Oh, boy. It seems that the wild ride that was the most welcome end of 2020 and early January news kept many of us from the annual “what’s hot and what’s not” lists. My family’s temporary relocation has postponed my pithy observations even longer. Most of the time I’m just amused by the trends predicted for a new year but this time was different. I was at least mildly curious about color and fashion trends, but what I really wondered was how any 2021 trends (and, actually, everything else) would be impacted by the increased time we have all spent at home.
In case you missed it, a few of the predicted trends won’t surprise you:
- Whether caused by the elimination of trips to the office or to the beauty salon, it seems that, going forward, many women are choosing to embrace a simpler beauty routine. In fact, a sudden stop to coloring one’s hair has left lots of people ready and willing to celebrate the gray and all the hours they will gain back by ending the cover up!
- Along similar lines, it looks like ath-leisure wear will be holding its own again in 2021. And why not — if people are going to continue to juggle work and the supervision of at-home learners, some part of them may as well be extremely comfy. They deserve it. Besides, I’m sure I’m not the only one who does NOT want to know what “boot cut skinny jeans” look like.
- Again, in the “no surprise there” category builders have noticed a movement away from open concept homes to those with a few more interior doors. Live, work, study and stay home? I don’t care how much anyone loves their family — bring on the doors!
- Worldwide, there are signs that the color of economic recovery will be green. The European Union will be issuing $240B in green bonds while 180M trees are to be planted in Colombia; environmentally friendly solutions, both large and small, are popping up all over. We are to expect more digital innovation; I find myself wondering what sorts of choices employers and employees will face when it comes to how and where (and even when) to work. I also wonder how many employers are surprised at how many of us truly are more productive when working from home.
But What About the Bernie Memes?
And then along came the next week. Like so many other Americans, after having my heart broken by violence at the Capitol, I could not decide whether to stick my head in the sand or stay glued to news stations 24/7. I managed to find a little bit of moderation, erring on the side of too much information and grieving for what we have lost. Again, like so many of my peers, I felt as if I was holding my breath through the inauguration. I was afraid of more violence — another terrorist attack on the most fundamental part of our way of life.
The ceremony was beautiful and I was completely taken by Amanda Gorman —but who wasn’t? The music, the swearing in — the energy was hopeful but a lot of people talked about continuing to feel an emotional hangover from the attack on the Capitol.
And then along came Bernie. And the Bernie memes.
But Before There Were Bernie Memes…
A long time ago, I worked in Burlington, VT. The last job I held there was as part of a statewide political campaign. I left the area late in 1980 — just about the time Bernie announced his candidacy for mayor of Burlington. Sometimes I think it was because of my job that I knew of him and his plans to run. I have a vague memory of him coming to the office a few times and volunteers planning to move to his campaign when the one we were working on ended. Or maybe I knew about him just because Bernie has always been Bernie. I suppose it doesn’t matter.
Some years later, my work took me back to Vermont. By this time, Bernie was a Senator. So was Patrick Lahey. And whether or not I agree with any or all of their positions, I can tell you one thing about both of these people: they have integrity. I came to know them (and their staff members) as people who would fight for the needs of their constituents and provide most excellent service in the process. I didn’t care about any of the rest of it. Still don’t.
So when all the silliness associated with the Bernie memes came along, I was grateful. We had something to laugh about. A way to be silly together even though we still couldn’t gather in groups. The Bernie memes brought some lightness and a sense of humor that felt a lot like hope. The memes were creative — and I don’t remember seeing a single mean one. (And if you’ve got one, please keep it to yourself.)
Bernie Memes Plus Compassion For the Win
Creativity and that famous Yankee ingenuity came into play when Bernie’s team quickly created a line of official merchandise that raised $1.8 million dollars for Vermont charities. Feeding Chittenden, Meals on Wheels, and the Chill Foundation were selected. After almost a year of watching the growing need for emergency food ignored in favor of nepotism, nastiness, and greed, attention to the needs of hungry Vermonters felt like good medicine. Like chicken soup for… no… no… oh wait. Like chicken soup for broken hearts. Warm. Comforting. Familiar.
This did not start out to be a political post. I hope it didn’t end up as one. After a long time of social distance, my intention is simply to appreciate all of the positives that come my way. And that includes my collection of Bernie memes. I hope you enjoy them, too.
(To view the collection, click on an image until it is full size. You can then either click through them or choose the tortoise or the hare for you viewing pleasure.)
It’s easy to tweet about this. Go ahead… share the love.