Goodbye 2021, Hello 2022: A New Chapter

In January 2021, I wished my family and friends good health and success. I thought the COVID pandemic would be over before December. How wrong I was! The Delta and Omicron variants arrived swiftly and worrisomely.

We’re still in the pandemic; consequently, restrictions have been reintroduced or tightened. COVID passports and tests have become pet peeves for travellers. They have hampered many people from being with their families on two of the dearly celebrated occasions of the year: Christmas/December and New Year.

So, what is an appropriate wish for our family and friends in 2022? Is it the usual “good health, peace, prosperity, and happiness”? Which of these is the most important thing to have? Can someone be happy when suffering from poor health? Many poor people in developing countries are naturally happy. Peace is not easy to attain when you’ve poor health. Prosperity contributes to happiness and peace of mind (i.e. not worrying about food, shelter, medicine, etc.)

What is a good New Year’s greeting or wish? What does a sincere message do to us? For family and friends afar, it’s a way of letting them know that they have not been forgotten. Greetings and good wishes bring in positive feelings. They translate into smiles and nods.

Yesterday, at noon in France, I wished friends in New Zealand a happy New Year (They were the first ones to welcome January 1, 2022). Then, at 3 pm, I rang my family in Queensland, Australia (midnight there). From 12 pm, my mobile phone and e-mail box have been busy with greetings from France, Luxembourg and Belgium. This morning, at 1 am, I greeted our son in London; at 4:30 am, our other son in Canada; at 9:00 am, our friends in the USA. (The difference in New Year times made it possible for me to greet the lovely people in my life. I’m going to bed after posting this).

Aside from texting and phoning, I looked at the photos of my sister’s birthday party in Australia held a fortnight ago. One of them is a table with a copy of the song “That’s What Friends Are For”. I imagined myself singing along, particularly the chorus:

“Keep smiling, keep shining

Knowing you can always count on me for sure

That’s what friends are for

For good times and bad times

I’ll be on your side forevermore

That’s what friends are for”.

Some friends become family in real terms. Some family members are friends forever. Some colleagues are friends to lean on during tough times at work.

I wish you sincere and lasting friendships. Marvellous New Year! Bonne Année! Feliz Ano Nuevo!

(This article also appears on my website Rolade Societal Blog - roladesocietalblog.com)