Here we go again. It’s the same old time of year again. An old year ending. A new year beginning. Time passing.

As far as I can tell, that is the only real significance of the event. Time marches on! However it has become a huge media storm. Like it’s this new idea that is going to change life as we know it. So what’s new with these people?

One thing I can say, however, the New Year seems to provoke – I wonder if evoke would have been a better choice – a measure of introspection and that is always a good thing. Anything that causes us to pause and think about life can’t be all bad. Of course this can be done at any time during the normal life span of a calendar year. I guess we humans just love special days and parties.

New Years is a little different from other “special days” in one significant way: It’s meaning is cumulative. That means the number gets bigger, for all you whose system has not yet purged itself of the mind mushing effects of too much sugar. Bigger and bigger.

If you are under say, 40, this probably does not mean too much but if you are of a more advanced age, it becomes a headliner in the daily news. I live with a woman who is a hospice nurse. She works with people most of whom are actively dying. That’s right, you can be dying inactively as well. She can talk about that like most guys talk about bullets and fly rods. Sometimes I’d rather talk about bullets and fly rods.

My point is I will begin my ninth decade next year! Do you know what the actuarial tables say about that? Every little ache and pain becomes a harbinger of something worse. My primary doctor looks at me and tells me I am a lucky man. All I can think of is that luck has to hold out to be worth shit.

One of my oldest friends is a woman who is a 1st cousin of mine by marriage. We went to high school together. Her husband died a number of years ago. She has been “rushed” by a couple of old boys along the way but now one of them has done something right, apparently. He gave her an engagement ring! She’s wearing it! She is a year or two older than I am! They are getting married and are having a honeymoon! Have you noticed the exclamation points? Looks like luck can indeed hold out. She would put a more spiritual twist on that and that’s just fine.

But that’s my point. If there is life to live – live it. Live it big. Live it joyfully. Accept the growing number of years in humility and gratitude. If you can still count them, you are very lucky.

HAPPY NEW YEAR jerry henderson

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