Last Chance of 2009

>> Thursday, December 31, 2009

Today is New Year's Eve. We are all waiting around for the ball to drop, talking about what a great or rotten year or decade it was, eagerly ancitipating turning the calendar to 2010.

Have you ever wondered why this particular flip of the calendar means so much? Sure, we call it a new year -- but what does that mean? For the most part, it means we all date things wrong for a month or so before we get the hang of it. Nothing else really changes.

Religiously, many faiths celebrate the beginning of the year at other times. Medeival scholars give odd days for the beginning of the world that don't coincide with New Years. The US fiscal year begins in October. New Congressional and Presidential terms of office begin in mid to late January. Even winter already came a few days ago.

So what gives? Why celebrate? No one celebrates any other flip of the calendar ... like ... say April to May or anything.

All of our state and federal tax witholdings reset, so if you had a bump in pay at the end of 2009, you can kiss that goodbye now. If you met your medical insurance deductible, you have to start over, unless you are one of the few whose plan years start in some odd day like July 1. And, if you are like most people, your semi-annual auto insurance bill is staring you in the face any day now.

And still we celebrate. We laugh in the face of winter while it throws 2 feet of snow at us, and something ancient in our souls hopes we will still have food enough and strength enough to laugh in the face of winter when it throws another two feet right before springtime.

If we celebrate nothing else, I guess we can all celebrate the fact that we have one day, one thing, one moment where we can all celebrate together without religious overtones, weighing of spiritual holiday wishes versus inclusive language ... all without need of presents. Culturally, New Year is a holiday without strings.

It's a time for even humor bloggers to get sentimental.

For whatever reason, a new year, however arbitrary it is, is something we all see as a chance for a new beginning. And a whole hell of a lot of alcohol.

So let's make a deal. I won't check up on your New Year's resolutions if you don't check up on mine. I won't share how much you drank so long as you don't post it on any social media site.

Happy New Year, Happy New Year Bowl Games tomorrow. Don't drink and drive, and don't drink and tweet. Or Facebook. Or Myspace. And for Pete's sake, don't drink and post on Linked-in because that's where all the people you want to work with look for your resume.

In the meantime, check out for some comical New Year's superstitions. I'll see you in 2010, and I promise we will get back to being funny then.


ASK January 1, 2010 at 1:02 AM  

Written like a true professional. May your New Year be filled with joy and may we all be able to celebrate (or sleep through like I did this year) next New Years as well or better than this one.

Karin January 13, 2010 at 10:57 AM  

I've been thinking about this comment for awhile, and I just have to ask (although I know I will regret it). A true professional ... what?

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