Thursday, January 01, 2015

New Year's Day 2015

     So here I sit, Company, on New Year's Day 2015, and last night I got to thinking about New Year's Day.  Over the years, this day has taken on a social and cultural meaning far beyond simply marking the start of one more revolution of the Earth around the Sun.  In some places, where they do not use the Gregorian calendar, the New Year begins at some sort of sensical time.  Like say the end of the harvest or the end of the fall monsoon, or it is tied to a lunar calendar in some way.  But that makes too much sense.  Here is the West, we chose to just go ahead and set an arbitrary date and let her fly.  Great.  And then we invented time and the International Date Line, so that in New Zealand and Australia they are celebrating the New Year just about the same time all of the Unpaid Interns are arriving here for work on New Year's Eve.  And if you live on an island in the middle of the Pacific or one of its connected waterways, it could get really strange.  If you live on a tropical Pacific island then maybe you don't care a whole lot because, let's be honest, you live on a tropical Pacific island. But if you live on, say, Little Diomede in the Bering Strait up in Alaska, well then you could watch the fireworks from Big Diomede in Russia - only 6 miles away - 23 hours before you get to kick in your resolutions.  That's messed up.
     But then again, we as Western humans have that knack for arbitrariness, don't we?  We draw lines on the ground that don't follow the terrain, and expect that one one side of the line one sheriff will respond, and on the other a different one.  And they are in different Federal Reserve Districts, or sales territories, or nations, or whatever.  And for some reason it makes sense to us.  It is the same with New Year's Day.  We have set an arbitrary date on the calendar on which we are all going to make dedications to ourselves, our dieties, our friends, etc. that we are going to be different. Better.  Improved.  We all go out and join the gym and vacuum the house every time that we come home, be nicer to people, etc, etc.  The, by the time I trundle in with a cake and some gift cards to celebrate my dad's birthday, the bulk of us are back to lying around on the couch after work and sweeping the crumbs on the floor under the edge of the counters with our stocking feet.
     But maybe that is okay.  Maybe, just maybe, we need to flip the script and sort of redefine the way that we look at New Year's Day.  That is, once the hangover has worn off and we can handle natural light again.  For some of us, the whole resolution and change thing works great, and if setting that arbitrary day of the year to stop smoking, start running, stop killing hookers, whatever allows you to be successful at changing yourself, then more power to you.  But considering how many resolutions just sort of fade away over time and never come to complete fruition, maybe we should just focus our energy on being more accepting of who we are.  In lieu of changing ourselves into who we want to be, or who we think we should be, maybe we should just accept the fact that the kitchen floor is always dirty, that there will always be a dead Baltic hooker bleeding through a tarp in our trunk, that those love handles are with us to stay, that the Unpaid Interns will always get in trouble for bringing us the wrong coffee even if they bring us the right coffee.  Some times the act of simply accepting who we are can be as effective and beneficial as changing our ways to suit what others think we should be doing.
     Now please do not think that I am attempting to say that one path is better than the other when it comes to New Year's and your resolutions, because I am not, Company.  You do ahead and do what you want.  This has just been a little bit of food for thought for all of you as we start the New Year.  But I resolved to change myself into a media mogul who makes people think.  And I am golden on Day One.
      Here is wishing all of you and yours a happy, healthy, and successful New Year from all of us here at Big Dave and Company.

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