Why Time Creeps Me Out — New Year’s Edition
Let me start off by saying my blogging will be less frequent over the next few months. I’m back in class now so have that to contend with, along with a job search, writing/editing novels, managing finances, eating, sleeping, etc. I will do my utmost to keep a Tuesday/Thursday blog schedule, but forgive me if I falter.
That said, I’m sure you can understand why I’m making a New Year’s post now and not two weeks ago. Though this isn’t your typical New Year’s post. Of course, I’m the one writing it, so how could it be typical anything?
So you’ve read my archive, or have been following me for a few months, you’ve probably heard me mention that time creeps me out. Time is a paradox in and of itself. It is unchanging because it perpetually changes, always at the same rate. You think it goes by fast or slow, but it doesn’t. It goes by at the same speed. Every day.
Doesn’t that bother you?
Regardless, this is about New Year’s and why I couldn’t give a damn about it. There is nothing new about it. The Earth is still tracing the same orbit around the sun. It’s made a full rotation, and an inaccurate one at that. There isn’t an end or a beginning. It’s a bloody circle. (Well, ellipse, but who’s keeping track? The point is: it’s round.) The only new thing is the calendar on your wall.
If we were actually celebrating the Earth’s birthday, I’d be all for it, but we’re not. The Earth is 4.6billion years old, and even that is an educated guess. On top of that, time didn’t rightly “exist” until we made it up. Our units for time, at least. The earth still turned on its axis and orbited around the sun, but there was nobody to term those days or years.
Having said that, such units of measuring time are quite convenient. Have you ever tried to write a story without using such units? It’s hard. I would love to know when these terms were coined and put into use. Moreover, how they were put into use. “Okay ladies and neanderthals, we are now going to denote one ‘second’ to be the time it takes for one to say ‘one Mississippi.'”
But I digress. I’m sure the origin revolves around some bloke putting a stick in the dirt and watching the shadow move. The fact is: the date for New Year’s Day is more or less arbitrary. Not only do different cultures celebrate the new year on different dates, but the date frequently changed with the adaptation of new calendars. (Brief article on the History of the New Year which explains this.)
Then there’s the whole “New Year’s Resolution” thing. I don’t understand this. Why must you wait for a “new year” to decide to be resolute? Why not decide today that you’re going to change things for yourself? Change is a long, slow process, so why wait to start? It’s like becoming a better writer in that it takes time, energy, and practice. So why wait? Start now, not next year.
Several people I follow on Twitter commented on how they did not achieve a single one of their previous resolutions. Yet they were making more, specifically so they could fail. Just… what?
I’m not trying to say “New Year’s is dumb, don’t celebrate it.” I happened to welcome 2011 twice, once for a friend in the UK, and once for myself five hours later. I simply don’t celebrate the traditional way. For me, January 1st is another day to be happy to be alive. It’s another day that I can improve myself, my life, my writing, and spread joy and love to those who matter most to me.
A New Year isn’t new at all. It isn’t an end and it isn’t a beginning. It’s a continuation, another chance for you to enjoy all the wonders this world has to offer. It’s another chance for you to make this world even more wonderful.
To all my lovely readers: Happy New Year. May 2011 be filled with happiness, joy, love, and kindness.
Stay Happy, Remain Beautiful
(PS: if you want to feel better about your writing ability, read Reasoning with Vampires.)