James Hendicott: If you’re reading this, you made it. Let’s hope 2021 offers more.

by James Hendicott

New Year is traditionally a time of reflection, and a time of ambition. Let’s face it, though, for many of us the past year might well have been the worst we’ve ever experienced, and we might not feel like doing either.

So let’s put aside dreaming big for a moment; let me congratulate you instead for coming through this particular year with your head attached, because it hasn’t been a forgone conclusion.

2021 should be a better year. I’m no expert on these things, and I’m not going to try and talk as if I am, but there is a general sense that the pandemic is now nearer the end than the start, and however bad the numbers might get over Christmas, we can, perhaps, look forward to a summer, at least, that might see things creep a little more back towards normal.

We can only hope that there’s as little suffering as possible in the meantime.

Personally, I have a particular focus on the arts. If you happen to be a regular reader here (thank you), you’ll know that I spend serious amounts of time talking to and connecting with musicians, in particular.

The general vibe around the area this year has been one of extreme downheartedness, a little anger, and the occasional bit of “I’m taking the chance to focus on something different” positivity and hope that seems, to be honest, a touch put on.

I think we’ve all found a new relationship with culture, especially those of us who regularly, in the past, went out to watch concerts or take in any other kind of live event. That’s gone, and its absence leaves a gaping hole in my heart, and no doubt many others.

I’d swap in a second a repeat of the experience of some of the worst live shows I’ve been to in recent years for sitting at home in front of a screen trying to feel the same.

I won’t be stoking the fires of ambition for 2021 as we approach New Year. I think it’s enough to come into the year physically and psychologically intact, as that hasn’t always been a sure thing for many of us.

Instead, I’ll be vowing to appreciate all the more every little thing that I already have, especially those things that have been missing, as they return.

I hope you’ll join me in, when it’s safe to do so, soaking up that chance to go to a show, stand in a crowd (safely) and engage with our clans again, we hope, during the year, and in appreciating them all the more.

These things humanise us.

2020’s made it clear that they mean more than I, for one, ever knew.

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