I often wonder, "Just what's in a 'Happy New Year?'" In a favorite coffee shop, "Happy New Year's" occurs all around me. No less than a dozen times already this early morning, people wished each other, "Happy New Year's." The common reply, "And, to you too."
Most New Year's greetings & wishes seem a bit fuzzy and meaningless. Phrases found perhaps on greeting cards, Twitter, or other social media apps. "May the New Year's be yours, surrounding you with everything you desire," generically sums it up. Nice, safe, and, rememberless. Listening to the many conversations all around me, each Happy New Year's greeting bare resounding commonality.
New Year's Wish for "Less"
Happy New Year's, for some, desires an absence or reduction of what is present. lol - As I write this sentence, a dejected woman says to another next to me, "I hope this new year is a whole lot better than the last. Less problems, less troubles, just less." As the conversation ensues, every patron hears of the woman's troubled year, "It just needs to go away!" Less conflict, less stress, less boredom, less, less, less . . .
New Year's Wish for "More"
For most, an addition of something, someone, or some event insinuates a Happy New Year. A coffee shop sets a stage for witnessing many New Year's expectations spoken and shared among friends. Two people sitting just to my left, one shares with the other, "I hope you get that position in the New Year!" To the right, a young couple, hoping to acquire a new home, "I hope we can get this loan."
Some look towards the New Year with expectation and desire for more. Wanting more than one currently possesses appears highly desirous. More money, more position, more wins, more notoriety, more love, more friends, more, more, more . . . . But, does "more" bring "Happy?"
To me, "more" often brings exactly that. More upkeep, more payments, more challenges, more repairs, more expenditures, and more restrictions accompany such requests. From my vantage point, more often results in more of the very thing one hopes is reduced or eliminate in the following year.
New Year's Wish for "Prosperous"
"Prosper" is often attached to a "Happy New Year's." Reading from a Christmas card sent to me by my sister, "Hoping you enjoy a Happy and Prosperous New Year." I like the word "prosperous." Prosperous means so many good and different things. It can point towards success in material goods. Prosperous may indicate a flourishing secured lifestyle. Perhaps, prosperous means security in friendships and loved ones too.
Thing is, in this coffee shop, listening to many the past three weeks, prosperous doesn't necessarily indicate happiness. Here's a thought. What about a . . .
New Year's Wish for the Unknown?
Mark Twain's words ring true for me, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain.
Perhaps, a Happy New Year hinges more on the unknown than the less, the more, or the prosperous? My Happy New Year's wish for you goes like this:
May the New Year bring unknown challenges, unknown friends, unknown surroundings, and unknown situations that will encourage you to explore, dream, and discover. In discovering, may you find your true meaning of a Happy New Year.
Just My Thoughts,
Don was born in North Minneapolis, Minnesota. Having served twenty-two years in South Africa as missionaries with his wife Kathy, and eight years pastoring in the United States, he shares unique perspectives about life, family, relationships, and ministry.