A NEW Year’s Day is that from which all dated their time and count upon what is left.
Enjoying New Year’s Day is the knack of knowing how to live. It is all the hearty enjoyment of life – that flicked sense of happiness that can overtake any person anywhere, from the change of the weather, the Sundays, that can be found in Renoir’s paintings, the Italian’s Hymns to Life, the Greek’s Zorba’s dance to life, Joie de Vivre effusion and pro-life feelings in the spirit that bore testimony to a love of life, so unending in a rejection of sorrow that was total. That attitude of taking it easy, slumming at health resorts or the passionate love on the sands of Tahiti.
It is something that encourages to do what one willed. It is the twinkle in the eye and the oldies who will outlive us all with a guided amazement as they carry themselves through a thousand more days!
It is when you talk, dress, act and spend money like a perfect little bourgeoisie and down yourself into self-contentment. Life is short, why make it shorter?
Every day is New Year’s Eve if one stayed away from depressed people and their chummy “I told you so” smugness, since they seem to know something we don’t.
It simply can be enjoyed if we were but to open ourselves to the richness of the moment, concentrating on the feast before us, filled with bliss. Why brood upon future worries? Being here now is like some story written in the present terms. Could this be why poets never use the past participle? The present is the most welcome guest, a New Year’s Eve each day.
It is an acceptance that every moment is new and unprecedented, yet realistic enough to bear the burden of what is not forthcoming that experience forces on us, with uncomplaining dignity as strength will allow.
There are pleasures and experiences that fall outside our capabilities, sometimes we mistake it as a state of blessed grace. But no sour air of disenchantment can take away the legacy, the rapture of those moments. Within my memory I’ve seen the changes — in the way we look, the way we get around, the way we spend our day of rest, in what we eat, what we wear and what we choose to sit upon.
I’ve gone to places I’ve never seen before, did things I’ve never done, and want I’ve never wanted before. In a revolution of taste and ideas, that reflects some sort of well being, diffused over the past twelve months — all that I have done, suffered, performed or neglected in that regretted times and learned its worth.
Looking back, it was a pretty good. 2016 was a better than an ordinary year for most of my colleagues. Maybe not an exciting year, but we did not have to contend with major illnesses, separations, divorces, job changes or finding new places to relocate. We had two great get-togethers where we hugged and bonded with surprising results. It is hard to be angry with a colleague for a long time.
As always, the children and grandchildren were the sources of much happiness. Two of my friends became grandfathers; most of the others’ older kids are away, living their own lives, needing less and less care and less and less money. There were solid professional achievements beyond the pages of their papers: a former editor of exceptional endurance read James Joyce’s “Ulysses” for a second time, there was some sickness among us but more health. Some of us hit milestones — 50-60-70 — without excessive trauma.
One of them looked back on a half century of profligacy and decided to change her life. She jogged, swam, hiked, took calcium pills, and consistently ate yogurt. She has not yet met Mr. Right, but maybe he’ll turn out to be a middle-aged man who likes 50-year-old women who feel 10 years younger on the inside.
One friend finally opted out from a stingy relationship, convincing herself that nothing good was an improvement over something bad when she and her boyfriend parted after four years. One colleague said she liked to think of it as an “enlightening,” but it is terribly easy to mistake pain for growth. What if it is just pain?
Another newshen had finally adjusted to being single again after 20 years of marriage.
I got advice from my 87-year-old aunt: “You’re still young. You have to find a man. Don’t worry about others, and look right away.”
My reply was, “She has the simple faith of times past: seek and ye shall find.” There is no evidence that I will.
It seems strange that death is inevitable, as they have buried their fathers and mothers, and the saddest was when a newshen buried a son last week.
Yet, our motto remains: “Let not your heart be troubled…”
It was not, for many of us, at least in 2016, and I hope for many of you gentle readers, as well.