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Front Page » December 29, 2009 » Opinion » Staff Column: Resolving to start with clean slate
Published 1,697 days ago

Staff Column: Resolving to start with clean slate


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By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate publisher

While time does exist, its measurement is an invention of man. Sure some animals understand it innately; squrriels know they have to gather nuts all summer to get them through the winter, beavers put food in hiding places to get them through the cold, etc. But as far as we understand man is the only creature that measures the hours, then the days, then the years into decades, centuries and millennia.

Every year I am amazed at how many people see the new year as a new start. I am not sure what this stems from; I guess you could look at it in an optimistic way that the next year will be better and they won't make as many mistakes as they did the last year. But other than the fact that we begin a new budget year here at work and I have to figure out my taxes for a preset 365 days that are now gone, Friday will be no different than Thursday. It's just another day.

I guess people need new starts, but that is like saying going into one marriage from another can be a clean start. I mean I still have stuff that my ex-wife did 30 years ago to me bother me sometimes. We carry baggage from one situation into another, so why not from year to year. I mean no one is going to forgive my credit card debt, mortgage or car loan on January 1. I will still have one bad knee and one on the other side that isn't so good either. I will still be 20 lbs. over weight and will never stop eating chocolate. Sure I can make all the resolutions I want, but those can actually start anytime I realize how dumb I have been before the day I make them.

For me it doesn't take a change in the calendar for me to make a change in my behavior. I don't wear shorts up unto Dec. 21 just because it is the first day of winter and the calendar says before that it will be warmer. It usually isn't. And I won't automatically be taking off my coat on March 21 because the calendar says it is spring and things are warming up.

The only special thing about this Friday for me is that we will not have the office open that day; but then we don't have the office open on any Saturdays or Sundays all year either. And there are other holidays we are closed as well.

I guess the new year is a good thing for some people; it gives them a push to do the right things. Whether keep those resolutions, so strongly made because the calendar changes, will be up to them.

For me, I think I will just keep my nasty old habits and not try to change myself just because the calendar says it's January 1.

Maybe instead I'll make a change on the 12th of never.

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