Holy cow, how did it become January of 2022 already?
The truth is as you become older, time seems to move at an accelerated rate. Remember what it was like as a kid to look at summer vacation and feel it would last forever? Well, for me at my advanced age, summers go by with a blink of an eye.
It seems that at one moment I’m shucking some corn for a summer dinner and the next moment I’m worrying about a turkey for Thanksgiving.
I swing back and forth between approaching the new year with bright eyes and high hopes and acknowledging the promise of the new year also comes with a lot of baggage.
Yes, I need to eat better, smoke less, drink less, go to the gym more, become better organized, learn more about the new computer and software I’m forced to use and keep up with the changes in popular culture so I can speak intelligently with my staff.
Or maybe not.
As I often do, I turn to some of my newspaper heroes for their perspective.
Mark Twain wrote in 1863 “New Year's Day - Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink, and swore his last oath. Today, we are a pious and exemplary community. Thirty days from now, we shall have cast our reformation to the winds and gone to cutting our ancient shortcomings considerably shorter than ever. We shall also reflect pleasantly upon how we did the same old thing last year about this time. However, go in, community. New Year's is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls, and humbug resolutions, and we wish you to enjoy it with a looseness suited to the greatness of the occasion.”
The great columnist and short story writer Ambrose Bierce was known as “Bitter Bierce” during his life for his cutting observations in his “Devil’s Dictionary,” also took a sanguine approach to the New Year. He defined “year” as “YEAR, n. A period of three hundred and sixty-five disappointments.”
Hey, that is a bit bitter, even for me!
But even a jaded old newspaper guy like me has a soft side and I do look at a new year as an opportunity for growth, change and new starts.
I hate making resolutions as inevitably I don’t follow them, but there are projects that I know I will finish next year. If I say them aloud that might jinx them, though, but I know I will be able to complete them. As they actually happen, I’ll let people know.
In the meantime, I know in 2022 I will be happy to contribute in a small way to this publication which shines a light on our wonderful area with so many interesting people, places, events and businesses. A happy and productive new year to you all.
- G. Michael Dobbs, Managing Editor