Happy New Year, Prompt readers! Now is often a time for reflection, resolutions, and rowdiness. As the new decade folds open, we checked in with our writers to see what they’re looking forward to in the coming year because if you want to have a great year, you want to come out strong and swinging, right?
Our bags are packed. We’ve done all we can to prepare: build furniture, attend classes, read books here and there. It feels too soon. New Year’s Day. Induction day. The car waits idle outside. I go to the kitchen. The freezer overflows with future dinners. I pull out a bag of frozen liquid, sharp and distorted.
Tonight’s my wife’s last meal of solid foods. Then she’ll only be allowed liquids. Until when? Until the baby’s born, I guess. I’ll look it up during the hours we’ll be waiting in the hospital. The bag contains a broth I made after Thanksgiving. She said she’d want it for when she goes into labor. So now’s the time. It’s only a few hours until we’re confined to the hospital, a few hours of sitting and stressing and laboring.
A few hours until 2020. That’s all I’m looking forward to. Short-term stuff. Today. Tomorrow. Thursday. And then parenthood and the rest of our lives. Fun? Hard? Unexpected? Yes, all of it. And more that I cannot know.
Something about me that surprises a lot of people is that I am not at all goal-oriented. Therefore the idea of a new year, and a new decade at that, is lost on me. So I can’t say there’s anything meaningful I want to take on in 2020, and the only travel I have planned is within driving distance (for now).
When I look in my rearview mirror, however, I do see a person who has been making gradual strides to simplify. To consume more thoughtfully and less altogether. To show up when I say I will, for myself and for my closests. To edit out the things that feel like an obligation I no longer know why I’m keeping. Fantasy football, for example, was fun while it lasted but I can’t say I missed not playing this season.
So I guess I will look forward to doing more of the same next year. I like my life! So I’ll keep it how it is, only better.
Familiar with Rumspringa, the Amish/Mennonite tradition of allowing teens to relax and rebel against cultural norms for a short period of time, before they fully commit to the church/community?
Well, in 2020, this 37 year old Jew is looking forward to Yumspringa, a two month period (coming this Summer) where I rebel against my current Kosher norms, exploring all the food I’ve previous denied myself–shrimp, pork, crab, eel, rabbit, alligator, cricket, etc, etc–in an effort to determine the overall value of taste versus tradition.
Check your cholesterLOL levels. IBDetermined to chronicle my intestinal distress.
2020 is not just a hindsight!
For me, I hope 2020 is the continuing trend of fine-tuning the craft that is my life. Being kinder, working harder, and noticing more of the good stuff. My 2020, if I’m not allowed to plagiarize off of a motivational poster where a dog teaches a helmeted cat how to ride a bike without training wheels, will include a trip to Italy, lots of basketball, and squeezing as much out of summer as I can.
For the country, 2020, is a big ole powder keg that I am both looking forward to and fearing the hell out of. If 2016-2019 has taught me anything, its that contingency plans are real important.
So, 2021 Josh, if you are reading this and it all worked out, nice job! Treat yourself to an extra glass of champagne on New Year’s Eve!
I am looking forward to plenty of events, moments, and milestones in the year 2020, but more than any of those things I’m SO EAGER for November’s presidential election. Every single day, my mind drifts toward an image of me standing in the ballot box, selecting anyone or anything that isn’t Donald J. Trump. I would happily cast a vote for a 74 year-old rusty swing set if I that was my only choice.
In 2016, I was far too passive and complacent. I thought my impecunious political contributions would be sufficient, but alas, Russian bots and Facebook have much deeper pockets. I thought that the Access Hollywood tape would disqualify that monster from achieving the highest office in the land, but I forgot how loathsome and antediluvian Americans are toward women.
I don’t know who the Democratic candidate will be, but I’ll be ready to enthusiastically support whoever emerges from the field, with phone-banking, door-knocking, and countless other hyphenated words, not to include “pussy-grabbing.”
I’m looking forward to Jeff Bezos banning all sales of all media related to the French Revolution and the storming of the Bastille.
I am not looking forward to the never-ending election season, the associated commercials, emails, phone calls and polls that mean nothing except for what the people reading them want them to mean. I am looking forward to the upcoming panoply of Joe Biden gaffes, new music from literally everyone but Taylor Swift, a new book dropping, international travel and my son’s fifth Birthday to accompany my fifth grey hair. But mostly I am looking forward to the muse in all of her glory and beseech her to continue blessing me with the ability to render seemingly fantastical cogitation into articulate blather that leads to a plethora of inspiration that will enable me to make the case for the downfall of Mark Zuckerberg and his ability to never seem to blink, and his iniquitous platform that gave birth to antisocial behavior.
When I think about the year 2020, I think about vision. To see with 20/20 vision is to see perfectly. Hindsight is 20/20 as they say. I look behind me and I see a decade full of transition and transformation. I became a mother. Twice. The past 10 years were completely about my kids, becoming a mother, and then re-discovering who I was as a person on the other side of that. I also learned that no one really cares about those kinds of stories. You’re probably bored reading about this already. But let me tell you, motherhood dissolves you. And if you’ve never had the experience of being completely dissolved and then putting yourself back together on the other side, you’ll have a hard time understanding what a journey I’ve been through. It was a big one. And I feel accomplished for doing that and doing it well.
I look forward to the year ahead of me and I want to see the world with clear eyes. I want to write with clarity and find words that make you laugh and think. I want to be present with this phase of life while it lasts and simultaneously lay down the foundation for the life waiting for me on the other side of young children. I want to make my corner of the world a better place through kindness and compassion even though I am human and I fail at that over and over again. I want to listen to my heart, but not in a naive or stupid new age-y kind of way. It can be a courageous thing to listen to your heart, to sing your song, to be exactly the person that you are. To make intelligent, informed choices from the place that makes your heart sing. Yes. That’s what I want. Kindness, compassion and all of us living lives that make our hearts sing. Like in the Trolls movie. Justin Timberlake can even lead the sing-a-long. It’ll be fun! Make it so, 2020, make it so.
I am looking forward to new adventures in 2020 – big and small, fictional and real. Looking back over the past decade, I’ve made some strides personally, growing from an introvert to an introvert who can hide behind a veil of extroversion. This decade, I am hoping to continue on my cheeseily-titled journey of growth and overcome fears that have plagued me for a long time. What will that entail? Who knows? But I want to find new joys in my immediate surroundings and countries away and use them to create worlds of my own. Preferably, some of these travels would take place in the house from Up but if that is not possible, I will settle for a cute pair of tennis shoes and a nice Airbnb.
I look forward to all the articles about how the 90s will officially be 30, and knowing that one of them will be something I wrote for a pub I’ve been chasing for years.
I also look forward to my golden birthday, as I will turn 30 on January 30th. I plan on getting extremely fucked up with my husband and my best friend. The best time to try absinthe is on a milestone birthday, right??