Welcome! I can see by the sunshine streaming in through my window that you have decided to put your best foot forward. Kudos to you! But, still, I’m on to you. My social media feeds this morning have shown me that while I tossed and turned during my neighbors’ seemingly non-ending celebration of the passing of your predecessor, that a great deal of my friends and family have high hopes for you. No matter what 2014 flung in their direction, they still believe that you, with your shiny sunshine and your cool, crisp morning will somehow be different. And we’re just going to let them have that for right now, aren’t we? At least for today, and maybe even for the weekend. But sooner or later we both know the truth of what will happen.
I’ve only seen 33 New Year’s now. So I am hardly an expert, especially considering that the first 5 or so I slept through and the next 10 or so after that I barely remember due to the sugar induced coma that set in after spending hours trying to stay up to see the new year. And then there were the high school New Years, which were spent trying to feel older and more mature than I really was, all the while promising to be home by midnight so that I would be off the road when the crazy drunk people were released from their actually cool and mature parties. College new year’s were full of long philosophical questions with no real answers that mattered and tinged with the very real fear that with every new year I might have to figure out what I actually wanted to do with Life. In my early 20s I was determined to suck the marrow out of the last hours of the previous year only to wake up the next day disappointed. So by my late 20s I had decided to “damn the man” and boycott New Years all together. It became nothing more than a terrifying alarm clock once a year at midnight when I would be jolted from my already hours of slumber with the sound of what could only be cannonball fire. And now, my early 30s. A time in which I am determined to mark the passing of a full year by eating unwise amounts of snacks and watching movies I kept saying I would see in theaters but never did, all the while wincing with every pop and bang outside my window, wondering if that would be the one to rouse my preschooler from his blessed slumber. So, you know what, maybe I am an expert. Maybe I have lived long enough to already know the following about you, you beckoning siren with your sunshine and chirping birds:
You will bring heartache. The mystery comes in what kind. Maybe the heartbreak of a failed relationship? Or maybe the heartbreak that can only come with the disappointment only someone you really love can bring you? Or maybe the ultimate heartbreak will occur: death. I don’t know but each of my 33 New Years have not gone by with at least a little bit of heartache sprinkled throughout.
But, you will also bring hope, you sly minx. Hope in the form of new babies and additions to families. Hope as cures to diseases that have sometimes caused heartache in previous New Years. Hope in renewed relationships with new life breathed into them. For as much heartache will exist, hope will always spring eternal!
Injustice will occur too, 2015. In my little life, on the streets of the nation I live in and in cities whose name I can’t pronounce in countries I’ve never heard of. Injustice will run rampant for miles and miles. It will shock our sensibilities and cause us to duck our heads in shame and then lift our chins in righteous indignation. Injustice will have plenty of your days, 2015.
But the injustice will raise up a new crop of revolutionaries. A new generation or a new sect of explorers will be awakened from their sleep of youth or ignorance and will rouse the rest of us from our lazy naps. Daisies will be placed in the barrels of rifles, small humans will stand in front of huge tanks and sacrifices will be made so that injustice does not conquer every single day of your 365!
Dictators will rise and fall. Death will fall on the old and the young. Diseases will be cured. Injustices will be righted. Musicians will write anthems that will make every foot tap. Artists will inspire. Technology will progress in ways we can’t even fathom on this first day of the next 364. Babies will be born. Sports will be played. Victories won and defeats suffered through. And a year from now we will wrap you up in a nice montage with thematic music on our various platforms of social media.
So you see, 2015, you’re actually nothing new. Even modern culture has accepted that there really is nothing new under the sun, even your brightly shining one you’ve so proudly displayed this morning. So let’s make a deal, I promise to do my best to not be overwhelmed by your ever changing, bipolar (sometimes cruel) nature if you promise to play fair. No surprises. I think it’s pretty clear I already have you figured out. It would be pretty difficult to truly surprise me anyways. So just stick to “the plan”, ok?
No? No deal, huh? You insist on maintaining your right to move to the extreme of any situation at any time? You demand the ability to knock me on my butt from time to time either in grief or adulation. Hm. Yeah, I figured as much. In that case, 2015, game on. Let’s go. Reset the clock. Bring. It.
(Also, if you want to throw in a winning lottery ticket I’m ok with that too.)