As I write this, it is the morning of December 31, 2020. The last day of the year that we are glad to see end.

This morning, I went back and read the blog post I wrote one year ago today, on December 31, 2019. I actually got a few things right:

“Welcome to the time where change moves at an alarming speed.”

“The good news is that Y2K thing doesn’t look like it’s going to be a problem.”

So far, so good. For the decade of the ’20s, I said:

“I predict that the Yankees will win at least one World Series, the Patriots will win at least one Super Bowl, and Alabama will win at least one National Championship.”

Alabama still has a chance this year, and there are still nine years to go. But who knew that Tom Brady would leave the Patriots?

“In the 2020s, there will be at least one major political scandal in Washington, DC. It could last up to ten years.”

I’m definitely sticking with that one. I think it may have already come true.

“The coming ten years will also see some iconic things disappear from the American landscape. Who could have predicted that Sears, Kmart, RadioShack, and Blockbuster would be pretty much gone by the end of the last decade?”

Sears and Kmart combined now have well under 200 stores. There is literally one Blockbuster left. And now, things aren’t looking good for GNC, Brooks Brothers, and Hallmark Cards. Even Forever 21 is struggling. I guess you can’t stay 21 forever. Pier 1 has closed all its retail stores and gone exclusively online. Stein Mart is gone to that great celestial mall in the sky. It looks like a lot of terrestrial malls will be opening spaces there soon.

Here’s one thing where I hit the bullseye:

“Change will continue to accelerate year by year, even day by day.”

Bingo. Understatement of the millennium. Little did we know.

So what are my predictions for 2021? I hope that if nothing else good can be said about 2020, it has taught us a valuable lesson: Don’t make predictions. Just live your best life today.

Finally, this:

"Many years ago, I read about a movie theater (somewhere in Kansas, I think) that had a light bulb that had burned constantly for like 70 years. Now whoever wrote down the day they installed that bulb was quite a record keeper. Surely that bulb is gone out now, but somewhere in an obscure closet or storage room, maybe in your home, the last functioning incandescent bulb is still functional. But one day, maybe before the end of this decade, it’s going to blow."

I think I still have two incandescent bulbs in my closets and one in a storage room. When I go up into the attic tomorrow to put away the Christmas decorations, I’m going to replace the attic bulb with one of those super-bright LED bulbs.

In the midst of change and upheaval, I trust that the light of hope has not gone out in our country, our world, or in your heart. From my house to yours, warmest wishes for a better year in 2021.

©All rights reserved, David B. Carpenter 2020. No portion of this may be published or reproduced without the author’s written consent.