Looking back on the past and forward to the future

Published 10:30 am Thursday, January 6, 2022

January can be a challenging month even though we celebrate the beginning of a new year often with great jubilation—champagne, fireworks, glitz!  Reality comes quickly on the heels of the joy and optimism we felt with the new calendar, replaced with concerns of the holiday spending we considered essential, the focus on our bodies and food intake, and the shortened hours of daylight adding to our gloom.  

Then, there’s the concerns for the supply chain shortages.  Who knew those tiny little computer chips would be in short supply?  And think of how many products/items they go into!  Smartphones, laptops, cars.  The list goes on and on.  It’s all about supply and demand, supposedly caused by the pandemic.  Who knew we would hear about these large cargo containers clogging up the ports for months now, hindering the delivery of medical supplies, holiday gifts, and toys?  

And why is there a shortage of cream cheese?  Well, according to Bloomberg, there was a cyber attack on Wisconsin-based Schreiber Food.  The company was unable to fully operate for several days and is one of the country’s largest marketers for dairy products, including cheese slices, yogurt, and the all-important cream cheese.  So, if you enjoyed some cheesecake this holiday season, thank your lucky stars.  Luckily, I had a small stash of cream cheese and was able to stir up the cream cheese frosting for my cakes.  

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So many other shortages.  Think lumber and other building supplies which saw a significant increase in price along with the limited quantities.   Then there’s the tremendous need for building supplies in Louisiana and Kentucky which saw such devastation from the hurricane and tornadoes.  And who among you are waiting for parts for an appliance or vehicle?  I remember the search for new furniture last spring and being told it would months before it could be delivered.  Luckily, we found just what we were looking for at Oxford Home Furnishings and got it delivered the next day.  Hooray!  

Let’s talk about your New Year’s resolutions.  Were they different from past years?  How did the tradition of making resolutions begin? According to Wonderopolis.org, the tradition dates all the way back to 153 B.C. The month of January was named after Janus, a mythical god of early Rome. It seems that Janus had two faces, one looking forward and one looking backward, allowing him to look back on the past and forward to the future. The Romans thought that this afforded them the opportunity to be forgiven for their wrongdoings in the past, so they would make promises and give gifts believing that Janus would bless them for the future.

I subscribe to the “looking back on the past and forward to the future.”  It gives me balance.  I look back on the past with gratitude for my many blessings.  And I wonder why I sometimes have to remind myself to count my many blessings.  If each of us looked for things for which to be grateful, we would live a more joyous life. I am grateful for small acts of kindness.  And I look forward to the future with optimism and hope.  Why not paint your future with positivity?  Be inspired.  Have faith.  

My New Year’s wish for us all in 2022 is that it is vastly better than 2021.  And come on computer chips!

Bonnie Brown writes a column for The Oxford Eagle. Contact her a bbrown@olemiss.edu.