Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year’s Eve (2013)

It is late afternoon on New Year’s Eve, also known in other parts of the world as Old Year’s Day, Veille du Jour de l’An or St. Sylvester’s Day, the last day of the year, December 31st.  I imagine there are a respectable number of people about to begin the celebration of New Year’s Eve.  I am guessing there are men and women preparing their costume for the evening particularly if they’re planning to attend a formal occasion though they may only be donning some (possibly new) comfortable clothing for a more casual rally.  Very likely there are people who are in the frenetic throes of final preparation of food and drink for themselves and guests.  Certain couples will have made plans for a private and perhaps elegant celebration whether on home turf or in a romantic resort.  Perhaps even complete families have something special in mind to mark the occasion.
Whatever is going on I suspect that we are in the minority of people who plan to do nothing at all.  Certainly there was a time when hullabaloo and black tie were not lost on me on New Year’s Eve.  Thankfully I am able to recollect those festivities without having to relive them.  Frankly I haven’t the energy either for the performance or the society.  Far more work than I could possibly convince myself it is worth.

Indeed at the risk of being labeled killjoys we haven’t any longer much tolerance for ritual celebration of any kind.  Sure we continue to succumb to the merriment of the more personal events of birthdays, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, but that’s about all.  If the truth be known, I abhor the observance of my own birthday.

Don’t get me wrong.  I haven’t any objection to making a party on New Year’s Eve.  I merely wish to observe that I can bear the deprivation.  I fully acknowledge that this is the casualty of maturity.  Note I did not say “old age” or “advanced age”.  I am certain there are countless people my age and older who relish a New Year’s Eve soirée.  I explain my disinterest by employment of “maturity” not to suggest wisdom for having risen above the affair but rather as reflective of having outgrown the attraction.  In my case it’s merely an evolution.  I may well have authored the condition by having outdone myself in prior circumstances.

New Year’s Eve sometimes presents itself as the opportunity for change – whether to close a door on the past or to open a door on the future.  If however one does not allow one’s self to become consumed by the mania of the event it is equally unlikely that the moment represents anything in particular.  At this stage of my life, New Year’s Eve is little more than the end of a month.  I take especial pride in saying that I am not on the precipice of any newly espoused adventure which for some peculiar reason only commences on the last day of the year.

It is also safe to say we will not be awake for either the 70 foot drop of the Waterford crystal ball in New York City’s Times Square or the playing of Auld Lang Syne at midnight.  Nor can you expect to see us at Mass tomorrow morning.

Happy New Year!

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