New Year's Eve 2017
New Year’s Eve
It is the 31st of December in the year of our Lord, 2017. As I contemplate the beginnings of New Year, arriving in a few hours, I wonder at the notion of a “new” anything.” Won’t tomorrow just be a repetition of today, a series of endless groundhog days where we live out the remainder of our lives in trying to get by as best we can? It can be if we let it. Or it can be a new beginning for us to try anything that our hearts and minds can conjure.
I never used to think about either when I was younger. Each New Year brought an expected series of challenges that in overcoming them would enable us to survive and prosper in an often-difficult geographical and economic environment. Life, as is often quoted, is no bowl of cherries, nor was it ever billed that way. We rose every day of our lives, like medieval knights of old, ready to go forth and joust with adversaries trying to make our way.
After a certain point, when some degree of economic security is reached, the pressures ease a bit. The wolf was not at the door this day and we were pretty sure we had the rascal on the run. But then, as we all know, you can get hit by a bus, or more likely by a distracted texter who was playing games on his/her I-phone while driving. Or perhaps, the specter of illness or disease might rear its ugly head. No wonder we slog through life dodging bullets and disaster, happy at day’s end that we are still here among the living.
Perhaps, that is what New Year’s Eve ire really all about, a celebration of escaping for another calendar year from of all of life’s vicissitudes. It is a well-earned mental sigh of relief that for this year, you have eaten the bear and not the reverse. And of course, as we age, there are the children, grandchildren, siblings and others that we hope have also “avoided the bear’s menu.”
Maybe it is this perpetual struggle that allows us to wish each other so fervently a “Happy New Year” on December 31st. It is a sincere wish that those whom we love and care about will avoid, for the coming year, the entire sorry array of pitfalls and illnesses that plague the human condition and reach for those lofty goals of achievement that we once held onto so dearly.
So, for one more year, we have crossed the finish line into the fabled land of tomorrow. We stride forth boldly hoping to finish next year’s race and the one after that. And, we hope that each of those whom we care about will win their race as well. Perhaps collectively we can watch out for the bears that lie ahead of all of us and enjoy what years we have left in peace and harmony.
With that comforting thought, we fervently wish those many whom we call friend or family a very happy and healthy New Year. And hope that you spend your time wisely amidst people who both love and admire you.
Our very warmest wishes for Happy New Year to each and every one and to all a wish that you be here next year to enjoy the same celebration of life.
Joe & Mary Martin