New Year’s Observation

Note: I know it’s nearly a week after the New Year, but I started it last week and finished it now and in the spirit of living up to my statement at the end, I felt I had to post despite the tardiness.
On her blog, a friend mentioned that she’s never felt anything particularly new about this time of year, and despite its name and the requirement of a new calendar, I have to agree. I’ve concluded that I’ve always felt this way and just couldn’t reconcile my true feelings with the expected treatment of New Year’s. It’s the time-honored and revered point of origin for innumerable resolutions, the quintessential line through time marking the convergence of then and now, potential and kinetic, before and after.
It’s funny because just this afternoon I lamented the absence of snow this holiday season – and for many past seasons – and that if only there were a white winter to enjoy I might not have to drudge through the next three months of gray dormant tedium. A mere twelve hours later, a fresh and substantial blanket of white fluff silently mocks my pain.
The point, though, is that I’m about to go on about how January 1 doesn’t feel new to me now – and indeed hasn’t ever felt new – but now looking out my window and on the hour’s drive home from over-the-river-and-through-the-woods, my world shimmers under something new as if in rebuke of the earlier complaint.
Except that the complaint remains. The calendar may disagree and I’m sure all the partyers in Times Square can argue otherwise, but January 1 didn’t feel much different to me than December 31. Rather I feel that new things have started before anything else has finished, and I sit in the middle of this no man’s land of incompletion.
The observation, then, is that clearly not much thought went into assigning January the duty of bringing in the New Year. Aside from the ironic timing of the snow and my motivation to write about this, there is nothing new in January. Even the snow isn’t new; there’s always snow in January. I harbor no inclination to make sweeping life-altering resolutions during this month of dreariness that I know I will breach before the close of the month. Most of nature is hibernating in one way or another during January. Why shouldn’t I? Nothing grows or produces life now; birdsongs are silent; even the stray cats are out of sight. I hate January. Everything is trapped.
New Year should begin at an actual point of transition in the cosmos. The vernal equinox makes the most sense because it’s the time when the earth and animals are waking up. Things are new…hm…makes sense.
So I’ve set up a few placebos to provide the newness I’m not experiencing around me. College begins this Tuesday with Medieval History, followed by Intro to Critical Reading on Thursday. Bible study resumes this Wednesday and the new there is my resolution to abandon the skepticism and do the work for real. Also, I’m exercising; for real, I’m sick to death of the poor image I have of myself and I know I can change it and it’s about damn time I stop making excuses and being lazy.
Enough of my thoughts on the New Year because as far as I’m concerned life goes on as usual with out all the fuzzy-wuzzies of self-inflicted higher expectations that weren’t realized last year and likely won’t be this year. It comes down to decision and I’ve decided I’m going to work hard.

One thought on “New Year’s Observation

  1. I agree not too much “new” in January here. I do think that 2007 was a wonderful year for new things in many of our lives and I feel that 2008 is only going to be that much better. Enjoy your warm day (it’s 70 and sunny here)


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