2013. It actually feels strange writing that down. What is it about a brand spanking new year that's so, well, special? Do things generally change that much in the single second it takes for the world to leap from one calender to the next? Of course not. Why then, do we recognize January 1st as a kind of elevated day?
Because it pretty much is.
Let's face it, when we look back on the years that have passed, each one has it's own unique flavor and feel. Countless individual events have turned these twelve month chunks of time into single units of memory and experience. While these events may not have been grouped organically into these units (the geniuses behind the modern calender, whoever they were, deserve credit for the ordering method) they nonetheless represent very real chapters of life.
January 1st, then, is the starting gun, the bell that begins another round in the Vegas boxing match of life. While the exact spot on the calender inhabited by the first day of the first month may be merely symbolic, it's important nonetheless. We abide by the calender, after all. It's a measurement tool of our society, just as surely as a yard stick is.
In short, January 1st is indeed all it's cracked up to be.
Which takes us to New Year's resolutions.
New Year's resolutions are not senseless. Why wouldn't we resolve to do something positive at the beginning of a new chapter in time? Start dates give order to the mind and January 1st is the universal start date on the calender. The ability to stick with our New Year's resolutions, however, is another matter entirely.
Do we ever really see them through to conclusion? I never have (I gave up nicotine on January 1st of 2002, but the date was inconsequential to me at the time). That doesn't mean no one has, though. Or that no one will. The key, I think, is to focus as much attention on our resolutions as we do on the new year. If we can maintain our passion, even while January 1st dissolves into memory, we stand that much more of a chance of seeing our goals through to completion.
Let's get to it.