January 20, 2021.
A historical day in its own right. But, I can’t help but feel it is a culmination of so many events that have taken place in recent days…weeks…months, on a worldwide stage, but also on a personal level.
2020 started well enough, especially for this lifelong Kansas City Chiefs fan. A huge fan of teamwork, as much as I loved seeing the Lombardi trophy return to Arrowhead after 50 years, I even more enjoyed watching those coaches and players come together as a team. I know every fan wants to think their team is like a big band of brothers that have each other’s backs, so there’s a good chance I may have some fantasy wrapped in naivety. However, seeing your starting quarterback, out with a concussion, tweet “Hennething is possible” when his back-up QB, Chad Henne, and the rest of the team pull out a playoff win? Heartwarming. Supportive. Loyal.
And then began the longest 10 months in the history of the Gregorian calendar.
I quarantined. I binge watched TV (and may have developed obsessions with Hamilton and Schitt’s Creek). I gained the COVID-19. I thanked my lucky stars for job security.
I got COVID. I lost my sense of smell. I gained a new sense of guilt. I quarantined again. And, again thanked my lucky stars for job security and colleagues who are like my family.
There were some other events that occurred toward the end of the year…some sporting events, a milestone birthday, some natural disasters (other than the milestone birthday), an election or two…
But, just prior to Christmas, I received the best gift I could have ever asked for. My first COVID vaccine, with the promise of a second in 3 short weeks. The mild arm soreness I experienced was actually a wonderful reminder of the precious serum doing its job. The holidays came and went, looking very different for many people than it has in the past, and 2021, with all the pressures of being the solution to all the problems that seemed to come with 2020.
One week in to 2021, many people were ready to give up their free 7 day trial. It was not living up to the (unrealistic) expectations that we all had that things were going to get markedly better, literally overnight. Poor 2021. Didn’t stand a chance.
Fast forward to today. January 20, 2021.
COVID cases (and deaths) continue to rise. The threat of resistant strains loom. Issues with efficient, widespread distribution of the vaccine persist. Racial tensions remain high. Educators and students struggle with virtual and hybrid learning. Individuals battle all the issues that come with a pandemic…isolation, fear, anxiety, uncertainty, just to name a few.
But, there is something different about today. All day, I have been trying to figure out this feeling that has come over me. It’s a good feeling…warm and enveloping. I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what it was at first. It seemed familiar, yet not something I had felt for awhile. And then, while I was watching the inaugural activities, I realized what I was feeling.
Anyone who knows me also knows that there are two topics I avoid in any conversation…religion and politics. Much of it comes from a strong desire to avoid any potential conflict. A lot of it comes from my own insecurities of not fully understanding all the details and, therefore, not being able to hold up my end of the discussion. But, I can’t help what I feel. And right now I am welcoming hope.
My feelings do not stem from the actions of one person. This post is not meant to be a political commentary. But as I sit here, lucky enough to have received 2 COVID vaccines, making plans to hopefully return to some “normalcy” (although I’m not sure what that even means anymore), and listening to the hopes and goals of the incoming leadership, the words are filling me with hope. To put it in simpler terms, I feel like we are coming together as a team. Coaches, players, staff…everyone. Together. To support, to advise, and to bring out the best in each other. Fantastical? Naïve? Delusional? Maybe. But I truly don’t think so.
Hennething is possible.