Belated Happy New Year. I hope it's the best ever for you and yours.
I love traditions, especially those that are "positives." Making New Year resolutions is one of my personal favorites, because, in my opinion, those resolutions annually keep attempting to glue us together, spiritually, emotionally and mentally. For some of us the resolutions dissolve within a few days, unfortunately, but written with a respectful smile here.
The dissolution of those well-intended resolutions is also part of the realization of our humanity and mortality. Traditions similar to New Year resolutions bring smiles, providing us with thoughts and actions onto which to "latch" as members of a civilized culture, as well as hope and a sense of stability we often need to get us through each day with as little angst possible.
Obviously, there are many pluses and minuses to resolutions and realization. The pluses are mostly on the resolution side of the ledger. Some include the usual annual pedestrian (but valid and important) "suspects," i.e., resolving to losing weight (for some, that's not a problem); developing or maintaining a nicer attitude toward everyone (not just a few); being more nutritionally aware and activating that awareness on a permanent basis; being perpetually thankful for all the blessings we often forget we have; having sustained respect for other peoples beliefs without abandoning our own and so many more not herein addressed.
The realization side of the ledger presents the reality many of us face daily and increasingly as the years slip by, to wit: Even though many of us still "think young," the realization of our inabilities to be as physically active as in earlier years sometimes comes as an unexpected shock. On a personal note, because of surgeries, I can no longer safely participate in two of my favorite sports, Alpine skiing and tennis. The former afforded me the privilege to travel to and work in numerous locations producing ski films for television. The locations included Iran (twice, during the Shah's reign), Chile, France, Italy, Switzerland and Quebec. Some of the realities we face during the aging process are the fact memories can sometimes be our most treasured realizations.
Because reminiscences of other New Year’s Eves would be germane at this time, two of my fondest memories occurred December 31, 1952 and December 31, 1953. Those were New Year's Eves one of my New York City high school pals (Charlie Brill) and I decided to learn what it was like to visit Times Square during that annual iconic event. To the point, suffice it so say, as two who were in the very middle of that crowd, if you wanted to fall down, you couldn't. We were packed like sardines, almost crushed, truthfully, but decided to have the same experience two New Year's Eves in a row. Realization: I could never do it again, at any age.
In my opinion, even though time marches on and our resolutions are important, the realization of achieving an advanced age is a daily blessing. Losing my younger daughter to ovarian cancer in 2017 at her young age 54 is a daily reminder for yours truly to cherish every living day. For whatever aches, pains and challenges arrive with "old age", age is just a number and, as the old adage reminds us, we're only as old as we feel or act. Just ask my wife. She will tell you I'm 81, going on four. Maybe it's actually three.
Thank you for reading and Happy New Year, once again.