Russ Batenhorst

Russ Batenhorst

We, as a general rule, do seem to be fascinated with turning pages.

You might be reading a book. If it’s so good you want to keep getting through it as quick as you can, it’s a real “page turner.”

Each time you turn the page, you’re farther along in your adventure.

It’s an endorphin rush to flip the page. When it comes at the end of a chapter, all the better. You’re turning the page to the next designated set of adventures that makes it an all-new chapter.

Maybe you’re a fan of Bob Seger because of his haunting ballad, “Turn the Page.”

Of course, as Nebraskans we give that song a little extra due just because he mentions Omaha. We like any song, show, movie or whatever that mentions our home state or a part of it.

In Bob Seger’s case, we feel a little sympathy for him because he mentions being “east of Omaha.”

So, well, he’s in Iowa.

Turning the page isn’t completely unlike turning over a new leaf. We’ve all done that at some point of our lifetime.

We realize something just isn’t quite working out as we wanted, so we’re turning the page. Starting all over.

There are people who are professional page turners. They’re mostly limited to turning sheet music for a virtuoso pianist or other musician who are so into their performance, or it is so complicated, to force total dedication to both hands.

Thus, they need someone to turn the page. Just think of the predicament they would be in if the page turner skipped a beat.

Each time we turn the page on assembly instructions we’re one step closer to putting together that new bookcase.

Every time we turn the page in that cookbook, we’re one step closer to a culinary masterpiece.

Heck, even each time I turn the page in this newspaper, I’m one flip closer to reading the comics.

And now, we are just hours away from one major page turner.

Whether you’re doing it literally or figuratively, at the end of today, we’re turning the page on the calendar.

This is no little turn, either.

It’s not ripping off Thursday on a daily calendar and finding Friday.

It’s not the turning of any of the past 11 months and finding the next one.

This time it’s the big turn. It’s a brand-new year, and — all together now — none too soon!

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who says, “2020 has been a great year, I don’t want to see it end.”

People who normally never stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve will stick it out this time, just to make sure there’s not a December 32, 2020.

We had such great expectations.

We were so happy to see 2019, with its floods and other disasters, go away. 2020 was going to be great. It was even a cute number — 2020. So much symmetry.

Who knew a pandemic was just around the corner? Who knew racial unrest and exposure of the ugliness of discrimination would boil over?

Good thing we didn’t know or we might not have turned that page.

So, now here we are again.

Turning the page to a new year, optimistic that this next set of 12 months is going to be better.

We’ve had bad years in the past. On a personal level, I can name two or three that stick out as bad years.

On the bigger stage, has there been many as bad as 2020?

The year 1968 comes to mind. Civil unrest, assassinations, an increasingly unpopular war.

A nation torn apart. But we got through that one.

In fact, 1968 even ended on a high note with the Apollo 8 mission, the first to send men to orbit the moon.

Maybe the onset of a COVID-19 vaccine will be our high note to end this chapter. Maybe that will let us “turn the page” and get back to better days.

We are a resilient group.

But our problems won’t all go away with a turn of the page. We have to learn lessons of this past year. We have to get better.

So, let’s turn the page and dive into the next chapter.

Happy New Year!

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