Tis two days before New Year’s and all through my house, worries about the real possibility of a fiscal free-fall because our Congress cannot act like adults, gun control advocates and opponents who speak different languages with no translators, and continued arguments on whether the U.S. is a secular or sectarian based nation. Same-old, same-old.
As many of my regular readers know, I authored a book concerning that last issue (Amazon.com) and can say, without hesitation, that the answer is “secular” no matter how you define “founded.”
For me, the annual re-evaluation has already begun. Where would I like to see this blog in 12 months, how many unique hits should I see at InkAndVoice, and should I maintain the primary purpose of discussing church-state issues or should it be revamped a bit to include more business and speech communication columns?
Where should I personally be? Will I be making my living writing and editing or do I need to have an outside job to support my writing and editing (and provide health insurance)? I do know that my recent essays on religion and gun control have sparked great conversations, which meets my primary reason for writing political commentary – starting the conversation.
Your time, I am certain, has been spent in part thinking of your immediate future. It is the nature of a new year, a recycling of the counting period.
Why January 1? This is another winter solstice celebration, but not quite the last; the Eastern Orthodox Church will be celebrating their Christmas on January 6 which is based on the pre-Gregorian calendar dating system, which would make it December 25. Confused yet?
Of course, I have my own theory, be it a Rosman mythology, concerning the date selection and calendar starting point. In Jewish tradition, a male child is not named or circumcised for eight days after birth. If Jesus of Nazareth, a Jew, was born on December 25 (and because the child was born at mid-night, we count the 25th), then on January 1 we celebrate Yeshua’s circumcision.
(Please don’t write me nasty letters about this. It is my personal mythology and I’m sticking to it; and it gives me a good laugh.)
Having a new beginning is a good thing and we rely on some silly superstitions to mark a new start. Like marking the score card in golf or bowling with two heavy lines, the “fence,” after a particularly bad hole, like a seven on a par three, or frame, my infamous two gutter balls breaking a four frame strike rally. We all wish just drawing a line in the sand was really that powerful.
I know prayer does not help. Do you really think that the God of Abraham cares if you break 100 on your next golf or your next bowling outing? Really?
The world of psychology tells us that in order to break a habit, hopefully a bad habit, one must heed to Albert Einstein’s much attributed quote, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” One habit must be replaced by another and hopefully more positive habit. Smoking with gum chewing, boredom based eating with real exercise, watching mind numbing “reality” TV with journal writing. But not nail biting with smoking. This must be done for 30 to 45 days and the new habit will be set.
For 2013, I will be replacing my nightly “boredom” with finishing my next book (politics, religion and homosexuality) and writing more essays. A very positive promise to myself.
I am also starting the year with an interview for a job, where I start with a small advantage – the HR assistant who reviewed my resume is a former student who really did like me as a teacher. Now to see if any of my suits fit – I have not worn one in a long while and I think I have gained an inch or two about my belly. More Exercise! Maybe.
One and only one real resolution; not bad and one I think I can maintain for more than a week.
Kathy is working New Year’s Eve, so our celebration will be either tonight or next week Saturday. Like the other winter holidays, this does not bother me as I was raised in my dad’s bicycle store and holidays were secondary to sales. Work, work, work. (Now I am starting to sound like Mel Brooks.) I’ll get to at least one gathering, but going stag is not my idea of a good time.
I do have Kendrick Oliver’s upcoming book, “To touch the Face of God,” to finish and review for the New York Journal of Books. Monday/Tuesday will be a very good time to do just that. Yes, I will post the link here as well.
I wish you all good health and great spirits for 2013, and will make sure the New Year’s Mohel, Rabbi Sammy Klaus from Brooklyn, stays far away.
Post Script: My friend Seth Eben Shapiro provided my with “proof” that mine is not a myth. Whoohoo!
Why quotes – It’s Wikipedia of course. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/