We are once again on the cusp of another new year. I had often heard it said by my parents and other members of their generation that every year seems to fly by faster and faster as they pile up.
As most of them have passed on, my generation is becoming, as I had mentioned in an earlier column, the next wave crashing on the shore from that immense ocean called life.
And yes, I concur with my predecessors: each year is going by faster and faster, and to be frank, the glitz and excitement of celebrating New Year’s Eve has waned through the years.
There was a time when I would look forward to attending holiday parties, waiting for the ball to drop and then reveling and celebrating the birth of a new year “filled with promises and better things ahead.” Or there were times when my mates and I would attend a First Night fest in a local city, accepting the cold as part of the charm and ambience of the event.
Those New Year’s Eve parties continued, but my routine didn’t include them any longer. The reveling morphed into cozying up on the living room sofa and watching the ball drop with a few friends, exchanging a peck on the cheek, then saying goodnight as we all headed to our respective beds to sleep in the next morning.
Now, the only ball I see dropping live is one a Patriots’ receiver muffed at a crucial moment, since I’m already in bed when the big moment occurs.
As a treat, on some New Year’s Eves, I’m awaken by the sound of local fireworks entertaining the generation of the next wave. I lie back and think back on fun times long since come and gone. Then after a few minutes, I fall asleep again.
I mentioned earlier how the new year used to hold the promise of better things ahead, but COVID derailed so many things, including the parties and First Nights and revelries.
It did allow me to reflect on the fact that even in healthy times there have always been others to whom New Year’s Eve and Day meant nothing but just another day of misery, pain, fear, loneliness, despair and financial hardships.
The last few years have taught me a very important lesson and opened my eyes to view more clearly and with a better understanding about those who don’t walk in my shoes.
Along with going to bed hours before the dawn of a new year, my recent spinal surgery and the months leading up to it and the recovery after greatly altered the everyday activities that I now know I took for granted.
I realize that just because one day it’s 2022 and then next is 2023, it’s really, after all is said and done, just another day.
My pains and limitations will be there despite the changing of the final number of the year. I realize that for those who live with misery, pain, fear, loneliness, despair and financial hardships, nothing will change because the year has.
The thought of a new year with new things is exciting, but not realistic. The only thing that can evoke a change for those who could truly use it, is for all of us to remember them — in our daily thoughts and, more importantly, our prayers. And for us to help in other ways, the best we can.
If there is really a resolution for me to make, it’s to become more in tune with my hurting sisters and brothers and resolve not to forget them and their plights.
To those who fight a daily fight, my prayers for you that 2023 can indeed be a year of promise, and know that I am with you.
Peace my friends.