New in the new year


I like New Year’s. Or rather, new years. New Year’s the holiday doesn’t mean all that much to me. New years as in here comes another 365-day lap around the sun – well, that’s another matter entirely.

See, I’m not much for parties, don’t drink champagne and get kind of bored with football after the eighth or ninth hour of bowl games. Mostly, I see New Year’s Day as a good excuse for being completely slobbed out. Of course, I also feel that way about Thursdays.

But a new year? That’s a blessing. We all need mulligans and do-overs, and a fresh, clean new year is a natural place for them.

So what’s in a new year for me? Lots:

1. New calendars. After 12 months of looking at a picture of an old passenger train rounding a big curve in the Rockies, I get something new for the office wall: A picture of an old passenger train rounding a big curve in the CANADIAN Rockies. Variety is indeed the spice of life.

2. Misdated checks. These are always good for a laugh, until about March or so, when you’re still using last year’s date and everyone thinks you are beginning to slip a cog, because you probably are.

3. Seed catalogs. Is there anything more optimistic than a seed catalog? It’s cold and snowy, and the wind is howling around the cul-de-sac at about 700 miles per hour, and yet you are blissfully unaware, lost as you are in the new edition of Burpee’s. Your snowy back yard may look like the surface of the moon, but your mind’s eye sees it green and lush, with cascades of flowers and vines heavy with ripe, glistening produce. Viewed this way, seed catalogs are what keep us from going completely berserk in the dead of a long Midwestern winter.

4. Renewal. But I’m not talking about dealing with all the previous year’s nonsense by going out and doing it all over again. I mean letting the turning of the year put the old nonsense to rest once and for all, to let the past truly be the past, to learn and then move away from it, once and for all … the better to acquire a whole new bunch of fresh nonsense.

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