Monday, December 31, 2012
New Year’s Eve!
“Happy New Year’s Eve!” I said greeting Mr. Wonderful at the breakfast table.
“Hmm,” he said sinking into a chair
“The last day of the year!” I said sliding toasted English crumpets in front of him.
“What a beautiful time to reflect on what—”
“Can you save the happy talk ‘til after I’ve had a coffee?”
It was true: I was a morning person, Mr. Wonderful wasn’t. I was a reflective person, Mr. Wonderful wasn’t. I embraced vacation, and Mr. Wonderful… didn’t. So while I loved this time of year with all its celebrations, twinkling lights and champagne imbibing, Mr. Wonderful couldn’t wait for it to be over so he could return to working and sucking down six triple espressos before breakfast.
His outright dismissal of this final holiday of the year made me think he was missing the forest for the trees.
“There’s no point to New Year’s Day,” he said grinding more coffee beans. “It’s just another excuse not to work on some arbitrary date on the calendar.”
Au contraire, mon ami! Okay, I’ll admit, the time from Halloween to December 31st is one long string of holidays and fun. But what’s wrong with that? We worked hard all year long, so couldn’t we take some time to reflect on what we had done for just one day a year?
I attacked his disaffection with another analogy. If the year were our high school term paper, January introduced our hypothesis of what we wanted to gain and prove in the year. February, March and April explained Point Number 1—work hard. May, June and July discussed Point Number 2—work harder. While August, September, October and November rounded out this three-part theme paper of your life by explaining Point Number 3—combine hard work with the people and things you love, in other words PARTY! Finally December reminded you of your hypothesis by repeating it—on December 31st—with the question: Did I achieve my goals for the year? Yeah or nay?
Mr. Wonderful shrugged.
How could I get this idea through to him about the value of New Year’s Eve?
It was just after noon so I grabbed a bottle of chilled bubbly from the refrigerator and popped the cork. I poured it into two champagne flutes. The liquid bubbled, its foam rose to the rims then swiftly sank to just half a glass.
“Fill them up more,” Mr. Wonderful said. “They’re half empty.”
“No,” I shook my head. “They’re half full.”
He cocked his head then smiled. “You’re right.”
New Year’s Eve was a day to enjoy what we had achieved in our life’s term paper of the year, not what was lacking about it. It wasn’t something to rush through to get back to work but rather something to savor. He tapped his flute against mine and we sipped the bubbly and enjoyed our half full glasses.
Worrying about what we’re going to do next year? That’s something we can think about… tomorrow!
So in the meantime, Happy New Year’s Eve!