Happy New Year+31

<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Janus-Vatican.JPG">Fubar Obfusco</a>, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s been a month since we crossed over into 2023.  Are you still saying Happy New Year?

I am.

How long did it take you to declare it just another year, and with that, maybe even not a happy one?

Nine days in, a Monday, I already had to strain to hear it from anyone.  Launching a Happy New Year at a stranger, or even just someone in the neighborhood, resulted in anything from nonchalance and disinterest to surprise and a smile.  Already a cliche, on to Valentine’s Day everyone!

What is going on here? Why are we giving up on this traditional, important and happy felicitation?  This opportunity to express goodwill, share a blessing with our fellow (wo)man?  I’ve even received a few abbreviated well-wishes: HNY.  In what appears to be an emerging trend, this milestone in life has been reduced to an acronym!

Let’s look at the numbers for a moment…

The earliest recorded festivities in honor of a new year’s arrival date back some 4,000 years to ancient Babylon. So, this is something that’s been part of culture for more than a few years.  Later, Julius Caesar instituted January 1 as the first day of the year, partly to honor the month’s namesake: Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, whose two faces allowed him to look back into the past and forward into the future. 

As far as resolutions go, it was those plucky Babylonians who historians think started that little gem of a tradition. Their resolutions even went so far as to extinguish debts to start the year off with significant forward movement. Cool idea. That is a story for another time, or, if you are burning with desire to discuss resolutions, there’s probably a billion hits online out there from people like me and every other person with a perspective who’s already served up an opinion.

With all that we’ve experienced as a society, apparently since the early days of civilization, you would think that we would be on pace to maintain – at least through the end of the quarter – a sense of excitement and wonderment about what awaits us in the new year. And what we want for others as we all pass through it and share this common experience.  Did you know that there are at least 100 ways to express Happy New Year wishes instantly available to you?

It’s true.  (Check out this list!)

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Embrace the new year with an open heart and a fierce spirit. Cheers to new horizons! (For friends)
  • We’ve been through so much together over the years. I don’t know what I would have done without you. Thank you for always being there, and have a fabulous New Year’s. (For family)
  • Forever appreciative of everything I’ve learned from you. I hope you and your loved ones have a spectacular start to 2023! (For co-workers)
  • May the Lord lift you up in the new year. Time to celebrate new beginnings! (Biblical)
  • 2023 will be our year. Let’s do this. (Short form)

IMHO, saying Happy New Year, or landing one of the more elegant (and surely lengthier) new year best wishes, is about setting intentions.  It sends a message to your counterpoint to consider what lies ahead for them with a more positive, thoughtful tone.  For you? The same. It reminds us that we have something quite amazing, though not always easy, where we’re living life: the good times as well as the difficult ones.  

The end of January is not the end of anything other than the month.  Let’s be there for each other now, tomorrow and throughout 2023.  I know it sounds sappy, and it is and that’s OK.  So, Happy New Year you big, cool hippos!

“Hello curious human.  If you’ve made it this far, then curiosity and awareness are two of your superpowers. Ready to go to the next level?  Consider the wild idea of investing in you! New programs are available! Why wait any longer?!?  Here’s a link to start creating that discussion right now!

Featured Image Source: Fubar Obfusco, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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