There was a time when I looked forward to a new year.
But not so much anymore.
I think I might have outgrown the New Year's concept. I mean, it's all arbitrary anyway. January 1 basically serves as the demarcation date for starting over. And "starting over" basically implies a series or collection of goofs, mistakes, errors, miscalculations and Lord knows what else that were made in the previous 365 days that got us to where we are anyway.
This sounds grossly pessimistic, although I am by nature (I think) not a pessimistic person. It just is, because there is no such thing as perfection in our human condition.
So we muddle on.
Yes, yes, yes. Good stuff does happen, and that, too, is part of our condition. But very few of us wish each other a happy new year for the good stuff to keep continuing. Peel back the layers and it's likely we'll see that we wish each other happy new year in the hope that things get better for all of us.
It's a good wish to have.
I used to like New Year's because it is a continuation of the holiday season, coming on the heels of Christmas, as it does. We're in winter, and we need reasons to celebrate while freezing our tails off. Plus, we get a lot of time off. Holiday time off from school all those years, which actually conditioned me in my adulthood to expect time off from work. I still feel it. Talk about entitlement, sheesh....
Anyway, I'd park myself in front of the television around 11 p.m. and watch Dick Clark count down the new year, drink some cheap champagne, kiss my wife, and hope the new year would somehow be better than the old one.
Turns out, the new year almost always pretty much resembles the one we just put into the history books. It usually takes me to Jan. 2 to figure that out.
Still... I don't have to stay up late to see the crystal ball drop in Times Square. I don't have to drink my bubbly vinegar, or kiss my friends on the cheek, to reach another demarcation date. But I still do, only now with a seasoned eye and an earlier bed time.
So Happy New Year. Toot the horns and let the streamers and confetti fall.
We get to start over, my friends. Muddle on.