When it all comes down to it, today is a day like any other day.
The sun is set to rise here at 7:43 a.m. and set at 5:04 p.m. People will be born today, people will die today and everyone in between those two points on life’s journey will experience their share of small joys and minor annoyances.
But today, obviously, isn’t just another 24 hours in the life – it’s New Year’s Day.
Most of us have the day off work, so we have the opportunity to reflect, relax, share the day with friends and family, go to a movie, watch sports on television or shake off the lingering effects of last night’s revelry. And that’s the case in almost every corner of the world, which is a relatively rare occurrence. New Year’s Day is, perhaps unlike any other holiday, a universal one.
Along with looking back on the year that has just passed, or other years that are more distant, New Year’s Day offers that rare opportunity to feel as if you have a completely clean slate. A full 365 days lie ahead before you place another calendar on the wall and, before you do that, this could be the year when you finally get serious about exercising, cleaning out the garage, jettisoning clutter, paying off debts, or shaking off whatever other personal tic bedevils you.
Naturally, many of these high hopes are extinguished by Jan. 15, as everyday life intervenes. But, for today, we can hope that all our best intentions will be fulfilled.
We have hopes for our own lives and hopes for the larger world we inhabit. After a year marked by mass shootings, natural disasters and political rancor, one can only hope that 2013 will prove to be more tranquil. As John Lennon once sang, “Let’s hope it’s a good one, without any fear.”
So let’s raise a glass to 2013. Today, we start out fresh. Carry that sense of renewal and optimism as long as you can.