More than two decades of New Year’s Eves — spanning shenanigans and et cetera — and I can’t really remember any one in particular. I bore witness to the new millennium, except I can’t quite say where or what I saw. The most recent are more discernible, but even those details are a bit foggy. Not likely from age and only partly due to inebriation; for all the planning, the dry-cleaning, the buildup and the countdown, resolutions and 12 o’clock kisses shared and missed, it would seem that if each new year were a race, we make a point to dawdle and linger at the start.
What did you do in 2007? In 2008? 1996?
I like to party. I like to dress up and I like to drink champagne. I know in past years I’ve had fun, I just don’t think I could tell you which years they were.
We set out with goals. We want to lose weight, travel more, spend less, get over an old love, find a new one. We commit ourselves to the idea that this year will be different and better than the last. Admittedly, I’m one of those people.
What’s changed is I’ve realized they aren’t often memorable.
Maybe it’s age, maybe experience or maybe just the natural evolution of things. If we’re to start a new year with a bang, like the crack of a starter’s pistol, it would seem to me that we have to focus on the race, the next 365 steps, not linger in a limbo between the year before and the year to come. And maybe that’s the point. Maybe each New Year’s Eve is supposed to mesh and blend and disappear with the others and the following day, everyone starts at 1.
Rest assured, this is not the sort of thing where one is encouraged to sprint to the finish line of each year, eager to begin anew. Like any athlete will say, more often than not it’s more important to do your best and have a great time.