Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year's Day

Happy 2008 everyone. Let us start with the song of the day, "New Year's Day" by U2.
All is quiet on new year’s day,
A world in white gets underway,
And I want to be with you,
Be with you night and day.
Nothing changes on new year’s day.
I think this last sentence is mostly right. We always hope and plan to make the next year better for ourselves, and some succeed. But the difference between New Year's Eve and New Year's Day is really nothing other than the calendar. My boss and I were discussing this holiday and why we even have it. He said he didn't get why this was a holiday and really didn't feel special. At first, I said it probably is a practical holiday; employers know that their employees will not show up for work or would be unproductive due to hang overs (even in Utah). Then I thought about why people make such a big deal out of this changing of the year.

I told my boss that it really has replaced the pagan holiday of winter solstice...that people need something to celebrate and look forward to in the dark and cold of this time of year. But that does not explain the holiday's popularity in the southern hemisphere, where it is summer. So my revised answer is that people need to feel hopeful and in control of their lives, while at the same time able to blame the bad things on external forces.

An artificial delineation between now and the future is a perfect chance for people to feel they can start over, or improve themselves, or improve their circumstances. How things will change or get better is some times left vague on purpose other times they latch onto something bigger than themselves to explain away their path.

For some, it is a politician who will deliver them from salvation, others it is God himself. I won't begin to attempt to say which is the right way or what is the appropriate feeling for a day like today. But somehow for me, every New Year's I wake up and see the sun brilliantly shining over all that snow and ice and cold. And I feel like good things will happen to me this year, that I can make myself and my lot in life better.

I had a great year last year, and I feel this year will be even better. One of the friends we have over for dinner last night said her resolution was to not get so emotionally involved in this year's election. I hope I can do that too, it is so straining on me to follow the results, even with the euphoria of 2006 and 2007 for me. We have the same Myers-Briggs personality letters and it is amazing when things like that are so similar. We both have trouble watching comedies like "the Office" and "Seinfeld" because we empathize too much with the characters. Anyway, my resolution was to get myself back into shape. I really let myself go in law school and especially this last fall where I enjoyed too much cream in my coffee (and too much coffee).

But I think my other resolution is to know myself well enough to try to counteract the problematic aspects of myself and take advantage of my skills. What is your resolution? Do you really need to do one now, other than the handy changing of the year? What do you expect in the year to come for you and the world?

1 comment:

Marshall said...

My new years resolutions is to get java certified and blog more, oh and put more away for retirement.

For the new year I expect the credit crisis to spread to other parts of the economy. People had been using their homes as ATMs and that has all come to end in 2007. But people haven't cut back on spending. Instead are taking on larger and larger car payments, credit card payments and the whole like. This will catch up to people and have an even more damaging impact on our economy as it is so consumer driven.

I worry when Democrat take the white house that the economic catastrophe that was the last eight years will be exposed and Repugs will try to blame it all on the Democrats. Repugs finance this entire expansion with debt and printing money and now Democrats will be left with some difficult choices.