Happy New Year 2009!

Now he went crazy, you’ll think. Wishing a Happy New Year on December 8th?!

Of course, most of us are accustomed to celebrate New Year on January 1st, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. But frankly, this date is arbitrary. You might have heard that the Chinese, for example, celebrate New Year’s Day between January 21st and February 20th, following a lunisolar calendar. In Babylon, New Year began with the first new moon after the Vernal Equinox, i.e. in the Gregorian month of March. Neopagans, as a last example, celebrate New Year on Samhain, a festival of the ancient Celts, held around November 1st.

The thing is, it doesn’t really matter which day you chose. While the date may appear to be central to us and to everyone else in their respective cultures, what’s more important is the set of implications New Year brings along. We’ll dedicate time to retrospection – and to making plans. We’ll motivate ourselves, focus on the positive stuff that’s ahead, and overcome our anxiety about the future. In the end, it’s about wrapping stuff up and committing to powerful resolutions, to start the New Year full of energy.

So in a few weeks, 2009 will get wrapped up. 2010 resolutions will be made. Toasts will be held. But if you’re not content yet with what this year gave you, allow me a reminder: You chose the day you want to start with your new life. You don’t have to wait for 2010. It’s entirely in your hands. There are still 24 days to go in 2009. That’s 576 hours. Or 34560 minutes.

The question is: Will you take the opportunities these days, hours and minutes offer you? Or will you let them slip and hope for 2010? 2009 is not over yet. Maybe it’s just getting started. 24 days can make a difference. It’s up to you to use them wisely.

Note: This is the first of a series of posts called “Idle Musings”, that I will be publishing here every other Tuesday. The goal of these posts is to provide some food for thought in a concise manner of 300 words maximum. I hope you enjoy them.


  1. I agree 100% with this Fabian. The date is not important. It’s taking the action and making the decision to do something that’s the important step and the only day to do that is today!

    I think I might do some writing though in the coming weeks to really get some stuff down on paper of what I want to accomplish over the next year. I’ve never really done it and I think it might help quite a bit. Chris Guillebeau has some good ideas over at his blog.

  2. Yeah, Chris’ style of doing yearly review is certainly a good practice to follow. I was actually doing a much larger “life review” during this year and I think I might write about it later this week… :)

  3. It’s easy to do, isn’t it? Justify the wasting of time, the putting off of important tasks simply because it seems to match up nicely with some arbitrary schedule. As you may know, the arbitrary schedules are everywhere, ready and willing to help you justify never taking action.

    Thanks for the nudge buddy boy.

  4. Yup, Jeb! It’s just weird seeing everybody forgetting about the year, even though it’s not finish yet. Instead of giving into consumerist stress in December, why not use half of the time to just idle around with your family and the other half to do great stuff?!

  5. Whatever the time or date, we should treat it as a new year. After all each day is a blessing and we don’t need specific events to make a change in our lives. :-)

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