On the End of the Year

It's December. Holidays are being celebrated. Families are sharing in wealth and happiness. Gifts are being exchanged, food is being consumed, communities are coming together, and A Christmas Story is like Jimmy Buffet's "Happy Hour"; it's always on somewhere.

Many people like to reflect on the year and create expectations of the one to come. Me? I really don't involve myself. I never really created "resolutions", or wrote down some list of goals that wouldn't be revisited, remembered, or seen again until the next December when I think to myself, "Hmmm.. I never did commit time to watching every documentary about marijuana on Netflix, did I? Where's the time gone?". That was always a bunch of hubbub that I never had interest in.

New Year's is to me what Christmas is to atheists; just another day. It's a time to start changing the last two digits in the date on all of my school papers. It's a time to recount how old I'll be turning on March 15th. It's a time to wait and see how many companies will be having a 10/25/50/75/100 year anniversary of being in business. It's a time to, well, do nothing really out of the ordinary.

On December 31st, 2010, I will be watching the Kentucky Wildcats/Louisville Cardinals college basketball game. I will be probably working sometime that day. And I will not be highly anticipating the night or morning to come.

I will be going home and playing video games. I will be eating the same dinner and cereal that my parents make or I buy. I will be laying down next to the same girl I do now. I will be drinking the same drinks, snacking the same snacks, listening to the same damn music. Hell, I may even be wearing the same clothes that I have on now.

It's not a rejuvenation of myself, my personality, my physique, or my outlook on life. It is, however, the end of something.

After the 25th, life for me is in limbo. The excitement of Christmas wears down. I make sure I visited all the relatives that are still relevant. I count the gift cards, try on the clothes, and test the gadgets. The leftovers of "Christmas Joy" are being consumed, and until January 1st of 2011, I feel like I'm walking along a cliff. On the plateau, I am still waking up thinking I have presents waiting or buffets of food to eat, or surprises waiting. I go to work expecting holiday greeting cards to be ordered, questions about picture mugs to be asked, and the general busy-ness of end-of-the-year retail. Over the edge, it all ends and the only Christmas left is snow on the ground or the decorations that my mom fails to put away until Valentine's Day. That six day period, from December 26th to 31st, is spent in an awkward dance, joyful from all of the eventful events that have happened and meek from just slowing down.

Then New Year's Eve, and it sinks in; tomorrow will be Day One of Two Thousand and Eleven, and this will all be put behind me. And on New Years Day, I'll wish customers a Happy New Years, I'll go to Wendy's and get my lunch, I'll go home after clocking out, and I'll start counting down the days before I go back to school. Nothing out of the ordinary.

The day Brandon Hite is really looking forward to is December 22nd, 2012. R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World As We Know It" will be stuck in his head, all day, until the apocalypse.


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