Jan 01 / Simcha

Out the Door and Into 2012

From the New York Times Editorial, January 1, 2012

Perhaps you have a New Year’s Day of your own — a day when it suddenly feels as though you’ve truly left the old year behind. It may be the day you no longer have to think twice when putting the date on a check, if you still write checks, that is. Perhaps your new year started the moment the days began lengthening just before Christmas. Or perhaps you hold off for the vernal equinox (March 20 in 2012), when New Year used to be celebrated and when, in many places, you can feel the newness of the year about to burst out of the ground.

But the calendar insists that this is the start of the public new year, and so we adjust our feelings to suit, whether we stayed up late to watch the revelers in Times Square or went to bed early knowing the year would come in on its own. There is an undeniable excitement to this day.

On what other day in the calendar do you feel as though you’ve been handed a large lump of time, to be shaped as you see fit? When else do you feel time’s door closing so solidly behind you as you step out into the new world? We are like children on a bright winter’s day, all sent out to play with no demands or excuses to stay behind.

You may be a maker of resolutions — even a keeper of them — or you may have resolved to make none at all this year. It makes no difference. A resolution, after all, is just a plan to take change by the throat, when we all know that that is what change does to us, whether we like it or not. There is simply no telling what this new year will bring, and that is the very thing that makes it so new.