New Year’s Eve….when some get really drunk and grope strangers, others sequester themselves for meditative reflection on an arbitrary date, and most watch Seacrest suck at trying to be Dick Clark. I’m not a big new year’s fan, but I respect everyone who wishes to celebrate almost any date for a noble reason.
Although the nobility is mostly lost in the celebrating, this arbitrary date of celebration is more worthy than most. We aren’t celebrating the wrong birth date of an alleged savior by demonstrating all the traits he condemned. We aren’t giving thanks by being ridiculous gluttons of consumption. We aren’t celebrating the birth of a nation based on social values most of us get wrong. We aren’t celebrating the incorrect date of the alleged rising of the prior mentioned alleged savior and still getting all the values wrong. No, this celebratory date is all about individual definition. That personal ambiguity gives it gravitas.
So, why do you celebrate new year’s? Another circumnavigation of the sun without dying? A reflection on the successes and failures of the past round trip? A joyous hopelessness and defiance of the universal forces that dictate our existence? For most, I would guess it is a combination. There is a tally and self judgment. We have successes and failures. We each prioritize their significance. In that, I respect new year’s celebrations. Each of us takes measure, has some drinks with friends or sits with a favorite blanket and says, “It is what it is. I did pretty damn well, or I might have done better. It’s all on me. Here’s to another try.” I find great hope in the human ability to continually come out swinging.
I think that is what new year celebrations are really all about…to come out swinging. Regardless of our successes, our limitations, and our failures, we strive. We strive to get up, succeed, win, hit a home run, walk the earth, see a sunrise, comfort a loved one, find love, expand our limits, do great things, do little things, go further, learn, appreciate, survive, be loved, create, bond, empathize, sympathize, grow, explore, search, find, expand, question, lust, nest, and feel. We strive.
That is something to celebrate.
Here’s a beautiful essay I came across on this ultimate night of this year:
Finding Your Way Home I don’t know Dan, the author, but in full disclosure, he is publisher of a great literary journal in which my work has appeared.
Here’s a beautiful song about striving:
I’m Darren. I strive. Some days I strive for distant stars and on some days I celebrate getting out of bed. I wish you safe travels in all you strive for in this newest year.