New Year’s Eve is — and always has been — one of the most over-rated holidays on the calendar for me. Perpetual disappointment. (Actually, is it even an official holiday or is it just riding the coattails of Christmas in some way?) And while I am totally a night owl and will happily stay up chatting about most anything with folks until 3:00 a.m. if the topic/company warrants it — yep, been know to do it on school nights, too — getting obliterated, counting backwards from 10 to 1 and then pretending that I wished I were in Times Square watching the ball drop live, well… it’s just not my thing.
Times Square in January at midnight is cold and people are drunk. Mobs of people are drunk. Mobs of tourists are drunk. Call me old, but unless you’re a pick-pocket, being immersed in mobs of drunk tourists is, well… over-rated to say the least.
For me, my New Year always revolves around a school calendar anyway. That’s the true sundial of my life.
The approach of September is when new life feels as if it is about to bloom in me. There’s the back-to-school shopping I try to do in late August. (Often it goes like this: I know I should really get a new shirt or two but screw it, I don’t wanna go to the mall — so I am going back to Staples because, truth be told, school supply shopping brings me glee and in a hundred years it’s not gonna matter anyway).
There are the can’t really sleep the night before school jitters I still feel even though I’ve been at this so long my wife is bored with my, “I’m nervous about tomorrow, what if the kids don’t like me” neurosis.
I mean, face it… I could list a hundred little things that only a teacher would get. Essentially, I love the routine, the “plans”, the projects, the books, the conversations, and so on that swirl through my head this time of year. My life revolves around this calendar much more than it revolves around a January 1. I mean if I never saw another ball drop in Times Square (on TV or live — done both), I don’t think I’d really feel like I was missing anything in life. But if I didn’t have that, “it’s the first day of school next week, oh how I don’t want summer to end but oh how I’m excited to get back into the classroom again” inner conflict going in my life, I’d feel empty.
I don’t even know if I could function without this sort of educational bio-rhythm. It brings order to my world. January 1 isn’t when the year starts — it’s when the year is about 42% over.
The year starts right about now and only the suckers who are forced to actually work “real jobs” don’t know it.