Twenty years ago the turn of the calendar to a new year generated much angst over the fact that early computers hadn’t provided for the possibility of a year that started with a “2”. The angst was misplaced; nothing serious happened.
Each year, of course, we do the turn-over to the next year with some degree of fanfare. But, since 2000, we’ve not given a thought to potentially dire consequences.
For the natural–plants and animals–world, the changeover means absolutely nothing. It’s just the “next” day.
The celestial world takes no notice, either. The date isn’t even aligned with a special celestial event like a solstice or an equinox, an eclipse, or an alignment of stars.
In truth, it’s just a way to measure time over the long-term, with an arbitrary decision to add another number to the year count at the start of January. And much of the world doesn’t even follow our Western tradition.
But, we make a deal of it. That first day after the switch is a holiday. We party in the hours leading up to it and, for many, the party starts with the early closing of businesses on New Year’s Eve.
Did you mark the turn of the calendar in any way other than you would mark any other day of the year? I did.
Are we out of step with the rest of creation?
Maybe! But who cares? I think it’s a great idea to mark the turn of the calendar each year with some measure of fanfare. Why?
- Life is challenging, and most of us can use every opportunity we find to break out of “the daily grind” to do something celebratory. It’s the way it’s been throughout history. Who cares that the impetus is simply another day in the marking of time?
- Christmas, for many, has been a very special time of year. Many of us wish it would never end, and it is hard to transition back to normal life gradually. So, let’s do it with a bang that launches us into that next chapter.
- The idea of having a specific date of the year to reflect and re-orient our plans and goals for another year—whether that be by way of resolutions, or simply goal-setting, or simply re-orienting our life or priorities, or just reflecting on the past year and vowing to do better—encourages us to actually do it. Otherwise, we might never be inclined to take pause to refresh our lives. In whatever way works for us, it’s a good thing. Let the turn of the calendar encourage that!
- It’s appropriate to time our “reset” close to the time when ”Day” starts clawing back some of the hours it has given away to “Night” for the past six months—at least in the Northern hemisphere (and so long as this hemisphere dictates these kinds of things, we might as well time it in our best interests; sorry, you mates in Australia!). The natural, celestial worlds and the human worlds thus align, and that’s at least a good metaphor if not an actual stimulus.
At least, that’s how I see it . . .