2017-12-27 / Editorials

Ushering In 2018

The year 2000 seems like yesterday. Or at the most it feels like 3 years ago – certainly not 18 years! But here we are, and we know it is true, for the calendar says so. The transition from old year to new is really only a human construct, but with so many major events tied to specific dates, seasons, and times of the year, what we envision as a cycle that has a beginning and end (in itself a bit of a contradiction) is still useful. Having a special time to “begin again” helps with motivation, as we make efforts to improve life with a new start. It is all a trick of the mind, but a helpful one. The idea that we can start again is a powerful one, and makes positive change seem within reach.

Cultures around the world have rituals to bring in the new year on a positive note. Many involve the notion that, as it is at the very first moment of the new year, so it will be for the rest of that year. Most people like to make sure that: they are with loved ones at the stroke of midnight; the sink is clean; the hamper is empty; the larder is full; bills are paid up (and there are still some of the good kind of bills in your wallet); no blown bulbs or other home repairs are left unattended; and there are no simmering disagreements or bad blood with anyone. A Chinese custom is to put away the brooms and not sweep on the first day of the new year, as they believe their assets would be swept away as well. Latinos have ready 12 grapes to eat at the stroke of midnight for a sweet and fortunate 12 months ahead. There are many more we know of, and the various ideas make for interesting reading.

At the end of the year the media always acknowledge our beloved stars who passed on during the preceding 12 months. This year we had to say goodbye to Chuck Berry, Jerry Lewis, Mary Tyler Moore, Adam West, Sam Shepard, Fats Domino, David Cassidy, Tom Petty, Greg Allman, George Romero and many more. We raise a toast to them, and to those in our personal lives who have moved on as well.

As in every year, in 2017 we have experienced peaks and valleys. Some will say it has been more like pits and valleys. Some will say they are surprised we still exist. The best we can do is to be thankful for the blessings and lessons of last year, both of which occur in any year, in varying proportions and sometimes depending on one’s point of view. The shortest day of the year is now past, meaning the days are lengthening a little bit more every day, and here comes the sun! So enjoy, be optimistic and continue to work towards a better you, a better life and a better world. Tomorrow is “the first day of the rest of our lives,” as it is every day, but on New Year’s Day, we have the collective consciousness to help propel each of us in making the most of that motto.

Celebrate, within reason, and we hope you get through on all your midnight calls to loved ones, enjoy the champagne, don’t miss the countdown, make some noise, wish your neighbors well (we always open the window, throw out the “bad water” and yell “Happy New Year” to the neighbors and the world at large), sing “Auld Lang Syne,” enjoy something sweet, and KISS your loved ones!

We wish you all a happy, healthy, prosperous New Year, and we look forward to sharing the interesting and important Queens happenings of 2018 with you.

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