Though I loved David Bowie like the brother I never had, find the Princess and her mother’s dual death rather touching, and will never be able to wear a raspberry beret without breaking into song — from my skewed world view, I still say 2016 was as good a year as any.
My two college graduates are gainfully employed. My spouse still goes off to work every day, unearthing news stories. And I have reason to believe that my junior-at-Rutgers child is, at least on occasion, attending classes. My freelance business could be better, but we’re managing to pay the bills. We just can’t find room in the budget to get the dishwasher fixed and pray every night to be blessed with another 20,000 miles per car.
New Year’s is a time of reflection. We think about where we traveled, what we achieved and which dear friends we got to see. We remember beautiful weddings, painful divorces, baby births and college graduations. We think about those we lost. We mourn the good who died young. The not-so-good who died old. And all those who left huge holes in our hearts.
New Year’s is a time of hope. When we’re young and single, we hope to find the party of a lifetime. Or at the very least, to be positioned next to someone kiss-worthy at midnight. When we’re old and married, we simply hope that we’ll be able to stay awake to see the ball drop. And when we’re somewhere in between, we hope we get invited somewhere, anywhere, just so we have something to do.
New Year’s is a time of change. We make all kinds of resolutions, vowing to change who we are and what we do. We promise to stop overeating, stop overdrinking, stop overspending, stop meddling and stop worrying. We pledge to keep a cleaner house, organize 50 years of photographs, stop hating the dog and start writing a novel.
New Year’s is a time of guilt. It tricks us into believing we are stronger, more courageous and more flexible than we are. It points out our flaws, drives us to drink and builds us up just to let us down. It makes us feel inadequate and weak and bad about ourselves when we take that January 1st bite of a brownie or hair of the dog after driving to the gym and not going in.
But still, I buy into the bunk every year. I plan my celebration. I make my resolutions. And I eat all the junk I can hold in my ever-expanding stomach. Because I know, come 2017, I’m going to be carb-free again.
So today, I’ll eat that bagel for breakfast. Drink that bourbon with dinner. And watch that ball drop at midnight.
And I’m going to enjoy it. Today, tomorrow and well into 2017. Because if nothing else, New Year’s has taught me that just like old minivans, old habits die hard.
Happy New Year to you and yours.
And kids, as you look for the next best party tonight,
remember that God created Uber for a reason.