Every Day Is New Year’s Day

By Jim Berlin

Every January 1st at 12 a.m. the world pretends something significant has occurred: fireworks go bang, horns toot, lovers and strangers kiss and a dozen blank pages on brand new calendars beckon with mystery and promise.

But the fact is, new years come and go with every tick of the clock. At any given moment on any given day, the Earth completes another orbit of the sun, arriving right back where it was 365 days before. We could call any day New Year’s Day.

From that perspective, a new year begins every second – some 31 million times a year – but only one of all those seconds gets any respect: the one that kisses December goodbye and January hello.

Calendars and the clocks that cross off their days are tools of our own creation, designed to put order in our lives and history in its place.

There are advantages to that, of course, but since the formal marking of time began – a relatively recent intrusion – every human has been required to “be of a certain age.” We are five years old, or 20, or 40, or 70.

Every time the last day of December rolls

around, we must tell the world and ourselves we are one year older.

Tick-tock, tick-tock.

I think we were all better off when we had no idea how old we really are.

From now on, for me at least, every day will be New Year’s Day.

Nothing’s New in The New Year

By Jim Berlin

I don’t want to rain on your party hat, but there really is no “new” in this New Year’s Day we all celebrate.

Clocks and calendars are simply our way of keeping score, man-made inventions that allow us to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries and give some context to Columbus sailing the ocean blue. We separate our existence into universally-accepted components to give order to our lives…to make sense of the milestones in our struggle to thrive and survive.

Humans can exist without clocks and calendars, of course, and they have. When the pilgrims arrived, Native-Americans were running things by the seasons and length of days. They got along just fine, but you don’t build a great society on phrases like “Many moons ago.”

The necessary marriage between progress and formally marking time became clear at least 7,000 years back. Ancient Greeks and Egyptians accomplished it with sundials and devices that transferred water between receptacles at a constant rate.

It was a beginning, but marking time didn’t really get serious until 700 B.C. when Romulus, founder of Rome, produced – appropriately enough – the Roman calendar. Julius Caesar improved upon it, and the Gregorian calendar

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some 16 centuries later perfected it.

But the Earth, with its annual trip around the sun, acts no differently on January 1st. It just keeps doing what it’s been doing for billions of years, adding on the miles with no pause for celebration.

Time belongs to God. Clocks and calendars are stuff his kids invented to give rhythm and cadence as we march through it, year after year, century after century.

But, hey! Happy New Year!