But Is It Enough?

It’s that time of year again. Ring out the old. Ring in the new. These phrases appear in a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson written in the Before Time. Before technology. Before social media. Before grocery stores, canned dog food and late night TV.

In the 1850 poem, Ring Out, Wild Bells, Tennyson pretty much savages the old year as a festering cesspool of disappointment. He looks forward, perhaps too optimistically, to the new.

Here we are 167 years later. Every twelve months, we still ring out and in, which, if you think about it, makes us perennial Pollyannas. After all, if any New Year turned out to fulfill expectations, would we be so anxious to close the door on it? Yet, we cheer the next one each December 31 as if the result will be different.

There is a difference between New Year’s and, say, other year–end celebrations. New Year’s lasts one day. Compare that to Hanukkah, which goes on for eight days or the twelve days of Christmas, three if you live in Iceland and about 90 if you’re in retail sales.

And the New Year’s Day wish is to have a happy one. Happy one day? How much happiness can you cram into one–seventh of a week? And those New Year’s resolutions – they make for a hectic twenty­–­four hours.

Anyway, have a Happy New Year, what’s left of it anyway.