Walking home over the river yesterday, the sun was setting and I remarked to myself about it being the last sunset of the year. I have an obsession with sunsets. This then sparked an endless thought process about the way we, as human beings, calibrate time and assign such importance and significance to events. And what better time to think about such things than the biggest marker on the great calibration, New Year’s Day. It’s the massive climax to the calendar year. The big countdown to a singular point in time where everything resets and we begin again.
Perhaps it’s just an effect of growing older, but the significance of the event has faded for me. I guess once you’ve seen forty-odd New Years come and go the excitement dies. Well, maybe not for everyone, but I don’t have the appetite for the madness that comes with a big city Hogmanay any more. If I have any resolution to make, it’s to spend more Hogmanays in the country, in a nice local pub with a roaring fire and a few folk.
With the calibration of time comes the inevitable reflection on what what was achieved or not in the previous year, even though it doesn’t actually matter. Time still goes on. Nobody is sitting and waiting with a score card to mark you on what you accomplished or failed in 2012, but New Year is a moment when we all decide to do embark on new things and make resolutions to achieve more, to do better, etc… when we should be striving for that all year round. We are animals of routine, though, and breaking out of those embedded patterns of behaviour is all but impossible (for me anyway, slavish creature of habit that I am).
2012 was a year of two halves, Jim. First half was filled with inertia over the writing, but I had one of the most relaxing holidays I’ve ever had in the kind of weather you only dream about in this country (the photo above is one of many taken during those glorious two weeks). Second half began with stress over the flooding and the dreadful weather hampered plans for making further getaways, but my writing flourished again, and by the end of the year I managed to finally sell a short story to my favourite magazine. Love as Deep as Bones is due out in the next issue of Black Static and will be a great way to start 2013.
Happy New Year to everyone!