2020 Wasn’t ALL Bad

It’s such a 2020 trope that this year was a dumpster fire, that it’s almost trite to say it, but let’s all just acknowledge one more time: WORST. YEAR. EVER. Seriously, from pretty much off the block, things have just sucked. It would have been a rotten year no matter what, but malicious ineptitude in the place of leadership made everything worse.

That said, there were some good things that happened this year. Not many, I’ll grant you. But some! On a personal level, I moved to the exurbs and got a promotion at work, we did a ton of kayaking and hiking, and my dear friends Connie and Vanessa each welcomed a sweet baby boy to their respective families (I’m contenting myself with photos until I can hug them and kiss their chubby baby cheeks). Aside from my own personal joys, there were actually some “good news” stories in the world writ large. Here are a few:

Hamilton on Disney+ amirite? Felt like the most 2020 of miracles that for $7/month we could sing along to Yorktown in the Living Room Where It Happened.

Two new J-pod babies! It felt especially joyous to welcome J-57 Phoenix, after following along with mom J-35 Tahlequah’s sad journey in 2018. But then there was J-58 Crescent following right after! And the 2019 J-pod and L-pod babies are still healthy and thriving, and may they continue that way.

(Pssst – busted; those are transient orcas from Steve’s and my trip to the San Juan Islands in 2019. But, orcas!)

While we’re on the subject of baby animals, here in D.C. we also welcomed baby Xiao Chi-ji to the Panda Pavilion at the National Zoo! (That’s a pic of mom Mei Xiang that I snapped a few years ago.) His name means “little miracle,” which is exactly what he is. A baby panda feels like a miracle no matter what, but in a year in which there was precious little to celebrate, baby Xiao has brought so much joy to all of us here in the nation’s capital. It’s panda-monium. (I’m not sorry.)

Speaking of the nation’s capital – we’re a little lighter of hearts as we head toward January 20, 2021. Joe! Kamala! Melania even phoned in the Christmas decorations this year, so they were just regular style decorations, not terrifying giant handmaids or anything. It’s almost overrrrrrrr

A world away from Washington, D.C., the Buffalo Bills are AFC East Champions! I am told this is a very big deal. Yeah! Go Buffalo! (Here’s a picture from the finish line of the Fifty Yard Finish Half Marathon in 2014, inside Ralph Wilson Stadium.)

There were not very many “good news” stories this year, but there were some. Some is more than none. And I’m cautiously holding out hope for 2021. With a vaccine on the way, and grown-ups back in the White House, maybe we’ll even get the luxury of some conventional sources of joy next year. I’d dearly like to hug my grandmother. And if there’s some travel in the offing, so much the better. More baby whales would be great, too.

What “good news” stories brought a smile to your face this year?

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