I never cared that much about New Year's Eve.
When I was a teenager or in university, I went to parties, even hosted a party one year when my parents were out of town. But as I got older, I didn't like the forced hilarity, the pressure to have something lined up, the implication to feel dejected if you didn't.
Allan and I always stay home New Year's Eve, with a bottle of champagne and some fun food. Our anniversary is January 3, and we always save our celebration for that.
But my attitude about New Year's Eve changed on December 31, 1999, and from a TV broadcast, of all things. We had the TV on all day, watching people around the globe celebrate that giant odometer click. From the Fiji Islanders to Australia, through Asia, then the great cities of Europe, then over to Newfoundland, to New York... I don't think I made it past Chicago!
But I really caught the spirit of the moment: the whole world celebrating one occasion. Not religious, not nationalistic, just a vast human community.
Incidentally, on that night, I discovered there was a North American time zone east of Eastern! Embarrassing but true; I never knew that. After the celebrations in London and Dublin, I thought New York and Montreal were up next. But no, there was St. John's! What can I say. Now I not only know where Newfoundland is, I've been there.
I wish you all a very Happy New Year, and a 2009 full of the best things in life: peace, friendship, creativity, and a new Canadian government.
Thank you for reading wmtc this year and for being part of this community. Most of all, thank you to everyone who made a phone call, sent an email, wrote a letter, attended a meeting, joined a demonstration, talked to a friend, or took any other action on behalf of war resisters in Canada. May 2009 bring all our hard work to a joyous conclusion.
Happy New Year!
* * * *
Two updates brought in from comments.
Please vote in my reader's poll!
And a note about New Year's, which I should have made explicit in this post. I actually find this date meaningful in my own life. To me New Year Eve is is a time to look back on the previous year, where I've succeeded and where I've failed, what's happened to me for better or worse, and to look ahead with a fresh start.
In 2001, I remember feeling some closure on all the horror and sadness of that autumn.
At the end of 2002, we knew we were leaving the United States.
At year's end in 2005, we celebrated our first New Year in Canada, and said goodbye to the year we lost Buster.
And when I think much farther back, I realize I've felt this way most of my life. It's kind of cool.
This year, I look ahead to great change - for Canada and for the war resisters.