Thursday, January 18, 2007

A New Year, a (belated) New Beginning

The comedian Lewis Black stated in his "Goodbye to 2006" Comedy Central Special that time is an illusion; the recording of time (minutes, days, weeks, years, etc.) is something we humans made up to keep track of things, and doesn't really exist. I've always believed this fundamental truth, all you need to do is count how many "calendars" exist in the world today. For starters, look at the dates created just for new years: there's the standard Catholic New Year, the Chinese New Year, the Jewish New Year, and I'm sure several others not commonly known. Who's to say which one is 'correct'? The answer: none of them are. They're all fabrications surrounding events in each cultures history, and have no real bearing on what goes on in physical world. Yes, technically a 'year' is the time it takes the Earth to circle around the sun, but the "New Year" could have been set at any point, and weeks and months were just convenient ways to divy up the time between now and the next time the Earth is here.
Case in point: Birthdays. Birthdays are randomly selected for you. They can happen on any day. When people ask, "How does it feel to be so-and-so?", usually at the milestone 18, 21, 30, or 50 year marks, do they really expect an answer such as, "Well, Bob, yesterday I was fine, things were going great, life was good... as SOON as 4:28pm rolled around on my 30th birthday my pancreas exploded, my left arm doesn't work anymore, and my hair hurts. Damn it feels aweful being 30, but thanks for asking." Chances are it feels EXACTLY the same as being 29. So why ask? Because human beings have this need to set time markers; hell, we created time as a measurable element, why not utilize it as such. When people ask how it feels to be 30, they're not talking physically; rather the question can be reworded "how do you feel about your life at 30? Is it where you expected to be? Have you fullfilled all the goals you set to have accomplished by 30?" Nothing physical actually happens on the day of your birthday to make it feel any different than the day before.
Another example of marking time: New Year's, more specifically New Year's resolutions. Any one of us at any time can decide to go on a diet, why wait until January 1st? Somehow it makes it all official, giving us a hard line in the sand that says, from this point ON I will eat better, exercise more, not kick puppies, etc... Plus, let's be honest, it allows us a buffer zone to splurge until then. I always found it amusing that December 31st and January 1st are just two regular days next to each other, most of the time just thrown somewhere in the middle of the week, yet everyone's mindset changes drastically from "the end of a year, out with the old" to "the beginning of a brand new year" along with the hopes and dreams that somehow this new year will be better than the last. Again, nothing actually physically changes. In fact, we don't even celebrate it at the same time on this planet, rather we take turns in 1/24th divisions as each time zone floats past the imaginary 12 midnight mark. Hell, most people have broken their New Years resolutions before the rest of the planet even gets there.
As for me, I too have a marker coming up. No, it's not New Year's, and it's not a birthday; for me, the date I eagerly await as the start of a new era and chapter in my life is January 25. If you don't already know, I've had two jobs for the past 9 years, not including all the freelance and occasional wedding work for my dad. Last year I resolved to leave my night job in an effort to get my life back, and last week my 2-weeks notice was handed in. The significance of this is simple: I was tired of using that job as an excuse for not having time for life's other duties. Whether it was not spending time with friends and family, not going food shopping, not entering a blog entry, or simply not being able to do laundry, I finally got fed up with feeling as though my entire life was rushed going from one job to another, and I was getting burnt out. Recently I refinanced my apartment and took the extra money to pay of my gigunda credit card bill, and now I can finally say I'm debt free, and no longer in need of working 65 hours a week. It feels good. But what does this all mean? Well, first off, it means I'll have alot more time during the week to see the people in my life. It means I'll be able to exercise more and hopefully control my high cholesterol and get in shape. It also means I hope to have more frequent blog entries submitted, of better quality. So you see, everybody wins! I know I haven't been the best friend/family member/blog author the past few years, if only because of my inaccessibility, but I hope to rectify that with my own belated New Years Resolution: to finally gain control of my life and enjoy as much of it as I can. Because between January 25th and 26th, something DOES change, something IS very different; I will have my life back. I hope to make the most of it; only time will tell.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Way It Should Be

People everywhere....... confetti and balloons scattered about........ tables jam-packed with food....... and a virtual Yule Log the size of a compact car.
This was the scene on New Year's Eve at my place, moving forward into the year 2007. As I looked around, I couldn't help but feel a great sense of pride, surrounding myself with so many people I'm proud to call friends. If there is one thing I can honestly say I'm good at, it's the ability to hand-pick the finest group of personalities to associate myself with. And if there's one thing I can honest say I completely suck at, it's the ability to gauge the amount of food needed to feed these personalities. I will be eating Italian hero for the rest of the month.
When hosting a party with so many people from so many places, it's hard to truly show your appreciation to everyone on an individual basis. Running around, trying to be a part of every conversation, cleaning up the odd spill, and making sure food is always available, it may sometimes seem that I'm not there at all. Since most (if not all) of my blog readership happened to be at this, my second New Year's party, I wanted to take this quick opportunity to sincerely thank everyone for coming, for contributing to the fine cuisine, and for personally making this one of the best gatherings of friends I could ever have hoped for. Despite illness, travel hardships and other obstacles, everyone managed to make it in some capacity and hopefully was able to enjoy themselves as much as my meager little home would allow. No kids were hurt, property damage was kept to a minimum and, in contrast to last year's festivities, everyone took their belongings back home with them. The Peter Gabriel concert from last time was replaced by the craptacular performance of Fergie, the more-than-a-little-uncomfortable swooning of aged rockstar Meatloaf to his teenaged-looking co-singer, and some group that seriously looked as if they just jumped onstage from the crowd and started dancing for no reason. Luckily were were all spared the 'singing' attempts by Regis this year.