New Years

New Year 1974

Happy New Year (1974)

New Year’s revelry has come a long way since 1974.

Forty years ago, 50,000 people showed up in New York City’s Times Square–“previously dimmed to conserve energy”–to watch the ball drop. Across the USA, thousands of gas stations were closed. The Soviet news agency TASS noted that Americans were ringing in the new year “with a lack of confidence in the morrow and alarm about the future.” And Great Britain declared New Year’s Day an official holiday for the first time.

Moral of the story? Things could be worse! But also, it gets better (eventually).

New Year 1974

1974 Comes Dimming In [AP story via The Evening Independent]


What Makes You Happy?

It’s a new year and time for a new resolution. Rather, it’s time to pull last year’s resolution off the shelf, dust it off, and try again.

In truth, everyone’s resolution is the same. It is a search for happiness. We think we’ll find it this year if we lose those 10 pounds, quit smoking, or land that perfect job.

Resolutions are about self-improvement. But why do we seek to improve ourselves? Ostensibly because it will lead us to happiness. We’re wise to look for it in ourselves, for only we can make ourselves happy:

It’s not up to anyone else on the planet to make you happy. Not your mother, your father, your spouse, your partner, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, your kids, your boss, your colleagues, your friends, or your horoscope. It’s up to you and you alone. It all starts by choosing to be happy.*

I’m often trying to figure out what makes me happy. Some days I know. Other days, it’s a struggle; I get mired down in work I don’t want to do, chores that sap my energy, and “shoulda coulda” thoughts.

What about you? What makes you happy? Is there a song you listen to, a poem you read, or a certain flower, vista, or memory that reminds you to smile when you really don’t want to?

I’d like for you to leave a comment below about something that makes you happy, something that drives you to get out of bed each day. It can’t be another person, as the passage above suggests. It must be something, tangible or intangible, that moves you.

Think of it as a depository of happy thoughts that you and I can return to throughout the year and beyond, a place where we can clear our heads in order to get the motivation to move on to the next project, task, or life event.

Ready to find out what makes us happy? I am.

Thanks for brainstorming with me. Happy New Year!

*Passage from the book God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life’s Little Detours by Regina Brett

Photo by Flickr user camdiluv