Pretty much everyone I met in the park today wished me a Happy New Year. It’s a nice thought I suppose – but it’s not the New Year yet. I’m still enjoying the old one. I’ve got used to it now. It feels comfortable. Somehow the phrase feels more hollow than “Merry Christmas” too. Given a sufficient alcohol quotient, a (very) Merry Christmas is perfectly achievable and relatively independent of one’s religious perspective… assuming alcohol falls within the rules you have chosen to follow.
A Happy New Year requires something of a more concerted effort though. 365.25 days (on average) of happiness is quite a long streak for even the most content of individuals. It’s hard enough to maintain the initial excitement from arriving at one’s holiday destination for two weeks, let alone an entire year.
Of course, the words don’t really mean what they say. We’re not really being offered an entire year of happiness. It’s more of a time sensitive greeting along the lines perhaps of “Cheers!” or “Top of the morning to you!” – just one that we feel more willing to offer to complete strangers. In that regard at least, it is actually more powerful than the literal words uttered. It is a means of reaching out to another human being to say “I acknowledge you, and wish you no harm. Maybe even some positive things, if it’s not too inconvenient for me personally.”
We share this spinning pebble of blue and green and whether we’re personally here for another few decades, a year or just one more precious minute – rejoice!
Remember – one in seven dwarves are Happy!