January 2021

MY DRIFT COLUMN BY PATSY MORRI SS

READY OR NOT

A FEW WEEKS AGO, ONE OF THOSE QUIZZES THAT POP UP ON FACEBOOK CAME ACROSS MY FEED.

April and May have only a few entries, most of which refer to scheduled trips that didn’t happen. Starting in June, the planner’s pages are pristine. By then I had tucked it away in a drawer, the big picture no longer relevant. My routine dictates I should soon visit the office supply store and buy a 2021 planner. I should thoughtfully and carefully lay out my year so I can be prepared for what’s coming. But all I can see are the words “QAATH,” “VBTEQC” and “FEHLLP.” I’m not whining. I’m merely saying that if 2020 taught me anything at all, it was this lesson: You have to roll with the punches. In the words of the woman who ordered so much stuff online she couldn’t keep track, “If FedEx delivers a llama on Tuesday, it is what it is.” #pandemicmotto Life often throws us curveballs and many years are wild rides. What made 2020 unique is that we were all thrown screwballs simultaneously while we rode on a bus that had been hijacked by a demented monkey. I’ve had bad years before; we all have. However, most of my bad years were mine alone. While I was dealing with cancer or a divorce, other people were living their best lives. We’re not used to widespread hardship. My parents’ generation experienced more than a few shared trials in their lifetime. Thankfully, my peers and I have had more luck. We missed World War II and the Great Depression completely, and most of us skated right between Vietnam and the Gulf War. The biggest all-encompassing challenge I can recall was the fuel

It was a word search with directions advising that the first three words you saw would define your 2021. If you looked closely, you could find words like “hope,” “friends,” “job” and “marriage.” More humorous prospects like “wine,” “sex” and “pot” were there too. My friend David’s comment resonated with me most. The first words he saw were “QAATH,” “VBTEQC” and “FEHLLP.” Amen, brother! When I think about the beginning of last year and all I expected it to bring, I can only chuckle at my childlike innocence. This year, at least we’ll know better than to plan. For several years I’ve used the calendar on my phone to keep track of where I’m supposed to be and when, and for the most part, it works pretty well. I can’t, however, seem to get the big picture from it, so I always buy a paper monthly planner and sketch out my plans a few months ahead. I took out my 2020 monthly planner this morning. It looks pretty normal until you get to March. A wedding scheduled for late that month is crossed through; beside it in my husband’s handwriting is the word “postponed.” You can almost hear the sound of brakes squealing.

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C OMM U N I T Y & C U L T U R E

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