New Years Day has always been a weird holiday for me. For much of my childhood I didn’t really understand what folks were celebrating. It just seemed like an excuse to drink and eat a lot and stay up way past your normal bed time. Not that that’s a bad reason, but the celebration always seemed to be way more than necessary for reasons as simple as that.
At the age of 45 I now realize it’s a celebration of having made it to the new year at all. Life can be rough and each year brings with it new trials and tribulations that makes arriving at the dawn of yet another year something very much worthy of the celebrations we engage in. It’s a time to remember those who didn’t make it this far and to hope for a brighter future for all of us to come.
Compared to past years, 2012 went pretty well for me. It was my first year as a full-time employee at my current job. I’ve been a contractor for most of my career — over 20+ years — and it was great to finally be a “real” employee for a change. It was also the year we said goodbye to Melvin, the Official SEB Cat. We enjoyed his company for eight years and he was as good a cat as you could hope for.
I am hopeful about 2013, but we already know that bad things are on the horizon. My father-in-law has terminal cancer and we expect he only has a few months left before we have to say goodbye to him for the last time. I am arriving at that age where losing loved ones is no longer an unexpected event, but a natural consequence of the passage of time. It’s a phase of life we are all destined to go through, but not one I look forward to. The are other smaller challenges ahead as well. This year I really need to get serious about dropping some of my weight as I am waking up with a sore back near daily now. I’ve been hovering at just under 300 pounds for too many years and it’s starting to get intolerable.
It’s going to be another year of trials and tribulations, but there will be plenty of victories large and small to celebrate along the way. If I should be lucky enough to surmount the troubles and ride the highs to find myself at the dawn of another new year in 355 more days I will once again pause to remember and celebrate my good fortune. Happy New Year to you and yours. May it have more to celebrate than to mourn.