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IT’S….. 2021!

And the new page on my calendar is looking at me shrugging its shoulders, like, ‘Huh? You see a cape on this?’

I get it. There is a ubiquitous feeling of excitement and relief to see the numbers ‘2020’ in the rear view mirror (unless, of course, you’re hoping for a perfect next eye exam).

And I share the hope and excitement! I have a list as long as my arm of stuff that I hope to accomplish in the New Year, though I wouldn’t call the things on this list ‘resolutions’ so much as I would describe them in terms I borrow from my friend Kate: ‘striving for approximations.’

‘2021’ isn’t a benevolent superhero that will save us from the evil villain ‘2020.’ It’s a number on a page on the calendar—which of course is a slice of paper made from the fiber of a once-living tree combined with the muscle and know-how to create a stand-still time-keeping device. And, you know, my calendar is just a boring day planner. No pretty pictures. Maybe I should get a nice wall calendar, with mountains or puppies or something…

See how distracted my mind gets? I bet yours does that, too.

And that’s just it. I think what matters is attention. What am I paying attention to—to some far off moment when everything will be better, and to the hopes and expectations I’m pinning to that moment? Or am I paying attention to what’s happening right here, right now, in this moment—the only moment I can be sure of?

And when I *do* pay attention to the here and now, sometimes all I’ve got is, ‘I’m exhausted.’ And of course! Who isn’t exhausted right now? Last year kicked our asses. And there is still some ass-kicking in store for us. This year, next year. Today, tomorrow, every day.

What matters, moment to moment, is how we can manage our attention—to remember what is happening now, to stay connected to what cultivates gratitude and celebration in our lives, and to go easy on ourselves when we stumble. Even superheroes trip on their own capes sometimes.