Happy New Year

It’s been awhile since I updated, and this is a bit out of date at this point, but who cares. Here’s my latest op-ed from The Ohio State Sentinel. It’s from New Year’s day.

Happy New Year, Indeed
This New Year’s Day, celebrate more than 2006

In the Gregorian calendar, January 1st marks the first day of the New Year. Print publications, news stations, and every VH1 TV show take this time to reflect on the best and worst of the previous year, and each work to predict the outcome of the coming year. Friends and family gather New Year’s Eve to drink and be merry in celebration of another year together. Times Square in New York City is flooded with people ready to watch the ball drop. The clock strikes midnight, and it’s fireworks galore. Yes, the New Year is an exciting spectacle.

While most people’s bellies are filled with good food and good drinks, their minds are filled with optimism for the year to come. This is usually because that no matter how good or bad the last year was, each person essentially has the power to make things even better for the coming year. While the day itself is meaningless, New Year’s Day serves as a symbol of each person’s ability to take control of their life.

This is why nearly every New Year’s partygoer is accompanied by not only a silly hat but more importantly, a resolution or two. The New Year’s resolution is a goal set by each individual that they hope to attain in the forthcoming year. Whether the goal is to quit smoking, lose weight, or spend more time with family, the principle found within each resolution is the ambition of self-improvement.

What is usually regarded as an insignificant celebration, New Year’s Day is actually one of the most important holidays, because it marks the day that many people decide to make significant changes in their lives. This is typically why there are such large spikes in gym memberships during the month of January.

This “take charge” attitude is what makes New Year’s Day so exciting for so many people. While each individual’s goals may differ in substance, they are united in purpose. It is the true testament of the human spirit, because nearly every resolution begins with the words, “I will” and not “Someone else will”

New Year’s Day is a time to celebrate ability and choice. Any notions of fate, luck, or karma are irrelevant to the resolution, because the life force behind each pledge is the self. Only you can lose your weight. Only you can stop purchasing cigarettes. It is in each of these personal conquests where individuals harness the power within.

It is understood that if a New Year’s resolution is kept, the individual’s life will change for the better. But the true benefit in holding true to one’s resolution is not the clean lungs or chiseled abs. It is the sense of personal accomplishment. It is the gratification one receives from setting a goal and attaining it on his/her own. It is this celebration of the self that makes New Year’s Day so empowering.

This New Year’s Day, while you are out on the town with friends and family, take advantage of this wonderful holiday, because it is not just the celebration of 2006. New Year’s Day is a celebration of life.

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