Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Special Day

Happy New Years!!

Again, too much time has passed since my last blog. But the perfect storm at my two jobs, extra deliveries and heavier newspapers in the morning job and extra shifts and incredibly busy days at my full time work produced barely enough time to complete the standard holiday routines let alone find the time to write. Still, as is always the case, the gifts were purchased and wrapped, the tree was chosen and decorated, the cards were sorted and mailed, and despite those nagging thoughts that everything wouldn't get done, the end of another holiday season approaches and nothing was neglected. Here's wishing that amid all the rush of the effort, you were able to take a step back and enjoy this special time.

Speaking of special, today is 1/1/11. Another one of those numerical oddities that occur very rarely in life. While we will also have 11/1/11 and 11/11/11 this year, the next date with just one numeral across the board after this year won't be for another 11 years. Think back to where you were 11 years ago, January 1, 2000 and how much has changed in that time. Perhaps a new job, new home, family addition?

Now imagine the changes to come in the next eleven years. Continued family growth or just the opposite, children leaving the nest. Maybe a new job or career; or retirement from your current work. Will your favorite TV show still be on air? Will your daily routine feature a new source for news, a new leisure activity or a new form of transportation?

My son is home from college for Christmas break. As it is a 6+ hour drive, we had ample time to talk about his first college semester. In the course of our discussion we touched on philosophy (one of his classes this past year). Among many topics was whether the penchant to reflect upon one's life is an innate trait or can be learned. To be honest, I was a bit shocked to think that there could be people who do not spend some time considering their life and its activities. My son posited that not only has he encountered such people but that some of them demonstrate much intelligence in other areas of life suggesting that the ability to reflect was separate from the ability to succeed academically. Let's hope that his classmates who appear non-reflective are guilty of youth only and will learn the wisdom of self examination.

Which brings me back to the special nature of today's date. New Years Day in general will often bring out our philosophical nature, which usually results in resolutions for the coming year. Of course, such a large percentage of these resolutions are broken. Perhaps one reason is that it is so hard to maintain that feeling of a new start or a new attitude that inspires these resolves. The days routines entrap us until we forget how the specialness of January 1st enhanced our reflections.

If that is even partly true, then consider this; 1/2/11 only happens once in your life. So does 1/3/11 and 1/4/11 and 1/5/11. We don't need special numerological events to consider each day unique, just the perspective to know that it is.

And so, my New Years Day resolution? To do the most simple and most difficult thing one can do; remember that each day only comes once in a lifetime and to look for the unique within the routine.

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