Opinion

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Facing Main

Worsts and Firsts

I wish you the possibility of many happy and healthy firsts in this new year

The New Year has finally arrived. I’m writing this on the final morning of 2020 while, for some bizarre reason, both of my children are still sleeping and I’ve enjoyed two cups of coffee without the interruption of “Mom, Mom, Mom!”

2020, I tell you, has been quite a year.

While I’m often listing off the ways in which 2020 was the worst year, I’m trying, in my veiled attempts at resolutions, to not immediately go to the negative but, rather, seek the positives first. Replace worst with first. It was a year for many firsts in my family: a new baby and her many exciting firsts like that sweet cooed “mama” and “dada” and those wobbly first steps. For our small business, it was a first in navigating the unprecedented year in pandemic adaptation. It was dizzying and will continue to be so until we’re all safely vaccinated, yet somehow, we made it through the lockdown and the necessary restrictions to help curtail the virus’ spread. I know our taproom employees are carrying the brunt of the mask mandate pushback, yet they’ve also witnessed the kindness of many others who follow the rules, and are grateful to find a public gathering spot that does its best to mitigate risk. Care to enjoy a beer outside by a fire pit? Kalispell Brewing has you covered. 

Celebrations and the fanfare for the New Year will be subdued this year and I know many of us are coming to this new decade carrying great loss and grief, yet the flicker of hope still remains. I must confess that I even purchased a totally ridiculous and out-of-character sequined party dress to ring in 2021, and thankfully only my family will witness such a get up. When so much of our lives have been confined by the walls of our homes, I feel like it’s only fitting to dress up, dust off the party clothes, and look this New Year straight in the face with a welcome smile and a dash of snarl, because we did make it this far, largely intact.

I hope the worst is behind us, and that as the year unfolds with hope and possibility, we can also look to the many firsts that await us on the horizon. Perhaps you’re looking forward to your first vacation post COVID-19 or that first moment you can hug your grandparents or great-grandparents, or your first day you can stop working remotely and don’t have to mess with Zoom. Or if you’re like me, it will be the first time you don sequins and shimmer and you’re thankful the public will not see such an outfit.

I wish you the possibility of these many happy and healthy firsts. Happy New Year! 

Maggie Doherty is the owner of Kalispell Brewing Company on Main Street.