Friday, August 10, 2007

It's That Time Of Year Again

(originally posted 12-28-06)

Click on picture to listen.

No, not Christmas. Let the masses celebrate Christmas as their favorite all-time-mass-consumption holiday. Let’s face it; not too many people think of Christmas as anything but visions of dollar signs dancing in their heads. I mean, really.

I’m talking about New Year’s Eve.

I like New Year’s Eve, and not because I go out “celebrating”. Heavens no. I like it because it’s a time of reflection; a little pause before the new year kicks in and everything just picks up where it left off; the only change being that you have to get used to writing a different number.

More people should become friends with New Year’s Eve. Of course, it’s not a commercial holiday, unless you are a bar-owner, so it probably won’t catch on like Halloween or Christmas. My feeling, though, is that while Christmas has lost its spiritual meaning, New Year’s Eve has taken up the slack…….well, for me anyway. And it can for you, too.

Let’s face it; Christmas is depressing for most people, for a variety of reasons. Oh, c’mon, you know it is. Maybe you don’t want to admit it, but it’s true.

New Year’s Eve, however, gives one permission to be sad and wistful and sentimental. You don’t have to feel guilty for feeling that way.

You can think about people you don’t see anymore, for whatever reason. People who were important in your life for a moment, or for a lifetime. You can have a glass of wine and put on a song that reminds you of a memory that you shared with that person. You can play Perry Como, singing “Catch A Falling Star”, and remember your dad singing that song to you when you were just a tyke (as an example). And maybe you’ll shed a tear, but you’ll smile, too. You can play a song from 1973, and remember feeling carefree and independent, and singing along to the car radio at the top of your lungs with your best friend.

You can celebrate any moment that you darn well choose to celebrate. There are no expectations, no obligations that you have to meet. You can be alone with your thoughts.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I think people don’t have enough “quiet time” anymore. Everything is “have to’s”. I have to do this; I need to get this done. Just stop for one day out of the year. Take some time and think about what really matters to you. I mean what truly matters. Set aside one day from the meaningless tasks. Isn’t there enough of that going on every day? How much do you really do in your life that matters one way or the other? Seriously.

When all is said and done, there are a finite number of people who make our lives worth living. Maybe it’s your dad, maybe your mom, your kids, your spouse, your best friend.

So, give it a try. Stay home on New Year’s Eve. If you feel the need to dance, put on a song that really makes you WANT to dance. I don’t care if it’s “Old Time Rock & Roll” or if it’s some stupid song that you’d only play in the privacy of your own home, like “Achy Breaky Heart”. (Oh you know you’ve got one of those songs; admit it.) But try to dance to one that brings back fond memories, and just dance and be stupid

Trust me; you’ll feel better for having done it. Make a sentimental toast to those people who maybe can only hear you from heaven. They’ll enjoy your dancing. They’re no fools. They know what matters.

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