Whoops There Goes Another Rubber Tree Plant

Something I almost tweeted the other day, but didn’t: “In a year of win-some, lose-some, I feel like I’ve been given far too many of the latter and not enough of the former.”

I didn’t tweet it not because of its sour grapes quality, nor because it sounds a little too much like whining — I have no problem with either, I have to admit — but because I was waiting for another shoe to drop before surrendering to my pessimism so fully. Maybe, just maybe, I thought, maybe I could get something unexpected good happening that would balance out so much of the bad this year! Better not tempt fate by saying anything bad just yet!

You know where this is going, of course. While I’ve not had a final no on the dangling shoe in question just yet, I’ve had a fairly definitive “yeah, probably not unless something dramatic changes,” so… yeah. Let’s all start playing Aimee Mann’s “I Should’ve Known” and start dancing for a brief moment of self-shadenfreude. (Is there such a thing? Maybe not, given how confused spellcheck seems about the concept.)

I remember, back when 2021 was getting underway, that a couple of smart people said something to me along the lines of, “I bet this year is going to be worse than 2020,” the very idea of which seemed near-impossible to me. Why, we’d had a pandemic break out and multiple industries — including the one I worked in — had shuddered to a halt as a result. By January of this year, though, we’d all created a new normal that meant that there were plans and contingencies, and surely everything would get better from that point onwards?

Dear reader, how innocent and naive I was. It took less than a month of 2021 to reveal that it was going to be a harder year, and the numerous bait-and-switches of potential good fortune and welcome opportunities have only underscored that sad fact. We’re a month and change away from the end of the year, and while I hope it means an end to this trend, I’m far too cynical to truly believe that at this minute.

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