Happy New Year!
I’ve had several discussions with people who dislike holidays that celebrate or designate the passage of time—New Years, birthdays, even Labor Day denoting the end of summer. At times, I even agree. But as my dad always asks, would you rather the alternative?
So on New Year’s Day, let’s celebrate another year together and another year of possibilities.
Instead of dwelling on negatives, I prefer having a bit of fun, playing with the one time of year when we can say “I haven’t ____ all year” or “I haven’t ____ since last year” or “I’ve been ____ all year.”
For instance, just after midnight:
“I’ve been sitting on this couch all year. Time to get up.”
“I haven’t slept all year. Better get some shut-eye.”
Upon waking up on New Year’s Day:
“I’ve been sleeping most of the year away!” or “I haven’t eaten all year!”
Usable (hopefully) only for a limited time:
“I haven’t gone to the bathroom all year.”
“I haven’t exercised all year. Time for the elliptical.”
“Those dirty dishes have been sitting in the sink since last year.”
Then there is fun you can have with loved ones. For instance:
“Have you showered today? No? Ewww, you haven’t showered all year!”
And if you’re a math geek:
“I’ve taken two showers so far this year. You’ve not taken any. That means the difference in our hygiene is so great, it’s an irrational number.”
Have dogs? New Year’s morning, you can feel like a bad pet owner:
“You poor puppies must be so hungry—I haven’t fed you all year!”
It goes on and on (though be careful, the jokes can get old!).
On a serious note, although we are the same people we were yesterday, New Years allows us the opportunity to revisit ourselves and make improvements. It’s never too late to revisit what you have or haven’t done all year—or decade—and make improvements.
Haven’t read a book all year? There’s always time to start.
It’s the middle of February and you still haven’t worked out? Why not start?
Perhaps the reason some of us don’t like to mark the passage of time is that it’s a reminder that time is finite—for us, anyway. We’re never promised a tomorrow, and that idea can be uncomfortable.
But if we look at the positive, having finite lives is a gift. It forces us to make the most of time—to recognize landmark holidays like New Years and revisit where we’ve come and where we’re going. It’s never too late to start exercising, or allow yourself that slice of chocolate cake, or tell someone how you really feel while you still can. And so as we have fun this New Years, be thankful for the limit of time and its power to help us strive.