What is it about starting a New Year that makes people crazy about making
resolutions? Come January gyms are swarming with new members clad in brand new workout clothes. Every mom who received a fancy camera for Christmas is launching her photography business, and gallons of booze are dumped down the sink New Years Day in hopes of having a alcohol-free year. But why does it only happen when the ball drops and we move a year forward?
A quick search showed it’s a tradition started thousands of years ago when the Babylonian’s decided to ring in the New Year with a celebration that lasted 11 days. I can only imagine the wicked hangovers they had. They decided to make promises to ensure they were on the right side of their gods and start the new year off on a positive note. Somehow, that tradition continued with the Romans except they offered sacrifices to their gods. I think we’re all glad that tradition didn’t carry on.
So, here we are today. We knocked the celebration down from 11 days to one night, but still offer up promises. I’ll admit, I’m guilty of making resolutions, too. I joined a weekly essay project (more on that later), I am relaunching my blog, created this website and have committed to doing “big things” with my writing career this year. While these resolutions have been slowly building up the past few months, I feel like the New Year will help me launch them. When I see new gym members sweating away or a fellow writer achieving his/her goals it encourages me. Maybe it’s because there’s hope in numbers?
Or is it because we, as a society, crave uplifting, wholesome stories? Numerous websites and Facebook groups exist to show us encouraging events happening in the world. Newscasts always have uplifting human interest stories from around the country. Most stations and New Year’s Eve specials showcase the most inspiring stories of the year.
Let’s face it. Most of our daily life and newscasts are filled with downtrodden and dark events. We still want light, love, laughter, and hope that we can change and make things new again.
So keep on running on that that treadmill, open that photography business and have an alcohol-free year. Try again every year if you have to, but don’t give up. If we all give up then what do we have left?