As a non-religious person the list of potential favorite holidays immediately drops significantly. One could choose 4th of July but that’s a particularly American holiday, of no significance to the vast majority of the world. Another option is Thanksgiving which, aside from the atrocities that befell the Native Americans following our arrival in now America, makes the top 10 list for the food alone. You could go with Memorial Day but a holiday who’s intentions are to make you remember those lost to war seems like it should be reserved for another part of your heart not marked “my favorite holiday”.
My favorite holiday, hands down with no close competition, is New Year’s Day. And I appreciate New Year’s Day not in a “let’s have a party and take pictures and get drunk” kind of holiday way. To me New Year’s Day is a holiday that’s personal. Every 365 days we get this chance to “start over”. Sure, you could technically decide to start over on April 18th or October 12th or February 30th… ok, maybe not February 30th but really any day of the year could be New Year’s Day if you need it to be.
Maybe you’ve decided to stop drinking. That day could be New Year’s Day for you. Maybe you’ve decided to finally come out of the closet. That day could be New Year’s Day for you. New Year’s Day represents the resetting of the clock. The resetting of our internal clock – allowing us to forget and forgive. Maybe for you that day was on August 25th. Or May 8th. Surely not February 30th though.
Most years that day, for me, is January 1st. It’s an excuse. Along with the changing of “2020” to “2021” you give yourself a line in the sand. THIS year I’m going to get in shape – starting today. THIS year I’m going to get those certifications I’ve been putting off – starting today. THIS year I’m going to look for a job that makes me happy – starting today. Sometimes you just need a significant calendar change to kick off something groundbreaking. “Every journey starts with the first step” and sometimes you just need an excuse to take that step.
What other holiday gives you the opportunity to reinvent yourself – equally, without prejudice, for every single living human in the world? Just flip the page from December 31 to January 1 and start over.
Particularly in 2020 this idea of starting over, leaving negative things behind, refreshing one’s spirit, and adjusting expectations looms just weeks away like a lighthouse beacon through a hurricane. 2020 didn’t just suck. 2020 was awful. The worst. 2020, with it’s perfectly symmetric numbering, turned out to be a punch in the dick. How many people died? How many people are now homeless? How many people are now jobless? How many people had to stand up and fight for their basic rights – the right to not be killed in the street like a dog? How many people had to see hate and racism and cult of personality sycophants proudly marching down their street – free to be on display without recourse, or worse: with pardon?
I want to believe 2021 will be better. I HAVE to believe 2021 will be better. Hopefully it will be. Good chance it won’t be. Only time will tell. But to have a chance on that first day of January to build the slightest bit of hope can be life changing. If we all go into 2021 with positive intention, hope, and a plan to change our world for the better perhaps it truly might be a Happy New Year.