Cliff Sain

Branson Tri-Lakes News Managing Editor Cliff Sain

I’m not much for making New Year’s resolutions. I’m not especially good at keeping them. I’m better at making life changes or keeping promises to myself if I make them at a time when it seems right, not on the date that just happens to start a new year.

But the end of the year is a good time to stop and reflect on the previous 12 months and contemplate the next 12.

Looking back on 2020 is a bit of a challenge because so much of it is defined in terms of the pandemic. As with any tragic set of circumstances, we watch it bring out the best in some of us, and the worst in others. It reveals some of the cracks in society and government, and it also reveals the strengths of the same.

But right now, it’s time to look ahead. I think a lot of people are not only ready to ring in the new year, but to toss 2020 out the front door and throw its luggage out on the lawn.

The baby new year is, right now, everyone’s favorite kid. It’s the golden child that’s going to save this marriage.

I would encourage everyone to pump the brakes on those hopes just a little bit, at least for the first few months. While we probably will get a return of some degree of normal life in  2021, it’s still seems likely that, at least for the first few months, 2021 will be the new 2020. If so, we can at least look forward to a lot of humorous 2021 memes.

As far as my hopes for 2021. The first thing is that I hope everyone makes it through the winter OK. With unemployment relatively high, and with COVID numbers continuing to be discouraging, and with winter being the slow season for Branson anyway, this is going to be a rough winter for many people. Even for those who are employed and doing fine from a financial standpoint, life has changed in untold ways. Normal activities have either been canceled or have become virtual. The news – especially the national news, but sometimes the local news – is often infuriating. We all want to be informed citizens, but it can often be depressing to stay informed.

It is my hope that we all may need to do a little more to help those who are struggling, financially and otherwise, get through a winter that might seem a little colder than usual.

My hope is that you can get through it. There is a vaccine. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Spring and warm weather will return. There will not be a presidential election in 2021. At some point, the COVID numbers will get better. Life might not return to pre-COVID normals in the new year, but we’ve been living in COVID-world for so many months now that a partial return to normal might feel like a return to normal.

My hope is that all the youngsters who have had such a challenging school year, will have the help and support they need to catch up and be where they need to be when, I hope, a normal school year starts in the fall. And it’s my hope that we will provide our teachers all the tools they need to help get all those students get where they need to be.

Finally, my hope is that all of us have hope. As long as we remain realistic, 2021 might turn out to be a great year.

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