Staff writer Chris Wrenn on the holidays.
I don’t much go in for New Year’s Eve celebrations — I rather dislike crowds, especially drunken ones. Tonight I’ll either spend time with a few good friends or share cocktails with my partner at home. Neither do I follow the traditions of New Year’s Day; I’ll not make black-eyed peas, pay any bills, and though I might sweep the floors, it’s only because I like to keep the house tidy. This refusal is not born of cynicism, but a lack of belief in luck.
However, there is something I greatly admire about this time of year, something that makes me participate in one tradition: resolutions. Time is a fluid thing, but in our way of measuring it we have created a hard stop, a dam. We spend most of our lives thinking about the future, making plans, saving money, and strategizing our lives, but this one time of year we look backwards. It’s a rare season of self-reflection against a lifestyle of constant momentum, a pause, a chance for a reset.
This time of year it seems people are a little nicer to one another, the cold becomes a challenge rather than an enemy, and we are all working to be the person we want ourselves to be. At the start of the year we take the time to consider who we could be in the world, how we want to be in the world, and the ways to get ourselves there. It’s a moment for imagination and revision, two of my favorite things.