New Year’s Eve Lesson


new year's eve clock

Today is New Year’s Eve. I’m one of those people who really dislike much of what passes for a New Year’s Eve celebration. The idea of being squished into a restaurant or ballroom and being pressed against hundreds of tipsy strangers is almost as palatable as the idea of doing my own surgery on my ingrown toe nails. Actually, the truth is I have done that and if I have to choose between doing it again or spending one more New Year’s Eve watching drunks trying to cop a feel from someone they’ve just met, I’ll get out the scalpel and forceps.

I’m not anti-social; quite the contrary although I tend to think of myself as an introverted extrovert. Or, maybe I’m really an extroverted introvert. Either way, the point is that my idea of the perfect celebration is sharing the company of a small group of people most of whom I already know and whose presence makes time fly too quickly. That’s what I’ll be doing in the comfort of my home this evening.

But, what is it about New Year’s Eve that makes so many people behave like they just escaped from a hog carrier that was taking them to the slaughter house? It’s every pig for itself! I have my own theory. New Year’s Eve marks the end and beginning of something within all of us. It’s impossible to escape thoughts of what was and what could have been. It also marks the undeniable fact that we are one year closer to the end of our time here. Could this be reason so many people feel the pull of the bottle and the need to self-medicate away rational thought if only for one night?

Then there are the people who love New Year’s Eve. I did a totally unscientific survey and asked a dozen friends who do like to go out to big parties on New Year’s Eve why they do it. Their answer is that “It’s fun.” When I probed a little further and suggested that many people set high expectations for the evening that are seldom met, they agreed but all of them are optimists who say they are looking forward to the start of a brand new year and all the good things it might hold. They don’t spend a lot of time looking back but instead focus on what might be.

And, once again, I am forced to recognize that we’re all different with different likes, turn-ons and turn-offs, how we define a good time, a good book or movie, or even someone we’d want to kiss at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. It’s these differences that make our life experiences rich and extraordinary, dark and sad, loving and wanting. It’s why we must learn to listen, to be cognizant of each others feelings, and to treat others not as we want to be treated but as they want to be treated in order to be both successful in business but, more importantly, to really experience all that life offers us.

I wouldn’t want it any other way. Have a safe and enjoyable evening no matter how you choose to spend it.

Happy New Year!


An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.
~Bill Vaughan

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