2021 St. Croix Valley Resolutions
BY BILL RUBIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
2020 is nearly in the rear view mirror of life. Farewell. Goodbye. Adieu.
Make no mistake, 2020 had its rewarding moments. A few. They may come to mind momentarily. Births. Engagements. Weddings and civil unions. Anniversaries. New business incorporations. Graduations. New jobs. Promotions. A new or newer car. A first apartment. A home.
If a favorite team was victorious in professional football’s ‘big game’ or baseball’s world series in 2020, then congratulations. Fame and celebrations are fleeting. Many will recall champions being crowned, but perhaps a majority will be vague on the identity of the winning teams. The commercials were hilarious. Weren’t they? The memory bank suddenly short circuited.
In March a pandemic gripped the globe. No need to plow old ground. Business, industry, government, education, and healthcare all turned on their collective sides. One headline in early December read, ‘July is the new January’ meaning most workers typically use their remaining vacation or personal days around Christmas and return after New Year’s Day. In 2021, the most realistic plan to return in-person is July 1st. Fingers crossed.
High speed bandwidth at home and work has been stretched. Schooling may occur at a kitchen table or couch. Or in bed. Remote workers appear dressed up on screen, but come on, Green Bay Packer PJ’s? The pandemic proved once and for all that digital access is a necessity. And in 2020 the term ‘zoom’ took on a new meaning beyond ‘to move or travel very quickly’. Oh to have been part of zoom’s public stock offering a while back.
The St. Croix Valley in Wisconsin is full of resilient people, businesses and institutions. A hardy lot we are. And a pandemic brought out the best. Kindness, generosity, and volunteering. When bars and restaurants closed, community members responded with take-out orders. More than one elected or appointed official heard it from both sides of arguments. Public and private healthcare personnel stepped up, many working extra hours, seven days a week. Teachers, instructors and professors learned new delivery techniques.
Traditional New Year Resolutions are suddenly passe. A new diet; more exercise; more family time. Raise the bar. For 2021, the St. Croix Valley hereby resolves to lead the way – starting in neighborhoods, in communities, in classrooms, and with business, industry, and civic organizations.
Borrowing a couple lines from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo during a daily COVID update last March, he said, “There are two great New York expressions that I use all the time. Anything I build in New York always has two expressions on it. One, Excelsior, says it all. Ever upwards, ever upwards. Aspirational. We can be better, we will be better. We’re going to aim higher. We’re going to improve ourselves. Excelsior, our state motto. It’s on the seal behind me. Excelsior. And the other expression is e pluribus unum, out of many one. Unity, unity. You put those two things together, it says it all. Aim high, do better, believe you can do better, be optimistic. And the way you get there is through unity and togetherness and cooperation and through mutuality and community.”
Challenges are ahead in the St. Croix Valley and across this great nation. But we got this!
Happy 2021 in the St. Croix Valley.