Of New Years and New Year’s

444056I’ve been around for a while now. 2015 started unlike 2014 did. This year, I opted for not minimal New Year resolutions, but no New Year resolutions at all. You see, one thing I noticed about resolutions, is that they are exactly what they are… just plans with a fancy name based on a date that has no effect on any natural aspect of our dear mother earth. New Year would have been a life changing experience to witness if maybe the sun didn’t stop shining for the whole of New Year’s Eve, or if all our injuries and illnesses got healed prior the first day of the New Year. If all our mistakes and ill-doings of the previous year were wiped out and replaced with life changing epiphanies of success based on our individual needs and wants, then  I would pick out a pen and paper, my computer, smartphone, or calendar and plan for a New Year experience. Our emotional attachment with this date has become an excuse for getting away with what we planned for but didn’t achieve in the course of the previous calendar. For others it is a dream of rebirth and transformation mostly experienced a midst behaviors that they want to change. Back when I used to celebrate the coming of a New Year, a friend of mine, half drunk and one hundred per cent high tugged at the sleeve of my shirt at 12.00am and whispered to me, “Happy New Year bro, this year I ain’t drinkin’ no more. I’M DONE!”… He called me and invited me for a couple of shots of some fine brandy a few nights ago after yelling,” Happy New Year sleepyhead, I’m so fucked up right now. Come drive me home!” I hung up on him. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the emotional impact of pulling out a whole year experience off the walls of a house and replacing it with a new array of calendars and how some email subjects and email contents of the New Year to bosses and clients have the wrong year in them. I understand how the marketing teams of most of the companies I’ve seen keep sending season’s greetings to clients and members of staff all the way to ten full days after the first day of the New Year (I mean, even my computer’s word editor insists that I have to capitalize ‘new year’ even if both words are in different parts of the dictionary in small caps.). What I do not understand is the undying ignorance and forgetful nature of people who have the same New Year resolutions for four to five years in a row. What I do not understand is why most people have to wait for over three hundred days to make life changing decisions. Naturally, the human race is a social species. The aspect of being part of a group when it comes to life changing decisions is a source of motivation for millions of people all over the world.

A friend of mine got shot the other day while he was trying to stop a robbery. He didn’t know that the robbery he was trying to stop was a success and had already turned into a getaway. He was being all that nature made him out to be… a hero. He’d been home for the New Year celebrations and had just got back. I’m sure he had a few plans or ‘resolutions’ up his sleeve and I’m almost sure that dying during the first week of 2015 wasn’t part of the list. I’m sure kicking the bucket isn’t one of anyone’s bucket lists unless the individual is a basket case, which would make buckets inapplicable all together. He hadn’t planned for random multiple public mourning ceremonies with huge speakers blowing music that he probably never listened to just like he hadn’t planned to be the unsung but slain hero of an efficacious stick up. I’ve been watching people all week make money off his story in the name of mourning. Nature has a crazy sense of humor. As much as I wouldn’t know what specific people plan for at the beginning of a new year, I know that the unpredictable nature of tomorrow is supposed to be reason enough to do what we have to do today in order to reach our goals. The New Year is a viable opportunity to set a starting point for under confident people who feel that they need an extra ounce of encouragement from a loud crowd.

But let’s face it. If we changed our lives based on a fixed calendar date and at the same rate and time in different places all over the world, all we’d have is change to celebrate and no one to motivate. Everyone would be a winner, an achiever in their own right. No one would ever have time to recognize another person’s efforts and progress. Innovation and new talent would be ignored if everyone had something extraordinary to show for the previous year. The fact that some individuals and groups of people actually do make a difference whether negative or positive (Depending on what you consider positive or negative) in between the year or over a few years creates a platform of comparison which in turn encourages us to do what is necessary regardless of the date and time. There is no one time in this planet that a single personality would see themselves as a complete success in all aspects of life at the end of the year. What we need is not a universal crowd inspired by broadcast messages and social media shout outs. What we need is to ensure that the same enthusiasm to change directions, tendencies and behaviors is kept alive all year round in order to prevent rewriting resolutions and plans every time a year ends.