January is almost here, so it’s time to consider New Year’s thoughts. One of mine is that different people define the year differently. For teachers and students, fall is the start of the school year, the time for new hopes and plans, and resolutions/promises to do things better this time around. January First is a reflective pause between semesters. For fishermen, tourism staff, and other seasonal workers here in Alaska, the practical beginning of the year starts at the beginning of the season. January is the time to do some planning and dreaming, but things don’t really start until spring or summer.
For those of us who live by the seasons, Winter Solstice is important because it signals the gain of daylight. (Tielle explained it in more detail in her recent blog post.) I’m one of those people who starts counting down to Solstice early in December. That feels like a renewal or beginning to me. New Year's is a bonus.
New Year’s Eve is a good time to celebrate our hopes and wishes for ourselves and our loved ones, even if it’s not really the beginning of the year for some of us. Some years it’s felt like, whew, we made it through that rough year. Let’s hope for a better one next time. Other years it's felt more like a celebration. It is still a good time to reflect, and make plans or wishes for the new year. Most of the world seems to revolve around the calendar year now, so we might as well go with the group on this one. So I’ll take a minute as I toast my husband with the traditional champagne glass, and count my blessings and make a wish for 2010. May it be the best year ever for you and your loved ones.