Rumor Has It
Year in Review
Wednesday, January 6, 2021
I’m not one to think that when the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31 everything will somehow change, the slate will be cleaned, we will begin anew.
I do, however, like a chance to take stock, see where we’re at, take an opportunity to look back before looking forward.
It is safe to say that 2020 is a year none of us will be looking back on fondly.
And yet, as I reckoned with all the year had wrought, I found myself filled not with sadness, anger or fear, but instead with gratitude.
How can that be when we’ve lost so much and so much of what remains is diminished, some of it irreparably so?
Make no mistake, I’m not grateful for that. I expect we will all mourn the losses of 2020 for a very long time. The price the year exacted is one we will pay for the foreseeable future and well beyond. And I don’t expect 2021 to be a return to normalcy, whatever may be.
However, as I take in what is left, I see businesses, nonprofits and other local institutions still standing and still fighting—and while simple existence might not seem like a milestone during other times, it looks like a measure of success right now.
And in that continued existence, I see all of the creativity, ingenuity, adaptability, energy and thoughtfulness so many of our favorite businesses have brought to bear to survive this time of unrelenting challenges. Before 2020, I never realized just how endlessly renewable the resources of heart and courage and plain old grit really are. Everyone who owns or works at a small business has gotten a crash course in ongoing crisis management, and nearly all of them have been more than up to the task at hand, finding a way to serve the public while also going above and beyond to keep all involved safe.
But they’re only half of this equation. The other piece belongs to all of you, the community members that have rallied as never before to support the places you love. Even under your own constrained circumstances, you’ve made a concerted effort to ensure you spend your dollars where they count the most, showing up time and again when you see signs of a place you patronize faltering or a business in trouble.
As we embark on what will no doubt be another tough year, I want you to take time to take stock, not just of what’s been lost, but of all that’s still here. And know that as a community, we showed up to this fight—and we’ll keep showing up, as long as it takes.