Changing the calendar, or something more?

Today is New Year’s Eve. Historically, this (and the real holiday, tomorrow) used to be my least-favorite holiday.

CalendarNew Year’s Day was just like any Sunday in the winter when I was a kid, except that you couldn’t go anywhere because everything was closed. It was boring, because it was nothing but the parents sitting around watching football, which I was never into. Then the retailers started wising up, and realized not everyone was into football and there was money to be made from those of us who weren’t. Now everything’s open, so there’s shopping to do if you need or want something, and it’s less boring. Football is spread out for several days both before and after New Year’s Day, so that’s less of a Big Deal too.

But for many, the real holiday comes the night before, when we gather with family or friends to cheer the clock striking midnight.

New Year's EveThe allure of this, too, escaped me for many years. Of course, the big attraction for many is drinking. I was a boring, rule-abiding teen and didn’t drink. In fact, I was usually babysitting for people with glamorous parties to attend. I didn’t even get dressed up, and I drank Coke. TV was usually boring–I never liked any of the entertainment on those New Year’s Eve shows (still don’t). New Year’s Eve got better when I met my husband, and actually had someone special to kiss at the strike of midnight, but it was still just another night at the bar. When we owned the bar for over ten years, it also meant I saw little of my husband, as he was always working, and I needed to help distribute the champagne. This was okay in and of itself, but there were always the one or two PITA patrons who either tried to scam us out of an extra bottle, or who bitched because we hadn’t gotten around to them yet (everyone always got their champagne before midnight). The best part of New Year’s Eve was having my best friend from college over–there is no such thing as a dull moment with her around, especially with alcohol! 😀 But that stopped when she found a significant other of her own, and they stayed closer to home.

At any rate, all the New Year’s Eve stuff seemed a big, freakin’ deal to make over what, IMO, amounted to nothing more than swapping out the calendar.

It got better after we sold the bar. All of a sudden, my husband didn’t have to work!

We got together with friends, and went bowling a few years there. I suck at bowling, but it’s still fun. The past few years, we’ve gotten together with neighbors, either at our house or theirs. We aren’t friends with them any more (long, stupid story), so I’m not sure what we’ll do this year. I’ll leave that up to my More Sociable Half to determine.

But it doesn’t matter. Because somewhere along the way, New Year’s Day became more than getting out a new calendar, more than a day to put away Christmas stuff while my husband went somewhere to watch football.

It became a new start, a time to set goals (never resolutions for me!), a time to evaluate last year’s goals and accomplishments. I’ve revised one long-ass book and published it, written and published a short story, written another short book (and won NaNoWriMo!), and designed covers for/formatted two anthologies, plus my Saturn Society Boxed Set, and revised a third novel, which is currently with my editor. It didn’t feel like I’ve done that much, but when I list it out like that… yeah!

I’m in the process of that evaluating of goals now, and it’s exciting to see not only what I’ve done, but what’s to come. I think 2013 will be a good year.

What do you do to celebrate New Year’s Eve/Day? Is it something special to you, or just time to change the calendar? Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.