Every now and then, you know when you’re in the throes of a moment.
Lately, we’ve been dog-paddling in mayhem, staggering and lurching from crisis to crisis.
There are people among us who know how it’s all supposed to work, and even they are afraid.
More than once, the year has been summed up by the phrase: “Go home, 2018. You’re drunk.”
But just for now, let’s not stare too long in the rear-view mirror. Something might be gaining on us. Besides, the mess and squabbling will be there when we circle back.
In the meantime, there are some good things to dwell on.
For one, daylight is gaining on darkness.
Here in Northeast Ohio, we’ve barely had snow. Every day without it is one less chuckhole; well, at least in theory.
The faithful certainly hoped, but no one — no one — foresaw the Cleveland Browns teetering at the cusp of the playoffs a year after an 0-16 season.
Swaggy rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield, who should be the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year, looks like he might be the real deal, just as ex-Browns receiver Josh Gordan has turned out to to be exactly who we thought he was.
In fact, the Browns have done so well, it’s almost possible to forget how badly the Cavaliers have played. Almost.
Former Cleveland Indians shortstop and fan favorite Omar Vizquel will be on next year’s ballot the for Baseball Hall of Fame. While there is no crying in baseball, there is whining. If Vizquel is inducted, it will give Tribe fans something to cheer about, given the team’s recent fire sale.
Speaking of which, pitchers and catchers report in about six weeks. Even if you don’t follow baseball, this — not robins or daffodils — is the first harbinger of spring.
Last month, more than 100 women were elected to the 116th Congress, one of the youngest, most diverse in American history. Of the 40 newcomers heading to Washington, 35 are women, including 13 women of color and eight men of color.
What’s good about that? For one, the new body looks a lot more like America; and two, they can’t possibly do any worse than the 115th Congress.
Because it cannot get out of its own way, the White House repeatedly has diverted attention away from some of its own positive news and initiatives, and that’s a shame. The economy, the banning of bump stocks, federal prison reform and creating Opportunity Zones to help distressed communities should be celebrated.
One of the hottest toys this past Christmas had nothing to do with guns, grand theft auto or blowing up aliens. It’s “Baby Shark.” And yes, while the song is annoying enough to make you want to turn it into sushi, it’s nice to know kids still can be enamored by something as simple as a plush toy.
If you love holidays and you’re sorry the biggies are about to have passed, no worries. Even as we speak, stores are gearing up for St. Patrick’s Day and July 4. The best Valentine’s Day cards, by the way, already have been picked over.
Best of all, despite our many problems, America remains a symbol and a beacon of hope. The world’s greatest champion of human rights was built to withstand the slings and arrows of corruption and incompetence.
But not ambiguity.
The natural-born optimism that comes with being American cannot exist apart from a free press and the constant vigilance of citizens who are willing to take ownership of the future.
Reach Charita at 330-580-8313 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter: @cgoshayREP