As I write this, it’s early morning on December 26. (My submission deadline at the paper is today and, well, Christmas kind of consumes a lot of time around our house, so I got up early today to say hello to you.) As you read this, it’s much closer to the new year, or maybe the ball has already dropped, the tree and decorations are down, and we have all taken that leap into a brand new year and, this time, a brand new decade too.
I know that I say this every year, at least to myself and probably to you, but I simply can’t believe we have burned through another 365 ¼ days again already. (I included the ¼ day because of leap year, and yup, those 6 hours count somewhere too.)
At my age, if you are anywhere near my age, the years seem to fly by at an ever-increasing pace. (The analogy of a race car speeding down a hill is okay, but race cars don’t really drive on hills. A better one might be my old VW Beetle picking up speed, driving downhill.) I have always thought that it could be, seriously, that each passing year is a smaller percentage of the total time we have lived, and so seems shorter to us than the ones before. See how deep a thinker I am? Actually, I didn’t make that up. I read it someplace, like most other things you read in my column that seem to make sense. Another thing I once read, and this one is for myself and any of my less than cultured reader-friends, (I don’t mean you personally.) is that “Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes.” Somehow that really does seem a reasonable comparison, at least to me.
I visited an old friend a week ago, (It was two weeks ago to you, you ‘hip’ New Year’s reader-person.) and he made a passing comment about the year and the passing of time that I thought was observant and a bit scary. My friend is a tad older than I am and much wiser. His comment came as we were chatting about family, and our kids, grandkids, and even great-grandkids. Wow. We both agreed that all of them are all much older than they should be now; neither of us had the faintest idea of how that all happened. Then my friend, (Hi Gus, I’m writing about you.) said something to the effect of, and I paraphrase here: “They’re all pretty busy pushing us out the door.” My friend might not remember saying this, but I thought it was profound and precise. (Note to the kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids: Hey guys, we love ya all, but we ain’t goin’ through that door yet!)
Yes, another new year is upon us, and I want to leave 2019 with a bit of other advice for us all that is also something I read, somewhere. It has to do with the entirety of life and time, that time before us and behind us, but I also think it applies as well to the year behind and the one ahead. It is, and this is another paraphrase: “You can’t go back and make a new beginning, but you can begin today and make a brand-new ending.” How’s that for a worthwhile resolution?
Happy New Year to all of my family, and to my World Newspaper family and friends! Let’s make it a great one!