I ran into a casual acquaintance, today, who first wished me a happy new year, then gave me a hug, and finally wanted a selfie with me. 21 days into 2019, and he wishes me a “Happy New Year.” This got me thinking, how far into a new year are you allowed to wish a “Happy New Year”?
5 days? 10 days? 15 days? A month?
More importantly, is a free hug a part of the greeting? And what about a selfie? Is it all included, a packaged deal? À la carte or table d’hôte? All or nothing, or can I pick and choose? And, what if I choose none? What if I just respond by saying, “I reject your greeting and raise you a go pound some sand.” Will that hurt his sentiments? I wonder.
What’s the lifespan, Alex?
Talking about greetings, you will note that a “Good Morning” ends at noon. Similarly, a “Good Afternoon” ends at around 5 PM. Likewise, a “Good Evening” lasts till about 10 PM and is then bested by a “Good Night.” Furthermore, “Have a nice weekend!” spans two days—Saturday and Sunday. So, it seems, we follow a few protocols for the greetings we use daily and hebdomadally.
Therefore, shouldn’t such a protocol exist for greetings for the new year, too? I sure think so.
Hence, please allow me to put forth a rule of thumb or a rule of pinkie that should govern the giving and taking of new year greetings. I say, 7 days into the new year is the line in the sand. Consequently, if somebody wishes us a “Happy New Year” on the 8th day, then we should reserve the right to boink-a-donk him/her.
Now, what’s a boink-a-donk, you ask? Boink-a-donk is what you think boink-a-donk should be. I will not define that for you; each one of you will have to figure that out for yourself. You need to be comfortable with your version of the Boink-a-donk. I think I have a very clear idea about what my boink-a-donk will be. And, I am not telling that to you. So, you had better stop asking. A’ight?
Frankly speaking, and don’t ask me who Frank is, I am so over this new year greetings ritual. I have started to dislike this sham of a yearly endeavour. To me the greetings have lost their appeal, as most people are unappealing. Why? Because most people are gradually evolving into something fake and inauthentic. Hence, their greetings end up being bogus, phony or contrived. Above all, it seems like nothing is original anymore; things have become plasticky, synthetic, superficial, factitious.
Nowadays, it seems, the sleep walking plebes can’t even compose a new year greeting on their own. They need help with that. Just like forwarded good morning messages that plague Whatsapp, most of the comatose somnambulists take the easy way out and just forward a cheesy new year greeting and call it a day. Talk about not putting in an effort. Jeez!
Every rose has its thorn
Well, talking about not putting in an effort, for the last few years I have been receiving a new year greeting from a friend, which says, “I hope this year is your year, and everything comes up roses for you.”
First of all, why repeat the same greeting year after year. Try a little bit, man, to prove that you are at least trying.
Second of all, I don’t want just one year to be “my year.” If everything happens this year, then, what will I do with all the remaining years of my life that will not be mine but somebody else’s? Sulk and be a Debbie Downer? No! I want “my year” to be evenly distributed across all the years I’m alive, so that I have something to look forward to each year.
Finally, and most importantly, dude, roses have thorns. Well, most roses do, some don’t. And technically speaking they don’t have thorns but have prickles, and people don’t want to be pricked by a rose thorn. Therefore, next year, please use a different flower. May I recommend you one? How about Chrysanthemum? A safe choice, no? Here, let me even help you with the next year’s greeting.
I hope this year is your year, and everything comes up Chrysanthemum for you.
Happy New Year! Blimey! ’tis that new year thingy again!
Talking about being perfect, I have also stopped sending new year greetings to friends and family. What a chore! I don’t even wish them a happy new year if our paths cross. First, I just try to ignore them. If that fails, then, I very begrudgingly mumble something I don’t remember, if they enthusiastically scream, “Happy New Year! May this year blah, blah, blah…”
Go pound some sand. Better yet, go dollar, euro, or rupee some sand.
I hate accessing my mailbox the first few days of the new year. You open your email and then there are loads of these.
Out with the old, in with the new: may you be happy the whole year through. Happy New Year!
Nights will be dark but days will be light, wish your life to be always bright – Happy New Year.
May the new year bring you warmth, love and light to guide your path to a positive destination
What did U2 sing?
Technically speaking, there is no new year. Time does not reset on the first of January. It is not “reborn” on January 1st of every year. It is just another day in your life. There is nothing “new” in it. Remember the song U2 sang? Yes, “Nothing changes on a New Year’s Day.”
Therefore, new year greetings and wishes do not make any sense.
So, maybe, probably, you don’t believe me. I am no Einstein, but the real Einstein had to say this on the death of his good friend, Michele Besso, “This is not important. For us who are convinced physicists, the distinction between past, present, and future is only an illusion, however persistent.”
There you have it. Time is an illusion. Consequently, no Happy New Year greetings from me.
So, what’s the deal?
Now, some of you reading this blog post may curse me and say, “He’s such a party pooper; may he dislocate his funny bone.”
Now, now, that hurts. A little.
Okay, all tongue-in-cheek or foot in mouth aside, I am a critical of this new year hullabaloo, because we seem to place too much importance on a single day. In other words, we tend to make a mountain out of a 31st December molehill. I find it funny that many of us are in our best behaviour or many of us put the best foot forward only for a single day. Then we go back to our miserable selves. We are nice, benevolent, accommodating, appreciative, forgiving, accepting, loving, magnanimous, etc., … for a single day.
Consequently, for a few hours on December 31st and January 1st, we are high on life. Then, we wake up to face life’s realities. Next thing we know, our daily lives are inundated with the mundanes. We are unable distinguish between what’s important and what’s not, and, thus, are miserable for the rest of the year. In other words, we turn into a grinch. Sadly, many follow the same cycle year after year.
Now, you are probably wondering, “And your point is?”
Here’s the deal.
- First of all, eat, drink, be merry, and happy every freaking day of the year and not just one particular day. Enjoy bite-sized happiness every day. Being healthy and alive is reason enough to be happy throughout the year.
- Second, things that are outside of your control will remain outside of your control, even if you stress about it. So, don’t.
- Third, be appreciative of what you have, show gratitude, be generous, be thankful, and practice kindness. Be kind to yourself, especially.
- Fourth, find a hobby—photography, gardening, travelling, exercising, reading, singing, etc.,—that will enrich your life and make you happy.
- Fifth, connect with friends. Close friends. No, not on social media. In person.
- Talking about social media. The next thing you should try to do is get away from it frequently. Take breaks, if you can’t break away from it completely.
- Next, find your “me moments.” Your alone time. When you can be by yourself. Enjoy the solitude. It can help you discover yourself.
- Take breaks from your busy life to rejuvenate yourself. Don’t burn yourself out.
- Finally, life’s too short. Too ephemeral. Too ethereal. Life is absurd. It doesn’t make any sense. Hence, one must imagine Sisyphus happy. Channeling Albert Camus here.
Therefore, celebrate every day of the year, however bite-sized it may be, and not just the first day of a New Year; however, un-new it is.