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We Don’t Need New Year’s Eve To Tell Us What To Do

Whew, the Holidays are over!

The hype, hoot and hollar can now be put away in the attic along with all of the decorations and unwanted gifts we received.  Perhaps you got the perfect tie, or the book you’ve been dying to read.  Maybe not.   Did you spend enough money on your kids?  Your parents?  Your spouse?  Did that matter?  Sometimes it does…how unfortunate.  How is your credit card balance?  Did New Year’s Eve deliver your expectations?  Ahhh…the toast, kiss and hug at midnight.  How romantic. Blah..blah..blah….

Resolutions?  Did you make any?  Why?  Let me apologize first to anyone who has truly benefitted from these things, and to those who truly feel committed to resolutions.   To the rest of us, we know.  We know for better or for worse that another year ends and another one begins….the calander starts over.

As a child, I bought into the hype of New Year’s Eve.  It was fun to bang pots and pans on the front porch at the stroke of midnight (does anyone do that anymore?).  I watched “New Year’s Eve with Guy Lombardo” and the suited men and fancy women dancing to his orchestra’s songs.   The funny hats, the intense suspense that lead up to midnight, the “Ball” that still falls in New York City every December 31st to bring in the New Year.  So exciting!  It seemed to mean something back then…today, I’m not so sure what it means.

My parents used to go to sleep at 12:05am on January 1st every year.

I never understood then, but now, I get it.  What’s the big deal?  As I grew and matured, I met people who were actually “in Times Square” on New Year’s Eve!   They would tell me how horrible the people around them were, and how many left before midnight because they either couldn’t stand the lack of “space,” or because they had to go to the bathroom.  Hmm….TV viewers never knew about that.  Seemed like it was always a “Rockin’ New Year’s Eve” to me!  I guess not so much.

Then I remember hearing how the police were especially busy on New Year’s Eve.  The “Amatuer Night” as it began to be known became more and more apparent.  People getting drunk and then driving.  That didn’t sound so appealing.  Arrests?  DUI’s?  Car accidents that killed people?  What about all those happy people on TV?  Dancing with silly hats on waiting for the ball to drop and ring in the New Year?  Fantasy.  The magic of television.  Who knew?

Perhaps it was the “One last fling” after the big Christmas Holiday that New Year’s Eve gave us.  Something to hold on to before we went back to school or work…another night to enjoy our Christmas Trees just one more time!  I’m not sure.  I’m sure now that I don’t feel much for New Year’s.

We all wish and hope for a better year than last, but that doesn’t seem to happen.

These bad years are mostly out of our control anyway.  What we need to realize is that there are some things we can change and control!

We truly don’t need a new year to get what we need, or be who we want!  That can happen anytime we are ready.  If a “new year” makes it happen for you, then make it happen.  I think “resolutions” are far too much unnecessary pressure for most of us!  I believe they set us up for disappointment.  If you want to enjoy New Year’s Eve, don’t set any expectations for yourself.  Tell yourself that, “Yes!  I’m going to work on this, do that different, or find a new way to understand whatever” this year.  Tonight, is New Year’s Eve!  I’m healthy, safe and with good people who love and appreciate me!

Don’t get caught up in the “champagne” toasts, after midnight kiss, slow dance stuff!  If you’re out, enjoy!  If you’re home, rejoice!  If you slept through “it,” good for you!  The time to make changes in your life for the better is when ever you are ready.  Not when Guy Lombardo, Dick Clark (God rest their souls) Beyonce, Madonna, Brittany or Jay-Z say so!  Take back your power and appreciate you this year and every year!

Happy New Year All!

Leo Battenhausen, MSW, LCADC, is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire, a blogging community created by Annie Jennings.