It's become the thing you say when you knock the coffee pot over. Or when you get a parking ticket. Or the way you end an awkward interaction with an acquaintance whose name you can't recall.
It's both a reassuring shoulder nudge, and a sigh of pure exhaustion.
Let's take a moment to simply acknowledge that this year has truly presented an unprecedented number of challenges, sorrows, fears and doubts for most of us. Even if, by some strange miracle, someone has had an amazing year on paper, they wouldn't even realize it because of the dumpster fire environment that 2020 has them living in. It's hard to see what's going well when you're inundated with the ash of garbage falling from the sky.
No matter how this year affected you, this is your official permission to look ahead with hope, if you have it. With joy and excitement, if you can find it.
If you can't, that's okay too. If you're grieving the loss of goals, of weddings, of memories with family, of a feeling of normalcy, of (God forbid) a loved one, it is so valid to sit with those feelings too. As Brené Brown so wonderfully puts it, "What we don't need in the midst of struggle is shame for being human."
Band together with your barnmates, your friends, your family, or whoever you've got and go boldly into the year ahead. Maybe 'bold' for you means re-setting goals even if your 2020 goals were a wash. Maybe bold and brave for you means admitting to those around you how you're feeling sad or scared or stuck.
This year was, in a multitude of ways, a reminder of the humanity that we all share with one another. It has tested all of us in one way or another, and that shared experience can unify us, if we want it - if we embrace it. It has been a reminder to hold one another dear, to acknowledge the struggle that your neighbor is facing behind closed doors.
Be bold, be kind. See you in the new year.