Clock hands edge around the face of our every day, pushing our mornings into afternoons and then into nights. But once a year, we pay special attention to the small things, things like smiles and the seconds that take us right up to the brink of midnight and tip us over into the new year.
The stroke of midnight might go by unnoticed on other nights, but December 31 is special. Of all the 31,536,000 seconds in the year, the last ten are sparks skittering away like golden snowflakes into the cold night. Of the 525,600 minutes in a year, the last one ends with a giant flash of brilliant glitter. After all, everything new should be celebrated with fireworks.
New Year’s is different from other festivities, however, because reflection is just as much part of this party as silly hats and sparklers. With anything or anyone, it’s impossible to say goodbye without sorting through reminiscence first, and the clock pushes us into these thoughtful spaces. Whether you’re shuffling your feet and sticking out a stiff arm to the year for a blunt, awkward handshake or, under the soft glow of blessings, giving it a kiss on both cheeks, the new year is standing at the door, knocking with party poppers and the echoes of fireworks.
It’s a time of old and new, and as we change dance partners for the next number, we have a valuable chance for retrospection in the moments it takes to reach out and take this next year’s hand.
Every year, I’m full of resolutions and plans. I could paper my house with to-do lists, and every January, I get out a chair to put a few more lofty goals up on my already creaking shelves. This year, however, I’m trying something new. I’ve actually put some of these wild ideas into words, tracing them with ink that makes them more finite and more real than a general wish for a good year. I hope to do many new projects, make a lot of different things, and learn even more.
I don’t know what this year will be like, what it will say to me as we turn through the days, if I’ll step on its toes sometimes or it’ll step on mine, but who knows? We might be well matched. I guess I’ll know for sure a year from now.
How about you? Do you have any resolutions?