Tonight I finally took out our large 2014 wall calendar and filled in those dentist and doctor appointments we already have, those annual trips like hubby’s golf outing, and the regular appointments like poetry and writing critique groups. It made the year feel full already. And I wondered, when does the ‘New Year’ stop being new? I mean, how long can I wish people ‘Happy New Year!’ and not get funny looks?
I imagine it may be different for everyone.
Is there some kind of ‘official’ date and activity, like January 2nd once the traditional New Year begins and similar to other holidays it’s over after 24 hours? Does it end once the last float of the Rose Bowl Parade slips from view, the last TD has been scored in the Rose Bowl game? Or how about after the collard greens and black-eyed peas – or pork, sauerkraut and potatoes for us Northerners – have been eaten?
Is it once the Christmas decorations come down and are tucked away? In some homes that would put New Year’s Day on December 26th! At my house it will be late January or early February. The decorations are based more on a liturgical calendar than the secular one – Christmas doesn’t end until Epiphany on January 6th or Candlemas Day on February 2nd. It depends on how fresh the tree stays …we have a great tree this year so probably closer to February 🙂
Does the New Year feel old as soon as we get back to work? The busy-ness of the holidays is over and we settle back into daily busy-ness. Does it already feel like an old year once we’re back into our old routines?
Or is the transition more of a feeling? That first time we write the correct year on our checks – for those of us who still write checks – instead of writing the previous year and we realize it’s out of habit and not because we had to cross out the date and rewrite it?
For those in the snow belt maybe it’s when all that beautiful snow that makes everything look crisp, pure and new … turns brown and slushy and is a reminder that the dreary days of winter have descended.
Is it in February when those resolutions that did get made taper off into oblivion?
What about the way other new things become old~the pair of shoes that is broken in or the pair of jeans that needs to be worn and washed into comfort. Is there a point when the year just feels comfortable after the activity of the holidays?
Or maybe it’s when we find we’ve relaxed a bit and aren’t so hard on ourselves because we’re not exercising like we promised, or we’ve not made every recipe we collected off Pinterest. It’s rather like the new car no one is allowed to eat or drink in … until it’s ok; or the carpet that requires everyone to take off their shoes at the door … until it’s ok not to.
Maybe it’s none of the above and it’s simply a state of mind. That as long as you feel a sense of renewal, rebirth and hope for the year ahead, it’s still a New Year.
So here it is only January 6th, and even though my 2014 calendar is already filling in, the year still feels new and full of hope. So to all of you a blessed and Happy New Year!