This week: New YearsEdited by: Jeff
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"What is drama but life with the dull bits cut out."
-- Alfred Hitchcock
Trivia of the Week: While our current concept of New Years (occurring on January 1st) dates back to the Rome circa 153 BC, the concept of celebrating the arrival of a new year actually dates all the way back to Mesopotamian times (circa 2000 BC) when they originally celebrated a new year during the vernal equinox in mid-March.
I'll admit, I'm a sucker for New Years. I almost always stay up to watch each city around the world ring in the new year, and I always enjoy the feeling of a renewal. It's a chance to start over.
I know that a lot of people don't enjoy this holiday, either because of the festivities or because, as many rightly point out, it's not like our problems magically disappear on January 1st. A lot of the last year will carry over (although hopefully not too much this year!), and it's easy to see the beginning of a new calendar year as a hollow holiday that really doesn't hold any significance except to those who decide it does.
But I'd argue that's actually the magic of New Years. People do decide that it's significant. And even if New Years' resolutions often fall by the wayside after a certain amount of time, for at least a few months, or weeks, or days, a whole lot of people around the world decide that they want to improve their own lives and the lives of those around them. People start exercising. People decide to try and eat better. People start writing that novel or that screenplay that they've always wanted to write. People decide they want to finally learn how to play a musical instrument, or start planning that trip they've always wanted to take. People decide they're going to stop drinking, be kinder to strangers, stop gossiping, or give more time/money to charity.
I'm one of those people who starts the new year with the best of intentions. Am I always successful? Definitely not. But that doesn't stop me from seeing the turn of the calendar from the old year to the new one as a magical time full of unrealized potential. As a result, it's often one of my most productive and inspiring times of year, because I decided to make it so.
If the trivia at the top of this newsletter tells us anything, it's that the actual date on which a new year starts is largely symbolic. A new year can technically start at any time ... and for that matter, it doesn't just have to occur in annual increments. You can also start a new day as early as tomorrow.
As the holidays descend upon us and 2020 draws to a close, consider whether January 1st might be a good time for a fresh start at whatever you've been meaning to get around to. And if January 1st isn't ideal, just pick another date that works for you. But plan a fresh start for yourself sometime in 2021. This past year has been hard on almost all of us, and we all deserve to look out on the world with fresh eyes again.
And if you do happen to be like me and enjoy the pomp and circumstances of a new year that happens on New Years, you can start fresh amid confetti and fireworks.
Until next time,
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EXCERPT: “Daddy, another kiss please!” Cindy was always the last to watch him leave.
“Don’t forget to leave out hot cocoa and a cookie for Santa. I’ll be back before you know it, babe. Remind Mommy to take lots of pictures, ok? I love you all. Call me in the morning, first thing!”
EXCERPT: "Do you know who I am?" Blood gushed from a wound on the man's forehead as he staggered through the crowd asking that question. People gave him a wide birth, taking in his unkempt appearance, and presuming he was drunk. "Do YOU know who I am?" He grabbed the man's arm and swung him around to face him.
EXCERPT: You awful, treacherous disease,
Within a year, you have grown into this pandemic, and in all the 195 countries, you are negatively affecting the lives of 7,832,635,355 people, of whom 74,534,155 got sick so far, more than 1,655,226 died, and 52,372,534 recovered.1
You are a gruesome monster, and I hate the pain and hurt you cause. You disrupted our lives like nothing before, and we are devastated because of it.
EXCERPT: I can remember walking in the abyss, sabotaging my every step just to be ready for what I’ll be seeing. I wanted to stop. I wanted to just curl down in the middle of that suffocating trail. I wanted to freeze time to stop me from mourning, from screaming, from crying, from breaking, even just for a second. In that very moment, I want to feel nothing.
EXCERPT: Starlight reflects off the ocean
In someone’s dream of Florida
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Feedback from "Drama Newsletter (November 25, 2020)" about change:
Osirantinous writes: "I think my poor characters are used to me throwing a spanner in the works and dragging them out of their comfortable lives! I like doing that because it provides inspiration for my writing. Personally though...... I've got furniture that we had when I was ten because I can't let it go/change. Workwise.. I'm all for change if it's a good change. I can't stand it when it's change for change's sake. I'm very much, in real life, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'. Capricorn through and through "
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