Oh what to do on this super-important evening?
Why not try spending it alone, as an experiment (Bunsen burner optional)?
I’ve experienced many New Year’s Eves, literally one every year to be frank with you. If my silly approach to this evening surprises you – let me explain: I think that every year on this evening, there’re millions of people celebrating something for the sake of it. Oh but don’t we do this anyway, I hear you cry from the relative safety of your armchairs?
Well yes we do, on many occasions…however on this night the need is even more pronounced. People are desperately trying to enjoy themselves, or trying to look like they are. Why do they do it? I reckon it’s connected to herd mentality (as are so many other foibles of the human condition). If only a 1/4 of the population celebrated it, we wouldn’t care as much for sure. But we know that so many people are out there (or inside somewhere), drinking usually, waiting for the midnight hour…so we have to do the same…we have to go somewhere…we have to drink (heavily usually)…we have to enjoy ourselves….fuck that.
I don’t mean fuck enjoying ourselves. But when are we going to seriously look at ourselves and the ritual that this night entails? Do we really want to celebrate a TIME? It’s just a time. It doesn’t mean anything apart from the start of a new year…and what does that usually mean….the same routine and beliefs for most people. So why kid ourselves?
Yet we do kid ourselves, year after year….’I’ll join the gym and really commit this year’…’I’ll start my new business this year’…’I won’t let men/women treat me badly this year’….and so on. My issue with these things is not the sentiment behind them (be that as it may fuelled by alcohol and revelry). My issue is why are we waiting until the last day of the year to make decisions that potentially could change our lives for the better? Why are we doing them at the same time as everyone else? Why do we need to publicise them to everyone within earshot? It’s actually been said that the more we talk about our goals, the less likely we are to actively pursue them, the gratification we receive from talking about them gives us a form of satisfaction that can even replace the desire to achieve the goal itself.
Also if you’re single on this night, you probably really want to hook up with someone or at the very least you’ll start thinking about how long you’d been single during the year…..you may also think about the things you didn’t do that you wanted to. Oh and whilst I’m on a deranged rant, here’s one more for ya: people are friendlier especially after the clocks strike 12…wishing strangers happy new year…this even continues into the morning on your way home….but that attitude of being nice to complete strangers doesn’t last beyond 1st January.
And how about the costs of private parties/clubs? You’ll queue for ages to get into a hugely congested space and queue again to buy overpriced drinks. How many people in that building/room are genuinely enjoying themselves?
Am I saying I hate New Year’s Eve? Actually no…but I am saying that maybe people shouldn’t feel they HAVE to enjoy themselves, they HAVE to go out, they HAVE to do something.
Finally, I will say that it can be a lovely way to end the year, spending it with friends and/or family. Saying goodbye to the year and looking forward (hopefully with renewed optimism) to the next. But don’t feel obliged to.