As I sit here at work on New years Eve I got to thinking about how much I used to look forward to this day and the party that was occurring that night. In my younger days the beginning of a new year meant a party of historical proportions spent with friends, lots of booze, a large number of calorie laden snacks and many traditions like watching the ball drop in Times Square at midnight (even though midnight where I lived was still 2 hours away).
As I got older and quit drinking the partying meant less and less to me. I think in some respects it was just that I never was a serious partier although I tried to keep up with everyone. The turning of a new year seemed to lose it's mystique and meaning. I can remember once when I was in the army and had done something that the Capt thought warranted pulling duty New Years day. While I'm sure he considered it a punishment I don't think he realized that it didn't bother me at all.
Now that I'm a couple of years over 50 it is just another day for me. Yes, it is the beginning of a new year and all that it brings but in reality it's just an arbitrary date that someone decided on way back when. The only real difference is that I will have to start writing 2009 on my checks now. I tend to mark the passage of years more in events that mean something to me. The beginning of fastball each year is kind of like the new year for me. That is something I really look forward to as it comes around each May. Because my birthday coincides with the start of the ball season I tend to view that as the start of my year.
Yes, New Years is a cause for celebration in some respects because that is when I get my annual raise at work. But in most ways it is just another day. I'm here working until 730 this evening. When I get off I'll likely head home and catch up with my brothers who I suspect will be sitting back with a beer or two and watching the hockey game. Whether or not we will actually make it to the new year awake is always a point for debate. However in our own way we will celebrate the passing of 2008.
I guess I can be thankful that I am still alive to see tomorrow. I often think of my friends and others who may have worries about the future and look on the new year with trepidation. I also think about friends that I have lost over the last 12 months and how they affected my life while they were alive. I guess in that respect I do find significance in New Years Eve. A time for thought and rememberance to ponder over the past and dream of the future.
So I'll put in my 11.5 hours today and go home to spend a quiet (relatively, it's never totally quiet with my brothers around) evening watching tv, playing games and snacking on Ruffles.
For those of you who are out having fun tonight, take care and make it home safely. I wish everyone a Happy New Years and may the next one see your hopes and wishes come to pass. :)