I always find it interesting to watch the amount of hope people put in the annual New Year celebration. After all, every day is a “new year” since the previous “same date” in the last year. Much like the “today is the first day of the rest of your life” meme, there really isn’t a grand meaning to a specific day except for that meaning which we assign intentionally.
It is, therefore, the intention that matters.
A lot was made of the fact that the new decade begins this year; much has been made of this being the decade to follow Y2K. I think more might have been made of this had the energy not been so strongly focused on turning the page. In the U.S., the 2000s were dominated by terrorism and great political hostility between the major parties – and though I did marry the love of my life and move to a great new city in 2008/2009, the fact that I did not meet my own career expectations combined with the political environment means I am greatly happy to have woken up today in a new decade.
I see a lot of people happy that 2009 is over, and I am definitely one of them. 2009 was the first full year after the stock market crash, and was notable for real estate values and jobs falling off a cliff. Lots of negativity surrounds President Obama, both from Republicans and from those who supported him and are now watching him in action. Thankfully for everyone, the economic hemorrhaging seems to have stopped, but we are not healthy. Many have been jobless for extended periods, some starting their own enterprises. Because of terrorism and the malice between the major parties, the climate was highly negatively charged. Good riddance, I say.
Is the calendar entirely arbitrary, though? My birthday happens to be at the end of 2010, and it’s my 40th. Objectives in my mind are linked to my age rather than the arbitrary year: “my 30s” rather than “the 2000s.” At the same time, the first day of my 41st year is really no different than the last day of my 40th. But I intend it to be more meaningful. I set certain goals for my 30s, so my 40th birthday is the milestone I set for myself. The new decade begins with great hope; I hope my fifth decade on this planet begins with me being a bit closer to reaching those goals.