3 – 2 – 1 … HAPPY NEW YEARS!!!
All year round we wait for New Years Eve. The promise of new beginnings and an end to ones. For some it’s another chance to conquer old resolutions, and for others it’s another chance to build up some new resolve. For those among us who have made the most of another year gone by, new years reminds us of the passing of time in a celebratory sense; a promotion; an anniversary; a birth perhaps. For many, the passing of a new year is only a sorrowful reminder of things we lost over the past year; a job; a life; a love. For others, new years reiterates the fact that time moves forward whether you are willing to move with it, stuck at a standstill or trapped in the past (never a good place to be).
So what are we all expecting as the clock strikes twelve? In a weird way, new years acts as the dividing point in the year, separating those who are happy with where they are in life and what they have, from those who wish they were farther ahead on the road to success or happiness, whatever the goal may be. Judging by the desperate effort we all make to have concrete plans on Dec 31st, how, or with whom you choose to ring in the new year reflects under which category you fall.
Social protocol, at least in north america, is that you spend new years eve with as many friends and/or family, as possible. Even I, a staunch believer that New Years Eve is exceptionally overrated, agree that there is a romanticism to celebrating the passing of another year with the people you hold most dear. That being said, I also appreciate the magic of celebrating New Years Eve in a quieter, more meaningful fashion. Perhaps it’s my age (for I doubt few people under 20 would agree) or my particular situation (having a stable relationship and good friends and family nearby), but I for one, would be a huge fan of spending new years over a nice dinner in the company of people I love. Talking, laughing, and really enjoying the company of those around me. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be plural. A romantic dinner with my husband sounds like a delightful way to ring in the new year. Yet new years is traditionally a night that demands excitement. For most, just dinner wouldn’t suffice. If you’re going to a house party, it has to be a party where people will undoubtedly drink too much, or where the build up is much more enticing that the actual result.
So why do we do it to ourselves? Get all dressed up simply to watch the clock countdown to midnight when, after the final strike, we all head right down a path of (for most) unfulfilled resolutions and unrealistic expectations of what the future has in store. What we need to start doing is stop believing in the new year. The next year will not be better than the last if over the course of 365 days, you have done nothing to make it so. Hyping up the evening and getting all dressed up does not mean that you leave a successful year behind, nor that you’re promised only good things to come from here on in.
I’ll tell you why I do it. It’s because life is busy and we don’t often get the chance to put our dancing shoes on and paint the town red, so to speak. The fact that on this particular night, the rest of the population has decided to do the exact same thing (resulting in long lines, no taxis and extraordinarily priced entrance tickets) does dissuade me slightly, but every other year or so, I am more than willing to join the masses, put my face on and enjoy a night on the town.
But don’t make it more than what it is; just another night out. This is not a night for planning your future or weeping over the past. So forget about it! And if it’s the midnight kiss that’s got your blood pressure up then when the clock strikes twelve, than you’ve got two options. Kiss your partner, your friend, your family member, your dog… whatever floats your boat – OR – whether you’re spending the night with friends, family, colleagues, a significant other, other singles, or in the company of your wonderful self – raise your glass to the sky in defiance of expectation and protocol, and cheers to having made it this far, for in the end, that’s all anyone can really ask for. To live.