Thursday, December 30, 2004

So this is New Years...

John Lennon intoned:

And so this is Christmas
what have we done?
Another year older
and new one just begun.
Another year has come to pass. Who knew a few days ago how comparatively grateful we could all feel for our lot in life? And yet while we all look at the news at the suffering going on in Asia, the ongoing liberation efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan (with their human costs), the poverty and or continued enslavement of people in other parts of the world, we also return to our own lot in life. We know that no matter how problematic our lives may be, our headaches are nothing compared to so many others in the world. Should this make us feel guilty for feeling the weight of our own loads? Hardly. We cannot begin to show compassion to other's problems if we haven't had our own problems, and to suddenly think we aren't entitled to dealing with our own issues because 'so many others are suffering' serves no one any good.

Conversely, we must not be told 'oh, with all the suffering in the world, you can't celebrate anything.' Nonsense; how can we appreciate the good that we have in our lives if we don't revel in it once in awhile?

New Years is fast upon us, and for many its a party time. Hotels book rooms and parties, hardly a neighborhood street goes long without another local gathering, and not just the 'kids', but adults as well.

My college buddy Jude had the best New Years Eve parties in his Brooklyn, USA apartment. Good food, good people, and lots of libations. And a piano. There had to be a piano! Despite the sofas and chairs, there was always people standing about, and always room for couples to Lindy when the mood the struck them (and the appropriate tune was played on the piano by Jude, et al). Of course, dancing has never been my long suit, and remains so to this day, so I genearlly propped myself somewhere between the bar and the piano.

Then at midnight, pots and pans were brought out on the fire-escape, or down the stairs to the street, and ceremoniously banged together in unison with the rest of the neighborhood. A cacophony of noise, but pure celebration. A NYC Neighborhood New Years.

About 10 or so years ago my much-better-half and I joined her cousin and husband to ring-in the New Year at a local Holiday Inn. Buffet, dancing, champagne, and a band until dawn (I believe), followed by breakfast. We didn't last until dawn, but we all had a great time. Nice thing about those deals is that you can bend your arm to your content without worrying about 'getting home'. Truthfully, if you cannot navigate your way to the hotel elevator, you probably ought to stick to tap water.

But such celebrating is now in my past. My gal and I still watch the ball drop, then flip around to watch the fireworks in different parts of the country, but that's the extent of our 'partying'. She's usually fast asleep by 12:30.

I am more interested in watching The Honeymooner Marathon (on the WB11) than I am of most of the acts shown on 'New Years Rocking' Eve' , since half of them are hardly rock-and-roll (Billy Idol, EWF aside, there isn't much to stay up late waiting to hear, see). Usually around 1:00 or 2:00 I raise a ceremonial glass of bourbon or other spirit, toast the new year. This year I may see who has blogged and respond in kind.

Maybe I am getting old (there is but one way to prevent it), maybe because I've recently passed the so-called half-way mark, but things like New Years don't do anything for me anymore. Other than a reminder the mortgage is due, that it's time to buy a new desk calendar, there's not much more to it for me. Years ago I gave up on the myth that is 'New Year Resolutions', arguing that if its something important enough to resolve upon one day a year, it's important enough to be resolved upon ANY day of the year. So if I resolve to do things, I don't wait for the turn of the year, I just do it.

In general I start each new year with the hope that its better than the one just passed. Sometimes its easy to tell when that happens, sometimes the human tendency of myopic vision makes it appear so. Generally, I am too tired to care which.

So what have I done this year? For starters, I've survived. Again, compared to the misery that so many others share (both domestically and abroad), that's no huge proposition. And yet, it is an accomplishment when compared to others who have lives that are arguably simpler than mine. The family is healthy (all things considered), my Christmas Cold is all but gone, and I went from a boring but seemingly stable job, to brief unemployment, to a stint at a mind-numbingly boring job, to back where I started 2003: doing the kind of Systems Engineering I enjoy on a System I know very well.

It almost makes the latter half of '03 and first-half of '04 moot when you think about it.

But truly, is the fact that I did survive the year worth noting at 'year end', other than as an excuse to make a blog entry?

I suppose I ought to; I started this piece justifying celebrating the new year. If there's no reason to celebrate survival, then what else is there to cheer about?

Whatever your view on life, I bid you a Happy New Year; may the new one be healthy, prosperous, and filled with joy.

Sphere: Related Content
DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati FavesFacebook