Thursday, January 03, 2008

New Year's Pet

People treat the new year like it's a new president. It's as if the old president has stepped down and gave way to a new one that will fix everything. The first of January is just like any other day you live, you're not suddenly one year older, it's not suddenly the end of a year, it's just another day. Time isn't even aware that we've divided it into years.

It's as if the new year will wipe a slate clean, as if it will erase the sad part of the past. If only it were a new birth, that would make sense, but nothing is born. If you want the new year to be better, work each day to make yourself better. The year has no say in this, events don't wait for a year so that they happen. A good event doesn't wait for a good year to happen and a bad event doesn't wait for a bad year. The energies of the world are agnostic of new year's day.

There's so much pressure to celebrate a new year, or to become a new person and make resolutions. These pressures are as short lived as the day itself, midway through the month of Jan all is forgotten and you're back to living again. All those resolutions of being a better person, speaking wisely, gossiping less, working out more, getting angered less and being more dedicated to what you're doing will disappear, just like they've disappeared last year. Not many people can remember their last year's resolution for a very simple reason, they're not resolute.

The fact is that if people want to be something, they don't forget all the year and decide it on new year's. If they really wanted to do something they'd be working at it all year round. I do admit that there's something appealing about a new year and a fresh start, perhaps wanting to wipe a slate clean, forgetting all the bad history with a friend or lover, forgetting all the harm you've done others or the harm that's been done to you. But all this is not about the new year, it's about the fresh start.

Who changes overnight? Who decides to be something and becomes it overnight? It's a myth, it's the illusion that people can change at will and dramatically. There's no such thing as a new year, but there's a new day, and if we can treat each day like we treat the new year we'll be better off. We can celebrate a new day in our own way, we can make resolutions, we can evaluate what's really important. But what am I saying... I'll have none of that ... all these things we delude ourselves into thinking. Change happens when we decide to be resolute every day in our lives, not just special occasions. No one really has the energy to do that every day but I suppose it's better to be so on more days than not.

I don't know how people expect the year to have been good if they've done nothing about it and they don't intend to do anything about it. The government will still be corrupt at the end of 2008, people are still going to be cruel, and we're still going to do the things we always do... and at the end of next year we'll make new resolutions and we'll feel optimistic again like some beast has gone and been replaced by a pet. But our pet is turned into a beast each year.

2 comments:

LouLou said...

I know Time doesn't care how we divided but we tend to function better when we set ourselves targets and tie them to a time framework like a week or a month or a year.

It's just human nature. Days, week, months and years, that's what time means to us. It's how we relate to it.

Will E. said...

I agree, we divide time to suit our needs.