So many people have been anxious to see the back of the year 2020 that I suppose it’s a bit of a pity that the New Year couldn’t have been celebrated more extensively. Personally, though, I’m just glad there aren’t more headlines today reporting illegal gatherings and events to greet 2021.
But much as we have looked ahead to 2021 with optimism and anticipation, I can’t help thinking of Gatsby’s elusive green light – “the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us.”
Remembering how it’s said that “to travel hopefully is better than to arrive,” we should, perhaps, bear in mind that the year doesn’t bring any guarantees with it.
Although I don’t celebrate the winter holidays, I have taken a little more time to myself over the last couple of weeks and I’ve been reading some old favourites. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is one such book, never failing to delight and comfort, however many times I read it.
This section seemed of particular relevance when I came across it a couple of days ago. Now that the New Year has actually arrived and, I suspect, little will be found to have changed, I wonder what point in the future we will decide on as the moment when actual felicity will commence.
When Elizabeth had rejoiced over Wickham’s departure she found little other cause for satisfaction in the loss of the regiment. Their parties abroad were less varied than before, and at home she had a mother and sister whose constant repinings at the dullness of everything around them threw a real gloom over their domestic circle; […] Upon the whole, therefore, she found, what has been sometimes found before, that an event to which she had been looking with impatient desire did not, in taking place, bring all the satisfaction she had promised herself. It was consequently necessary to name some other period for the commencement of actual felicity—to have some other point on which her wishes and hopes might be fixed, and by again enjoying the pleasure of anticipation, console herself for the present, and prepare for another disappointment.