the Future anymore, it is just too emotional for me. You seriously have got to work on this. I am quite sure Elon Musk is tired of my constant beray of emails and phone calls on the matter. Don’t  get me wrong, electric cars are cool, but we were promised hoverboards, and as Michael J. Fox as my witness, we deserve them!!

Fifthly (is that right?) Can we stop mixing dog breeds? Next thing you know we will have Snickerdoodle Wolfspanial Terriers running around, and ain’t nobody got time for that silliness. 

Finally, can you just make people nicer? Life is hard enough already, and people these days are just tired. People want to be happy, but in the grind of trying to be perfect, we have beaten ourselves up and reclined to the notion that we are never going to be good enough. The world is changing, faster than many of people like, and I am afraid that too many would rather sit lonely at the bus stop than to chase the bus down. Yes, we have better technology and advancements in science, but we aren’t necessarily building a better world, we are just constructing a more isolated one. We don’t talk to our neighbors anymore, and many are just fearful of the future. We are trying, I promise you, we are trying, but we need a little hug of hope from time to time. We want to love, but somehow in the shuffle of buying a bigger house and a faster car, we have isolated  ourselves into separate rooms and drove away from our problems. It has become increasingly easier to stay lonely than confront love, and “I love you” is way too often followed up by the word “but”. Why work on the old car when it is far easier to go online and get a new one, and yes that was a car reference, and no I am not talking about cars. We have all the ingredients to make this world better, we do, and we have the chefs to make it, but I just need you to give us the permission to be messy in the kitchen,  and the time to prove ourselves. . We humans are fighters, history has shown that time and time again we have shown up and kicked ass for the things we believe in. We haven’t lost our way, but we are getting tired of moving the boulders in the path. You will come to see that we humans are capable of stupendous acts of kindness and compassion, but we can’t hold hands if we are too scared to invite others to sit next to us. 

So there you have it 2020, you have your work cut out for you, but I have faith in ya. I know we can do this, and if you need some advice, just look to a little band we had in the 60”s (see, there’s that music thing again) that taught us two super important life lessons….”All you need is love” , and we all can get it, “..With a little help from my friends”.

Always,

Mark