Musings On A “New Year”

andyallen —  March 14, 2011 — Leave a comment

[3 of 4] I wrote a few posts several years ago before I started my blog…remember MySpace?  There are a few I felt were worth bringing over to the blog, so here you go.

[Originally posted December 31, 2007]
When I was growing up, I pretty much visualized my year around the traditional school calendar.  Since my Dad was a High School Teacher, this was how I saw it from the get-go. Summer was June, July & August.  Fall was September, October & November.  Winter (also known as Christmas) was December & a little bit of January.  Spring was February, March, April & May.  Yes, I know this doesn’t track exactly with the modern seasonal calendar, but it’s how I looked at things.

It’s intriguing to me how big “New Years” is to us.  As far as I can tell, the actual transition from night to day is pretty much the same on this day as most others.  I get it, that we have a calendar and time and this helps us keep track of things, or at least gives some sense of order to our world.  That makes some sense to me.  What’s intriguing to me though, is the value so many of us place on this one specific transition.

There are a lot of “New Months” during a year, so why don’t we celebrate on January 31st for “February’s Eve”?  And the whole Leap Year thing (which happens this year) should also be reason enough for a party…right?  So why the big deal about changing the year?  What is it about this that so many of us decide to use it as an opportunity to make declarations of significant life changes?  You know the list: loose weight, eat healthier, exercise, spend more time with the family, cut my hair, get organized, pay off the credit cards, read more, watch less TV, blah blah blah blah blah….and if you’re a good Christian: spend more time in “The Word”, have a daily quiet time, read through the bible in a year (or in 6 months if you’re an Uber-Christian), pray more, tithe, maybe even start a home group and lead a bible study….all that, the usual.

I’m wondering why I need an excuse to change things in my life?  Why do I need to give myself permission to live better just because it’s a ‘new year’?  I’m guessing if it’s that important, I should already be doing it.  I’m guessing that if I decide to do it simply because it’s a new year, I’ll probably fail.  I’m guessing there should be a better reason than the year reading 20XX and not 20XY.  I’m guessing.

I’m guessing because I’ve already lived through a lot of these new year changeovers and rarely seen any change.

Tomorrow is January with a new set of 4 digits following it.  Tomorrow might be different than today, but probably not…unless I make sure it’s different.  I don’t think I’ll make any resolutions tonight…maybe I’ll change my mind…I’m not sure though.  If I’m going to make some changes in my life, it’s because I need to change some things in my life, not because it’s a new year.

So, tonight, I’m going to have a party with the family and some friends.  I’ll celebrate life…I like living.  We’ll watch some “20XX Year In Review” show, watch an expensive shiny lit-up crystal ball “drop” in New York, have a toast at midnight….and I’ll kiss my bride, that’s always fun. Then I’ll sleep and wake up just like I did this morning: enjoying my kids, adoring my wife, loving my God, chasing my dreams, and hoping to change the stuff I don’t like about myself…a normal day I guess.


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