New Year, New Decade

January 6, 2020

Julie Traynor Postcards from the Pine Columnist

The new century is coming of age. We are no longer toddlers in a new millennium, but young adults soon to be of voting age. We have apparently become comfortable enough with things in the new century. We all heaved a sigh of relief when the Aztec calendar ended in 2012 and we did not. It is a fast growing technological world and we’re all navigating it the best way we can. It’s time to embrace the future.

Those who decide these things are inclined to give certain eras of each century a name; a bookmark on history. They’ve not decided upon a definitive term for 2000’s teen years, yet. I have heard news folks speculating on the chances of the Roaring Twenties to come. Does that mean that this century will be peppered with other reused eras? How about some Fabulous Fifties? And will our descendants think that they are enlightened in the Psychedelic Sixties? There is an Age of Aquarius in every century.  

It’s a good sign that we’re comfortable with this new millennium and century. We’ve found it not to be as daunting as we thought.  It’s a brand new year, ripe with promise and hope. Soon enough we will be into the rhythm of the year. In 2020 we are looking to big things and small ones; things we do each year and those onetime, and even unexpected events.

The New Year is a marker and we seem to need markers in our lives. We need to know when to start, when to quit, how many, how few, give names to everything. At the New Year many of us get the urge to change things. We get revved-up with the prospect of new beginnings and so become determined to change.

A lot of folks resolve to lose weight, quit smoking, and become more physically fit. We resolve that this will be the year that we actually clean out the garage, the basement, or the closets. We resolve to be more caring, giving, thrifty, ecological, civic minded, read more, whine less, and learn to do a myriad of things from knitting to changing oil. We are, if nothing else, ambitious in our resolutions, and if the year passes and we’ve lived up to just one, we are pleased.

I learned a few things about resolutions a long time ago. The first was that making a resolution and sticking to it are two totally different things. A resolution should be accompanied by determination and the desire to truly want to change to succeed. One has to ‘gotta wanna’, plain and simple. Another thing was not to resolve to do anything that, when my resolve failed, would put me into a funk and give me a load of guilt to carry through the year. Getting rid of that sort of thing requires yet another resolution at the next New Year. Frankly, I don’t have the time or energy to keep track of all that stuff. The best resolution I ever made was not to make resolutions at all. The New Year has become a lot simpler since then.

The year 2019 was, all in all, a good one for us here in the Pines. We are still here, warm and well, and still basking in the glow of the holidays with our family. We’re looking forward to the first day of spring, hunting mushrooms, fresh tomatoes from the garden, meteor showers, northern lights, and graduating yet another grandchild from High School. Our ever-expanding extended family will enjoy a summer reunion, and there will be the comfort of birthdays, anniversaries and the parade of seasons. The years’ holidays will come around in turn and in between, we’ll fill our lives with the spackle of living the best lives we can.

It is time to get on to the 2020’s, whatever the decade may be dubbed. It probably won’t have a name until we’re done with it. Let’s live wisely, if not resolvedly.

Happy New Year and as always, Peace from the Pines.

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