Predictions and Prognostications: A January Compulsion
We just can't seem to help ourselves. Well, go on then, let's have a go.
Did you know there is such as a thing as a ‘food forecaster’? Yeah, me neither.
Apparently, it is a legitimate career choice though, to try to predict the sort of food trends that will show up on our plates this year. According to a summary of different predictions featured in the New York Times this week, we will go for briny flavors, a more sustainable diet for the planet and ourselves (yay!), but also high end jello shots (?). My favorite quote from the article:
“Avocado will be leaving toast and arriving in cocktails”.
I think trends and our interest in predicting them are funny. But it’s also genuinely interesting to see what comes back around in different guises, what sticks around, what surges and fades, and how wrong we are about predicting what we might do with ourselves this year.
Like, who really would have thought that skinny jeans would still be a thing?
For a while, the millennials were all about knitting. We all learned how to pronounce quinoa. Then everyone was playing pickleball. Cupcakes were e v e r y w h e r e, zombies dominated the small screen, and people started dancing on TikTok. Then there was a pandemic, and the trends became yoga pants, pandemic puppies (or watching Olive and Mabel), and gaining weight. Then it seemed we all had a hankering to destroy democracy, stay working from home (mostly), and not be binary.
Now in 2023….where exactly are we going?!
Here are my completely and totally unscientific predictions for 2023. Trust them at your peril, join them if you don’t value your reputation, laugh at them if you just want to enjoy your day.
We will invent an alternative to the gym
Ok, admittedly, this is just wishful thinking on my part, but the whole leaving-your-house-to-go-to-a-box-with-exercise-equipment thing has always been weird and I feel like this might be our post-pandemic moment to figure out something better. I know there are things like Cross Fit, which is sort of an evolution, but it’s still another ‘exercise shed’ to go to and honestly I find Cross Fit people a little….intense. And yes, I know some people go to classes and pole dancing and water aerobics and things, but it still all feels separated from real reasons we actually move our bodies.
Now, I go to a gym and I spend an hour picking up heavy things and hauling my body weight up and down and rowing while going nowhere. And it’s good for me. But isn’t there something better?
Perhaps there will be a new craze for ‘farm gyms’ or something, where we show up in a barn at 6am and an actual farmer makes us move hay and haul water, and reposition chicken coops and so on. Or go to a house renovation on ‘demo day’ to remove cabinetry. Sort of like Cross Fit but actually useful to someone else as well.
Maybe there will be more evening community dog walks (with our pandemic puppies, or our elderly neighbors’ pup) where we also meet for a beer afterwards and (gasp!) socialize. Perhaps we could invent weekend litter-runs or something (jogging with a trash bag and a grabby stick).
I don’t know exactly, but perhaps 2023 is the year we figure out how to exercise, have fun, and be useful all the same time.
‘On Being’ with Krista Tippet will be required listening in all schools everywhere
Except in Florida where the governor bans it entirely because in Episode 98, a guest said the word ‘gay’.
Hippies will become cool again.
Young people are so…..energetic at the moment: committed to causes, eager to change the world, attached to social justice and making a contribution. And they’re so sophisticated and….freakin’ organized.
Surely young people just can’t keep this up! I think we’ll see a return to mellow protest songs, flower power, and communes. We will again try to heal the world by generally refusing to be a part of it. And if that doesn’t work, we will smoke more weed.
To be fair this might be more of a 2024-thing.
Lunch will make a comeback
I was in Office Depot the other day (getting wall calendars if you must know - what a terrible selection they had. Either kittens in hammocks, or clichéd sayings about serenity - utter crap). Anyway, on a display at the end of an aisle were some lunchboxes. Adult lunchboxes - with little spots for forks and tupperware, and freezable inserts to keep your sammies chilly ‘til noon, and all sophisticated-looking in blues and greys.
I wanted one.
But I don’t commute anywhere and it would be weird to take my lunch from the kitchen counter to the kitchen table in a lunchbox. Even though I’m tempted.
Still, I think 2023 will see us embracing lunch for what it could be: not just a hastily-grabbed wrap or a ‘protein bar’ while dashing between meetings, but a genuine break in the day, where a small, but delicious meal can revive our flagging spirits, give us an excuse to talk to each other, provide some good nutrition, and let us experiment with interesting food. Without all the pressure of ‘dinner’.
Perhaps we will see a revival of the simple but delicious Ploughman’s Lunch, or a trend towards the longer multi-part French lunch with a small glass of white wine perhaps, or maybe we will invent a lunchbox charcuterie thing to take to the office, or create a new take on a bento box. I have no idea, but lunch is going to get more attention again.
‘Employee Mutiny’ will become a thing
People are getting all uppity in the 2020s and think their opinions as employees matter. The nerve! Some people have started unionizing, others have sent letters of complaint to the bosses, and half of Twitter upped and left just because the boss said they had to be willing to sleep at the office. Pfft!
My prediction is that the C-Suite’s days are numbered. Or at least the way we currently think of the C-Suite.
Companies will have to radically restructure how they take care of employees and allow them to contribute to society or there will literally be takeovers and/or mass resignations. I think 2023 will see some interesting behavior and changes.
It is, perhaps, the Year of the Employee.
The Metaverse will die
Clearly, this is the prediction that will not come true, but I admit that part of me really wants it to.
But then I am already (digitally) old.
I prefer the look of real people, even when they have anger in their eyes, rather than avatars who don’t.
I prefer smelling and seeing a real view outside the window, even when I want to add more trees and remove smokestacks.
I prefer the feel of paper, the scratch of a pencil, and the occasional grammatical goof, to relentlessly crisp digital script.
I prefer real coins to bitcoins, real art to NFTs, actual space to cyberspace, real meetups to virtual ones.
I prefer reality, even when it’s not ideal, to a virtual reality that’s perfect.
(I know, I know….there are some great and very equalizing aspects of the Metaverse, but as a friend of mine says……I just can’t want to. )
Finally, my puppies will be happy in 2023
The only prediction I’m 100% sure of. Because they always are.
So there you have it. I know that this post will be utterly unhelpful to you as you navigate 2023.
Right….I’m off the gym then.
Yes, that was a little sassy and a tad opinionated. But maybe that’s a new trend for me in 2023…?! You will just have to wait and see.
I volunteer to be placed on the list of farm gyms. Anyone is welcome to come and rake leaves or trim branches or clean flower beds or weed the garden! For your health!
This one had me giggling out loud and, of course, came on the day I'm stuck reading it in the waiting room of the Hyundai service department. Folks are looking at me.