A Perfect New Year

If you had to guess off the top of your head, how many days of your life would you classify as perfect?

If you’re like most people it would be a very short list.  I would bet most people would list their wedding day or the birth of a child as the only perfect days they’ve ever experienced.  It’s not that we don’t try, Lord knows we do, it’s just that perfection is extremely difficult to achieve.  Look no further than how seldom a Major League Baseball pitcher pitches a perfect game, or how rare it is for an NFL team to have a perfect season and win the Superbowl.

Perfection is hard to achieve.

Yet, as hard as perfection is to achieve, there’s one day every year that a lot of us think we can pull it off–New Years.  And subsequently there’s one day of the year that I hear the most people express their disappointment with–New Years.

For a holiday that doesn’t typically involve gift-giving or family, I’ve always thought it was odd how New Years seems to be one of the most anxiety-filled days of the year, but it’s no surprise why.

As the new year approaches, whether it be on social networking sites like facebook, or face-to-face with our friends and family, we hear all types of predictions and resolutions.  We hear what people are going to do more, what they’re going to do less, and usually how this new year is going to be the year that they put it all together!  When people have a great New Years Eve celebration, they believe that the energy and momentum of that night will carry on into everything they do throughout the year.  On the flip side, when people have a bad New Years Eve celebration they say it’s a sure sign that this new year just isn’t gonna be their year!

At times I’ve fallen victim to these cliches myself.

Over the past 8-10 years I’ve always heard my friends complain about how lame their new years was, or how new years is “always a let down.” My guess is that the only reason they’re disappointed is because they tried to make it perfect; the perfect outfit, the perfect date, the need to be at the perfect party at the perfect time, the need to know exactly how things are going to play out before hand. It’s all pretty exhausting when you think about it.

But no matter what I did on new years, whether that be throwing a event, watching the ball drop at home, going to church, or partying, I have never been let down.

Then it dawned on me that the reason I’ve never been let down by New Years is because I don’t view new years as a celebration of a New Year at all–I actually view it as a celebration of the previous year.

To me, New Years Eve is the day that I sit back and say “thank God I made it another one!” and I reflect on the loved ones and friends that didn’t make it to this new calendar year.  If anything, New years to me is the birthday party of last year, not a time to make bold predictions about how next year is going to go, good or bad.  And as I think about it, I realize that we would all be better off if we all adopted a little bit of that philosophy into our lives, because life is short, and none of us know what year will be our last.

Not that I don’t set goals, or view the New Year as an opportunity to make an assessment of my life, but I think that celebrating or denouncing a year that we haven’t even experienced yet with predictions that are usually wrong and resolutions that you probably can’t keep is just a way to set yourself up for disappointment, especially when you could be celebrating the joy that comes with making it to another year, and enjoying that year one day at a time.

To some of you this may be how you already view it, so I apologize for preaching to the choir.  But to others of you who have been “let down” by new years time and time again, I would suggest that you view each new years as a birthday party for the previous year, celebrate the year of life that you’ve just made it through, and not put pressure on one day to define how your year goes.  Don’t celebrate the new year until you’ve given the proper credit to the year that got you where you are, then enjoy life one day at a time, because that’s what life is really all about anyway.

Live life. Love life.  Happy new year!

Word is Blog

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