I'm not the kind of guy who gets all sappy over a new year. Perhaps it's because I've seen so many of them that the bloom is off the rose, so to speak. I don't make resolutions or wax on poetically about how great or bad or sad or meaningful the past year was. After all, a year is just time: 12 months, 52 weeks, 356 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes and 31,536,000 seconds. Tic-toc, tic-toc.....
Some years are more fun than others. Some more prosperous. Some more tragic. Some just plain tougher. But, it's almost always a mixed bag of some or all of the above.
Do I always hope for the new year to be better than the last? Sure. But because I have no one through whom to live vicariously as I get older – kids, grand kids and so forth – as I age, each successive year is pretty much as the last only I have fewer things to do, fewer people to share them with and less money to finance them.
In truth, if it wasn't for my career – winding down though it may be – as a freelance journalist that spirits me off to various locations two or three times a month, I'd be in a rut so deep I couldn't see over its top.
The consequence of all of this is that I don't get particularly revved up about New Year's Eve/Day. Yes, it's another year; but anyone who thinks it's a monumental fresh start of some sort, is kidding themselves. It's a turn of a page only to the extent that time marches on. There is no real magic in it. Days are equal-opportunity time frames. Every day is a new day offering a similar clean slate on which to improve your self and your lot in life. January 1st is no different.
I don't bother with New Year resolutions. Yes, I am captain of my own ship, but I have no control over the waters through which I sail. I can't calm the sea or raise the wind. Many people use the New Year as an annual opportunity for self reflection and that self reflection as a precursor to a pledge of self improvement over the course of the next year: I will lose weight, I will save more, I will be more kind and on and on. That's fine in my book, but time is funny. Most of us are procrastinators to some degree. This works against any intention to make a change over a time span as great as 31,536,000 seconds. These intentions – as good or noble as they may be – tend to get lost over the course of a year.
Nope, changing one's behavior is a day-to-day struggle, requiring a re-commitment every day. Framing change over the course of a year provides an out from fighting the good fight every day. There is always tomorrow, right? Each year has 364 tomorrows. Today is one, in fact.
I've found that enforcing a change in oneself is a battle that must be waged each and every day. Tomorrow is for losers.
On that note: Not Happy New Year, but happy new day!