We humans are hard-wired to compartmentalize time, the passage of days matched to a calendar based on the Earth's movements around the sun. Days are based on our world's axial rotation; seasonal changes occur due to the tilt of the Earth's axis. The Catholic Church was instrumental in changing the Julian calendar to the current Gregorian one. The intent was not so much based on science as it was religion. Church leaders were irritated by the increasing divergence of time between the canonized date of Spring and reality, as it affected the observance of Easter.
Despite how we obtained our present calendar, we once again come to the end of another year. Toss out the 2020 and put up the new 2021 calendar while hoping it will be better. We did the same last year, and those hopes were quickly smashed as 2020 devolved into pandemics, politics, and misery. Unfortunately, Time doesn't care when our calendar ends, it is continuous, and Time considers demarcations of days, months, and weeks immaterial.
No, the virus will still be around, people traveled during the holidays, became lax with the masks and distancing, so we should expect more deaths and sickness. 2021 will usher in a new president and administration but don't expect the bickering, divisiveness, and uncivil behavior to stop. It just changes sides. People will still exhibit road rage if they've done so in the past. Those that do good will continue their random acts of kindness. The years change, but people not so much.
Still, something about rolling over the calendar to a new year strikes a call for renewal. Let's lose that weight, start an exercise regimen, leave FaceBook, and vow to clean out the garage. You want to do it, then you realize you simply recycled last year's resolutions, which are unresolved around Valentine's Day. Failure wins again!
A better idea is to resolve to be honest with yourself. If you won't, ask a friend to dish out the honesty, then unfriend them if you don't like what you hear. Resolve to have fewer friends, that one may just come true.
Seriously, who are we kidding? If we were going to change, we would have done it long ago when we had more energy and less dementia. Frankly, we like our routines and don't really want to give them up. So we drop dead of a heart attack at 80 instead of 83 because we didn't join a gym. Those 3 years were just an additional 4% added to our lives. Hardly worth grunting and sweating on a treadmill for an hour every day or eating kale instead of hamburgers.
And, come on, we love our rage! Yelling about liberals and fascists, screaming over the atrocity of an imagined offence, heck, that's what makes life worth living! Besides, holding in all that anger is bad for your health, am I right? Like they say, the good die young, so being bad to the bone just might make you live longer. There's your new mantra: "Be the best jerk you can be; and maybe live longer, too!"
What a lovely world it would be if simply resolving to do and be better is all it took to evoke a change. The more honest approach is to quietly evaluate your attitudes and actions and their effects on others. This is something we should do more than just once a year. Resolve to make a daily affirmation to hold yourself accountable.
Oh, yeah, and Happy New Year!
-- Devin Houston is the president/CEO of Houston Enzymes. Send comments or questions to [email protected] The opinions expressed are those of the author.