The End of the Beginning

by Nic Olson

There are far better ways to keep a tally on the years than this day here. Birthdays are fairly useless but are more important than the first day of the 2011th year since someone decided to start counting days. Anniversaries are probably nice, and should be considered more important than the 2011th anniversary of the modern era we live in. Observing every year that has passed since you graduated is a good idea, at least until you get to the age of not being able to remember how many years it has been, because then you can look back and see how jaded you’ve become since your graduation speech, how naive you were, and how little you’ve accomplished as a full-fledged member of society. Celebrating the day that you bought a new hot water heater in your basement makes more sense than celebrating the start of another year. But at the end of each year we tally the things we did, the places we went, the friends we made, the parties we had, the movies we watched, the albums we jammed, the shows we saw, the amount of shampoo we used, the pounds of rice we ate and the weight we lost, like the next day it starts over like a magical board game or undeveloped piece of land.

People will come up with any excuse to party and I do not feel the need to stop them. Two-thousand and eleven years ago to the day, nothing specific happened. I’m sure a few people were born, and a few people died. A few people got married and a few more people bought hot water heaters, and somehow we’ve come to celebrate this day like it is an event more important than an ice cream cone melting in the sun.

People use this day to motivate themselves into change for the upcoming three-hundred plus days, which usually ends up being a jinx to the original goal set and a good enough reason to avoid resolving for anything. Self-improvement is always to be applauded, but if this day, which is based on no historical event and celebrated brainlessly by millions, is the reason for said improvement, then the motivation might as well be founded in a black hole of nothingness.

I resolve to never resolve again.