2021 – genuine reasons to be cheerful

While we were all keen to see the back of 2020, the new year hasn’t quite lived up to the ‘fresh beginnings’ hype just yet. But, and we’re choosing to look on the bright side here, there are plenty of reasons to look forward with optimism and anticipation for the year ahead.

So, for now at least, push aside the doom and gloom. Here are nine things, large and small, that will lift spirits in 2021.

The jab

Strange how the prospect of a shiny needle being injected into our arm takes the number one spot in most people’s wishes for 2021. While the covid news so far this year has been awful, there is at least now the brightening hope of a vaccine delivering us from its grip.
Whatever your views on projections for vaccinating an entire nation, the fact is more than two million of the most vulnerable have now got some protection against the virus. There’s a plan to vaccinate the government’s top four priority categories by mid-February, a hope that all those 50+ will be covered by April, and all adults by the autumn. Nurse, the screens!


Always a bright spot and never needed more than this year. There’s a real possibility that while life still won’t have returned to normal, we will have made real progress by the time the daffs are pushing through.
Days are already noticeably longer and while the temperature gauge is still stuck frustratingly around the zero mark, we can at least envisage it won’t be too long before it starts to climb. If you had the foresight to plant something to brighten up the view from your window, then your work is soon to pay off. For the rest of us there’s always the parks and countryside.


While some sport has returned, many of the biggest events are set for a 2021 reboot after being scrubbed from the 2020 calendar. Currently in the schedule we have the prospect of the Tokyo Olympics and football’s Euros, the return of Wimbledon and the Open and in cricket at the end of the year the start of an Ashes series down under. If we’re REALLY lucky, we may even get to see some of it live, in person.

The delayed Olympics are now due to start on July 23

Line of Duty

TV stood up in 2020 and proved its worth. With much of regular life cancelled, many of us sat out the months binge-watching our way through Netflix, iPlayer, Disney+ and the rest. We’re promised some big hitting returns in 2021, including a Friends reunion and a third season of Netflix blockbuster Succession. But for us there’s one programme that stands head and shoulders above the others on our must-see list. Welcome back Ted and the rest of AC-12. What’s been keeping you? Definitely looking forward to having our heads mangled by another Jed Mercurio plot-twister.


They didn’t really happen last year and in 2021 they’re not going to be without their complications. But whether you’re hoping to start jet-setting again, or are just desperately looking ahead to a time when a trip to the Lakes doesn’t involve triple-checking current lockdown regulations, you deserve a break!

Live events

Also not likely to return in full swing just yet. But we can now foresee a time when a live gig or theatre trip might be part of our social options once again. Glastonbury and the big summer concerts are mainly pencilled in the diary, though they may be quite a different experience to what we knew previously. Rediscovering the thrill of live performance will be quite a moment.


Another saviour of the last 12 months. Whether it was a sudden zest for fitting in a daily walk – as we knew it was our only chance of leaving the house – reviving a previous passion for running or cycling or joining the nation in a Joe Wicks workout, life would have been even more limited without getting up off the settee and putting our bodies to work.
This year offers the opportunity to expand on the goals of 2020. While we don’t know where mass participation events will be at, hugely popular charity fund-raisers like Race for Life are being marked back on to calendars.

Joe Wicks, one of the heroes of 2020, doing it all again in 2021

Making plans

Or should that be, making plans and not having to cancel them. So much enjoyment in life is the anticipation of planning events, trips, birthdays and treats. There’s only so many times you can summon the positivity to add dates to the diary knowing that, in all likelihood, you’re just going to strike them out again. Just like you did the previous four times.


No, we’re not wishing the year away. 2021 has to be an improvement on its predecessor. But it’s going to take a while for everything to get back to normal. So, while taking pleasure in the renewed liberties 2021 will offer, there’s the prospect that looking further ahead, 2022 could be the year that the harshest memories of covid finally begin to recede. And we get back to everything we like best.


What are you looking forward to in 2021? Planning something major? Or is it the prospect of the return of a small part of pre-pandemic life that’s lifting your spirits?