Monday, 01 January, 2001

Sleeping Through the New Year

Staying up until midnight to usher in the New Year lost most of its appeal years ago.  I usually don't get to bed before midnight, anyway, and staying out partying all night isn't so attractive when I have to drive 20 or 30 miles to get home.  Some years we'll have a few good friends over for quiet get-together, but this year was just too cold and too hectic for that.  Last night we did something novel:  we went to bed at about 10:00 and were asleep well before midnight.  What the heck, the New Year was almost a full day old in Tokyo by then.

Many people use New Year's Day to reflect on the past and look forward to the future.  They write silly "best of last year" articles and make "resolutions" for the next year:  "resolving" to do all things great and wonderful.  It's too bad that most of them promptly forget by the end of January.  It's easy enough to say you're going to quit smoking, or lose weight, or spend more time with your family, but things are different when the rubber hits the road.  It takes a certain amount of discipline to actually change a habit, and it seems that too many people just don't have the commitment.  Not that I'm perfect.  I've made and promptly forgotten plenty of those "resolutions" myself over the years before I learned.  I learned that the time for changing is "now," and once I've decided to change, I have to think about it every day and actively work towards achieving the goal.  Yes, it's hard:  changing my personal habits is the most difficult thing I've ever done.  But also the most rewarding.