Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year!

This is the last blog post of this year and this decade.  This next decade could either be our best one or it could be our last one.  We hope and work for the former, and to do that, we all must feel excited and rested on January 1, 2011. 
In truth, this date is only one among many that mark a New Year.  The Chinese New Year, in February, will usher in the Year of the Rabbit.  The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, is celebrated in September.
The notion of celebrating the New Year is the oldest known holiday in history and was started by the Babylonians some 4000 years ago.  Their new year began with the first new moon after the Spring Equinox.  Spring is a much more logical time for a new year than January, but the Romans moved New Year’s to Jan 1 in order to synchronize their calendar with the sun. 
The idea of ending one year and starting another is a good one, in my mind.  I love New Year’s resolutions and always make about ten of them.  Over the 40 years I have been doing that, I have a pretty good sense of what kinds of promises to myself I can keep (read one novel  a week, for example) and which are probably not going to happen (the perennial “lose 20 pounds” ).  I find that the most productive resolutions are very specific and positive.  “Be nicer” doesn’t work, but “Perform one gracious action every day” does, particularly when I also make myself write down what I did every day, and catch up if I miss a day or two.  According to Wilstar.com, the Babylonians also started the idea of New Year’s resolutions and their most common resolution was to return borrowed farm equipment. 
Whatever you resolve, please have a great New Year.  I look forward to blogging with you in 2011. 

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