On New Year’s Eve, about a million people head to the Times Square area in New York to watch the apple (ball) drop and shout “Happy New Year!” They get to the city many hours early to stake out their spot, and they stay in that spot for a long time, not even being able to leave to use the bathroom. It’s usually cold on New Year’s Eve, and people are bundled up, but toes must freeze and hands must get cold, and discomfort must run amok. Celebrity performers sing and dance and otherwise entertain the attendees, then the famous 10-9-8….ONE happens, and people kiss and hug and then wait until they can actually leave the area. Then the sanitation crews work all morning to clean it all up. I just don’t get it.
As part of this celebration of the end of one year and beginning of the next, people make New Year’s Resolutions. They list those things they want to change about themselves and/or their lives, and they write them all down or just stick them in their heads. And they usually tell people, hey, I’m changing this or that next year. Then a week into the New Year, they’ve already broken their resolution and usually they don’t pick it back up and try again. “Ahhh, I can do it next year.” I just don’t get it.
And also as part of the New Year’s traditions, people who normally go to sleep at nine or ten or eleven force themselves to stay up past midnight so they can participate in the 10-9-8..ONE tradition, and kiss, and bang pots or blow on noisemakers and grin and say, “This year will be better!” and then they stumble into bed. There could be parties involved, or family dinners, or some sort of celebration. I just don’t get it.
Why don’t I get it? Because New Year’s Day (to me) is just another day. This year it falls on a Thursday so it’s just a Thursday. So on Wednesday night, we say goodbye to Wednesday and hello to Thursday. In my mind, that’s basically it. Maybe bad things happened to us in the past year, and “New Year’s” is a time to kind of push that stuff in to the past and say the next year will be better. But can’t we do this all year long? When something bad happens, can’t we say, “Wow, that was a really crappy Tuesday, but it’s done, so tomorrow we’re starting over!” And can’t we make resolutions all year long? I do! If there’s something I want to change, I’m not going to wait till January 1st of the following year to change it; I’m going to change it now! And if I normally fall asleep around 10 at night, what’s the appeal of forcing myself to stay up until midnight? If New Year’s Day is really something we have to see come in, I don’t see any problem yelling 10.9..8… ONE at 10pm, banging pots, knowing it’s midnight in the middle of the Atlantic, and zonking out.
So, to all who enjoy the New Year’s Eve celebrations and New Year’s Day resolutions I wish you a “Happy New Year!” Keep on enjoying the holiday! Me? I’m hoping I’m all snuggled up and sound asleep at a normal time this Wednesday night. Sweet dreams!